Variation and Change in Newfoundland French: A Sociolinguistic Study of Clitic Pronouns
The native French population of Newfoundland is with few exceptions restricted to four communities: L’Anse-à-Canards, Cap Saint-Georges, La Grand’Terre, and Stephenville, all in the Port-au-Port Peninsula/ Bay St. George area of the west coast. The French spoken there is a little-studied variety of Acadian. In this thesis, co-variation of a number of phonological and grammatical variables with both linguistic environment and a number of social factors is quantified. While the main orientation of the study is sociolinguistic, Labovian techniques developed for a single speech community have been implemented in the four Francophone communities of the area. The study combines elements of the dialect geographer’s approach with the methodology current for sociolinguistics. Both phonological and grammatical variations were found to be conditioned by linguistic and social factors. The intracommunity variable locality was found to be somewhat important. Younger speakers in the community of La Grand’Terre stood out as less conservative than their counterparts in other communities. Age emerged as the most important non-linguistic variable in the study. Younger speakers tend to cliticize object pronouns less often than do older speakers, which may mark a linguistic change in progress.
01 Jan 1983
Strategic Research Theme
Community and Regional Development
Creative Arts, Culture and Heritage