Another designation, which is supported by the great authority of Dante, is that of lingua d'oco (langue d'oc). In his treatise, De vulgari eloquio (bk. i. chs. viii. and ix.), Dante divides the languages of Latin origin into three idioms, which he characterizes by the affirmative particles used in each, oc. oil, si; “nam alii oc, alii oil, alii si, alhrmando loquuntur, ut puta Hispani, Franci, et Latini.” As is seen, he attributes the affirmation oc to the Spaniards, which is of course erroneous; but there is no doubt that to the Spaniards he joined more correctly the inhabitants of southern France, for in the Vita nuova, ch. xxv., and in the Convivio, I. x., he speaks of the lingua d'oco as having been long celebrated for its poets, which can apply only to the language of the troubadours. The name langue d'oc occurs also as early as the end of the 13th century, in public acts, but with a different sense, that of the province of Languedoc, as constituted after the union of the county of Toulouse to the French king's dominion in 1271. In the royal acts of the end of the 13th and of the 14th century parte.: linguae oecitanae or pays de langue d'0c designates the union of the five seneschalates of Périgueux, Carcassone, Beaucaire, Toulouse and Rodez; that is to say, the province of Languedoc, such as it existed till 1790. Some scholars, following the example of Dante, still actually use the term langue d'oc in opposition to langue d'oui; but these names have the inconvenience that they take such a secondary fact as the form of the affirmative particle as an essential character. Moreover, it can hardly help to distinguish the other Romanic languages, as langue de si would cause a confusion between Italian and Spanish. Provencal, without being entirely satisfactory, since in principle it applies solely to the language of Provence, is, notwithstanding, the least objectionable name that can be adopted. In addition to its being in some sort consecrated by the use made of it by the Italians, who were the first after the Renaissance to study the Works of the troubadours, it must not be forgotten that, just as the Roman provincial, in which the name originated, extended across the south of Gaul from the Alps to Toulouse and the Pyrenees, so still in the middle ages provincial, provincial er, were understood in a very wide sense to designate not only Provence strictly so called, i.e. the present departments of Alpes Maritimes, Basses Alpes, Var, Bouches du Rhone, but also a very considerable part of Languedoc and the adjacent countries. Thus in the 12th century the chronicler Albert of Aix-la-Chapelle (Albertus Aquensis) places the town of Puy (Haute Loire) in Provincia.
2. General Characters of the Language in its Ancient State.-The Provengal language, within the limits above indicated, cannot be said to have any general characters really peculiar to it. Such of its characters as are found in all the varieties of the language are met with also in neighbouring idioms; such as are not found elsewhere are not general characters, that is to say, are manifested onlyin certain varieties of Provencal. In reality “ Provencal language ” does not designate, properly speaking, a linguistic unity; it is merely a geographical expression.
Tonic or Accented Vowelr.-Latin a is preserved in an open syllable a m 5 re, amar, a m 5 t u m, amat, as well as in a closed syllable c a rne m, carn. This character is common also to the Romanic of Spain and Italy; but it is one of the best distinguishing marks between Provengal and French, for, to the north, this a, when in an open syllable, doesnot pass beyond a line which would run approximately through Blaye, Coutras (Gironde), Riberac, Nontron (Dordogne), Bellac (Haute Vienne), Boussac (Creuse), Montlugon, Gannat (Allier), Montbrison (Loire). Starting eastward from Lyons or thereabouts, there appears a notable linguistic fact which is observable in varied proportions in the departments of Ain, Isere and Savoie, and in Romanic Switzerland. This is, that accented Latin a in an open syllable, when receded by a mouillure or palatalization (whatever the origin of this), becomes e; on the contrary, when there is no mauillure, it remains a. Thus we find in the Meditations of Marguerite d'Oingt (Lyons, c. 1300) ensennier, deleitier, as against desirrar, recontar, regardar. Of these two endings. the former, -wr, is that which is found regularly in French, the second that which is regular in Pr. Pure Pr. would have -ar in both cases (ensenhar, deleitar, desirrar. &c.); Fr. would have -ier (enseignier, delitier) and -er (desirer). G. I. Ascoli has given the name of Francobrovengal (france-provenzale) to the varieties of Romanic in which we rind this duality of treatment in Latin a, according as it was or was not preceded by a palatalized sound. Lat. E, i become close e (Ital. e chiuéo; Fr. é): h a b e r e, a1/er, c r é d i t, ere, m é(n)s e m, mes, f i d e m, fe, ilu m, pel. This character is not only common to Italian and Siaanish, but also extends over the French domain on its western side as far as Britanny. Certain exceptions noticed in French do not occur in Pr.: thus m e r c E d e m, c é r a, p r(e h)e(n)s u m, ve ne n u m, which give in Fr. merci, cire, prix, venin, where we should have expected mercei, ceire, preis, 1/enein, give regularly in Pr. merce, cera, pres, vere. Lat. é preserves, as in Italy, the sound of open e (Ital. e aperto): pédem, pe, lévat, leva, é p o r e m, lebre. In certain determinate cases, this e, from about the 13th century onwards, may diphthongize to iezjé go, eu, then ieu, h é r i, er, ier, fé rio, fer, fier. Lat. i is preserved, as in all the Romanic languages: a m ic u m, aini, r i p a. fiba. Lat. i is treated like i long when it precedes (with hiatus) another vowel: piu m, p i a, piu, pia, v i a, via, li g a t, lia. Lat. 5 ii result in one and the same sound, that of Ital. u, F r. on (Eng oo). The same phenomenon takes place in the north of Italy and in the Romanic of Switzerland. This sound, which is styled by the Donal Proensal the o eslreit (close 0), is usually symbolized in the early texts by simple o, and is thus confounded in spelling, though not in pronunciation, with the open o (o larc of the Donat Proensal), which comes from Lat. 6. Lat. 12 becomes 11 (i.e. Fr. u), as all over France, and also in part of north Italy: rn fi r u m, mur (=miir), d il r u m, dur (=dur). Lat. au is rigorously preserved over the whole extent of the Pr. domain: aurum, auf, alauda, alauza, pauperem, paubre. At present the preservation of Lat. au does not extend much outside the Prov. domain: it is, however, found in certain parts of the Ladina zone in Switzerland (upper Rhine valleYl» and in Friuli, and it is to be supposed to have been once general over the whole of' that zone. It is attested as late as the 16th century in the Vaudois valleys of Piedmont, and there are also examples of it in old Catalan. Elsewhere the diphthong has regularly become open 0 (a u r u m, Ital. and Span, oro. Fr. or, &c.). Alonic Vowels.-The atonic vowels (i.e. vowels of the unaccented syllables) which precede the accented 'syllable present no very characteristic phenomenon; but it is otherwise with those that follow the accented syllable, the post-tonic vowels. The Pr. is one of the Romanic idioms which, like the French, but unlike the Castilian and many dialects of Italy, admit of only one syllable after the accent. But the rules are not quite the same as in French, and in some exceptional cases real proparoxytones seem to have been preserved by ancient documents. In French the only vowel which can stand after the accented syllable is “e feminine, ” otherwise called “ e mute." In Prov. a and e are the most frequent vowels in this position, but i and 0 also occur. In French the first of the two post tonic vowels of a Latin proparoxytone always disappears; in Prov. it tends to be preserved, when followed by one of the consonants n, r, l, d: t e-rm i n u m, te-rmen, h o-m i n e m, 0-men, a-n gel u m, a-ngel, s e-c ale m, se-guel, c r e-s c e r e, crei-sser, t e-p i d u m, te-be. We have some instances of two syllables being retained after the tonic in the extreme south and south-east: dime-negue (d i es d o m i nic a), cano»negue (c a n o n i c u s), mo-negue, mo-nega (m o n a c u s, m o n a c a), ma-nega (m a n i c a, a handle), ca-nebe (c a n n a b i s), later dimerguc, canorgue, morgue, morga, marga, carbe; however, when such apparently proparoxytonic forms appear in poetry, the ending -egue, -ega, -ebe counts only as one syllable, from which it appears that the copyist, not the author, is responsible for them. Again, names of places ending in -anicus, -onicus, as Colonicus, De-Athatianicus, Dominitianicus, &c., now Calorgues, Dassafgues, Domessargues, in department Gard, appear in the 12th and 13th centuries as Colonegues, Dazanegues, Domensanegues. Moreover Prov. presents in certain words coming from Latin proparoxytones the trace of forms which (like Italian) admitted two atonic vowels after the accented syllable: thus we have parte-que and po-rgue (p o-r t i c u m), Fabre-ga, a place name, and fa-rga (f a-brica), perle-ga and pe-rga (p e-rtica), feme-na and fe-nina (f e-m i n a). We have also lagre-ma (l a-c r y rn a), but a form accented like Fr. larme does not exist. There seems to be no doubt that these forms, in which a displacement of the Latin accent is observed, were at an earlier period pronounced as proparoxytones (pmrlegue, fa.brega, pemtega e-mena, la-grema).
Consonants.-The boundary usually recognized between Prov. and French is founded upon linguistic characters furnished by the vowels, especially a; if it had been determined by, characters furnished by the consonants, the line of demarcation would have to be drawn farther south, because the consonantal system which is regarded as proper to French really extends in its main features over the northern zone of the Provengal region as defined above. As with the vowels, only a few of the salient facts can here be indicated. C initial, or second consonant of a group, before a (c a b.a l l u m, m e r c a t u m), preserves its Latin sound (=k) in the greater part of the Prov. region. But in the northern zone it takes the sound of teh (Eng. ch in chin) as in Old French, and this sound is still pretty well preserved, although there is here and there a tendency to the present sound of ch in Fr. (=sh Eng.). The place names Castellum, Castanétum, Casale give Chaslel. Chastanet, Chazal, in Dordogne, Haute Vienne, Correze, Puy de D6me, Cantal, Haute Loire, the north of Lnzére, of Ardéche, of