From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 15:04:18 CST
From: "Antoine Leca" <Antoine10646@leca-marti.org>
>> There are much enough normative
>> references about this reform approved since long.
> (Saint Mandé, 2004) does not seem to agree with you.
> I cannot understand how they can get it as wrong as you are implying.
I did not imply something wrong. I said explicitly that I was not sure that
the orthographic reform was applicable to proper names, such as toponyms
that contain common names like "Île" integrated as a component of a compound
But the good question to ask is whever this is really a compound name: the
standard French orthography requires the use of an hyphen in compound proper
names. The absence of the hyphen means that it is logically separate.
So "Île de Ré" is not a compound proper name (otherwise it would have to be
written "Île-de-Ré" and so would be invariable and would require the
circumflex.). It is still a compound toponym, which is made with a common
name, an article, and a proper name. So in texts, you have to remove the
initial on "Île" when it is not appropriate: "les habitants de l'île de Ré",
or when applying the orthographic reform: "les habitants de l'ile de Ré"
without the circumflex.
There are other compound French toponyms which are not invariable. For
example the initial capital in "Le Mans" has to be changed in lowercase in
sentences, and can vary according to normal grammatic rules, for example:
"Je suis passé par le Mans", "j'habite au Mans", "les habitants du Mans"...
This is the presence of the hyphen in the toponym that makes a compound
toponym a compound proper name. French toponyms are not always invariable,
and not all strict proper names. The fact that you find them in their
isolated form in a simple list of toponyms does not justify your position.
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