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FRE 273H1S
Introduction to the General History of the French Language


A discovery of a long and fascinating history, stretching from the spoken Latin of the Gauls to the many varieties of French found today all over the world via the investigation of the phonetic, social, political, and cultural causes of language change. Our focus will include topics such as the origin of the French language, medieval bilingualism, the gradual spread of the language of northern France, the role of reading and writing and the impact of print, the regulation of language through the Académie française and modern legislation, the political use of the French language (for example during the French Revolution), the influence of other languages on French (and vice-versa) including modern «franglais», the emergence of the Francophonie, and Canadian Frenchs

Required text: Barlow & Nadeau, La grande Aventure de la langue française. De Charlemagne au Cirque du Soleil. Students will also be required to purchase a course pack with other texts (Instructor will provide further information).

Assignments and evaluation: Two in-class tests (55%) [Test 1: 30%; Test 2: 25%]; take-home assignment on vocabulary (15%); Weekly on-line quizzes (15%); final vocabulary quiz (5%) overall assessment (10%).

The Department takes into account the quality of students' French as one of the criteria in the evaluation of assignments and examinations. A minimum of 20% of the grade will be allocated to this aspect of written assignments.

Prerequisite: FSL 221Y1 or, upon first FRE/FSL enrolment, equivalent as determined by the French Placement Test.

Recommended preparation: FRE 272H


This course is found in the following categories:


Revue Arborescences

Considérant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue Arborescences se veut un espace de réflexion sur les enjeux actuels des études françaises aussi bien en littérature, en linguistique qu’en didactique.

History of the Department

French Studies at the University of Toronto 1853-1993


Estimant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue électronique Arborescences veut offrir un espace de réflexion sur des questions d’importance en études françaises, relevant aussi bien de la didactique que de la lit