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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.
This new history of the French language allows the reader to see how the language has evolved for themselves. It combines texts and extracts with a readable and detailed commentary allowing the language to be viewed both synchronically and diachronically. Core texts range from the ninth century to the present day highlight central features of the language, whilst a range of shorter texts illustrate particular points. The inclusion of non-literary, as well as literary texts serves to illustrate some of the many varieties of French whether in legal, scientific, epistolatory, administrative or liturgical or in more popular domains, including attempts to represent spoken usage. This is essential reading for the undergraduate student of French.
A fascinating exploration of the historical and cultural development of the French language from the bestselling authors of Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong. Imagine a language that is watched over by a group of forty “Immortals,” a language with rules so complex that few people ever completely master it, whose status as the world’s lingua franca has been declining for two centuries, whose use in global institutions is waning and whose speakers are so insecure they pass laws banning the use of other languages and spend millions of tax-payers’ dollars to make sure it gets used in literature, music and film. Now imagine a language that is second only to English for the number of countries where it is spoken officially, surpassing both Spanish or Arabic, a language that is the official tongue of two G-7 countries and three European nations, that is employed alongside English in most international institutions and that is the number-two choice of language students across the planet – a language with two million teachers and 100 million students worldwide, and whose number of speakers has tripled in the last fifty years. This paradox is the backdrop for The Story of French, in which bilingual Canadian authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow unravel the mysteries of a language that has maintained its global influence in spite of the ascendancy of English. Mixing historical analysis with journalistic observation, and drawing on their experiences living in and travelling to French-speaking countries, they explore how the French language developed over the centuries, how it came to be spoken in the Americas, Africa and Asia, and how it has maintained its global appeal. From the Hardcover edition.
"When New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins moves to Geneva, Switzerland, she decides to learn French--not just to be able to go about her day-to-day life, but in order to be closer to her French husband and his family. When in French is at once a hilarious and idiosyncratic memoir about the things we do for love, and an exploration across cultures and history into how we learn languages, and what they say about who we are"--
With Essays by Baru, Bart Beaty, Cécile Vernier Danehy, Hugo Frey, Pascal Lefèvre, Fabrice Leroy, Amanda Macdonald, Mark McKinney, Ann Miller, and Clare Tufts In Belgium, France, Switzerland, and other French-speaking countries, many well-known comics artists have focused their attention on historical and political events. In works ranging from comic books and graphic novels to newspaper strips, cartoonists have addressed such controversial topics as French and Belgian collaboration and resistance during World War II, European colonialism and U.S. imperialism, anti-Semitism in France, the integration of African immigrant groups in Europe, and the green and feminist movements. History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels collects new essays that address comics from a variety of viewpoints, including a piece from practicing artist Baru. The explorations range from discussion of such canonical works as Hergé's Tintin series to such contemporary expressions as Baru's Road to America (2002), about the Algerian War. Included are close readings of specific comics series and graphic novels, such as Cécile Vernier Danehy's examination of Cosey's Saigon Hanoi, about remembering the Vietnam War. Other writers use theoretical lenses as a means of critiquing a broad range of comics, such as Bart Beaty's Bourdieu-inspired reading of today's comics field, and Amanda Macdonald's analysis of bandes dessinées (French comic books) in New Caledonia during the 1990s. The anthology establishes the French-language comics tradition as one rich with representations of history and politics and is one of the first English-language collections to explore the subject.

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