10/19/2009

French Verb Decaying

The below thesis work focuses on the decline of written accuracy in pupils' use of French verbs. As any linguist knows, the verb is the most difficult part of language, but also the one part that most clearly sets a language apart from the others. The verb, its constructions, its forms, are at the core of a language's identity. The rapid decay of the modern French verb is a clear sign of the rapidly changing nature of the French language.

The decline of written accuracy in pupils' use of French verbs
Authors: Peter Metcalfe a; Diana Laurillard a; Robin Mason a
Affiliation: a The Open University,
DOI: 10.1080/09571739585200431
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This article presents a survey and analysis of Examiners' Reports on French written papers, looking specifically at difficulties in using verbs appropriately. It draws on evidence from second-language acquisition research to determine the nature of the problem and hypothesizes links between the decline in written accuracy and the rise in oral fluency. (25 references) (CK)
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7 comments:

Edward J. Cunningham said...

It's funny---I was actually doing Google searches on how the ENGLISH language is changing. Presumedly, French is also changing as well. This does not necessarily mean that either language will become extinct.

Anonymous said...

France's attempts to fend off English are reminiscent of misguided attempts to fight a "war on drugs." They are battling against SUPPLY, which is a strategy of defensive warfare that can only end in defeat. Rather, they should focus on lowering DEMAND by producing superior native content. Another way to put it: rather than pointing fingers and saying that someone else's language/culture is "bad," produce content in your own language that is so "good" it cannot be ignored. In America we say "sh*t or get off the pot." It should be noted that I am interested in learning French though, despite, well, the French :); I still think it's a beautiful language.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Anomynous has a point. Know the French poet Charles Baudelaire? He specialized in poetry openly celebrated the pleasures of the flesh. His poetry also had beautiful rhymes so that whatever collection of translated Baudelaire poetry you purchase, you always always see the French text side by side with the original.

What am I trying to say? While Baudelaire is not for all tastes, he is the type of writer who makes you WANT to learn French so you can understand the original poetry. I'm sure there are others who have learned German just so they can enjoy listening to Beethoven's Ninth and understand Fredrich Schiller's words as they hear them.

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Anonymous said...

Instead in other languages like Korean and Japanese, the nouns are literally "corrupting".

John said...

This can be said of any language nowadays. Do you think American schoolchildren use good grammar and spelling when they text each other?

Unfrench Frenchman said...

Yes, but the difference between America and France is that America doesn't elevate such things as spelling and grammar to a state-sponsored religion, nor does the US make it its goal to force everybody on earth to speak English. The French really do seek to implement coercive mechanisms everywhere to spread their language. One of the arguments they use to convince foreign people to learn French or to implement or support such coercive mechanisms in their countries is the cultural argument. Yet, the very decay of French and its fragmentation into mutually unintelligible slangs and creoles is contradictory to this stated cultural mission, because France squanders on the national level the very heritage that it purports to maintain on the global stage.