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What is the capital of Tunisia?

Where can I find explanations of the regular phonetic evolution of -ēre (after palatal -c) → -ir?

I’m not aware of a recent paper that develops the phenomenon, but most manuals of Old French or about the phonetic development of French from Latin will have a paragraph on this (for example, J.-M. PIERRET, Phonétique historique du français et notions de phonétique générale, p. 198; P. BOYD-BOWMAN, From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts, pp 32-35; or even Wikipedia)

The root mechanism at work here is that the sequence /jej/ or /ɪ̯eɪ̯/ in Old French contracted to /i/ around the 10th century. This happened whatever the source of the yods, be it inherited from Latin (1), a diphthong (1, 2, 3, 4), a lenited consonant (2), a palatal offglide after a palatalised consonant (2, 4) or a palatal offglide ejected from a posttonic syllable (1, 3):

  1. Peior /’pej.jor/ -> vulgar */’pɛ.jɔr/ -> pre-French */’pɛj.rɔ/ (metathesis of ɔr then ejection of yod to the preceding syllable) -> OF /’pɪ̯ej.rə/ (diphthongisation of the once open /ɛ/ to /ɪ̯e/ -> /’pi.rə/ pire

  2. cacat /’ka.kat/ -> pre-French */’kʲɛ.ɣaθ/ -> OF /t͡ʃʲe.jə(θ)/ -> /t͡ʃi.ə/ chie

  3. Decem /ˈde.kem/ -> vulgar */’dɛ.kʲɛ/ -> pre-French */dɛj.t͡sɛ/ -> OF /dɪ̯ejt͡s/ -> /dit͡s/ dix

  4. Cēram /’keː.ram/ -> vulgar */kʲe.ra/ -> OF /’t͡sʲeɪ̯.rə/ -> /’t͡si.rə/ cire

This is what happened to the infinitive suffix -ēre after /k/. /k/ was palatalised by /e/ to /t͡sʲ/ while the open syllable /e/ diphthongised to /eɪ̯/. Normally, /t͡sʲ/ would have evolved to /z/ and /eɪ̯/ to /wa/, but next to each other they formed a /jej/ sequence which reduced to /i/.


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What is the capital of Tunisia?