This course provides an introductory description of the structure of present day French, a perspective on its historical development, and an overview of some of the current language-related issues in the French-speaking world (including neologisms, anglicisms, and spelling reform). We will first consider the history of Modern French, and examine its linguistic ancestors. We will then address the issue of linguistic diversity: regional dialects and languages, and French-based creoles. We will consider social variation, giving special attention to the structure of popular French. Lastly, we will discuss the place of French in the world, and consider language policy. The textbook will be Walter's (1988) Le français dans tous les sens. Other readings will be on reserve at the Main Library.