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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21St Street, B7600, HRH 2.114A, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2005

FR 359 • LANGUAGE AND HISTORY

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33880 MW
4:00 PM-5:30 PM
PAR 310
MONTREUIL

Course Description

The course will be taught primarily in English, but our textbook and some of the readings are in French. Throughout its history, French has undergone many mutations, which must be understood in their social context. For instance, in its rhythm, accentuation, intonation, Old French probably was closer to Modern English than to Modern French: what caused it to change so drastically? This course explores these developments from a variety of angles: from primary texts, selected analyses, oral documents, we will study how the history of French reflects the history of France. Topics covered include: * the evolution of writing and handwriting * growth and attrition in vocabulary * reconstructing spoken Old French * the proliferation of dialects before the Revolution * the birth of "le français de référence" * motivating the changes in pronunciation * the history of Quebec French * losing morphology * the future of French

Grading Policy

Two short papers: 44% Six take-home quizzes: 36% Class participation and homework: 30%

Texts

HUCHON (Mirielle), Histoire de la langue française, Le livre de poche, Paris, 2002. ISBN 2-253-90542-9.

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