French and Italian | Structure and Development of French
F401 | 10463 | Rottet, Kevin James

This course provides an overview of the structure of present day
French, a perspective on its historical development, and an analysis
of some of the current language-related issues in the French-
speaking world.  We will first consider the history of Modern French
from an external perspective, by examining some important historical
events in the history of the language, and from an internal
perspective, by looking at some of the specific ways the language
has changed over time. Then we will talk about variation in French,
or how French differs geographically (i.e. dialects and
regional varieties in France and in the French-speaking world), how
it differs socially (i.e. how social categories such as
socioeconomic class or sex are reflected in language use), and how
it differs situationally (i.e. how people change the ways
they speak depending on who they’re talking to, the formality of the
situation, etc.). Along the way we will look at spoken versus
written French, slang, and français populaire. Next we will
discuss directions for the future: how French creates new words
(neologisms), copes with English influence (Anglicisms), and issues
concerning the feminization of the names of occupations
traditionally practiced by males.