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

Fall 2003


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33240 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM

Course Description

This is an entirely new course. Its purpose is to study systematic differences between the French and English lexicon with emphasis both on theoretical understanding of lexical structures and practical application in language use. Among the topics studied will be (i) the different assignments of semantic roles to the arguments of verbs or adjectives in English and French (why can you say "This product sells well" but not "Ce produit vend bien", why is it odd to say "Il a été tué dans l'accident" while "He was killed in the accident" is fine? etc.), (ii) differences in the deictic systems of the two languages (why can you say "Cette nuit j'ai fait un rêve bizarre" but not "Tonight I had a weird dream", what's the difference between "la dernière semaine" and "la semaine dernière"? etc.); (iii) different distributions of semantic features over members of semantic fields; (iv) issues of tense and aspect. The course will involve a brief introduction to fundamentals of semantic analysis. The course will be taught in French.

Grading Policy

Regular homework to be prepared for class discussion, written assignments to be handed in for a grade (25%). Three in-class written exams (75%). No final exam.


(tentative) Duffy, Jean H. 1999. Using French Vocabulary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A good bilingual dictionary (strongly recommended: Collins-Robert French Dictionary; recommended Compact Oxford Hachette French/English Dictionary). A monolingual French dictionary (recommended Petit Robert ou Dictionnaire de français Larousse, 35000 mots). A French reference grammar (recommended Hawkins, Roger & Richard Towell. 1997. French grammar and usage. NTC Publishing Group).


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