Chair of Romance Languages and Cultures


Typology of francophonies

The Typology of francophonies throughout the world (ToF) project is aimed at developing a comprehensive description of the distribution of the French language throughout the world. 42 different francophone regions in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Oceania are analysed according to a uniform set of criteria and a uniform structure. Following an initial determination of each individual francophony’s sociolinguistic situation, language history, internal and external language policies as well as the characteristics of French, the project will subsequently identify differences and similarities between the development of the French language in France and abroad. Two unprecedented features of the project consist in using francophony in its plural form and making France itself, in its regional diversity, a part of the study of francophonies.

Areas of examination

The project analyses 42 regions: eleven in Europe, six in America, seven in Africa, four in Asia, and 14 islands and French overseas territories.


  • The South of France
  • Catalonia
  • Corsica
  • Alsace
  • Brittany
  • Basque region
  • Switzerland
  • Luxembourg
  • Aosta Valley


  • Québec
  • Acadia
  • Ontario
  • The West of Canada
  • New England
  • Louisiana


  • Algeria
  • Marocco
  • Ivory Coast
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroun
  • Burundi
  • Senegal


  • Lebanon
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos

Islands and French overseas territories

  • Haiti
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • French Guiana
  • Madagascar
  • The Comoros
  • Mayotte
  • La Réunion
  • Mauritius
  • The Seychelles
  • French Polynesia
  • New Caledonia
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna


Each area is systematically examined with regard to the following aspects: 

Demolinguistic situation

  • Distribution of additional languages
  • Distribution of language skills among the population
  • Context of language choice

Linguistic history 

  • Establishment of the French language
  • Milestones of its further development

External language policy

  • Legislation
  • Languages used in public administration
  • Languages used at school
  • Languages used in the media

Linguistic characteristics

  • Phonetics
  • Morphology
  • Lexicon

Internal language policy

  • Linguistic purism
  • Codification of an endogenous standard
  • Dictionaries of the endogenous standard
  • Linguistic characteristics in official texts
  • Linguistic characteristics in literature 


Three aspects in particular set the project apart from earlier descriptions of francophony:

  • Consolidation of francophonies in AND outside France
  • Coherent perspective, achieved by focusing on multilingualism
  • Coherent structure thanks to uniform criteria of analysis

Participating scholars

The project is carried out in cooperation with academics at the subsequent universities in 13 different countries.


  • Université Paris Sorbonne - Paris 4
  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3
  • Université de Provence
  • Université de Cergy-Pontoise
  • Université des Antilles et de la Guyane


  • Université de Montréal
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Université de Moncton
  • University of Western Ontario
  • The University of Winnipeg


  • Universität Bayreuth
  • Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
  • Universität zu Köln
  • Universität Münster
  • Universität Passau
  • Universität des Saarlandes
  • Universität Trier


  • Universität Wien
  • Universität Salzburg


  • Université de Neuchâtel


  • Tulane University
  • University at Albany


  • Université Frères Mentouri


  • Université catholique de Louvain

Ivory Coast

  • Université Alassane Ouattara


  • University of Balamand


  • Université du Luxembourg


  • Université d’Antananarivo


  • Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar