The French-Speaking World
A Practical Introduction to Sociolinguistic Issues
By Rodney Ball
Routledge – 1997 – 248 pages
Series: Routledge Language in Society
This accessible textbook offers students the opportunity to explore for themselves a wide range of sociolinguistic issues relating to the French language and its role in societies around the world. It is written for undergraduate students who have a sound practical knowledge of French but who has little or no knowledge of linguistics or sociolinguistics. It combines text with practical exercises and discussion questions to stimulate readers to think for themselves and to tackle specific problems.
In Part One Rodney Ball looks at the diversity of the French-speaking world and the function of French in particular countries and regions, including Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. He explores its status in relation to other languages and its role in intercommunity relations. In Part Two the focus shifts to individual language features and among topics explored are regional speech forms, the differences between written and spoken French, the `social meaning' of different styles and levels of language, and French used by immigrants. Part Three looks at recent developments in the French language particularly in France itself.
Key features of this book:
* Informative and comprehensive: covers a wide range of current issues
* Practical: contains a variety of graded exercises and tasks plus an index of terms
* Topical and contemporary: deals with current situations and provides up-to-date illustrative material
* Thought-provoking: encourages students to reflect and research for themselves
Rodney Ball is a lecturer in French in the School of Modern Languages, Southampton University. He teaches General Linguistics and French Sociolinguistics, on which he has published a number of articles, and is involved in designing practical courses.