Carnegie Mellon University

French & Francophone Sociolinguistics: French in the Americas

Course Number: 82-304

This course examines the French language in relation to the social and cultural lives of the people who use it across the French-speaking world. Students will explore the links between the French language of all francophones, its use, and the expression of national, cultural, community, and individual identities through the study of diverse texts and data sources, including policy/legal documents, films, music, newscasts, digitized corpuses of spoken and written French, and computer/technology-mediated communication. Through readings, discussions, hands-on activities, and project work, students will 1) develop content knowledge with an emphasis on language ideologies, policy, and planning; language contact and multilingualism; and language variation and change; and 2) develop linguistic skills in French with specific focus on advanced spoken and written expression. This course is repeatable with new topics.

Spring 2023: French in the Americas

French language education in the United States has traditionally focused on France as the center of the Francophone world, treating French as a "foreign" language. However, over 20,000,000 people in the Americas and Caribbean are daily users of French, and millions more use French on a regular basis for education, business, and government affairs. This project-driven course examines the history, sociocultural roles, and linguistic variation of French, with the goal of expanding and diversifying our understanding of French as a language of the Americas. Topics include: European expansion (colonialism); slavery; creolization; language variation and change; language shift; bi/multilingualism; and language policy and planning. We will focus specifically on Francophone communities in Canada (e.g., Quebec, Acadia), Louisiana, and the Caribbean (e.g., Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique).

VIEW the Schedule of Classes for more details

Units: 9
Prerequisite(s): 82202