43

The attachment of O and E (or of other letters) is called a typographic ligature. Ligatures were often used in ancient languages (such Latin and ancient Greek) to mark a diphthong or sometimes simply to make writing easier in pre-press times. In modern French, the œ ligature is linguistic as opposed to aesthetic. It bears an important linguistic role, ...


14

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 ...


4

D'un point de vue de puriste, æ et œ représentent un seul son, ae et oe deux. On prononce vité, donc la première orthographe s'impose. De même "cœur" n'est pas prononcé "co-eur". L'usage tend cependant à simplifier cela, sauf dans les langues scandinaves, en particulier en français et en anglais, surtout depuis l'ère de la dactylographie puis des claviers ...


4

Essentially, the "oe" together tells you how that vowel is to be pronounced, as in the word "œuvre". Think of it as an extra vowel that has it's own distinct spoken sound (pronunciation). I remember learning this in elementary school. Hope that helps.


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" ...


2

Je pense qu'il faut préciser de quelle type d'écriture on parle. Il est probable que l'usage de la ligature s'est raréfié avec l'écriture au clavier. Autant faire une ligature quand on écrit au stylo peut être spontané, autant la faire au clavier est beaucoup moins spontané, impossible au clavier de machine à écrire mécanique (français du moins) et difficile ...


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