French Linguistics


The main goals of the French Linguistics course are to develop the capacity:
a) to apply instruments of linguistic analysis to the study of the French language;
b) to observe and describe aspects of the phonology, morphology, lexicon and syntax of French, comparing it to Portuguese;
c) to describe differences between the written and spoken modalities of French;
d) to understand aspects of the synchronic variation of the French language.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Fernandes Homem de Sousa Lobo Gonçalves


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Although there are no formal prerequisites, the students are advised to complete the course Introduction to Language Sciences previously and to have a good mastery of the French language. 


Ayres-Bennett, W. & J. Carruthers (e R. Temple) (2001) Studies in the Modern French Language. Problems and Perspectives. Longman.
Fagyal, Z., D. Kibbee & F. Jenkins (2006) French. A Linguistic Introduction. C.U.P.. Cambridge.
Huot, H. (2001) Morphologie. Forme et sens des mots du français. Armand Colin.
Jones, M. A. (1996) Foundations of French Syntax, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Léon, P. R. (1992) Phonétisme et prononciations du français, Nathan Université, Paris.
Riegel, M., J-C. Pellat & R. Rioul (2009) Grammaire méthodique du français, Quadrige/PUF, Paris, 4ª ed. rev.
Tranel, B. (1987) The Sounds of French, C.U.P., Cambridge.
Yaguello, M., dir. (2003) Le Grand Livre de la Langue Française. Paris : Seuil.
Durand, J., Laks, B. & Lyche, C. (2002). La phonologie du français contemporain: usages, variétés et structure. In C. Pusch & W. Raible, eds, Romance Corpus Linguistics – Corpora and Spoken Language. Tübingen : Gunter Narr Verlag, 93-106.

Teaching method

The course includes expository sessions and practical sessions.

Evaluation method

exercises and written assignments(30%), relevant participation in class(10%), two written tests(60%)

Subject matter

1.The French language
1.1. The notion of French language: standard and variation
1.2. French in the context of Romance languages
1.3. French in the world
1.4. The formation of French and language diversity in France
2. The sounds of French
2.1. Phonetic alphabet and articulatory properties of the sounds of French
2.2. Written and spoken language
2.3. Phonological oppositions and synchronic variation
2.4. The syllable
2.5. Stress
2.6. 'e muet'
2.7. 'liaison'
3. The lexicon and the structure of words
3.1. Lexical structure of French
3.2. Lexical criation processes
3.3. Word formation processes: compound and derived words
4. Aspects of the syntax of French
4.1. Basic and derived word order
4.2. Simple and complex sentences
4.3. The pronominal system