Your assignment for the second class project is to explore some question (or set of related questions) concerning stress shift in the French loanwords that we have collected and analyzed up to this point (see the syllabus for a link to the most up-to-date version of the spreadsheet). The same questions can be explored by more than one student, and you are welcome to discuss the topics among yourselves, but when you write up your results, you should do so independently.
Some of you will have no difficulty coming up with questions to explore,
but if you are having trouble with ideas, please don't hesitate to make
an appointment to discuss your project with me or Caitlin.
Some suggestions for dealing with dates
As it stands, the spreadsheet has a column with dates of first
attestation for the loanwords. These dates are only very rough
estimates for when a loanword entered the language, as is evident from
the fact that the dates of first attestation can differ by several
decades between the second and third editions of the OED. Here are some
suggestions for how to handle dates.
A "circa" date is the best estimate that the OED editors can give regarding the date of first attestation. In attempting to assign such dates to a time period, the most reasonable thing to do is simply to ignore the "circa."
"Ante" (Latin for 'before') means that the loanword is believed to have been first attested before the date given. The problem is that there is no indication how many years before. In assigning "ante" dates to time periods, a reasonable thing to do is to ignore the "ante" and subtract a fixed number of years from the remaining date (say, 30 or 50 years).
The most reasonable thing to do is to take the arithmetic average of the range.
The most reasonable thing to do is to take the (rough) midpoint of the implied range. In other words, treat 135. as 1355, and 1400 as 1450.
The most reasonable thing to do is to ignore question marks and treat the remainder according to the above guidelines.