The word for 'mirror' in French: Analysis of miroir and glace in literary works, 1650–1799

Reiko Ito, Takamasa Seimiya, Yuji Kawaguchi
2022 Zenodo  
Romance languages such as Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, and Italian inherited words descended from Latin SPECULUM 'mirror'. However, in the Gallo-Romance languages, Occitan, and Catalan, words derived from the Latin deponent verb MIRARI are used: miroir in French, miralh in Occitan, and mirall in Catalan. In French, glace, descendant of Latin GLACIA, is also utilized. The words miroir 'mirror' and glace 'ice' appeared in literature from the 12th century. The meanings of glace were extended to
more » ... nclude 'mirror' in 1825, although it is possible that glace was so used earlier. In this paper, we analyze the occurrences of miroir and glace meaning 'mirror' in literary works in the period 1650–1799. We clarify that glace was used to mean 'mirror' before 1825. We also point out that the usage frequency of glace meaning 'mirror' gradually increased between 1650 and 1799. Furthermore, in the first half of the 18th century, the use of glace to indicate the glass part of a mirror began to decline, while that of glace to mean 'mirror' started increasing. It was around this time that the metonymy of glace for miroir began in earnest.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.7121540 fatcat:yxg6kycuqrbslla3nanxta3ag4