History of French Textbooks
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Several weeks ago, I posted a request for textbooks (written in English)
suitable for use in an undergraduate ''History of the French Language''
course. I would like to thank the following people for their very helpful
Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen
A summary of the recommended books is posted below (the comments came with
the original replies).
Dept. of English
Rutgers University - Camden
RICKARD, Peter. 1989. A History of the French Language, 2nd edn. 192pp.
London: Routledge. ISBN: 041510887X
R. A. LODGE: French: from Dialect to Standard (Routledge) [also available
G. PRICE: The French Language: Present and Past (Grant and Cutler, 1984) -
quite detailed on both phono and gramm change; includes a very brief intro
AYRES-BENNETT, W. (1996) A History of the French Language through Texts.
POSNER, Rebecca. 1997. Linguistic Change in French. Oxford, Clarendon
Press. 530pp. ISBN: 0198240368. (a superb overview of most key aspects of
internal history and external history informed by soiciolingistics. For
advanced students and postgrads).
Exploring the French Language, ed. by R. Anthony Lodge, Nigel Armstrong,
Yvette M. L. Ellis and Jane F. Shelton. ISBN13: 9780340676622; ISBN10:
0340676620 paper, 224 pages. Dec 1997. A Hodder Arnold Publication.
Some useful French books:
Ada Giusti: 'La langue francaise' (Flammarion) - brief, mostly external
Mireille Huchon: Histoire de la langue francaise (Livre de Poche) -
external and internal; v good value for money, but does presuppose some
knowledge of phonetics at least.
Henriette Walter: Le Francais dans tous les sens (Laffont; also in English)
- quite easy; both external and internal. (French inside out : the
world-wide development of the French language in the past, present and the
future / Henriette Walter ;translated by Peter Fawcett. London ; New York:
Routledge, c1994. pp. 279).
Christiane Marchello-Nizia: Le francais dans l'histoire (pp. 11-90 in 'Le
Grand Livre de la langue francaise', ed M.Yaguello; Seuil) - internal, with
good use of texts; v clear and authoritative, not excessively technical.
Jacques Chaurand ed. 'Nouvelle Histoire de la l. fr' (Seuil) - chapters by
a range of experts on the various periods, covering both external and
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