dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 07:54am on 2012-10-27

Why do we have 'di' for 'day' in lundi, mercredi, dimanche, and so on, but 'jour' for 'day' in toujours, aujourd'hui, etc. (but interestingly neither 'di' nor 'jour' in hier (yesterday) or demain (tomorrow), though perhaps just as interesting that 'tomorrow' doesn't contain 'day')?

Does this have something to do with Latin etymology (does a similar pattern show up in other romance languages?) or is it a peculiarity of French? Why didn't it occur to me to ask this when I was taking French in high school? Does this pattern go all the way back to Middle French or Old French or the language(s) Old French developed from[*]?

Is there any connection to the way some accents/dialects of English pronounce days of the week 'mundiy', 'toosdiy', 'sundiy' etc. while retaining the dehy sound in 'today' (or 'taday' or 'tuhday'[**], or 't'day', none of which require my travelling very far to hear) ... or is that coincidence every bit as random as it appears?

And, of course, the question beneath the rest of these questions: why have I not yet managed to fall asleep from when I crawled into bed many hours ago?

[*] I'm a little fuzzy on the stages in between Latin and Old French. I foresee a long detour into Wikipedia in my near future.

[**] And can I use a schwa there, or is that character -- ə I think? -- font-specific and likely to only show for half the people reading this? Hmm. 'təday' Did that work?


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