chapter  SEVEN
23 Pages

The French Dialect

WithLewis Herman, Marguerite Shalett Herman

The French language is spoken in a pitch that is the highest of all the Romance languages. Italian and Spanish both have the same excitable quality which tends to make the voice shrill— but they possess certain other features which soften them. Consequently, the French dialect is brisk and sharp and is spoken with almost staccato effect. One of the most characteristic habits in the French dialect is the Frenchman's insistence on accenting the last syllable in a word. Before dealing with the vowel changes, it is necessary to give an explanation of the nasal treatment often given French vowels. Like the Cockney, the French use a glide technique to connect related words. The French, like most foreigners, have trouble with American verb forms. For that reason, and because the French language uses very few contractions, a great many French people prefer to leave auxiliary verbs out of sentences entirely, as in.