Courses available in French


Il ne faut jamais avoir peur d’aller trop loin car la vérité est au-delà.

— Proust

French 146A: Introduction to French Linguistics


There are two recommended texts, no required texts:

Battye, Adrian, Marie-Anne Hintze and Paul Rowlett (2000) The French Language Today: A Linguistic Introduction, London – New York: Routledge

Walter, Henriette (1988) Le Français dans tous les sens, Paris: Robert Laffont.

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to the linguistic analysis of Modern French. You will develop the basic skills of linguistic analysis in order to understand how the French language works. We consider four different levels: the phonology (sounds), the morphology (internal structure of words), the syntax (ordering of elements within the phrase) and the lexis (vocabulary). The course places considerable emphasis not just on the system but also on places where there is variation: we will consider, for example, why the negative particle ne is often dropped in spoken French, why some speakers use on instead of nous and how speakers decide between tu and vous in a given context. We use real linguistic data as much as possible, so you will find yourself analyzing transcripts of conversations, excerpts from films or short scientific texts.


French 102 or equivalent.

Additional Information:

This course satisfies one “Culture” or one “Elective” requirement in the French major.  Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Social and Behavioral Science.


Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes