Do you know what 'verlan' or French 'backslang' is? Was President Mitterand 'câblé'? The French language is more than just a tool for communication; it has a crucial role to play in how native speakers of French think about the world and about themselves and their culture. This book helps students develop a systematic 'linguistic' approach to French. It covers the core topics, ranging from the structure and sounds of the language to discourse and everyday conversation. No previous knowledge of linguistics is assumed and a glossary of technical terms and many exercises and activities help reinforce key points. Students will find that their understanding and enjoyment of the French language is greatly enhanced by this book.

    Introduction - The layman's approach to language contrasted with the linguist's
    The principal branches of linguistics
    Varieties of French - The standard language
    Language and society
    Language and register
    The Lexicon - Words and dictionaries
    Where do French words come from?
    Word formation
    Word meaning
    The Sound System - Introductions to IPA
    The vowel system
    The consonant system
    Connected speech
    Prosodic features
    From phonetics to phonology
    Morphology and Syntax
    Derivational morphology and inflectional morphology
    The morphology of spoken French
    Grammatical categories
    Syntactic structure
    Conversational analysis


    Lodge, R; Shelton, Jane; Ellis, Yvette; Armstrong, Nigel

    A unique and wide-ranging introduction to the structures and use of French language. Written with admirable clarity, it is a 'must' for all students of French linguistics.
    Aidan Coveney, Department of French, University of

    A lively textbook.
    The Linguist

    To be welcomed as offering a uniquely wide-ranging and stimulating introduction to the French language.

    Rich array of illustrations...(with) general user-friendliness...the authors succeed in making broad stimulating statements that can be refined, rather than contradicted, in more advanced courses.
    French Language Studies