Density map of the French-speaking world
Le français comme langue mondiale
147 :  Special Topics in French Linguistics
Spring 2024
Class No: 31061
Richard Kern
2:00 PM - 2:59 PM

This course will be taught in French; Completion of FR102 or permission of instructor required for enrollment.

The traditional conception of the monolingual ‘native speaker’ of French applies only to a small minority of French speakers. This course will look at French as it is used around the world, in all its diversity. It will also consider the complex relationships between French and other languages spoken in France (and in other Francophone countries). We will begin by exploring language ideologies and criteria for determining the status of ‘languages’, ‘dialects’, ‘creoles’, ‘patois’, and so forth. We will study the linguistic features and cultural contexts of varieties of French spoken in France, as well as in other Francophone regions of the world. We will also take an historical perspective, exploring the dynamics of how French was taught and learned from medieval and early modern times to the colonial period and the current day in regions around the world. Finally, we will examine language policies in France and other Francophone countries and consider trends toward the future. In addition to the textbook, we will use the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie’s 2022 report La langue française dans le monde as well as a variety of sociolinguistic and historical readings. The course will be taught in French. No prior background in linguistics is required.

Textbook: Ball, R., & Marley, D. (2017). The French-Speaking World: A Practical Introduction to Sociolinguistic Issues, 2nd Edition. Routledge.