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The Rhine Franconian Element in Old French


Paul W. Brosman, Jr.

All evidence considered by Meyer-Lübke, Gamillscheg, and Wartburg concerning the features distinguishing the High German dialects from Low Franconian is examined to determine whether French borrowed from Old High German as well as Low Franconian and, if so, to identify the dialect or dialects involved. It is concluded that, contrary to Gamillscheg, French borrowed appreciably from Old High German and from Rhine Franconian rather than, as Meyer-Lübke and Wartburg thought, from the higher East Franconian dialect, which both they and Gamillscheg took to be typical of High German. The further conclusion that, collectively, loans from Low Franconian were earlier than those from Rhine Franconian permits proposal of an approximate date for the extinction of Low Franconian in France.