Oral monophthongs 

In the following files, you can hire each of the vowels or vowel pairs that are pronounced as a single sound, or phoneme. For each sound, there is a corresponding tag in three parts. On the far left you’ll find the character from the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the closest sound in modern English to the corresponding vowel sound in Francien. If you’re unfamiliar with the IPA, click on the link to familiarize yourself with the characters and their corresponding sounds. Secondly, you’ll find a Francien word in which this vowel sound occurs. Lastly, the number on the far right shows the line number where the word appears in the poem back on the “Prologue” tab. On that page, you can hear the vowel sounds below in the context of complete sentences.

a / male / 27


ɛ / estre / 17


e / maufé / 29


Note that three different letter combinations (e, eu, ue) can make the ə sound:

ə / sale / 28


ə / deux / 3


ə / duel / 25


ɔ / noces / 15


o / volerent / 29


u / mout / 3


ɨ / fu / 5


Oral diphthongs 

Notice that some of the vowel combinations above like “ue” make a single sound. By contrast, there are four vowel combinations in Francien that make two distinct sounds when pronounced. You can hear each of them in these links:

 / ains / 18


 / autre / 48


 / peisible / 82


ɔɪ / cortois / 2


Nasalized vowels 

There are two instances of nasal vowels, the kind you hear in modern French words like “parlons“. Of note, in Old French the consonant following the nasalized vowel is also pronounced. These vowels are pronounced with a particularly strong resonance in the nose, as in these two examples:

ɑ̃ / poissanz / 2


ɔ̃ / felon / 11