An investigation into the nature of English borrowings in the French language, as used in the last ten years
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
"La Crise". "Qu'est-ce que cette crise?"“La défense organisée... "Invasion" . "Péril" o "Le 'danger' Ecterieur. “Que faire?” The titles, of chapters of “Parlez-vous franglais?” and “La defense organise de la langue française” give an indication of the strong feelings about language which exist in France. Much of the feeling currently directed against the use of foreign terms in the French language, and especially the anglo-american ones. Why? Why are the terms there? Have the terms being used been in the language for long? What sort of words are they? If they feel so strongly, what are the authorities doing about the situation? Is the number of words increasing? Are they truly a danger to the nature of the French language? - or are they a natural phenomenon? - or a passing phase? Many questions spring to mind when one is first told about the French attitude to Anglo-American loanwords and it is some of these questions that this study hopes to answer, by looking at the situation in the present day. The historical background is looked at first to see it can be related to the present-day situation, ie. the reasons for borrowing words now have applied for several centuries, and if future trends can be considered, from a look at the past. The attitude of the authorities in France is then examined. A detailed study of the words in use in a popular magazine over the last ten years follows and these words are analysed to demonstrate examples of how words have come into the language, the attitude of the authorities and dictionaries to the, together with problems such as pronunciation and changes in meaning that can be associated with them. The sort of words which are used and in which area they are borrowed is also investigated. Whether the number has increased over the ten year period, from the sample taken, is considered. This seemed to lead to the conclusion of the study and the answering of the final question: Is the French language truly peril from the "danger" of anglo-american loan-words and is it in need of "defence"?