French: The Rise and Fall of a Prestige Lingua Franca
French has been both an international elite language and the language of a large empire and provides an illustration of many of the points made about lingua francas. Its rise and fall show the complex relationship that lingua francas have to power. Interestingly, its spread as the major European lingua franca in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries predates its adoption as the national language of all those on French territory. Racine recounted in 1661 that he needed an interpreter in the south just as much as a Muscovite would in Paris (Dupuy 1987).
KeywordsForeign Language Language Policy Language Learning National Language French Language
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