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  • Credits: 3

How did French become the language of France? When was this dialect of Northern France established as the French language? Why were schoolchildren not allowed to speak regional languages? The seminar examines the linguistic diversity of France, both diachronically (through history) and synchronically (at different points in time). We will chart the development of the French language from its Latin origins to the present and examine its regional and social variation. We will address the linguistic policies of France and the European Union regarding regional and minority languages. Student-led interactive presentation will help map out France’s regional languages (Alsatian, Breton, Corsican, Occitan, and French-based creoles) and the ways they contribute to linguistic diversity. We will also discuss the status of “minority languages” such as Arabic, now the second most-common language in France. 

Grade breakout: engagement and participation 25%; written assignments 25%; presentation 20%; ressearch projects(s): 30%

Assignments include readings, biweekly written reports, an oral presentation and a final research project. Students taking 01:420:491 will have one additional research assignment.

If this is your first upper-level course taught French, please register under 01:420:395.

Required: Henriette Walter. Le français dans tous les sens, Grandes et petites histoires de notre langue. ISBN: 978-2253140016 

Recommended: Anthony Lodge. French: From Dialect to Standard. Routledge, 1993. ISBN: 978-0415080712