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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2007

FR 380L • History of French Language

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36380 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
HRH 2.106C

Course Description

This course is taught in French

In this course we will analyze how French emerged from Latin and became the language it is today. We will discuss the shift from Gaulish to Latin/Romance, its background, and the major linguistic developments. We will also discuss the successive stages of French, each with its own characteristics. We subsequently will focus on a number of specific changes such as the loss of case in Latin and French, the development of the definite article and demonstratives, or changes in gender, agreement, and word order. Word formation processes as reflected in diminutives or "le verlan" will be analyzed as well. The course will focus on the developments in morphology and syntax and where possible will include a comparative perspective. A selection of French texts will illustrate specific phenomena or stages in the development of the language. Students will have the opportunity to suggest topics of their special interest.

Grading Policy

one written exam during the semester- 30%

reading assignments and class discussion- 20%

one preliminary paper- 10%

paper and oral presentation- 40%



Picoche, J and Marchello-Nizia, C. 1991. Histoire de la language française. Paris: Nathan. ISBN: 2-09-190760-X. (or the latest edition.)

Marchello-Nizia, C. 1999. Le français en diachronie: douze siêcles d'évolution. Paris : Ophrys. ISBN : 2-7080-0913-3 (or latest edition)

Reading Packet


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