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

Fall 2008

FR 392K • Varieties of French in North America

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37290 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
HRH 2.106C

Course Description

The varieties of French in North America is an interesting field of investigation. It covers the study of numerous dialects currently spoken in different regions of a vast geographical area (Quebec, Acadia, Louisiana, Ontario, West Canada, New England), whose state varies enormously: French communities are found in majority, minority and bilingual settings; furthermore, the number of speakers of French, along with the status of the language, differ greatly from one place to the next.

The course is concerned with historical, linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of French in North America. The main goal of the course is to provide a formal description of the different French dialects spoken in North America today from a comparative point of view. Emphasis will thus be on the features (lexical, phonological, morphological, syntactic) of the North-American French varieties that differ from those of other French dialects spoken in the world (in particular, in Europe): laxing of vowels, diphthongs, affricates, verbal system, questions, relative clauses are but a few of the themes that will be covered. We will also discuss language identity, language policy and languages ideologies in relation to specific French dialects and different phenomena related to languages in contact (borrowing, code switching, language change and creoles).

Grading Policy

Grading policy (probable) Readings and class participation: 10% Homework (transcriptions, data sets, etc.): 20% Midterm exam: 20% Final paper: 35% Oral presentation: 15%


Reading packet, selected readings among the following references and others: Brasseur, P. (ed). 1998. Français d'Amérique : variation, créolisation, normalisation, Avignon: Centre détudes canadiennes (CECAV). Brasseur, P. and A. Falkert (eds). 2004. Français dAmérique : approches morphosyntaxiques, Paris, LHarmattan. Clements, J. C., T.A. Klinger, D. Piston-Hatlen and K.J. Tottet (eds). 2006. History, Society and Variation: In Honor of Albert Valdman, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Coveney, A., M.-A. Hintze and C. Sanders (eds). 2004. Variation et francophonie, Paris: LHarmattan. Motapanyane, V. 1997. Acadian French, Munich: Lincom Europa. Mougeon, R. and É. Beniak (eds). 1994. Les Origines du français québécois, Sainte-Foy: Les Presses de l'Université Laval. Myers-Scotton, C. 2002. Contact linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Papen, R.A. and G. Chevalier (eds). 2006. Les variétés de français en Amérique du Nord. Évolution, innovation et description, numéro spécial de la Revue de lUniversité de Moncton et Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée/Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, vol. 37(2). Rottet, K.J. 2001. Language Shift in the Coastal Marshes of Louisiana, New York: Peter Lang. Valdman, A. (ed) 1997. French and Creole in Louisiana. New York: Plenum Press. Valdman, A., J. Auger, D. and Piston-Hatlen (eds.). 2005. Le Français en Amérique du Nord. État présent, Québec: Presses de lUniversité Laval. Vinet, M.-T. 2001. Dun français à lautre. La syntaxe de la microvariation, Montréal: Fides.


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