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Is Quebec English Distinct?

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Presentation on theme: "Is Quebec English Distinct?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Quebec English Distinct?
English Usage in Contemporary Quebec Pamela Grant Université de Sherbrooke March 2010

2 Is Quebec English Distinct? Outline
1. What is Quebec English? Who is an Anglophone? 2. What is the context in which Quebec English has developed? Historical Context Canadian Context 3. What studies have been done on Quebec English ? Overview of the Literature on Quebec English Methodology and premises for this presentation 4. How is contemporary Quebec English distinct? Types of Distinct Usages in Quebec English 5. Borrowings as sites of contact and reflections of the local Political Institutional Social and Cultural 6. What are the rhetorical, ideological, and creative dynamics of English usage in Quebec? 7. To what extent are these distinctive usages considered accepted usage?

3 Who is a Quebec Anglophone? Criteria used
Anglophones in Quebec – 2006 Census Mother Tongue ,555 Home language ,430 First official language ,445 Total population of Quebec 7,435,905

4 Quebec Anglophone Population by Mother Tongue
% % % % Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada

5 Bilingualism Amongst Quebec Anglophones (Mother Tongue)
% % % % Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada

6 Contrasting Attitudes Toward Borrowing
Howard Richler: A Bawdy Language: How a Second-Rate Language Slept Its Way to the Top. Chantal Bouchard: La langue et le nombril: Histoire d’une obsession québécoise.

7 A Sampling of Non-Academic Publications
New Official Saint-Leonard Dictionary at Heather Keith-Ryan and Sharon McCully; Quebec: Bonjour, eh? A Primer for English-Speakers. Bedford: Shelter and Picard, 1996. Josh Freed and Jon Kalina, eds. The Anglo Guide to Survival in Québec. Montreal: Eden Press, 1983. Countless newspaper articles, columns, editorials, letters to the editor….

8 Research: Overview of the Literature 1
Fee, Margery Frenglish in Quebec English newspapers. Journal of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association Fee, Margery Using commercial CD-ROMs for dialect research: The influence of Quebec French on Quebec English in newspapers. Paper presented at 1995 Methods in Dialectology. McArthur, Tom The English language as used in Quebec: A survey. Occasional Papers No. 3, Strathy Language Unit, Kingston: Queen's University. McArthur, Tom Quebec English. The Oxford companion to the English language, ed. by Tom McArthur. Oxford University Press. Manning, Alan, and Robert Eatock The influence of French on English in Quebec. The Ninth LACUS Forum. Columbia, S.C.: Hornbeam Press, Palmer, Joe. D. and Brigitte Harris Prestige differential and language change. Bulletin of the CAAL 12(1) Plaice, Mary Is that really English? Actes du Colloque sur la traduction et la qualité de langue, documentation du conseil de la langue française Roberts, Roda Frenglish, or the Influence of French on English. Les Actes du 14e colloque de l'ACLA,

9 Research: Overview of the Literature 2
Jack Chambers, University of Toronto: Dialectology project Jack Chambers and Troy Heisler Dialect topology of Quebec City English. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 44(1): Charles Boberg The dialect topology of Montreal. English World-Wide 25:2: Charles Boberg, McGill University

10 Research: Overview of the Literature 3
Shana Poplack, James A. Walker, and Rebecca Malcolmson. “An English ‘like no other’?: Language Contact and Change in Quebec.” Canadian Journal of Linguistics/ Revue canadienne de linguistique 51(2/3): , 2006.

11 Types of Distinct Usages in Quebec English
A. direct borrowings B. high frequency usage of rarely used words C. semantic extensions (faux amis) D. loan-translations (calques) E. orthographic and typographical variation F. province-specific English expressions.

12 A. Direct Borrowings: Examples
dépanneur, caisse populaire, metro, autoroute, allophone, brasserie, caisse, chansonnier, dégustation, fonds, garderie, maître, polyvalent, poutine, publisac, régie, tempo, terrasse, vélo, 5 à 7 Maitre – reference from Circuit

13 Direct Borrowings: Examples of Acronyms and Initialisms

14 A: Integration of Borrowings into English: Examples
the dep Rad-Can anglos, francos and allos the Habs the Van Doos “Caisse pops to share manager” (headline from Stanstead Journal)

15 B. High-Frequency Usage of Rarely Used Words
anglophone, francophone valorize; specificity; collectivity, population; vernissage, fête, vedette, primordial; functionary; ameliorate

16 C: Semantic Extensions (faux amis)
Examples of faux amis not generally accepted as native-speaker usage: Actually (for currently) Command (for order) Conference (for lecture) Delay (for period of time) Manifestation (for demonstration) Militant (for supporter) Professor (for teacher) Security (for safety) Syndicate (for union)

17 C: Semantic Extensions in Transition
Examples of faux-amis in transition, gaining acceptance in Quebec animator co-ordinates portable

18 D: Loan-Translations (calques)
estates general square head welcome tax single window

19 Orthographic and Typographical Variation
anglophone or Anglophone Québec or Quebec; Montréal or Montreal 14 h or 2 p.m.

20 E: Province-Specific English Expressions
moving day construction holiday 2½ apartment cottage confessional system ped day ROC and ROQ

21 Sites of Contact « L’emprunt, en situant quels objets, quelles valeurs sont adoptées ou non, deviendrait un indicateur des zones d’interculturalité et des zones de résistance. » (Dalila Morsly, 1995:45)

22 Sites of Contact Political Institutional Social and Cultural

23 Sites of Contact: Political
The set of words that has been integrated most thoroughly into Quebec English and even beyond into Canadian and world English is the set of words that deals with Quebec politics, especially linguistic politics. Because much of the debate over these issues has been carried out in the national media and by some of the most important public figures in the country, the words used are quickly disseminated and integrated into the domain of Canadian political discourse. These borrowings are signs of cultural redefinition and the linguistic reconstruction of reality, just as are the new words associated with feminism and anti-racism. These words have a perceptible effect on the relationships in related words in the existing vocabulary because they are sites of struggle for power and are deployed in different ways by different people depending on their sociopolitical context and roles. (Margery Fee, 1991:17)

24 Sites of Contact: Institutional
Proper names of businesses, government agencies, departments, etc. Education: cycles; secondary five; cegep, DEC, polyvalent Law: civil law; Maître hôtel de ville; hôtel-dieu; palais de justice

25 Sites of Contact: Social and Cultural
Vernissage 5 à 7 salon du livre caisse populaire dépanneur garderie gîte guichet poutine, steamie all-dressed reveillon chum and blonde flyé, kétaine, branché téléroman

Complicity Exotism Distancing Creativity

27 Complicity All we are saying is give piste a chance. (headline from Stanstead Journal about a bike trail) It’s a caisse of misfortune. (Gazette headline cited in McArthur 1989) (from the Stanstead Journal, headline of an article advocating the creation of a bicycle trail, 10/6/98)

28 Distancing and Negative Metalinguistic Commentary
… the students won’t be in an entirely French environment and will therefore not be ‘francized’… …so-called de souche francophones

29 Creativity “In the later twentieth century and early twenty-first, literary authors are performing the act of weirding English on a political level; they are daring to transcribe their communities and thus build identities”(4) . Source: Evelyn Nien-ming Ch’ien, Weird English. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004.

30 Acceptability Is this phenomenon that we are calling Quebec English evidence of sophisticated wordplay on the part of bilingual, bi-dialectal individuals, or the result of the inability of less-than-fluent English speakers to control and differentiate between two separate language codes?

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