Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)




This paper features an analysis of the linguistic features of the Missouri French dialect, such as vocabulary, syntax, and phonology, and specifically how they are presented by Hyde in her Basic French Conversations I & II: Lessons 1-8. The ultimate goal is to bolster Hyde’s textbook’s effectiveness as a dialect teaching tool by providing additional context from other Missouri French academic works, studies of separate French dialects such as Louisiana French, and personal research. The project begins with an overview of the sparse linguistic and cultural inquiry that preceded Hyde’s textbook, then recaps the circumstances that led to Hyde teaching a Missouri French class in the town of Old Mines in the late 1970s. The rest of the analysis consists of eight sections, one per lesson, each featuring broad linguistic trends featured in the lesson, specific vocabulary words with explanations, and a miscellaneous glossary. The analysis touches on a wide variety of dialectal characteristics, from the assibilation of dental stops before front vowels to the addition of [j] in subjunctive forms. Throughout, the project highlights subjects crucial to the history of Missouri French, such as the challenges of formalizing a written work about a chiefly spoken language, the relative influences of languages from English to Spanish to Myaamia and dialects from Canada to Louisiana, and the lack of diachronic analysis in most studies. The thesis concludes with a discussion of dialectal characteristics that are unattested in Basic French Conversations and touches briefly on the current cultural awareness of Missouri French.


John Baugh

Additional Advisors

Brett Kessler