French and Italian | Introduction to French Linguistics
F402 | 2518 | Prof. Barbara Vance


In this course we look at the structure of the French language from
the point of view of descriptive linguistics, picking up where
ordinary grammar books leave off. We'll investigate the building
blocks of language from the smallest to the largest units -- sounds,
words, sentences, and discourse -- and see how the French language is
both similar in structure to other human languages and unique in its
particulars. We will be interested not only in how native speakers of
French think they should speak, but also in how they do speak and in
the kind of systematicity that underlies both casual and formal
speech. Questions such as the following will be explored with a
problem-solving approach: What makes Quebec French sound different
from Parisian French? Is there more to the language game verlan than
talking backwards? Are subject pronouns really subject pronouns when
they're used in addition to, rather than instead of, full subjects?
The course is conducted entirely in French. Prerequisites: F313 and
F314 or permission of instructor.