Paris became the largest city in the Western world during the thirteenth century, and has remained influential ever since. This book examines the interlinked history of Parisian speech and the Parisian population through various phases of immigration, dialect-mixing and social stratification from the Middle Ages to the present. It reveals how new urban modes of speech developed during periods of expansion, how the city's elites sought to distinguish their language from that of the masses, and how a working-class vernacular eventually emerged with its own "slang" vocabulary.
"Lodge is well qualified to chart the development of Parisian French over the course of eight centuries...he marshals a convincing array of sources and theoretical models...this accessible study presents a broad tableau, highlighting the interaction of language, social structures, and economic trends, and combining carefully chosen sample texts with stimulating critical reflection." J.R. Iverson, Whitman College, Choice "Neatly produced and will undoubtedly become a standard book of reference for all those interested in the history of colloquial speech and the sociological factors that have contributed to its development. On the whole...this book should be read by all scholars working in the field of historical sociolinguistics." Estudios de Sociolinguistica Begona Crespo Garcia "...this highly informative and superbly written book will stand as a model for future research in the field." French Review Zsuzsanna Fagyal, University of Illinois "In this richly documented book, Lodge embarks on a bold, risky, yet compelling enterprise: attempting as plausible and comprehensive a reconstruction as possible of the history of Parisian French...the pedagogical approach chosen by the author is evidenced by the presence of a summary at the end of each chapter and of each part makes the reading and the understanding of the book easier and more enjoyable." Jean-Guy Mboudjeke, Dalhousie University