Among the many Old French words in English, the oldest have a Norman French aspect (sometimes with doublets from Central French, shown in parentheses): (1) Hard c as opposed to ch as in chair: caitiff, capon, car (chariot), carrion, carry, castle, catch (chase), cater, cattle (chattels), cauldron, decay, escape, pocket (pouch). The Modern French equivalent is the sh-sound in chateau. (2) Hard g as opposed to j as in James: gammon, garden, garter. Gaol has a Norman French spelling but a Central French pronunciation, whence the alternative jail. The Modern French equivalent is the zh-sound in jardin. (3) A w as opposed to a g(u): ewer, reward (regard), wage (gage), wait, wallop (gallop), ward (guard), warden(guardian), warranty (guarantee), warren, waste, wicket, wile (guile), wise (guise). The Modern French equivalent is the g(u) in garde, guichet. (4) The ch in chair, cherry, chisel, patch (piece), etc. The Modern French equivalent is the s-sound in cerise. (5) The sh in ashet (ScoE), brush, cushion, fashion, leash, mushroom, parish, push, usher, etc. The Modern French equivalent is the s-sound in façon, pousser. Sh is notable in English verbs formed on Norman French verbs in -ir: abolish, finish, perish, polish. (6) The qu in conquest (but not conqueror), enquire, quality, quarter, question, quit, etc. The Modern French equivalent is the k-sound in quitter. (7) An ai, ei, or ey spelling (and an ee or ay pronunciation): convey (convoy), deceive, faith, heir, leisure, prey, receive, veil. The Modern French equivalent is the wa-sound in loisir.
"NORMAN FRENCH." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 13, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/norman-french
"NORMAN FRENCH." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved January 13, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/norman-french
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