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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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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Language Shift and the Continued Importance of French to Bayou Identity

Language Shift and the Continued Importance of French to Bayou Identity

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 7 Language Shift and the Continued Importance of French to Bayou Identity
Source:
French on Shifting Ground
Author(s):

Nathalie Dajko

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496830647.003.0007

This chapter considers the role that French plays for younger generations, people who do not speak the language. Again using perception exercises, this time a map-drawing activity for which participants were asked to discuss variation in English but very often instead invoked or directly described perceived variation in French, the chapter shows above all the strength of the connection of French with Bayou identity: French has become enregistered, intimately tied to the place. The process of language shift leading to language death is likely the catalyst of the process of enregisterment. While English has become the language of everyday life, French retains an important symbolic role: it is the authentic language of the community. The chapter presents evidence supporting the assertion that it is because place has been mapped onto the language that this is so.

Keywords:   Enregisterment, Language shift, Perceptual dialectology, Map-drawing, Symbolic role of French

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