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.
`No other book on quite these lines is currently available in either English or French, and I envisage that this volume will be of great value as a textbook for courses on the history of the French language.' - Glanville Price, Research Professor at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
'Th[e] approach and the issues it forces us to confront make this text an outstanding teaching manual for courses in the history of the French language.' - Professor Douglas Kibbe, The Modern Language Journal
'Wendy Ayres-Bennett's excellent book breaks the mould as far as histories of the French language are concerned … This book will beinvaluable to researchers and students alike.' - Dr Janice Carruthers, French Studies