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How did a dialect of Northern France become the French language? What are the other languages of France? The seminar examines the linguistic diversity of France, both through history and synchronically (at different points in time), with an emphasis on linguistic diversity in contemporary France. We will chart the development of the French language from its origins to the present and examine its regional and social variation. We will address the linguistic policies of France and the European Union regarding regional and minority languages. Student-led interactive presentations will help map out France’s regional languages (Alsatian, Breton, Corsican, Occitan, and French-based Creoles) and the ways they contribute to linguistic diversity. We will also discuss the status of “minority languages” such as Arabic, now the second most common language in France.


Grade breakout: engagement and participation 25%; written reports 25%; presentation 25%; research projects(s): 25%

Assignments include weekly readings, biweekly written reports, an oral presentation, and a final research project.

Suitable for first-year students with placement FFH (or FFW with permission).

Requirements: completion of one 200-level course taught in French including 210, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, or placement.

If this is your first 300-level course taught French, it's best to register for 01:420:392.

This course can be taken as an SAS Honors course by arrangement (an Honors contract is required).

Required: Henriette Walter. Le français dans tous les sens, Grandes et petites histoires de notre langue. Points, 2016 (or prior editions). ISBN: 978-2757859995.