WI French was a Germanic language instead of a Romance language?

What if French was a Germanic language (German, English, Dutch, etc) instead of a Romance language (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc)? What would world history look like? What changes would be made to the French vocabulary?
 
What changes would be made to the French vocabulary?
Erm... If it's from a whole different language family, it's most of it, as it would be a completely different language.

As for a how, I'm thinking of the Franks here, although I don't really see how they could convince everyone to speak French; they were pretty much what the Normans were to England.
 
What if French was a Germanic language (German, English, Dutch, etc) instead of a Romance language (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc)? What would world history look like?

Ermm...it would be pretty much the same, assuming that the question is about the impact of linguistics and not the POD. I can't think of any incident in French history where the derivation of their language has determined a course of action.

What changes would be made to the French vocabulary?

Well...just about everything would change, really. But the noticable changes would be more with structure of words and phrases, rather than spelling.
 
I think it's plausible. Apparently in the Dark Ages old Frankish was the dominant language in all of what is today Belgium, including Wallonia, down through Valois and the region around Paris. With a slight shift in power, you could get all of northern France speaking what would eventually be a "Dutch" dialect, which would of course be called "French" IITL.

However, I think it's ASB to assume that any major language shift would happen in the south of France - it had a far longer history of speaking Latin, and the influence of the classic Franks was pretty thin on the ground in the south. The historical ramifications are quite interesting - would France stay one nation with two nationalities, or would France eventually lose its southern territories?
 
I think it's plausible. Apparently in the Dark Ages old Frankish was the dominant language in all of what is today Belgium, including Wallonia, down through Valois and the region around Paris. With a slight shift in power, you could get all of northern France speaking what would eventually be a "Dutch" dialect, which would of course be called "French" IITL.

However, I think it's ASB to assume that any major language shift would happen in the south of France - it had a far longer history of speaking Latin, and the influence of the classic Franks was pretty thin on the ground in the south. The historical ramifications are quite interesting - would France stay one nation with two nationalities, or would France eventually lose its southern territories?

I'd be inclined to think that France would divide into Germanic and Latin ranks; in this case, we probably never see a strongly unified France! Much of northern France might even join the HRE; the Duchy of Brittany stays strongly independent, and perhaps even decides its a kingdom at some point. In the south, we have a few small states: Provence, Toulouse, Aquitaine, maybe a couple others.

Depending on what happens with England in this game (we may very well still have Normans conquering), we might have an stronger English hold on the Continent. Also, without French help, Scotland might get annexed somewhat earlier.
 
I'd be inclined to think that France would divide into Germanic and Latin ranks; in this case, we probably never see a strongly unified France! Much of northern France might even join the HRE; the Duchy of Brittany stays strongly independent, and perhaps even decides its a kingdom at some point. In the south, we have a few small states: Provence, Toulouse, Aquitaine, maybe a couple others.

Depending on what happens with England in this game (we may very well still have Normans conquering), we might have an stronger English hold on the Continent. Also, without French help, Scotland might get annexed somewhat earlier.

I'm let down in myself for not thinking about the ramifications for England! With the Normans not speaking a Latin language, English will be totally unrecognizable. If Old English and Norman Frankish haven't diverged much (say, only around as different as Spanish and Italian are today), the Normans might just convert over to speaking Old English. Conversely, Old English may be increasingly "standardized" into the Frankish norm. By the 20th century, they may even be seen as essentially the same language, particularly if a nation arises which unites both sides of the Channel and works, much like OTL powers, to make all the various "dialects" of its realm standardized.
 
I'm let down in myself for not thinking about the ramifications for England! With the Normans not speaking a Latin language, English will be totally unrecognizable. If Old English and Norman Frankish haven't diverged much (say, only around as different as Spanish and Italian are today), the Normans might just convert over to speaking Old English. Conversely, Old English may be increasingly "standardized" into the Frankish norm. By the 20th century, they may even be seen as essentially the same language, particularly if a nation arises which unites both sides of the Channel and works, much like OTL powers, to make all the various "dialects" of its realm standardized.
This English would turn out rather similar to Frisian, I'd say.
 
Ermm...it would be pretty much the same, assuming that the question is about the impact of linguistics and not the POD. I can't think of any incident in French history where the derivation of their language has determined a course of action.
We've had this debate before. My thoughts (succinct): while language might not be very important in this period, the changes required to achieve this end - Frankish not being assimilated into the extant Latin and Gaulish languages - would noticeably alter French history from ~500 onward.
 
Also, without French help, Scotland might get annexed somewhat earlier.

Scotland was never annexed except briefly by Cromwell that bastard blood blood kill argh

Ahem.

I echo the opinion of others. Frankish could only spread in the north, probably meaning no France as we know it. History would change.
 
I can't think of any incident in French history where the derivation of their language has determined a course of action.

Every single vocal interaction would be changed by the language.

Really, people just don't respect the Butterflies any more.
 
It would require quite a massive spread of teutonic invaders all the way to the pyrenees, along with the extermination of the Latin population. :eek:
 
It would require quite a massive spread of teutonic invaders all the way to the pyrenees, along with the extermination of the Latin population. :eek:
Ignoring your bad choice of words, it doesn't need to, really. Luxembourg, for instance, is ethnically Celtic-ish, but cultural-linguistically Germanic. The Normans were descendants from Germanic invaders, but were alsovery French.
Ethnicity and language aren't related as much as people would like.
 

ninebucks

Banned
Germanising the south of France seems impossible, but it might be doable in the north. Or at least the north east.

The result of which would probably be a France that doesn't unify to the full extent of OTL.
 
It would require quite a massive spread of teutonic invaders all the way to the pyrenees, along with the extermination of the Latin population. :eek:

1) No. It would not. You are invited to compare the genetics of European nations with their linguistics. You are invited to remember that I, as a Scotsman, am a Scoti-Picto-Saxon speaking a Germanic language with tremendous Latin influence, and my country has never been conquered and exterminated by anybody. For that matter, recall that Latin was introduced to Gaul by conquest in the first place, and that didn't imply a Gallic Genocide.

2) The "shock horror" smiley is used to indicate jokeyness or in informal conversation.

3) Take note of what everybody else has already said about a possible north-south split.

4) In the Dark Ages, the infrastructure to exterminate a population did not exist.

5) The Teutons were one particular tribe and the Franks were a completely differant tribe. The word you want is Germanic.

That said, welcome aboard!
 
Scotland was never annexed except briefly by Cromwell that bastard blood blood kill argh

Apologies. The Union of Crowns, far from being an annexation, was a gradual merger of two previously independent nations.

Let me amend my earlier statement:

"Without French support, Scotland would probably get annexed in the 17th Century."
 
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