Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Charles Batson




languages, french, regional, history, accents


Sociolinguists tell us that variation in the mode of speaking affect social interactions and perceptions. The French language contains a significant degree of linguistic variation, as a result of the influences from French regional languages and other European languages. At the time of the Renaissance, over thirty regional languages were spoken in France. The current variant that has developed into “modern French” was originally one of many regional languages, and was spoken or understood by only about one percent of the population. Major geopolitical events that shaped the history of France occurred concurrently with the transition from regional languages to a unified national language. This has given the French of today a degree of variability that reflects its rich history. This research examines in particular the way in which history has shaped the accents of Provence and Paris, and how these accents have affected the development of these regions and their relationship today.