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SUB-FACULTY OF FRENCH
CONVENTIONS FOR SETTING
FINAL HONOUR SCHOOL PAPERS
FOR THE EXAMINATION IN 2014
Notes for Senior French Examiner
1. The preliminary marking distribution should count method B & C special
subject scripts and extended essays as the equivalent of three examination
scripts.
2. The Senior French Examiner is asked to forward this document each September
to the Secretary of the Sub-Faculty with any recommendations made by that
years Examiners for changes to the conventions. The document will then be
considered by the Sub-Faculty at its meeting in Michaelmas Term.
3. The Sub-Faculty has agreed that a report should be returned on each FHS paper
with 8 or more candidates sitting it (including Paper XII special subjects).
Oral Examination
The topics prescribed for the oral examination from Trinity Term 2011 to Trinity
Term 2014 (inclusive) are:
1. Les mdias et la culture
2. Le thtre
3. LEurope
4. Les controverses thiques
The topics prescribed for the oral examination from Trinity Term 2015 to Trinity
Term 2018 (inclusive) are:
1. Reprsentations de la guerre
2. Les luttes politiques
3. Enjeux de lhistoire littraire
4. La bande dessine
FHSexaminersinTrinityTerm2016must announcetotheSub-Facultynolater
thanitsmeetinginTT 2016thefour oral topicstobeexaminedfromTT 2019toTT
2022inclusive.
Passages set for oral summary should be 470-520 words. Passages set for aural
comprehension may be of any topic whatsoever and should take approximately 5
minutes to read, when delivered at a steady pace.
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Paper I Essay in French
The rubric reads: Essays should be a minimum of 1000 words, and normally should
not exceed 1500 words. Candidates may, in this paper alone, draw on arguments and
evidence that they have used, or might wish to use, in other parts of the examination.
16 essay subjects shall be set: 4 related to the topics prescribed for the years oral
examination, 4 on literary, 4 on linguistic, and 4 on general cultural topics. Candidates
will be required to write an essay in French on one of the subjects set. Essays should
be a minimum of 1000 words in length and normally should not exceed 1500 words.
Paper II Translation from and into modern French
II A Translation from Modern French
II B Translation into Modern French
Passages for translation from French are to be taken from post-1800 texts, and those
for translation into French from post-1900 texts. Passages should be in contrasting
styles or registers (e.g. narrative, descriptive, analytical, reflective, journalistic).
Passages for translation from French should not be taken from texts by authors
prescribed for Paper XI. It is conventional to aim at syntactical rather than arbitrary
lexical difficulty. The French passage shall consist of 300-320 words. The English
passage shall consist of 240-260 words.
Paper III Translation from pre-modern French (French-sole candidates only)
The rubric reads: All candidates must translate TWO passages. Each passage should
be written in a separate answer book with its own cover sheet and the question
number clearly indicated.
Six passages are to be set of which candidates will be required to translate any two
into English. All passages should be 300-320 words in length.
1. a twelfth- or thirteenth-century verse passage
2. a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century prose passage
3. a sixteenth-century verse or prose passage
4. a seventeenth-century verse or prose passage
5. an eighteenth-century prose passage
6. an eighteenth-century verse passage
As far as possible, examiners will identify authors and dates of passages. Passages
should not be taken from texts by authors prescribed for Papers IX or X.
Paper IV Linguistic Studies I
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions. At least ONE question
must be selected from EACH section. Candidates may confine their answer(s) from
Section B to one sub-section.
The paper is divided into two sections.
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Section A includes a range of questions on the history of French from the earliest
times to the present day, or relating to historical linguistics as applied to French.
Questions may cover phonological, orthographical, morphological, syntactic, lexical,
semantic, pragmatic, stylistic and sociolinguistic topics, as well as ideas about the
French language in a historical perspective. One or two questions may be answered
from this section.
Section B is divided into parts that cover separate periods, starting with the transition
from Latin to French and the very early history of French, continuing with the
historical time-spans that correspond broadly to literary periods presented in paper VI
(1100-1530), VII (1530-1715) and VIII (1715-1940). Questions set in Paper V,
covering the contemporary language, differ from those of Paper IV in that the
former are synchronically orientated and concentrate on post-1940 French.
It is expected that any one candidate would normally have prepared for only one part
of Section B. (S)he would answer one or two questions from this Section.
Section B questions should not overlap with Section A questions, but concentrate on
authentic language (or, where appropriate, metalinguistic) material, on linguistic and
stylistic features specific to the chosen period, and on linguistic and metalinguistic
changes that relate to the social and political history of the period. Language material
for comment will normally be in the form of passages from works, in different
registers, written during the period. The rubric for each commentary question will
read: Write a linguistic commentary on one of the following. You should date the
text, and draw particular attention to those features of language which strike you as
especially characteristic or uncharacteristic of the period. Essay questions can also
include shorter gobbets illustrating specific linguistic features about which the
candidates are invited to write. As far as possible without unduly restricting the choice
open to candidates, the length and number of texts set in each part should be limited.
Paper V Linguistic Studies II
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions.
Candidates will be asked to answer three questions relating to different areas of the
subject. Questions will normally be set in the following areas:
1. The phonetics of contemporary French Candidates will be expected to
show command of IPA transcription and knowledge of standard French
orthoepics as well as of variations in pronunciation in different geographical
and social varieties. Phonetic transcriptions of short passages may be included
in questions in this area.
2. The phonology of contemporary French Candidates will be expected to
show understanding of modern phonological theory and methodology and its
application to the problems of contemporary French, including orthographical
problems.
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3. The morphology of contemporary French Candidates are expected to be
familiar with modern morphological theory and its use in the description and
elucidation of French morphological data.
4. The syntax of contemporary French Candidates are expected to show
knowledge of modern syntactic methods and theories in their application to
French syntax.
5. The semantics of contemporary French Candidates should be familiar with
modern semantic ideas and be able to apply them to topics in French lexical
semantics, grammatical semantics and sentence semantics.
6. The lexicon of contemporary French Candidates should be familiar with
processes of word-formation and borrowing, and show understanding of social
and register vocabulary differences.
7. The pragmatics of contemporary French Candidates should show
knowledge of modern pragmatic theory and discourse analysis in application
to the everyday and literary uses of the modern French language.
8. Linguistic approaches to contemporary French Candidates will be
expected to show familiarity with the main trends in modern linguistics as they
relate to contemporary French data.
9. Sociolinguistics and contemporary French Candidates should be familiar
with modern ideas on society and language, with particular reference to
contemporary geographical and social variation (including French-lexifier
Creoles and Canadian French). They should also show knowledge of
institutional aspects of French and of language attitudes.
Within each of these areas a choice of questions will normally be set, among
which there will be a substantial proportion that call for comment on specific
language data, which may take the form of extended texts, or, more often, of
shorter extracts illustrating specific problems.
Additional rubric for papers VI, VII, VIII, X, XI and XII
CandidatesmayNOT makematerial prescribedfor thePreliminary
Examinationthesoleor principal subject of ANY of their answers.
Paper VI Topics in the period of literature to 1530
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions, AT LEAST ONE
from each section. Candidates must NOT answer questions with reference wholly
or chiefly to writers whom they are offering as Prescribed Authors, or with
referenced wholly or chiefly to texts which form the principal topic of their
Special Subject or Optional Extended Essay. Candidates should NOT make the
same author or work the principal subject of MORE THAN ONE answer.
Candidates are advised to read all the questions before deciding which ones to
answer. Candidates may NOT make material prescribed for the Preliminary
Examination the sole or principal subject of ANY of their answers.
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This paper is divided into two sections with (roughly) 1328 as the dividing line.
Paper VII Topics in the period of literature 1530-1800
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions. Every candidate
must write AT LEAST ONE answer which discusses TWO OR MORE writers.
Candidates should NOT make the same author or work a principal topic of MORE
THAN ONE answer. Candidates must NOT answer questions with reference
wholly or chiefly to writers whom they are offering as Prescribed Authors, or with
reference wholly or chiefly to texts which form the principal topic of their Special
Subject or Optional Extended Essay. Candidates offering both Paper VII and VIII
in French may ONLY draw material from the period 1715 1800 in answering
questions in EITHER Paper VII OR Paper VIII. The questions most obviously
affected by this provision are indicated by an asterisk. Candidates are advised to
read all the questions before deciding which ones to answer. Candidates may
NOT make material prescribed for the Preliminary Examination the sole or
principal subject of ANY of their answers.
This paper has no divisions. The problem of the overlap with the 1715-1800
section of Paper VIII is met by the asterisking of questions particularly relevant to
that period, and an appropriately worded rubric. All questions are topic-based, and
candidates are permitted to answer with reference to one or more authors. The
rubric will require candidates to discuss two or more writers in at least one
answer. Tutors are asked to submit lists of topics taught for the guidance of the
examiners. The paper will begin with ten to fifteen general questions relating to
genres, themes or styles of writing in the period as a whole; these may include
historical or general cultural elements. Up to ten questions will follow on each of
the three centuries. Examiners should set questions appropriate to a range of
critical approaches, and give a good choice of questions appropriate to all the
major genres. The general rubric will advise candidates to read all the questions
before deciding which ones to answer.
Paper VIII Topics in the period of literature 1715 to the Present
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions. Candidates must
NOT answer questions with reference wholly or chiefly to writers whom they are
offering as Prescribed Authors, or with reference wholly or chiefly to texts which
form the principal topic of their Special Subject or Optional Extended Essay.
Candidates offering both Papers VII and VIII in French may ONLY draw material
from the period 1715 1800 in answering questions in EITHER Paper VII OR
Paper VIII. The questions most obviously affected by this provision are indicated
by an asterisk. Candidates should NOT make the same author or work a principal
topic of MORE THAN ONE answer. Candidates are advised to read all the
questions before deciding which ones to answer. Candidates may NOT make
material prescribed for the Preliminary Examination the sole or principal subject
of ANY of their answers.
This paper has no divisions. The problem of the overlap with the 1715-1800
section of Paper VII is met by the asterisking of questions particularly relevant to
that period, and an appropriately worded rubric. All questions are topic-based, and
candidates are permitted to answer with reference to one or more writers in
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French, from France or outside France, provided that the choice of texts is
appropriate to the question. Tutors are asked to submit lists of topics taught for the
guidance of the examiners. The paper conventionally begins with four or five
general questions, which may include historical or general cultural elements. In
the rest of the paper examiners should attempt to set questions appropriate to a
range of critical approaches, and to give a good choice of questions appropriate to
all the major genres. The general rubric will advise candidates to read all the
questions before deciding which ones to answer.
Paper IX Early Texts Prescribed for Study as Examples of Literature
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions, AT LEAST ONE
from each of Sections A and B. They should ensure that each question addresses a
different text.
This paper is divided into two sections. Section A will consist of three passages
for literary commentary, one from each of the three prescribed texts, each
containing a number of lines for compulsory translation into English. Section B
will consist of three questions offering a choice of alternative topics on each of the
three prescribed texts. Candidates must answer three questions in total, of which at
least one must be taken from each of Sections A and B, and must ensure that they
cover all three texts across their three questions.
Paper X Modern Prescribed Authors (i)
The rubric reads: Candidates must answer THREE questions. Section A is
compulsory. In addition, candidates must select, from Sections B, C, D, E, F G
and H, ONE question on EACH of the TWO authors they offer. Candidates may
NOT make material prescribed for the Preliminary Examination the sole or
principal subject of ANY of their answers.
(i) The length of commentary passages varies, but 20-25 lines of verse or
approximately 400 words of prose is regarded as the norm.
(ii) The number of essay questions set on each author is conventionally four or
five.
(iii) Candidates will be given credit for making relevant reference to texts
beyond those prescribed for special study.
(iv) It may not be reasonable or desirable for an essay to discuss all of the
prescribed texts in detail, but candidates should leave the examiners in no
doubt that it was, precisely, their good knowledge of all of the prescribed
texts that led them to decide not to offer a detailed discussion of one or
more of them.
Paper XI Modern Prescribed Authors (ii)
The rubric reads: Candidatesmust answer THREE questions. Section A is
compulsory. In addition, candidates must select, from Sections B, C, D, E, F, G
and H, ONE question on EACH of the TWOauthors they offer. Candidates may
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NOT make material prescribed for the Preliminary Examination the sole or
principal subject of ANY of their answers.
(i) The length of commentary passages varies, but 20-25 lines of verse or
approximately 400 words of prose is regarded as the norm. This does not
preclude the setting of poems with fewer than 20 lines (eg. sonnets).
(ii) The number of essay questions set on each author is conventionally four or
five
(iii) Candidates will be given credit for making relevant reference to texts
beyond those prescribed for special study.
(iv) It may not be reasonable or desirable for an essay to discuss all of the
prescribed texts in detail, but candidates should leave the examiners in no
doubt that it was, precisely, their good knowledge of all of the prescribed
texts that led them to decide not to offer a detailed discussion of one or
more of them.
Paper XII Special Subjects
The rubric reads: Candidates may NOT make material prescribed for the
Preliminary Examination the sole or principal subject of ANY of their answers.
In the circular (sent by the Senior French Examiner) asking tutors to send in topics
taught for papers VI VIII, they will also be asked to identify, if they wish, any
topics taught for those Special Subjects examined by methods A and C.
(i) The following Special Subjects will be examined by Method of
Assessment A. Method A is defined as a 3-hour unseen examination paper.
Information in brackets following each subject indicates if there is a
compulsory commentary question:
Anglo-Norman
Late Medieval responses to Le Roman de la rose (commentary compulsory)
Old Occitan (commentary compulsory)
The Old French Epic
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th
- and 13
th
-century Grail Romances (commentary compulsory)
French Historical Writing to 1515
(ii) The following Special Subjects will be examined by Method of
Assessment B. Candidates will be examined on the basis of an essay,
exercise or portfolio of two or three essays or exercises, aggregating to
6,000 words and not exceeding 8,000 words, to be delivered by candidates
to the Examination Schools by noon on Friday of 9
th
Week of Hilary
Term. The number in brackets indicates the number of pieces of work
required.
French Women Writers (3)
(iii) The following Special Subjects will be examined by Method of Assessment
C. Candidates will be examined on the basis of one, two or three essays,
aggregating to 6,000 words and not exceeding 8,000 words, written as
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answers to an examination paper to be collected from the Examination
Schools, and signed for by candidates, at 10.00 a.m. on Friday of 5
th
Week
of Hilary Term. The essay(s) must be delivered by candidates to the
Examination Schools by noon on Friday of 9
th
Week of Hilary Term. The
number in brackets indicates the number of questions that must be
answered. The brackets also indicate whether there is a commentary
question and if any such commentary question is compulsory.
Advanced French Translation: Theory and Practice (3; one essay and two
translations with commentaries)
French Poetry of the Mid-16
th
century (2; compulsory commentary from a
choice of a single passage and three passages for comparison)
Dramatic Theory and Practice in France 1605-60 (2; compulsory
commentary from a choice of three passages)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2; optional commentary)
French Satire from Rabelais to Beaumarchais (2; compulsory commentary
from a choice of three passages)
Honor de Balzac (3: optional commentary)
French poetry 1870-1918 (3; compulsory commentary from a choice of
three passages)
French Literature and modern war (3; optional commentary from a
choice of two passages)
Marcel Proust (3; compulsory commentary from a choice of two passages)
French Poetry from Surrealism to the Present (1; optional commentary)
Literature and the Visual Arts in France (2; no commentary)
Twentieth-Century French Autobiographical Writing (2; no commentary)
Francophone literature: colonial and post-colonial perspectives (2; no
commentary)
FRENCH-FHS-2014
Revised November 2013
SUB-FACULTY CONVENTIONS 09.3.xi.08