skip to content

FR2: Structure and varieties of French

This paper is available for the academic year 2023-24.

This paper has both a practical side and a theoretical side. On the one hand, it will help students develop their knowledge of French grammar and pronunciation and to familiarize themselves with the many varieties of French. On the other hand it will introduce them to the techniques and problems involved in the structural, sociolinguistic and stylistic description of a language..

Linguistics is often described as the scientific study of language. This paper is designed for students who have a keen linguistic interest in studying the French language in a rigorous and systematic fashion and would be a useful introduction for anyone wishing to take papers in linguistics in Part II. The course is intended to encourage students to think critically about the French language and to introduce them to possible ways of analysing it.

This course assumes that students have studied French Linguistics at Part IA. 


This course provides students with a basic introduction to the study of French phonetics, morphosyntax and lexis, including instruction on how to transcribe French using phonetic script. It also offers the opportunity to study regional French and the French spoken outside France. 

Preparatory reading: 

Z. Fagyal, D. Kibbee and F. Jenkins  ‘French: A Linguistic Introduction’ (Cambridge, 2006)

A. Battye, M, A. Hintze and P. Rowlett  ‘The French Language Today’  (London, 2000)

R. A. Lodge, N. Armstrong, Y. M. Ellis & J. F. Sheltan, ‘Exploring the French Language’

(London, 1997)

H. Walter,  ‘Le Français dans tous les sens’  (Paris, 1988)

Full reading list

The full reading list for Fr.2 can be found here.

Teaching and learning: 

The course is taught through weekly lectures and regular supervisions.



The paper is assessed via a 5-hour open book written exam

Please see the specimen exam paper for an example of the current format of the paper.

Course Contacts: 
Prof. Mari Jones