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Pacifica

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It is funny how proficient non-native speakers are sometimes more sensitive to this sort of stuff than native ones are. I often notice sound patterns (whether intentional or accidental) in English (metrical patterns, alliteration, assonance, etc. etc.). Yet those in these French sentences totally escaped me until you pointed them out. I sometimes do notice such things in French, too, but maybe less often?
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

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I've noticed that non-native speakers of English are, as a rule, generally keener on Poe than the average native speaker. And Bitmap has spoken of his fondness for Swinburne. I don't think I've ever heard anyone even referring to him except as an example of what happens if you allow alliteration to get the better of you. Though it was only as I typed this out that another possible reason for the appeal of that Victorian eccentric came to mind.
 

Pacifica

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Though it was only as I typed this out that another possible reason for the appeal of that Victorian eccentric came to mind.
Which is?

I'm not familiar with his work.
 

Clemens

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It is funny how proficient non-native speakers are sometimes more sensitive to this sort of stuff than native ones are. I often notice sound patterns (whether intentional or accidental) in English (metrical patterns, alliteration, assonance, etc. etc.). Yet those in these French sentences totally escaped me until you pointed them out. I sometimes do notice such things in French, too, but maybe less often?
I agree, and I have had proficient non-native speakers of English point things like this out to me before. I think anyone also brings their own language into the mix and notices things that stand out from their own language. I like the vowels of French that don't exist in English, just as I like the guttural sounds of Arabic and all the dentals. I sometimes wonder, too, if native speakers are more likely to like a word or phrase because of what it means, rather than how it sounds.
 

Clemens

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Poems in French that I like:

Barbara (Jacques Prévert)
Invitation au voyage (Baudelaire)
Heureux qui comme Ulysse ... (Du Bellay)
La Solitude (Saint-Amant)
Le Lac (Lamartine)
 

Pacifica

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Barbara (Jacques Prévert)
Invitation au voyage (Baudelaire)
Heureux qui comme Ulysse ... (Du Bellay)
La Solitude (Saint-Amant)
I need to check those out.

My favorite may be Une Charogne (not for everyone's taste, though). It's at least one of my favorites. It's often a bit hard to declare an absolute favorite.
 

Pacifica

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Pacifica

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Jacques Brel is amazing poetry too.



 

Pacifica

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Pacifica

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"Mère." Actually, the difference isn't that big, especially if I say the words in isolation. But within a sentence, the vowel in "mer" tends to be shorter. E.g. if I compare "On va à la Mer du Nord" and "On va voir la mère de mon amie", it sounds a little different.
 

Pacifica

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For some reason, it seems to me the difference is more obvious in "mètre" vs. "maître" or "faites" vs. "fête".

Like, I think I could mishear "mère" for "mer" and vice versa, but not "mètre" for "maître" or vice versa.
 

Pacifica

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Maybe it has to do with the R? Dunno. Words like "terre", "faire", "taire", all have a somewhat long E, so maybe there's sometimes some kind of lengthening in "mer" because of the R, even though it's not really supposed to be long?
 

Clemens

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I
For some reason, it seems to me the difference is more obvious in "mètre" vs. "maître" or "faites" vs. "fête".

Like, I think I could mishear "mère" for "mer" and vice versa, but not "mètre" for "maître" or vice versa.
I don’t know if this applies here, but words like maître and fête were once maistre and feste, and when the s stopped being pronounced (later Middle Ages), it caused compensatory lengthening in the preceding vowel. This has been lost in modern (northern) France. (In Canada such vowels are not only still long, but are diphthongs. Fête can almost sound like English fight.)
 

Glabrigausapes

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I've noticed that non-native speakers of English are, as a rule, generally keener on Poe than the average native speaker.
The average native speaker in this country doesn't know anything more than Frost's shitty two roads. If he's ever heard of Poe, it's probably as the ward of the Baudelaires.
And Bitmap has spoken of his fondness for Swinburne.
Swinburne is the prince of poets.
 

Serenus

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Maybe it has to do with the R? Dunno. Words like "terre", "faire", "taire", all have a somewhat long E, so maybe there's sometimes some kind of lengthening in "mer" because of the R, even though it's not really supposed to be long?
Yeah, in French phonology, coda -r is one of the "consonnes allongeantes" (the others being v z, not sure about -j as in "rage"), consonants that make the previous vowel long... I'm vaguely aware Belgian French doesn't always have long vowels where you'd expect them though... Kinda like how Montreal French has a diphthong in baleine, as if it was "balaîne", while Quebec City French doesn't...
 

Pacifica

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I don’t know if this applies here, but words like maître and fête were once maistre and feste, and when the s stopped being pronounced (later Middle Ages), it caused compensatory lengthening in the preceding vowel. This has been lost in modern (northern) France.
Je sais.

Je suis contente de te revoir ici, ça faisait quelques jours que je me demandais où tu étais. (J'imagine que je peux te tutoyer...?)
(In Canada such vowels are not only still long, but are diphthongs. Fête can almost sound like English fight.)
Ça je ne le savais pas.

Funnily, in some regions of Belgium (not sure which, but I've heard the phenomenon on TV a few times) people diphthongize final -és almost like native English speakers do.
not sure about -j as in "rage"
It is so for me.
I'm vaguely aware Belgian French doesn't always have long vowels where you'd expect them though...
I suspect this kind of thing can depend on regions and even individual speakers.
 
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Terry S.

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