Medieval French Discourse

MDVLGF06 Middle French

MDVLGF01 Old French

Credits: 15 credits each

This course blends language acquisition (morphology, syntax and vocabulary) with work on rhetoric, stylistics, context and linguistic usage. The course covers not just Old French (i.e. up to the thireenth century), but also fourteenth and fifteenth century developments. We shall read, translate and discuss selected texts and extracts from a variety of linguistic areas which used northern French, the langue d’oïl. The texts will be a mixture of literary, sacred and historiographical works; there is some flexibility in the texts selected, depending on student interest. Students should have a good reading knowledge of modern French.

Assessment: one take-home test (100%) for each 15 credit module

Course tutor: Dr Jane Gilbert, French Department.

Time and location: To be arranged at a mutually convenient time. Please contact Dr Gilbert.

Preparatory reading and coursebooks

Jacqueline Picoche and Christiane Marchello-Nizia, Histoire de la langue française, 3rd edn (Paris: Nathan, 1999). Read the relevant portions of the first three chapters. (An electronic edition released in 2008 can be downloaded free as .pdf on request from the publisher, Vigdor). 

Students may like to consult in preparation the helpful sites at the University of Leeds and the University of Texas.

Students should obtain one of the following: 

  • Claude Thomasset and Karin Ueltschi, Pour lire l’ancien français, Paris: Nathan, 1993 (slightly easier). 
  • Sylvie Bazin-Tacchella, Initiation à l’ancien français, Paris: Hachette, 2001 (slightly more advanced).

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