Forum Rocket French French Grammar Variable pronunciation of the final 'e'

Variable pronunciation of the final 'e'

MichaelH133

MichaelH133

Hi,

I am trying to understand when the final ‘e’ of certain words seems to be pronounced ‘eh’.

For example, carte blanche sounds like “cart-eh blanche" even though carte alone has a silent ‘e.’

I assume it's due to the associated words in the sentence, but not sure the rule(s).  For instance, petite fille has a silent ‘e’.

Max

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour MichaelH133,

 

There are many rules of the liaison phenomenon in French (the phenomenon of linking words together phonetically), however there are also many fixed expressions which are often exceptions. For example:

  • plus ou moins - the ‘s’ and the ‘o’ are linked but isn't a typical, regular example

This is kind of where carte blanche fits. It's more of a fixed phrase which has its own pronunciation and unfortunately in this instance you have to just memorize it.

 

I hope this helps!

 

   -   Mitchell

RobertC106

RobertC106

I've noticed the female audio voice indulging in the ‘elective pronunciation of a final e’ frequently lately. An interesting example is in L 19.1. In the dialogue section, Je me passionne pour la peinture, is said with an abrupt halt after passionne. Later in the vocabulary section, what sounds like a different female voice says, Je me passionne pour la nourriture, with an noticeable vowel sound at the end of passionne.

 

It's obviously done for the purpose of speaking in a less halting style, and since it's always done by the same voice, I'd assume it's a matter of personal taste. It jumps out at me when I hear it since it really does simplify the pronunciation of a phrase.

 

Robert

 

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Robert,

 

Grammatically speaking, it shouldn't be elective and despithe there being many exceptions, the rules should be consistent. 

 

As far as “Je me passionne” is concerned, you will sometimes here people linger on certain words like “passionne” and almost flick off at the end with a pronounced “neuh” / “passionneuh” and this is simple done to stress that you are really passionate. I personally would lean into the start of the word and then pause ever so slightly before carrying on. In the dialogue of lesson 19.1 Julie is really leaning into the beginning of the word, while further down in the vocab section the speaker is not emphasising anything in particular, rather just articulating clearly.

 

When you add stress of emphasis to certain parts of a sentence it can really muck up the liaison of words. My only advice would be to ask yourself if the speaker is trying to emphasise anything in the sentence if sentence does not liaise with a perfect cadence. 

 

I hope this help,

 

   -   Mitchell

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