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15

Your question is very interesting, but quite complex too. First, it is interesting to notice that accents, in French, didn't exist until the end of the 16th century. The reason why they have been invented is probably partly to lighten the work of typographs, since printing has been invented towards the end of the 15th century, and partly to change the ...


3

You are referring to the diacritics (commonly called accents) and ligatures in French. The accent aigu (soufflé), accent grave (très bien), circonflexe (fête), cédille (ça va) and tréma (Noël) are diacritics, used to change the way the letters they are used on are pronounced. œ (chef-d'œuvre) and æ (used for Latin or Greek words) are ligatures. The "why" ...



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