The Department of French and Italian

Carl S. Blyth

Associate ProfessorPh.D., French Linguistics, Cornell University

Associate Professor, French Linguistics; Assistant Graduate Advisor, French Linguistics
Carl S. Blyth


  • Phone: 512-471-7600
  • Office: HRH 3.114A
  • Office Hours: T, TH 3:30-5
  • Campus Mail Code: B7600


Applied linguistics (instructional technology, corpus linguistics, pedagogical grammar); French sociolinguistics (style, stance and interaction); Discourse studies (narrative analysis, cultural scripts, indexicality)


I am an applied linguist with a background in interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics and technology.  My research lies at the intersection of language, culture and  interaction, with a focal interest in L2 pragmatics.  Currently, I am writing a monograph entitled "Languaculture: From Threshold Concept to Transformative Learning" (under contract, John Benjamins). The book aims to demonstrate the concept languaculture to specialists in foreign language learning and teaching. Defined simply as the “cultural aspects of language” or “verbal culture” (Risager 2007), languaculture is a neologism that highlights the complex relationship between language, culture, and the human mind. I believe that the term languaculture promises to help learners and teachers to rethink outdated, structuralist conceptions of language-as-code and to embrace a more dynamic conception of language-as-meaning-making, a move that is in line with current research in the “linguistics of communication”.  

According to the educational linguist Karen Risager (2007), a languaculture comprises three related yet distinct dimensions of meaning: the semantic/pragmatic dimension, the identity dimension and the poetic dimension.  Different academic fields typically focus on these three dimensions of meaning. Linguistics focuses on semantic and pragmatic meanings; sociolinguistics focuses on the construction of social meaning; and literary and poetic studies focus on expressive and aesthetic meanings.  Since all three dimensions of meaning are present in all communicative acts (although to different degrees), I argue learners and teachers must embrace all three in the study of a foreign language.  Moreover, from a languacultural perspective, learning a new language and culture is not about learning new words for familiar meanings. Rather, learning a new language implies learning completely new meanings.  Put differently, learning a new language introduces the learner to what Michael Halliday calls a new “semiosphere,” a coherent world of meanings. 

In the book, I recount three case studies of American college students who cross a threshold of understanding upon grasping the explanatory power of languaculture. The new concept not only transforms how the students understand the target language and culture, but also how they understand themselves.  The students encounter the concept for the first time in an introductory French linguistics course.  As part of the course, the students perform “cultural translation” activities that require them to analyze French and English texts that highlight the cultural specificity of meaning. The goal of these activities is to illustrate how different languacultures represent incommensurable realities.  Based on written student data gleaned from these activities, I show how each student internalizes an initial understanding of the focal concept. Then, based on in-depth student interviews conducted over five years, I examine how their “critical languaculture awareness” (Díaz, 2013) affects the longitudinal development of their identities and world views.

In addition, I recently published a co-edited book with Dr. Joshua Thoms (Utah State University) entitled "Open education and foreign language learning and teaching: The rise of a new knowledge ecology" (Multilingual Matters, 2021). The open education movement is giving rise to new knowledge ecologies that involve foreign language (FL) students, instructors, and researchers alike. However, when compared to the STEM fields, FL education and second language acquisition (SLA) have only marginally embraced open education. One reason why FL educators have been hesitant to participate in the open education movement relates to the dearth of research investigating the benefits and challenges of FL learning and teaching in open environments, the effectiveness of OER when compared to traditional, publisher-produced materials, and the reasons why FL educators engage in OEP at their institutions. Although researchers have recently begun to explore some aspects of OER and OEP in FL education, our volume seeks to (a) contextualize open education as it pertains to FL learning and teaching via an historical overview of the movement, (b) fill the research void by exploring aspects of open second language (L2) learning and teaching across a range of educational contexts, and (c) illustrate new ways of creating, adapting, and curating FL materials that are freely shared among FL educators and students. My most recent journal articles treat several related topics: L2 speakership and language program direction (Second Language Research & Practice, 2020), technology-enhanced L2 instructional pragmatics (Language Learning & Technology, 2020) and L2 identity construction and Multititeracies pedagogy (L2 Journal, 2018).

Finally, I direct the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL), one of 16 federally-funded foreign language resource centers around the country.  COERLL's mission is to produce and disseminate Open Educational Resources (OERs) for the Internet public (e.g., online language courses, reference grammars, assessment tools, corpora, etc.). The term OER refers to any educational material offered freely for anyone to use, typically involving some permission to re-mix, improve, and redistribute. Thus, COERLL seeks to promote a culture of collaboration that lies at the heart of the Open Education movement.   In addition, COERLL aims to reframe foreign language education in terms of multilingualism. As such, all COERLL resources strive to represent more accurately language development and performance along dialectal and proficiency continua.


FR 392K • L2 Pragmatics

36345 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.134

An American who had recently graduated from college and begun an internship as an assistant d'anglais in a French lycée asked the school secretary if he could speak with the principal (proviseur): "Bonjour Madame Pellet.  Excusez-moi de vous déranger, mais puis-je parler à Monsieur Rilliard si possible." Later in the same day, the other American assistant d'anglais asked the same secretary if he too could speak with the principal: "Bonjour Madame. Est-il libre, le proviseur?" Both utterances are well-formed grammatically but they differ in terms of clarity and social appropriateness.  The first utterance refers to the secretary and principal by name and contains a formulaic apology ("Excusez-moi de vous déranger") followed by a polite request formula ("puis-je...").  In contrast, the second utterance is likely to be perceived as somewhat inappropriate and much less polite. For example, the second speaker does not acknowledge that he may be interrupting the secretary, and he refers to the principal with an informal oral construction called a right dislocation ("Est-il libre, le proviseur?).  Moreover, the second utterance takes the form of a question rather than a true request, an infelicitous example of an indirect speech act.  Given the unequal status of the visiting teaching assistants and the school's professional staff (Secretary, Principal), the first utterance would likely be preferred by French speakers because of its greater deference to authority.

This simple example illustrates how linguistic forms are used in different ways according to different social contexts to perform different communicative acts.  In short, pragmatics is the study of how a linguistic act is realized and perceived in its social context. In this course, we will explore how second language learners such as the two American assistants d'anglais working in France come to know what to say when and to whom, what factors impact their learning, and how we can research, teach, and assess their ability to use the French language in various social settings. These issues are the proper domain of second language (L2) pragmatics.  

The main goals of the course are to introduce you to the L2 pragmatics research literature and to prepare you to conduct your own L2 pragmatics research. The readings will cover the major areas of L2 pragmatics: the domain and history of the field; models of pragmatic development; current research methods; learner differences; contexts of pragmatic development, instructional pragmatics; and L2 pragmatics in the global era (e.g., intercultural communication, heritage learners, lingua francas, etc.). In addition to the general readings selected by the instructor, students will be able to chose readings about specific areas of interests (e.g., technology-enhanced instructional pragmatics). 


Johnstone, B. (2000). Qualitative methods in sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Taguchi, N. and Roever, C. (2017). Second language pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rose, T. (2016). The end of average. New York: Harper Collins Publisher.

Posted journal articles on Canvas



Class participation: 20%

Discussion posts about the readings: 10%

Critical reviews of research articles: 20%

Independent research project: 50%  

FR 351C • Narrating Multilingual Self

37244 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 4.102B

FR351 Narrating the Multilingual Self

Fall 2021 | Dr. Carl Blyth


Narrative and identity are often regarded as closely connected. As such, narratives are seen as one of the prime vehicles for expressing identity. In fact, narrative analysts have gone so far as to argue that the stories we tell about ourselves as well as the stories others tell about us play an important role in our development of a “sense of self.” Along these lines, the psychologist Jerome Bruner has argued that “in the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we ‘tell about’ our lives” (1994: 53).


In this course, we will explore the stories of “multilingual francophones,” including the stories of French language learners. How do multilingual francophones think and feel about their languages?  For example, many bilinguals note that their different languages are closely tied to their cultural identities or different linguistic selves. What exactly does the French language symbolize for different multilingual speakers? For immigrants to a francophone country, French may represent a struggle to find one’s place in an alien society. Canadian French speakers often recount feelings of linguistic insecurity as well as ethnic pride  when speaking their dialect.  To Cajuns in Louisiana, French often symbolizes the pain and regret that typically accompanies the loss of an ancestral language.  And what about classroom learners of French?  What does the French language mean to them? Do they experience language learning as an expansion of their sense of self? In this course, students will read and analyze short stories, diaries and novels written by French multilinguals. We will also read secondary works by linguists and psychologists to understand the relationship between language development and identity development.  Finally, students in this course will have the opportunity to reflect on of their own multilingual experiences. 




  • Oral participation (in class discussion)                                   20%
  • Canvas discussion (written responses to prompts)                 20%
  • Interpretive essays (based on narrative texts)                         20%
  • Written personal narratives                                                     40%


FR 392K • Sla Alternative Approaches-Wb

36935 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous

Please check back for updates.

FR 392K • Multimodalities/Lang Lrng

36334 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 101

Multimodality is an interdisciplinary approach to meaning-making that addresses much-debated questions about new media and language technologies. It focuses on analyzing and describing the full repertoire of meaning-making resources that people use (visual, spoken, gestural, written, three-dimensional, and others, depending on the domain of representation) in different contexts, and on developing a metalanguage to analyze how these resources are organized to make meaning. In general, multimodality research is based on three premises: 

  • Meaning is made with different resources (not just logocentric language), each offering distinct potentialities and limitations.
  • Meaning making involves the production of multimodal ensembles (e.g., speech plus gesture, video plus music, text plus image, etc.)
  • If we want to study human meaning making, we must attend to all semiotic resources in a holistic manner.

After reviewing these premises and learning how to analyze multimodal communication, this course will examine the affordances of multimodality for L2 learning. As such, the course will focus on how multimodality can improve the learning and teaching of a second language in concrete ways.  For this part of the course, we will draw upon the pedagogical framework of Multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996), a general approach to literacy theory, and will explore three main applications of multimodality to L2 learning:

  • Social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Gaming (digital and non-digital)
  • Digital storytelling (vlogs, court metrage/short films, documentaries, timelapse videos)

In terms of learning outcomes, students can expect to learn methods for conducting multimodal analysis as well as methods for developing multimodal L2 materials.  In other words, the goal of the course will be the application of multimodality theory to the creation of original materials and environments for L2 learning.  Finally, the course will include the work of several L2 curriculum designers who will discuss their design process and instructional products with course participants.


Required Texts

  1. Jewitt, C., Bezemer, J., & Halloran, K. (2016). Introducing Multimodality. London: Routledge.
  2. Kern, R. (2015). Language, Literacy and Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. New Learning website
  4. PDFs of journal articles posted on Canvas

FR 364L • Intro To French Linguistics

35820 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BEN 1.126

This course is an introduction to linguistic analysis. A scientific study of the structure and function of modern French, the course will touch on stylistic and social issues including dialectal and individual variation. Several notable varieties of French, especially European and North American varieties, will receive close attention. The course adopts a descriptive rather than prescriptive approach to the French language. In other words, this is not a grammar course where you will focus on correct usage. Rather, this is a course that emphasizes how to formulate linguistic hypotheses and to test those hypotheses based on actual data. We will study all levels of linguistic structure—from the smallest to the biggest—sounds, words, sentences and discourses. Or, in more technical terms : phonemes, morphemes, phrases, and speech acts. You will also be introduced to the various subdisciplines of linguistics : phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics et pragmatics. Finally, you will study language and culture as a unified whole called languaculture.

You will discover that linguistics has many useful tools to help you learn French more effectively, for example, the phonetic alphabet, bilingual dictionaries, etymological dictionaries, reference grammars, etc. Please note that the readings are not very long but they are of a technical nature and will require your close attention. In particular, you will need to pay attention to new terminology. In addition, all readings are followed by application activities that will test your understanding of the concepts. We will correct exercises together in class. Be sure to study the readings and exercises carefully before each class.

What exactly will I learn in this course?

• How to analyze language data

• How to formulate and test linguistic hypotheses

• How to conceive of language as a socio-cognitive system that evolves over time

• How to use a precise metalanguage to describe linguistic phenomena

• How to interpret the international phonetic alphabet

• How to recognize salient markers of dialects (e.g., les sacres québécois, l’accent du Midi)

• How to choose past tenses based on an understanding of aspectual differences

• How to understand the goals and methods of the subdisciplines (e.g., phonology, etc.)

How will I learn?

This course will follow a “flipped classroom model” that requires students to read material and preview videos in place of a formal lecture. Class time will be devoted to applying the points discussed in the readings to the analysis of language. In other words, we will digest the material together by discussing its application. I rarely give lectures anymore as I find that the flipped method is more effective for learning linguistic concepts because it gives us more time for actual analysis.

What are the pre-requisites for the course? Upper Division French courses

How will I succeed in this course?

You will succeed in this course if you carefully prepare the readings before class. If you haven’t prepared the readings, you will find the class sessions to be boring and confusing. You will also be successful if you can articulate your analyses. Remember that this class does not only aim to help you understand the French language, but also to express your linguistic insights and analyses with fluency and precision.

FR 392K • Multiliteracies

36445 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 4.102B
(also listed as ILA 386, MEL 381)

 FR392K Multiliteracies: The new practices of L2 textuality


Course description

The term multiliteracies commonly refers to the convergence of two major aspects of language use today: multilingualism and multimodality. Mass migration and Internet technologies have given rise to new social ways of communicating in different cultural, social or domain-specific contexts. This means that scholars in literature and linguistics need to update their concept of language so that it no longer focuses exclusively on logocentric signs such as words or phrases, but includes multimodal representations, particularly those typical of digital media. This course surveys the research, curricular, and pedagogical practices of this new approach to textual meaning. In recent years, proponents of multiliteracies have brought language and culture scholars together around a common  inquiry,  namely textuality itself and its relation to real life concerns. In keeping with this new line of inquiry, this course explores how languages and cultures are conceptualized as objects of study by scholars in culture studies, literary studies, linguistics, and foreign language teaching.

While multiliteracies is a general approach to the study of textual meaning, this course focuses specifically on the complexity of second language literacy, not merely as the interpretation and production of material texts, but also as lived experience: as practices that manifest across multiple languages, cultural contexts, and social ecologies.  Central to this approach will be the notion of textual interpretation as a means of developing a new identity as well as a new subjectivity, for example, as a speaker of a new language or as a researcher in a new field.  Participants will conduct an ethnographic case study of an individual literature/language student in order to explore the relation between subjectivity and textual engagement. Readings for the course will come primarily from recent journal articles, including a special edition of the L2 Journal entitled “Living Literacies.”  This special edition extends and amplifies the existing body of work in second language studies over the past few decades, which makes the case that literacy should be the central objective for language and culture curricula.

 Course goals

•To understand texts in terms of changing literacy practices

•To develop a Multiliteracies research agenda

•To develop materials and assessments inspired by the Multiliteracies movement

•To develop innovative strategies to teach literary and non-literary texts

 Required Text

Course packet of journal articles by language and literacy scholars

FR F317C • Enhancing French Skills-Fra

81855 • Summer 2018

FR 317C. Enhancing French Skills. An advanced intermediate course which serves to
continue the development of your communication abilities in French by practicing the four basic skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading.  In this course, you will expand your knowledge of the French language and culture through the daily use of authentic documents, such as songs, movie clips, comic strips, journalistic and literary readings, internet videos, and websites.  Meets the prerequisite requirements for French 320E or 324L.  Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: French 611C with a grade of at least C.

FR 392K • Instructional L2 Pragmatics

36325 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 214

FR392K Instructional L2 Pragmatics | Dr. Carl Blyth 


Since the seminal work of anthropologist Dell Hymes during the 1970s on “communicative competence,” applied linguists have rigorously investigated the development of L2 pragmatic abilities.   And yet, despite growing interest in pragmatics, foreign language teaching continues to focus on grammatical features of the linguistic code with relatively little attention paid to the complexity of the cultural values and communicative norms that guide language production.  In a recent edition of the Journal of Spanish Language Teaching, Gironzetti and Koike (2016: 89) described the situation:

“…pragmatics continues to be excluded from textbooks and course curricula, and its treatment is often limited to pragmalinguistic information regarding the most readily-categorized pragmatics phenomena, such as speech acts, deictic expressions, and discourse markers, with little to no mention of sociopragmatic contexts and variables that affect their use. […] There is currently a need, therefore, for materials for teaching pragmatics (both pragmalinguistics and sociopragmatics) that are research-informed, readily applicable to classroom instruction, and easily integrated into the language curriculum. […] there is also a need for teaching-oriented research to test these materials, investigate best practices to teach pragmatics in the [foreign] language classroom, and promote teacher training in pragmatics.” 

Following the admonition of Gironzetti and Koike (2016), this course begins by reviewing the development of L2 pragmatic competence. In addition, the course will feature several hands-on activities designed to bridge the gap between research and practice.  For example, we will take up the many challenges of instructional pragmatics, such as the development of curricula and learning materials that promote awareness of cultural patterns of language use.  In particular, the course will include studies of open, immersive environments that create favorable conditions for the use of contextualized language such as digital social networks, telecollaborative cultural exchanges, and digital games. While the course focuses primarily on instructional pragmatics, we will touch on several lines of language-in-use research: computer-mediated communication, gaming theory, and interlanguage pragmatics.

 Course goals

•To develop an instructional pragmatics research agenda

•To develop L2 pragmatics materials and assessments

•To develop instructional strategies to guide L2 performance

•To enhance the teaching of L2 pragmatics with digital technology (e.g., games, augmented reality, online exchanges)

•To become acquainted with the field of L2 instructional pragmatics (theory, methods, agenda)

•To become more adept at identifying causes of L2 pragmatic failure


Required texts

Ishihara, N. & Cohen, A. (2010). Teaching and learning pragmatics.  London: Routledge.

Sykes, J. & Reinhardt, J. (2012). Language at play: Digital games in second language learning. New York: Pearson

Reading packet of journal articles

FR 392K • Intercultural Pragmatics

36804 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.118

Please check back for updates.

FR 359 • French Textual Linguistics

35950 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 2.102


FR359 French Text Linguistics | Spring 2016

Dr. Carl Blyth

Course description


Text linguistics is a branch of linguistics that deals with written as well as oral texts as communication systems. As such, text linguistics goes beyond traditional approaches to grammar by taking into account patterns found above the level of the sentence, the traditional boundary of linguistic analysis.  Furthermore, text linguistics examines how a text is situated in an interactional, communicative context. Traditional approaches to the study of literary texts typically model text analysis as an interpretive activity.  However, in this course, students will learn to explain textual patterns as part of a social system for making meaning, a linguistic and cultural system shared by francophones. In other words, rather than focus on what a text means, this course will focus on how a text means, that is, the effect on the reader/listener that results from the choices made by writers/speakers in the construction of a text.

Aimed at students who have studied French literature but who have little or no formal knowledge of linguistics, the course covers major concepts in textual analysis: genre, register, and cohesion/coherence. This course presents a variety of “tools” that can be employed in the analysis of French texts. The course’s analytical toolkit derives from systemic functional linguistics, a branch of linguistics whose purported aim is to unpack textual meaning.  Systemic Functional Linguistics views language as a meaning-making resource and focuses on how language itself is organized to enable the expression of certain meanings.  Concepts will be exemplified using many different types of French texts, including literary and non-literary works (e.g., short stories, prose poems, commercials, political speeches, blogs).  Finally, students will be introduced to a few, easy-to-use computer tools well-known in the digital humanities (e.g., annotation freeware, concordance programs, visualization software).  In brief, the main goal of this course is to give students hands-on experience in the careful analysis of a wide range of French texts taken from academic and everyday settings. [NB: The textbook and some secondary readings will in English, but all primary texts will be in French.  The course will be conducted in French).


List of Texts


  • Eggins, Suzanne. 2005. An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Continuum. (Available from Amazon)
  • Readings in French posted on Canvas (links to online texts as well as PDFs)




  • Participation (in class discussion, discussion board, peer-editing)       10%
  • Assignments (6 analyses of different French texts)                           60%
  • Final Project  (in-depth analysis of a French text of your choice)        25%
  • Oral Presentation (brief summary of final project)                              5%

FR 392K • Discourse Analysis

36110 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.104

FR392K Computer Mediated Discourse Analysis 


Computer-mediated discourse analysis (CMDA) is a framework for studying online behavior as viewed through the lens of language. Despite its linguistic origins (e.g., conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, critical discourse analysis), CMDA shares many affinities with literary, literary and rhetorical approaches to texts. CMDA organizes research methods and issues around four domains of language: structure (typography, orthography, morphology, and syntax), meaning (speaker intention and illocutionary force), interaction (turn taking and discourse coherence), and social behavior (power, gender, and identity). 

 According to Susan Herring, the leading figure in the field, the “potential—and power—of CMDA is that it enables questions of broad social and psychological significance, including notions that would otherwise be intractable to empirical analysis, to be investigated with fine-grained empirical rigor.”  As such, we will explore CMDA studies that have analyzed a wide range of linguistic phenomena such as online word-formation processes, lexical choice, sentence structure, and language switching among bilingual speakers. In addition, we will read studies that address macro-level phenomena such as textual coherence, social affiliation, language learning, and online identities.

In addition to CMDA methods, we will explore interdisciplinary topics of current interest to L1 and L2 researchers:

•Digital Storytelling and “Serious Games”—the power of digital simulations

•Online Multilingualism—the rise of “linguistic superdiversity”

•Digital Literacies/Digital Humanities—the development of new literacy practices and genres

•Digital “Languacultures”—the culture specific patterns of online communication

•Language Play and Conceptual Blending—the creative forces behind online innovation

•Online Language Learning—digital environments designed to promote learning



Daily Preparation and Participation 25%

Discussant 10%

Critical Review of Research Articles 15%

Presentation of Research Paper 10%

Final Research Paper (including analysis of original data) 40%


FR 364L • Intro To French Linguistics

36985 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.208

The goal of this course is to introduce you to linguistic methods of analysis by studying the structure of Modern French.  In addition, this course will lead you to consider many aspects of the French language that are not often explored in language courses, e.g.,  social variation as manifest in regional dialects and language ideologies.  As such, we will explore variation within French-speaking Europe as well as in Canada.  Emphasis will be placed on linguistic description (as opposed to prescription) in order to give you the tools you will need to describe the French language.  In other words, this is not a grammar course where you learn rules of "correct usage," but rather a course where you will learn how to formulate and test hypotheses based on linguistic data.  We will study all the levels of French, from the smallest to the biggest: sounds, words, phrases, discourses. Or, in more technical terms: phonemes, morphemes, phrase structures and speech acts.  Finally, you will be introduced to the subdisciplines of linguistics:  phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics and pragmatics.

Grading system

Exams (4 x 15%) 60%

Homework            30%

Participation         10%

NB : No Final Exam



Le but de ce cours est de vous initier à l’analyse linguistique en dégageant la structure du français moderne.     L’étude de la langue vous mènera à des implications stylistiques, esthétiques, et sociales,   d’où des incursions dans les variations individuelles, dialectales et idéologiques.  Les variations du français de France, comme celles du Canada, occuperont une place importante dans ce cours.  On mettra l’emphase sur l’analyse descriptive (et non prescriptive) afin de vous fournir les outils pour mieux décrire la langue française dans tous ses états.  Autrement dit, ce n’est pas un cours de grammaire où on apprendra les règles de bon usage, mais plutôt un cours où on apprendra à formuler de bonnes hypothèses et de tester ces hypothèses avec des données linguistiques.  On étudiera tous les niveaux de structure linguistique—du plus petit au plus grand : les sons, les mots, les phrases et les discours.  Ou, en termes plus techniques : les phonèmes, les morphèmes, les syntagmes et les actes de paroles.  Vous recevra également une initiation aux sous-disciplines de la linguistique :  la phonétique, la phonologie, la morphologie, la syntaxe, la sémantique, la sociolinguistique et la pragmatique.


FR 392K • Pragmatics

37380 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 2.106C

FR392K  Ethnopragmatics: The Study of Language and Cultural Values (Dr. Carl Blyth)

 Ethnopragmatics (aka cross-cultural pragmatics) draws on, but is not limited to, the theoretical notions and analytical tools of several disciplines focused on human meaning-making: linguistics, anthropology (ethnography of speaking) and literary theory.  However, despite the interdisciplinary nature of the field, the course will concentrate on the work of three well-known ethnolinguists, Anna Wierzbicka, Cliff Goddard and Bert Peeters who contend  that norms of human interaction in different communities reflect different cultural attitudes and values. Their work offers a framework within which different cultural norms and different ways of speaking can be explored, explained, and taught.

Focusing on the concept of cultural meaning, this course seeks to explore how the construction and negotiation of meaning is culturally influenced.   In particular, the course will explore how cultural scripts prevailing in different speech communities can be described and compared by using a natural semantic metalanguage, based on empirically established universal human concepts.  One of the attractions of the natural semantic metalanguage is that it can be used equally for writing cultural scripts and for doing “cultural semantics,” thus enabling us to draw out the connections between them.

The cultural scripts approach is evidence-based, and while not disregarding evidence of other sources (ethnographic and sociological studies, literature, and so on) it places particular importance on linguistic evidence. Aside from the semantics of cultural key words, other kinds of linguistic evidence which can be particularly revealing of cultural norms and values include: common sayings and proverbs, frequent collocations, conversational routines and varieties of formulaic or semi-formulaic speech, discourse particles and interjections, and terms of address and reference—all highly ‘‘interactional’’ aspects of language. From a data gathering point of view, a wide variety of methods can be used, including the classical linguistic fieldwork techniques of elicitation, naturalistic observation, text analysis, and consultation with informants, native speaker intuition, corpus studies, and the use of literary materials and other cultural products. Finally, a central goal of this course will be to explore the practical applications of ethnopragmatic research for foreign language learning, intercultural education, and literary and translation studies. 


Active class involvement and preparation:                                                  20%    

Class assignments (critical reviews, data analyses, etc.):                               50%

Independent research project:                                                                  30% 


Primary Readings

Goddard, C. (ed.). 2004. Special edition of Intercultural Pragmatics 2-1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Goddard, C. 2006. Ethnopragmatics: Understanding Discourse in Cultural Context. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 

Quinn, N. (ed.). 2005.  Finding Culture in Talk: A Collection of Methods. London: Palgrave. 

Wierzbicka, A. 2003. Cross-cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Secondary Readings (selected chapters only)

Biro, D. 2010. The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion and Relief. New York: W.W. Norton.

Deutscher, G. 2010. Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. NY:Picador.

Hua, Z. 2013. Exploring Intercultural Communication: Language in Action. London/New York: Routledge.

Köveses, Z. 2006. Language, Mind and Culture: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Lakoff, G. 1996. Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.  Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Pinker, S. 2007. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. New York: Penguin Press.

Wierzbicka, A. 1997. Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.







FR 364L • Intro To French Linguistics

36810 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.112

This course provides a complete examination of the French language, in French, at a level appropriate for non-native speakers and non-linguists.  It introduces students to linguistic analysis, using modern French as its target of study, and covering the linguistic subfields of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. This is not a grammar course where the emphasis is on learning the correct rules of "bon usage."  Rather, the goal of this course is to learn how to formulate and test hypotheses about the French language and thereby to understand the French language at a deeper, more conceptual level.  In addition, students will learn how to use practical language tools: bilingual dictionaries, phonetic alphabet, reference grammars.

FR 392K • Intro To Sociolinguistics

36775 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 2.112

FR 392K (36775) • Introduction to French Sociolinguistics • Dr. Carl Blyth

TTH 2 :00-3 :30 pm—Homer Rainey Hall 2.112  Seminar Room

Course Description

In this course, we will examine different forms of sociolinguistic research concerned with the intersection of language, culture, and society. This interdisciplinary field seeks to understand language as a social object.  But what does it mean to call language a social object ?  In this course, we will attempt to answer that question by approaching language from the point of view of its users.  At its most general, sociolinguistics focuses on how people use language for social purposes.  This social approach to language was articulated many years ago by the anthropological linguist Edward Sapir :

“It is peculiarly important that linguists, who are often accused, and accused justly, of failure to look beyond the pretty patterns of their subject matter, should become aware of what their science may mean for the interpretation of human conduct in general. Whether they like it or not, they must become increasingly concerned with the many anthropological, sociological, and psychological problems which invade the field of language.” [Sapir 1929:214]

In particular, the goal of the course is to acquaint students with sociolinguistic research on the French language.  As such, students will gain a better understanding of how French-speakers use their language(s) to construct and maintain relevant social distinctions in their communities. This course will be conducted in both French and English depending on the readings and the topic of discussion.  A working knowledge of French is therefore essential.

As an introduction to the field, we will also examine the relationships between different research approaches and determine how they illuminate different social aspects of language: corpus linguistic, ethnographic, interactionist,  sociocultural, social psychological and variationist.  We will discuss these approaches in terms of their theoretical assumptions, their linguistic foci (e.g., phonological, morphosyntactic, discursive) ; their methods of analysis (e.g., qualitative, quantitative or mixed) ; and their timescale of analysis (e.g., a single interaction, a sample of aggregated synchronic data from a speech community, a sample of diachronic data.).  Central topics to be discussed:

•Speech Communities and Social Networks

•Sociolinguistic Variation

•Verbal Culture/Ethnopragmatics

•Ethnography of Speaking

•Linguistic Politeness

•Gender and Language

•Language Politics/Language Policy

•Language Attitudes/Language Ideologies

•Computer Mediated Communication

Assignments will include the following : presentation of a research article, 2 field projects (data gathering and analysis) ; proposal of a research project (including abstract, literature review and outline of methodology).

Required Texts :

Wardaugh, R. (2010).  Introduction to Sociolinguistics (6th edition). Blackwell

Electronic reading packet (selected PDFs of recent journal articles on sociolinguistic aspects of the French language)

FR 364L • Intro To French Linguistics

36665 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.112

Introduction to the syntactic, phonological, morphological, lexical, historical, and applied aspects of French linguistics.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in French.

FR 392K • Analyzing Language Variation

36965 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 2.118

Coming soon.

FR 392K • Computer-Mediated Communicatn

36140 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.118

Please check back for updates.

FR 322E • Adv French II: Oral Emphasis

37170 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ B0.302

FR 322

This advanced language course’s goal is to substantially advance your spoken, written and listening skills in French while discussion controversial social topics both in the Francophone world and in the United States such as the effects of globalization in the world, conflicts regarding immigration, and the loss of indigenous cultures and languages due to colonialism/imperialism.  There will be 3 written exams, 4 oral exams (2 individual presentations and 2 debates), 2 major written assignments based on 2 of the themes of the course and a final project.

FR322 is a fast-paced challenging course that requires extensive outside of class preparation in order to succeed in improving your vocabulary and grammar level (2-3 hours of preparation for each hour we meet is normal at the beginning). The prerequisite for FR322 is FR320 with at least a grade of C. If you received a C- in FR320, you do NOT meet the prerequisite for this course.


The Lower-Division Grading Scale for French is the following:


97-93   A   

92-90   A-   

89-87   B+   

86-83   B   

82-80   B-   

79-77   C+   

76-73   C   

72-70   C-   

69-67   D+   

66-63   D   

62-60   D-   

 Less than 60   F  

FR 320E • Adv French I: Written Emphasis

36935 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ B0.302

FR 320E • Advanced French I


FR 612, 312L, 312M, 312N, or the equivalent.

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)

Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%

Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%



Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

FR 392K • Instructed Sla

37170 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM HRH 2.106C

Please check back for updates.

FR 392K • Contact Linguistics

35360 • Spring 2006
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GAR 313

Please check back for updates.

FR 320E • Adv French I: Written Emphasis

34895 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WEL 3.266

FR 320E • Advanced French I


FR 612, 312L, 312M, 312N, or the equivalent.

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)

Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%

Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%



Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

FR 320E • Adv French I: Written Emphasis

34560 • Fall 2004
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CAL 323

FR 320E • Advanced French I


FR 612, 312L, 312M, 312N, or the equivalent.

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)

Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%

Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%



Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

FR F322E • Adv French II: Oral Emphasis

84440 • Summer 2004
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM HRH 2.112

Ce cours de langue avancée a pour but principal d’améliorer vos compétences linguistiques en français (i.e., la compréhension auditive, l’expression orale, la lecture, et l’expression écrite) ainsi que votre connaissance de la grammaire et du lexique. Dans ce cours, vous aurez l’occasion de discuter des controverses sociales dans le monde francophone et aux Etats-Unis (e.g, la mondialistion, l’immigration, le système éducatif, etc.). A l’aide des textes contemporains, vous allez apprendre à mieux communiquer vos pensées en français en comparant les cultures francophones avec la nôtre.

FR 392K • French Sociolinguistics

33300 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.106C

Please check back for updates.

FR 392K • Ling Approaches To Narrative

32420 • Spring 2003
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM HRH 2.106C

Please check back for updates.

FR 507 • First-Year French II

32490 • Fall 2002
Meets MTWTHF 9:00AM-10:00AM HRH 2.112


The prerequisite for French 507 is completion of French 506, taken at the University of Texas at Austin, with a grade of C or better.  Students who took French in high school, French 506 at another college, or at The University of Texas at Austin prior to spring 2010 are required to take a placement exam. A schedule of administration dates for the placement exam may be obtained from the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment, 2616 Wichita, 471-3032, or at


Course and Objectives

French 507 is a four skills language course in which you will expand the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as you explore the French language and culture with Français interactif, the first year French program developed at the University of Texas.  Completion of French 507 with a C or better qualifies you to enroll in a second-year French course (FR 612).


Required Materials 

• FR 507 text , Français interactif Part II available at  Go to the textbook page of the new Français interactif site for a direct link to qoop :



Please make sure that you order Part II of the textbook. The cost is $19.05 in black and white or $44.41 in color. Don't worry that you do not have the textbook on the first day of class, as we will be doing review exercises (distributed through Blackboard) for the first week. 


   •  First Year French website: Francais interactif  ( includes

• videos (vocabulary, interviews and culture) downloadable mp4 files or podcasts.


• recorded  vocabulary lists and phonetic examples:  downloadable mp3 audio files or podcasts.


• links into Tex’s French Grammar ( grammar explanations, audio files in mp3 format or podcasts, interactive exercises, a verb conjugation reference, and a verb tutor.



• Compact  Oxford Hachette French/English Dictionary ISBN 0-19-864535X (at the Coop), which is required for upper division French classes.  Word is also an excellent online dictionary. 



Exams (five  @ 100 points): 50% = 500 points

Preparation & Participation: 20% = 200 points

Speaking Exams (2 @ 50 points): 10% = 100 points

Listening Comprehension exam: 05% = 050 points

Final Exam (written; 2 hours): 15% = 150 points

100% =1000 points



Daily preparation and persistent, active participation in class are essential to your success in learning French.  Your teacher will make specific assignments for each day.

The preparation/participation grade includes your performance on activities in the classroom and occasional quizzes.  Most daily homework and participation grades will be valued at 10 points each.  No late homework will be accepted.  If you are not in class to get the assignment(s) due the next day, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor or another student in the class to get the assignment. 


Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning.  In order to assure that all students have the opportunity to gain from time spent in class, unless otherwise approved by the instructor, students are prohibited from engaging in any form of distraction.  Inappropriate behavior (cellular phones, eating or drinking, tardiness, making offensive remarks, sleeping, overt inattentiveness, etc.) shall result, minimaly, in a request to leave class.


Computer Lab :  MEZ 2.104

You will  be required to do daily homework using the Français interactif  website.

Access to computers for individual study is available in the Liberal Arts ITS media lab in MEZ 2.104.  Liberal Arts ITS media lab operating hours:

M-Th 8 a.m.- 7:45 p.m., F 8 a.m.- 4:45 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.- 6:45 p.m.



Regular attendance is absolutely necessary for success in French 507. You are allowed a total of five absences without penalty during the semester.  All absences count. In addition to lowered preparation/participation grades, a penalty of 10 pts (or 1% of your final course grade/ up to 10%) will be deducted for each absence after 5 in the semester.



The five exams will contain a variety of listening, reading, and writing activities.  Each exam  covers one chapter, lasts 50 minutes and is valued at 100 points.  There are also two five-minute speaking exams.  Note carefully the dates of these exams, as there are no make-ups.


The final exam will be Thursday, Dec 9 from 7 p.m. -10 p.m. contingent upon Registrar Scheduling.  A makeup will be given on Friday, Dec 10 from 7-10 p.m. for students with verified schedule conflicts.  Please notify your instructor to obtain course supervisor's permission.  


Course supervision 

If you have any questions about French 507, please consult your instructor or the course supervisor, Karen Kelton,  HRH 2.106A (471-5511, 


The Department of French & Italian offers many services to beginning students, including free tutoring in the French Department. Your instructor will announce tutorial center hours during the second week of classes.  You will also be invited to films and activities sponsored by the French Department. Your instructor will announce these and other events throughout the semester.  Bienvenue!  We hope you will enjoy learning French.  


The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259,

FR 392K • Discourse Analysis

32410 • Spring 2002
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.106C

Please check back for updates.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links

  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800