PREREQUISITE: FREN-UA 30.
How did French develop from a regional dialect of Vulgar Latin lacking in prestige into a major international language of diplomacy, literature, and commerce spoken on every continent? That is the question we will explore together in this course on the history of the French language. We will trace the development of French from its origins in Vulgar Latin up until the beginning of the modern era through an examination of the internal history of the language (phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic changes) as well as its external history (social, demographical, and political changes). Along the way we will focus on a variety of both primary and secondary sources. While we will be discussing linguistic and sociolinguistic developments in French, this course does not require any prior knowledge of linguistics