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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
33300 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
HRH 2.106C

Course Description

This course will be taught in French. The objective of this course is to help students develop an understanding of how the French language maintains and reflects French society. In particular, we will explore topics of fundamental importance to the field: language attitudes, language variation, and language change. What are the prevailing attitudes among the French towards ?their? language? Whose language is it anyway? Such questions inevitably lead to a discussion of linguistic variation and its theoretical importance. How far can a dialect of French differ from the standard and still be considered French? What are the social correlates of linguistic variation? In turn, these questions raise still more questions about the social correlates of language change. Does all variation indicate change-in-progress? How can the sociolinguist tell? And what are the most notable changes shaping the French language today? This course will take special advantage of a conference planned by the France-UT Institute for Pluridisciplinary Studies entitled Language and Immigration in France and the United States: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. The September conference will gather sociolinguists from both sides of the Atlantic on the UT campus to discuss the social and linguistic challenges of immigration.

Grading Policy

Class Participation 10% Assignments 30% Oral Presentations [2 X 10%] 20% Final Paper 40%


Sanders, Carol. (Ed.). French Today: Language In Its Social Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Required.] Supplementary packet. [Required.]


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