History of French language

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to:
- enable students to acquire a basic knowledge of the historical evolution of the French language in its key stages;
- introduce students to the use of basic tools for linguistic and philological study of texts in Middle French;
- introduce students to representative works of different genres of medieval French literature;
- raise awareness of the peculiarities linked to handwritten and printed transmission of medieval works.
Expected learning outcomes
- to know the key stages of the historical evolution of French;
- to be able to read and understand the original texts presented in class and to comment on linguistic aspects, as well as their literary and cultural value.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course, entitled: Women's Secret Knowledge in the French Middle Ages: Medea, Isolde, Melusina and the Spinners, includes three units held by the lecturer in the first semester. Unit A is held once a week, units B and C are held in sequence.

Unit A (20 hours, 3 ECTS): Introduction to the History of the French Language: from its Origins to the 18th century.
Unit B (20 hours, 3 ECTS): XII-XIV s. Medea the sorceress, Isolde the healer, Melusina the fairy
Unit C (20 hours, 3 ECTS): XV s. The Spinners : wise women or witches ? (Les Évangiles des Quenouilles)

Students interested in acquiring 6 ECTS will adhere to the program of units A and B; students interested in acquiring 9 ECTS will follow the full program.

Unit A will take into consideration the significant stages in the evolution of French, illustrating the phonetic, orthographic, morphosynthetic and lexical development in the texts which are introduced from a historical and cultural perspective.
Units B and C are intended to bring students closer to the linguistic, literary and philological problems of medieval French texts, starting with the reading of some works composed between the 12th and 15th centuries, in verse and prose, presenting female figures endowed with magical knowledge, or staging the oral transmission of a knowledge made up of popular beliefs and remedies (Évangiles des quenouilles). The analysis of texts belonging to different eras will make it possible to identify the linguistic changes linked to the evolution from ancient to middle French.

The course programme is valid until February 2021.

Students who intend to take the exams of History of French Language and Medieval French Literature in the same academic year must agree a personalized program with the lecturer.
Prerequisites for admission
The course, which is held entirely in French, as well as examination materials and bibliography presuppose a solid language proficiency in French.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: face-to-face lessons.
Teaching Resources
The course has a website on the online teaching platform Ariel (https://bferrarislf.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx), which can be consulted for information and teaching materials.
Unit A
Students attending: J. Chaurand, Histoire de la langue française, Paris, PUF, 1998, pp. 5-87; collection of texts commented during the course.
Students not attending: M. Huchon, Histoire de la langue française, Paris, Livre de Poche, 2002, pp. 11-218.
(Students of Medieval French Literature, attending and not attending, will prepare instead: E. Baumgartner, Moyen Âge (1050-1486), Paris; Bordas, 1988 or later editions).
Unit B (attending and non-attending students)
An anthology of texts chosen by the lecturer (Roman de Troie by Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Tristan en prose, Mélusine by Jean d'Arras).
Collection of studies related to the texts read and commented during the course by the lecturer.
Unit C (attending and non-attending students)
Les évangiles des quenouilles. Édition critique, introduction et notes par Madeleine Jeay, Paris, Vrin; Montréal, Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1985 Reference edition.
Edition with Italian translation used in class: I vangeli delle filatrici, edited by Daniela Musso, Alessandria, Edizioni dell'Orso, 2001.
Collection of studies on Les évangiles des quenouilles by the lecturer available during the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual assessment, which includes questions asked by the lecturer about the contents of the course, interactions between lecturer and student, reading, translation, linguistic, stylistic and literary commentary of one or more passages from the texts in the program. The assessment duration depends on the teaching units covered by the student, and is held in French for students of the Master's Degree in languages, in Italian or in French for students of the other Master's Degree Courses.
The evaluation is expressed in 30/30.

International students or incoming Erasmus students are invited to contact the lecturer as soon as possible. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or with DSA must be agreed with the lecturer, in agreement with the relevant office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/04 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - FRENCH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/04 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - FRENCH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/04 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - FRENCH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)