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

Fall 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37230 MWF
8:00 AM-9:00 AM
BEN 1.106

Course Description

This course aims at giving an overview of the structure of modern French and at providing the basic tools and methods for its linguistic analysis. A description approach, open to all theoretical frameworks, is adopted. Thus, while this course doesn't rely on students having any particular theoretical background, it does assume familiarity with traditional grammatical terminology (adjective, verb, preposition, etc.). Various aspects of the word order of French phrases (noun phrases, adjective phrases, etc.) and clause structure will be examined. Although we will discuss syntactic patterns that are found in other languages, particular attention will be paid to constructions that are specific or typical of contemporary French. In particular, major differences between the structure of French and English will be given emphasis. A broad variety of topics will be covered: adjective position with respect to the noun, interrogatives, relatives, order of clitics, causatives, clefts, inversion of the subject, meaning and scope of negation, etc.

Grading Policy

Three take-home assignments (10% each): 30 % Two exams (25% each): 50% Final exam: 20 %


Reading packet, selected readings among the following references and others: Brousseau, A.-M. and Y. Roberge. 2000. Syntaxe et sémantique du français, Montréal: Fides. Fagyal, Z., D. Kibbee and F. Jenkins. 2006. French. A Linguistic Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Gledhill, C. 2003. Fundamentals of French Syntax, Munich: Lincom Europa. Jones M.A. 1996. Foundations of French Syntax, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rowlett, P. 2007. The Syntax of French, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tellier, C. 2003. Éléments de syntaxe du français. Méthodes d'analyse en grammaire générative, 2e édition revue et augmentée, Montréal: Gaëtan Morin. Tellier, C and D. Valois. 2006. Constructions méconnues du français, Montréal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal.


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