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En réponse à "Douglas Koller, Latin & French" <[log in to unmask]>:

>
> The only words I can think of off the top of my head are "pleine"
> (/plEn/) (full, fem.) and "reine" (/REn/) (queen, fem.), and even
> then there's a mitigating final "e" as these are both feminine, else
> we'd get "plein" (/plE~/) (full, masc.) and "rein" (/RE~/) (kidney,
> masc.). Is it all *that* common? :)
>

Extremely common! As common as the digraph |ai| for the same sound. Let me
think... on top of my head, I have: veine, peine, déveine, neige, geignant,
haleine, Seine, feignant, beignet, meilleur, peigne, seize. The fact that |ai|
is used for the imperfect endings makes it look more common, but in radicals
they are used both often. At least often enough to have to learn it at school
along with the digraph |ai|.

Christophe.

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