Final grade
Syllabus (tentative)
Final exam

On the Web
   For this class
   Listen to French on line
   Find more information
     about French phonetics


This textbook is now being printed "on demand" -- which means that it is expensive. You should be able to find used copies easily and cheaply on the Internet. This will be needed for the start of classes, so please place your orders well in advance. (Prof. Neidle has some copies available; if you are interested, please contact her directly.)


Carduner et Hagiwara, D'accord
[ISBN #0471097292]

The 2 books shown below are available online -- at a discount and with free shipping -- from Schoenhof's (use discount code CBOW until September 29 for free shipping). They can also be obtained from other Internet sources.

fleurs du mal

Baudelaire, Les fleurs du mal


Ionesco, La cantatrice chauve
            et La leçon

This book is out of print, but will be on reserve, available for your use (further details to follow):

Faure et DiCristo,
   Le français par le dialogue


Fall 2017

TR 9:30-10:45 -- KCB 103

Note that this class will meet in Geddes (5th floor) on the following dates:

This course is conducted in French.


CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics, and one CAS LF 300-level course, or permission of the instructor.

Course content

The course presents a linguistic analysis of the French sound system, with frequent comparisons to the phonetics and phonology of English.

Coverage includes: articulatory phonetics, IPA transcription, phonological rules, register effects and literary pronunciations, syllabic and metrical structure, liaison, intonation, and prosody, as well as the relationship between orthography and spoken language (with occasional reference to dialectal variation and historical changes in the language). Mastery of the linguistic phenomena under study is developed through written homework exercises and tested regularly by means of written quizzes and exams.

Students apply what they have learned to their own pronunciation -- aided by in-class oral exercises and readings of plays, poetry, and prose, and reinforced by regular practice in the Geddes Language Center. Audio and video recordings of students' oral productions are analyzed linguistically in one-on-one meetings with the instructor at regular intervals.

The goals of this course are two-fold: (1) to develop an understanding of the principles that govern French pronunciation; and (2) to put those principles into practice to improve students' own pronunciation and aural comprehension. The knowledge gained through this course will be especially valuable to those who may travel or work in France in the future, and to those who may teach French at some point.

Syllabus - 2017  (provisional, subject to change)

< printable version of the syllabus >

Note: materials on this site are password-protected.
Registered students will receive information about access.

The Geddes Language Center provides online access to audio and video materials. Practice in the Geddes Language Lab offers the advantage of enabling students to record and listen to themselves in comparison with the pronunciation models (using DiLL), which students are expected to do. For more information, see this page.


Activities and evaluation

Final grade will be based on

  8% Homework (frequent short assignments)
10% Quizzes (lowest score dropped; no make-ups)
16% Two written exams
18% Cumulative final exam: written
11% Class participation & work with digital recordings
11% Oral midterm
  5% Final video production
  3% Final poem
18% Cumulative final exam: oral

 Final exam: 12/19/17 from 9 to 11 am

       [Note: Do not make plans to leave Boston before this date!]

Please consult the Blackboard Learn site (http://learn.bu.edu) for additional information, copies of handouts and assignments, and scheduling updatets for the Geddes lab.


Internet resources

A écouter

Enregistrements littéraires


Poèmes de Baulelaire :

Ionesco :

Interview with Ionesco


Prononciations régionales


Here are some other links worth exploring:

  b Listen to French on line


Radio France
Radio Canada : Ecoutez
Radio France Internationale en direct; RFI Musique

Tunein: French radio online
Guide de la radio et des medias
Trouvez des sites musique : http://www.delamusic.com/

Find more information about phonetics

Cours de phonétique, Université de Lausanne

Phonétique et phonologie (Université de Toronto)
   Les particularités du franco-québéquois
La phonétique (Queen's University at Kingston).
   Introduction à la linguistique française (Queen's University at Kingston).
b Cours d'introduction à la linguistique (Professeur Moeschler, Département de linguistique de l'Université de Genève) - à voir et à écouter (surtout les leçons de phonétique et de phonologie).
Linguistique phonétique : visite guidée des sciences du langage
Sur les sentiers de la linguistique : phonétique et phonologie
Chantez-vous français ? Remarques curieuses sur le français chanté du Moyen Age à la période baroque, avec quelques considérations sur le latin chanté des Français, par Olivier Bettens