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French on Shifting GroundCultural and Coastal Erosion in South Louisiana$
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Nathalie Dajko

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496830647

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496830647.001.0001

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The Connection of French to Bayou Identity

The Connection of French to Bayou Identity


(p.77) Chapter 5 The Connection of French to Bayou Identity
French on Shifting Ground

Nathalie Dajko

University Press of Mississippi

Chapter Five illustrates how a general Bayou identity that is universal across the region underlies other divisions, and shows that this relationship is revealed via discussions of language. The chapter outlines the results of two perceptual tests: the first was a verbal guise test, during which participants were asked to guess the origins and ethnicity of speakers they listened to via short audio clips. The second asked interviewees to simply state whether they believed there were differences in the French spoken between sub-regions or between ethnic groups; the results were analyzed using a method borrowed from cultural anthropology called cultural domain analysis. The results of both tests show that all people, whether Indian or Cajun, when asked to define themselves first make their affiliation with place clear.

Keywords:   Cultural domain analysis, Perceptual dialectology, Verbal guise, Language, place

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