This well-established and popular book provides students with all the linguistic background they need for studying any period of French literature. For the second edition the text has been revised and updated throughout, and the two final chapters on contemporary French, and its position as a world language, have been completely rewritten. Starting with a brief description of the Vulgar Latin spoken in Gaul, and the earliest recorded forms of French, Peter Rickard traces the development of the language through the later Middle Ages and Renaissance to show how it became standardized in a near modern form in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Table of ContentsPreface; Preface to the second edition; Abbreviations and phonetic symbols From Vulgar Latin to the recognition of the new vernacular The language of the earliest French texts Old French: language or dialect? Middle French developments Progress and prestige in the sixteenth
century Codification and standardisation: Classical and Neo-Classical French From the Revolution to the present day The defence of French Appendix: the distribution of the French language in the world today; Suggestions for further reading; Index
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A social and linguistic history of the French language; iinclusive if rather heavy going. Unfortunately, it is now getting rather dated -- first published 1974, revised in 1989. Francophones, of course, have a wide choice, but there are also some newer books out in English. I like Lodge's "French: from dialect to standard" better; it is more interesting and better written.