> > Your definition of "LatinVowel" is problematic. Is "Y" only a
> > French? In a word such as "yeux", it certainly is a consonant. Could
> > this lead to problems?
> I don't think so, but I wait for the opinion of French speakers.
> What I can see is that things like "l'yaourt" [lja'ur] are normal in
> spelling, and sometimes are to be found also in Italian ("l'yoghurt"
"y" is either a vowel or a semi-consonant. When a semi-consonant, an
initial "y" does not cause elision, so "le yaourt". Of course, there are
exceptions: "yeuse" (oak), "yèble" (?) and "yeux" (eyes). The usage is
both ways for "yole" (skiff). There are a few words starting with a
vowel "y": "y" (there), "ypérite" (mustard gas), "ytterbium" (?),
"yttrium" (?). Finally, there is elision before most proper nouns
starting with "Y": "Yonne" (a river), "York", etc.
That being said, here are a few problematic cases for your proposal:
"prud'homme" (a member of an industrial tribunal) is a single word, as
are his relatives "prud'homal", and "prud'homie".
Grevisse ("Le bon usage", "the" authority on French usage) gives five
verbs which are considered a single word: "entr'aimer (s')",
"entr'apercevoir", "entr'appeler (s')", "entr'avertir (s')",
"entr'égorger (s')"; Le Petit Robert (1988, a well respected dictionary)
gives only the second one.
There is elision before the names of the consonants f, h, l, m, n, r, s,
x: "admissible à l'X" (accepted at X = École Polytechnique), "devant
l'n" (before the n).
"grand'mère" is definitely one word for me, but "grand'rue",
"grand'chose" are not so clear. All are archaic forms and Le Petit
Robert does not list any of those (modern: "grand-mère", "rue
principale", "grand chose"').
Then there is spoken French: "j'suis allé m'promener" for "je suis allé
me promener" (I went for a walk). There are many such cases of elision
before a consonant.
This spoken French is of course very close to many dialects, or even
close languages (e.g. Picard, spoken in the North of France).
Did we mention that one never breaks a line after an apostrophe that
Speaking of French line break problems, there is also the case of the
";", which takes a space before and after: "foo ; bar". Of course, one
never breaks on the space just after "foo". Same for ":".
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