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The Creole Language and its Relationship to Regional French in Louisiana

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Oliver Mayeux.

In Louisiana, the coexistence of a French-based creole and a regional variety of French presents interesting opportunities for investigating the origin and development of the former, in particular because there is reason to believe that the Louisiana Regional French of today bears resemblance to the kind(s) of French spoken in colonial Louisiana and that likely served as the terminus a quo of Louisiana Creole. After presenting a brief overview of the linguistic situation in francophone Louisiana, I will show how a comparison of certain features of the two French-related varieties spoken there can provide insight into the historical relationship between the two. Time permitting, I will also discuss some of the challenges that the proximity of Louisiana Creole and Louisiana Regional French—both in terms of geographic space and linguistic features—presents for efforts to document, to preserve, and, in particular, to give written form to the two varieties.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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