The University of Arizona

AUTHENTIC MATERIALS FOR EVERYDAY SPOKEN FRENCH: CORPUS LINGUISTICS VS. FRENCH TEXTBOOKS

Linda R. Waugh, Bonnie Fonseca-Greber

Abstract


The authors argue for the necessity of anchoring authentic materials development in findings from corpus linguistics. In support of their claims, they present evidence from a corpus of Everyday Conversational European French that shows that the pronominal system of the everyday spoken language is drastically different from the typical textbook treatment, which does not take into account the increasingly wide gap between spoken and written French. Although in written French 'we' is still expressed by 'nous' and the generic 'one, you, they' by 'on', in conversation 'we' has come to be expressed by 'on' and the generic 'one, you, they' by 'tu' and 'ils' in addition to 'on'. Textbooks should stop leaving learners stranded in a 'no-speaker's land' if they are to acquire pragmatically appropriate, sociolinguistic competence in spoken French.


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