[Ads-l] OT: pronunciation of French scientist's name, DeBroglie

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 29 19:31:13 UTC 2018

> On Jan 29, 2018, at 2:18 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Given that -gli- is merely the Italian spelling of /λ/ and the name, _de
> Broglio_ has been frenchified to _de Broglie_ and the sound, /λ/, has
> become yod in French, as it has in many varieties of Spanish, my WAG is
> that there is no _l_ pronounced in the French version of this name
> ultimately of Italian - Corsican? - origin.

Yes, I’d have gone along with everything you say.  For example, consider Ital. _foglia_ with a /λ/ and its Fr. cognate -_feuille_, with as it turns out the same diphthong as “de Broglie” (no lateral).  I just don’t remember encountering the -<oglie> sequence in French before, and I wouldn’t have (and didn’t) make the connection between -Vgli- and -Vlli- words.

> On Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 12:43 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>>> On Jan 29, 2018, at 12:11 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>> wrote:
>>> A student has asked me the pronunciation of the French name
>>> DeBroglie.  The pronunciation is available on bing.com,
>>> but as often as I listen to it, I can't decide whether the
>>> woman is pronouncing the "I" (third letter from end)
>>> or not.
>>> Would any native speakers of French on this list
>>> be able to provide a definitive answer? It would
>>> be much appreciated.
>>> Gerald Cohen
>> Interesting.  I’m not a native speaker, but I do feel reasonably confident
>> in how I pronounce French, yet I’d have guessed wrong here.  If you check
>> the wikipedia entry for the eponymous physicist at
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Broglie you’ll get the IPA
>> rendering of his name as [dəbʁɔj] or [dəbʁœj] and you’re also linked to a
>> sound file at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:De_Broglie.ogg.  In each
>> case, there’s no lateral consonant in the pronunciation, and in fact if I
>> were transcribing what I hear at the sound file, I’d have come up with “de
>> Breuil” (in which the final <l> is definitely silent). (This matches the
>> second of the two phonetic forms in the wiki-entry.)  Who knew?
>> I do remember that the 1960’s-era pitcher for the Cardinals and Cubs,
>> Ernie Broglio, mostly famous for his part in an historically lopsided trade
>> for Hall of Famer Lou Brock, pronounced his name with an /l/.  Neither here
>> nor there, however.
>> LH
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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