Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Language and Literature, French

  • Reginald McGinnis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1407

Related Terms


This discipline is devoted to the study of the French language and its literature from their origins to the present. Traditionally defined as a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin during the Middle Ages, French is spoken today by approximately 200 million people in over 50 countries around the world (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie 2007). Recent developments in this discipline reflect a shift in emphasis from the early periods and from France to the modern period and to French-speaking regions outside of France. For much of the twentieth century, the study of language was largely integrated with the study of literature. In recent decades, language study and linguistics have evolved away from literature, and literary studies have expanded to include Francophone studies, i.e., studies of texts written in French by authors from various French-speaking countries across the globe. Important...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of French and ItalianUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA