Talk: New speakers of French in Louisiana: Language use, attitude and identity

Introduced in Louisiana at the end of the 17th century, French is today spoken only by an estimated population of 126,000 people. However, as it is usually the case in communities where an ethnic language tends to disappear, maintenance efforts are now being made to keep French alive. Owing to recent initiatives starting at the end of the 1960s, French has been re-introduced and a positive ‘attitude shift’ has been observed. The inclusion of French in the media, public domains, educational system, as well as a positive attitude towards the latter, aroused a resurgence of interest for the French language, encouraging some to adopt the language anew. These efforts on maintaining the language for the present have given rise to the emergence of new learners and thus new profiles of speakers, namely the so-called ‘new speakers’.
Based on data collected during field research in Louisiana between October and November 2019, this talk aims to explore the phenomenon of "new speakers" within the Franco-Louisiana speech community. It will attempt to answer the following question: who are these "new-speakers"? Thus, by analyzing and profiling this new type of speakers, this study will accordingly examine the linguistic attitudes and uses of this emerging group and the ways in which their identities can be linked to the issues explained above.


Day: 2020-11-19
Start time: 18:30
Duration: 00:30
Room: Ruqaiya Hasan
Track: Sociolinguistics
Language: en



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