I am interested in historical phonetic development process which resulted in French having so many vowels in comparison to other Romance languages, and even more than Latin, which I believe had only 6 vowels not counting long-short differences.

All Romance languages descend from Latin, right? And yet Spanish, Italian have only a few vowels, while French has many more. Why the difference? Was French influenced by different languages than the others? Was there a difference in the time period where French phonology developed? Different response to Latin long and short vowels?

  • This question requires at least a full article or chapter in order to be treated seriously; the following for instance provides the basis of the historical developments (chronology): "cairn.info/… ". – LPH Aug 1 '19 at 5:19
  • I added a summary translation to the earlier French-only duplicate. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Aug 5 '19 at 21:58