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

Spring 2003

FR 380L • History of the French Language

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32395 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM


Course Description

This course 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 and its background and the major developments in phonology, morphology and syntax. We will also discuss the successive stages of French each with its own characteristics. We subsequently will focus on a number specific changes such as nasalization or the development of schwa, the loss of case distinctions in Latin and French, or the development of the definite article, negation, gender, agreement, and word order. The course will include analysis of French texts that 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%) Final exam: NO.


Picoche, J and C. Marchello-Nizia. 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 siècles d’évolution. Paris: Ophrys. Reading packet.


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