French and Italian | Structure & Development of French
F401 | 7453 | Rottet, Kevin


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.