french chad

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 1 05:44:24 UTC 2000

At 5:33 PM -0800 11/30/00, Arnold Zwicky wrote (quoting Chris Waigl):

>...i pressed on and asked about the plurals:
>>Ah, that's where things get murky, according to the searches I have
>>done on "confetti" and according to my informer.  French dictionaries
>>(e.g. Le Petit Robert) consider "confetti" as a French noun, the
>>plural of which is, of course (in this perspective, of course) "les
>>confettis". Some speakers, though, consider the noun as an Italian
>>noun borrowed by the French language and, knowing that it is already
>>a plural in Italian, form the Italian (except for the article) plural
>>"les confetti".  This is the case for my informer, who speaks
>>Italian... These speakers do not seem to go so far as to form the
>>correct Italian singular when using the word in French (*le
>>I did a short world wide web search. 'Les confetti' appears to be
>>mostly used by manufacturers of carnival items, carnival societies,
>>and in general writers connected to the carnival scene -- you could
>>call them the confetti professionals. 'Les confettis' is used by the
>>same group as well, though. There is a painting and a poster by
>>Toulouse-Lautrec (1894) called "Confettis", which was originally an
>>advertisement for the London confetti manufacturers J.&E. Bella. In
>>Canada, you find a "ThȒtre des Confettis". Outside the
>>carnival-related world, "les confettis" shows up far more often than
>>the plural without s. On the pages of Le Monde Diplomatique in the
>>idiomatic expression "Les Ètats confettis de l'Europe" (meaning
>>minuscule, politically more or less independant territorial
>>entities). Or, in the same attributive use of the noun, "les parcs
>  >confettis" in the context of urban planning.
I recall the ubiquitous use of "les spaghettis" in France, along the
same lines.  Of course these neo- or hyper-plurals are easier to
endure in French, where the -s isn't actually pronounced...


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