440.9: Nadeau, Jean-Benoit and Julie Barlow. The Story of French. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006. 450 p. ISBN 0-312-34183-0.
- 400: Languages
- 440: French and Romance languages
- 440.9: General history of French and Romance languages
Currently, French is in the top twenty spoken languages in the world. In the Middle Ages, it was the gateway to the aristocratic lifestyle and the lingua franca of the Western world. While it has been eschewed to the milieu of wine drinkers, film buffs, and expatriates, French is still as dynamic and contentious as it has ever been. There is even a group of people—the Academie Francaise—that presides over the language and sets the guidelines on new words and phrases that enter. Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow, in The Story of French, try to do what many other linguists have done before them: make the early history and morphology of a language interesting and relevant to modern readers.