On Tue, 14 Nov 2000 16:51:40 EST, Elliott Lash <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Actually from what I've read
>"ne" isn't direclty from the Indo-European
>(an imposibility in fact), but instead its
>just a weakened form of "non" which came
>about in the Gallo-Romance period. The Latin
>"non" became Gallo-Romance "non" then Early
>Old French "nen" then became "ne" with loss of
>the nasalization in an unstressed syllable, an
>isolated change to be sure, but probably a real
>change none the less.

Thanks for the info. Knowing French, I already suspected that possibility,
so I'm really not that surprised.

What I meant with French possibly having preserved the "archaic Indo-
European word" was not exactly that the IE form would have passed directly
to French, but rather that French had somehow preferred 'ne', which was
after all a negation in Latin (the original one, 'non' being the compacted
composition 'ne oignom' AFAIK). I.e., that Gallo-Latin speakers had
used 'ne' at all times to negate, instead of 'non'. But I considered the
sound change explanation at least equally likely.

In that case, the negative interjection (?) 'non' in French has that form
because of its stress, am I right?

Interesting how rapidly negations can change in languages.