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Parle-t-il ?

What is the "t" there?

May 23, 2012



It is there to make the liaison such as matayl already said. The liaisons are very important in french, as it is very complicated phonetically. With this particular example, if the liaison wasn't there, then there would be no way to phonetical distinguish between "parle-il" (does he speak?) and "par l'isle"(by the island). Phonetically, the "t" sound is very important in many scenarios. Another important one is with the word "est" (present 3rd singular of être). For example, when one says "il est bien", you pronounce the "est" without the t. However, if the est is followed by a vowel, such as in "il est alle", the est is pronounce like "e-t-alle"


No, I was wrong. My wife (a native French speaker) says it's just there to make the liason... it wouldn't sound right if it was "Parle-il?"


It is just there for the sound, really, to make a good liaison between the two words.This occurs often in French.


It is just there for style, to make it flow better. If you think about it, it's kind of the only reason we have "an". Mind blown, right? :D


It is an "epenthetic" t, added in just to separate the vowels and avoid a non-French-sounding pronunciation that would result without it (although it is actually the remnant of the 3rd person singular personal ending -t in Latin).


This case in French is explained under the heading "As a synchronic rule".


That is cool to learn about the Latin remnant! Merci !


ClassicBookworm - Good question. I don't know but it seems like the T is used when the verb ends in a vowel to avoid a double vowel sound. (I really must get myself a grammar book!)


Just to make the sentence more fluent, to add liaison between the two words.

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