Une Histoire de la langue française @ Globe-Gate
-------- The present site is not meant to serve as a History of the French Language textbook. A number of the nearly 100 links may seem extraneous to traditional historical linguists; some of them show a political bias, and some do not bring the accuracy of a Mildred Pope to the task. With few exceptions, descriptions of gradual phonemic shifts in French are lacking on the WWW. This kind of internal history, along with some aspects of external history are more effectively studied in print . What the site offers is great wealth in the variety of its historical topics, including modern efforts to legislate French language use. To my thinking as an amateur external historian, these efforts are simply a continuation of the process which began in 813 at the Council of Tours (and in 3 or 4 others that year), where the Church enjoined clergy to preach "in rusticam romanam linguam". The importance of romance idiom is again officially recognized in 842, with the "Sermens de Strasbourg". From this point, court and monastic sponsorship of writing, along with the extension of political and military dominion are important determiners in the growth of status for the various romance idioms. The famous "Ordonance de Villers-Cotterets" (1539) indicates perhaps the first officially recognized role of the dominant regional language, which had become French. --------

Stages and Historical Landmarks

French Etymology @ Globe-Gate

Dialect, Patois and Regional Language

Language Imposed by Decree & Legislation

French in the World - History in the Making

Organizations and Resources


TennesseeBob Peckham

University of Tennessee-Martin