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On 2013-01-20 at 16:21:27 +0100, Mathieu Roy wrote:
> Also, my French teacher told me that past participles were matched with the direct object (complément d'object direct) only if the latter was before the verb as monks could not erase (to correct mistakes), and because it is more difficult to know how to match a past participate with a direct object that has not been written yet (ie. which is after it). Is that true?

Actually, monks could erase, up to a certain point, by scraping a bit 
of parchment; it is definitely more invasive than hitting the backspace 
key and leaves traces, but for small errors it could be done.

What makes the explanation quite unrealistic, however, is the fact 
that the monks weren't writing new material on the expensive vellum: 
most of the time they were copying existing books, and even in the 
rare case when they weren't, the text would have been composed and
written on something cheap and reusable like waxed tablets, and 
only later copied on a more durable support.

Additionally, I don't know much about the history of French, but 
if what I remember about Italian applies, I suspect that the monks 
had little influence on its developement (as a written language), 
since they tended to live in (medieval) Latin language/culture islands.

-- 
Elena ``of Valhalla''