Abstract

Being of Latin origin, the French language has the same beginnings as the other romance languages: Spanish, Italian and Romanian, etc. Despite these similar origins, each language respectively developed into its own distinct mutation of Latin. Key events and cultural factors led to each language’s divergence from Latin and also from one another. Throughout its history, the French language has evolved from a vulgar dialect of Latin into the beautiful language it is today. This evolution can be linked to cultural and political influences, which occurred through the history of France itself. The language went through a multitude of changes, whether orthographical or etymological. This thesis focuses on which cultural and political events sparked the changes in the language, and how important the influence of different cultures are on the development of the language from the very beginnings of the language in Celtic times to the 21st century. Because the French language was and is influenced by cultural and historical events, this project also raises the question of how the language will be able to maintain its current integrity in a world that is constantly expanding and involving interactions between different cultures. Languages are extremely important for maintaining diversity in the world, and how languages, in this case French, originated and developed throughout their history is a key factor in helping one understand the different cultures around the world.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2014

Mentor

Randi L. Polk

Department/Professional Affiliation

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

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