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

Spring 2004


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32695 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM

Course Description

This course will be taught in French In this course we will discuss and analyze processes of grammaticalization in the history of French. Grammaticalziation is a type of language change whereby a lexical element acquires grammatical value and eventually may become a purely grammatical element, cf. for example the development of the auxiliary avoir, which originally was only a lexical verb expressing possession. After an overview of the major linguistic changes in French morphology and syntax we will discuss types of language change, processes of grammaticalization in general, their implications, and their explanatory value. Subsequently we will analyze in detail a number of changes in the history of French that are the result of grammaticalization, such as the development of the definite and indefinite article, the auxiliary avoir, negation, analytic diminutives, and so forth. Students will have the opportunity to suggest the topic of their own research to be included in this course.

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.


-Hopper, Paul and Elizabeth Closs Traugott. 1993. Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0 521 36684 4. -Reading packet.


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