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Whos not palatalising? Trying to understand the status of palatalised variants in French Cyril Trimaille Labo Lidilem Université

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Presentation on theme: "Whos not palatalising? Trying to understand the status of palatalised variants in French Cyril Trimaille Labo Lidilem Université"— Presentation transcript:


2 Whos not palatalising? Trying to understand the status of palatalised variants in French Cyril Trimaille Labo Lidilem Université Stendhal Grenoble III France 8 th HDLS Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 6-8 Nov. 08

3 2 Introduction What is palatalisation of /t/ and /d/ befor front vowels /i/ and /y/? –A continuum of realizations between A slight mouillure, yod insertion after the stop A potentially strong affrication, i.e. frication after occlusion (like in English) –A phonetic non standard variant (NSV from now on) in spoken French –3 recordings to make your own idea

4 3 Introduction (2) Aims of the presentation –Give a brief overview of previous studies –Bring new empirical elements to document the presence of the variant in speech of high social level speakers : ministers –Try to determine what kind of sociolinguistic variable palatalisation is… –… to answer the following issue: is palatalisation an ongoing linguistic change?

5 4 1. Methodology and data Choice of reading style for the previous studies and public/ecological interviews for politicians Coding A 5 degrees coding scale 0 = occlusive 0,5/1 = palatalised 1,5/2 = affricated

6 5 1. Methodology and data (2) Indices Frequency Index of perceptive salience (intensity of PAL) second speaker: Tu = 1 Partir = 1 Dimanche = 0 Frequency = 2/3= 66% Mean or IPS= 0,66 illustration Third speaker: Tu = 2 Partir = 2 Dimanche = 2 Frequency = 3/3= 100% Mean or (raw)IPS = 2

7 6 2. Previous empirical findings for the NSV (1): An old and peripheral feature Not an innovative feature in spoken French local dialects feature in metropolitan and overseas regions of France Also in other French varieties (Quebec, North Africa…) Consistently as a working class feature Linguistics constraints (cf. Jamin, 2005:133) –Voicing tends to prevent: T > D ; –Right Vowel : /y/>/i/ ; –Stress tend to favor :+ > -

8 7 Previous empirical findings for the NSV (2) Recently PAL was documented as a feature linked with adolescent street culture (Jamin, 2005) Geographical distribution – Ile de France, ( Jamin, 2005; Candea, forth.) – Grenoble, (downtown, suburbs, neighborhoods, Trimaille, 2003) – Marseille (North areas, but also center : Binisti & Gasquet-Cyrus, 2001) – suburbs of others cities…

9 8 Where palatalisation was recently found PARIS suburbs GRENOBLE MARSEILLE

10 9 Previous empirical findings for the NSV (3) (PAL) was found particularly within (Jamin 2005) : young, men, from immigration background, particularly North African, (high) involvement in street culture, dense & local social network

11 10 Previous empirical findings for the NSV (2) At the time, palatalisation was understood as (Jamin & Trimaille, 2008 [2005]) : –a working-class variant –with a supra-local dimension, –a case of sociolinguistic convergence in the divergence movement from the standard form we hypothesize the influence of : –Internal/systemic factors (assimilatory process) –External factors: language contacts with substrats (regional languages) and adstrats (immigrants languages) – Extralinguistic factors : social & geographical mobility ; identity work & strategies

12 11 diversified sample study (1) (Grenoble Valence 2007) Sample Sample : -13 speakers from Grenoble; Upper Middle Class (age mean 25); - 28 speakers from Valence and Ardèche ; all social origins (age mean 13,5) ; Empirical data Empirical data : self-presentation and sentence reading tasks recorded by close- relations of the informants Only readings style analyzed

13 12 All speakers produce the palatalised /t/ with a raw ISP 0,12 They also produce palatalised /d/ but less than /t/ diversified sample study (2) : Results Fig. 1: comparison for t and d in 3 samples Same pattern in the sample Grenoble 2003 (WC adolescent)

14 13 11 ans 13 ans moyennes0,370,57 anovap = 0,03 Table 1: two age sub-samples : diversified sample study (3) : Results Moving to town and adolescence socialization seem to favor the emergence of PAL

15 14 The ministers sample Two national radio stations : France Inter and RTL 13 ministers public interviews Podcast or encoded online Table 2: the 4 mentioned samples

16 15 Fig. 2 : frequency and ISP net in % for ministers

17 16 Minister study: Results (1) All ministers produce palatalised 8 of 13 with a frequency > 34% Youngest of the government…but also the oldest… Not an aged-graded variant for this sample All palatalizers but Fadela Amara hold diplomas from prestigious Grandes Ecoles… but it doesnt prevent (PAL) Huge social gap between Amara and Pécresse or Kosciusko-Morizet… No genre significant difference was found

18 17 4. Discussion (1) A qualitative zoom to begin: Fadela Amara personify the figure of speaker with an expanded centrality (Labov 2001); –shes a woman, –she has humble origin, –shes upwardly mobile –but also non conformist and proud of it Thus, she may : –represent a model for much, –be acting as a bridge between socially separate close-knit networks, –be a typical social agent by whom changes from below can rise and spread upwards

19 18 Palatalisation is an assimilatory process likely to concern all speakers, but high classes speakers are generally known for inhibiting phonetically motivated variants, which are changes from below (Kroch 1978) What kind of variable (PAL) is? –Marker : socially and stylistically stratified, in same direction according to style axiom ( Bell 1984): a kind ok subconscious awareness –Indicator: only socially (or geographically) stratified, but unconscious, no awareness of speakers –Stereotype:consistently and explicitly object of stigma –(Labov, 1972 for the typology, see also Trudgill 1986) 4. Discussion (2)

20 19 Fig. 3: comparison of raw ISP for speakers of 4 samples 4. Discussion (3): a marker ?

21 20 A marker ? –It does exist a social stratification, but –No stable stylistic variation was found –need to be verified A stereotype? –Unconscious dimension –Lack of stigmatization 4. Discussion (4)

22 21 Then an indicator? Sorry, it depends… Evidences of lack of general awareness to PAL But signs of evolution and association with an overtly stigmatized set of speakers (Amara) What about covert prestige of that form? Theoretical issue: a perceptive threshold between indicator and stereotype : Laks Discussion (5)

23 22 Conclusion PAL seems not to be a variant consciously identified and avoided yet (national channel journalists, FLEs method) But the level of awareness may be changing e.g. Amara Is it accurate to talk about spread?

24 23 Thank you !

25 24 References Armstrong, N., 2004, « Le nivellement dialectal en anglais et en français : le jeu de facteurs perceptuels », in Actes du colloque MIDL, Binisti, N., & Gasquet-Cyrus, M., 2001, Le français de Marseille : description sociolinguistique, rapport de recherche remis à la DGLF, non publié. Bourdieu, P., 1982, Ce que parler veut dire, Paris, Fayard. Devilla, L. & Trimaille, C., à par., « Variantes palatalisées/affriquées en français hexagonal : quel(s) statut(s) sociolinguistique(s) pour quel destin ? », in Actes du XXVè Congrès de la Société de Linguistique Romane, Innsbruck, septembre Fónagy, I., 1989, « Le français change de visage ? » Revue Romane, 24, p Jamin, M., 2005, Sociolinguistic Variation in the Paris Suburbs. Thèse de doctorat, University of Kent at Canterbury. Jamin, M. & Trimaille, C., 2008, « Quartiers pluri-ethniques et plurilingues en France: berceaux de formes supra-locales (péri-)urbaines? » in Abecassis M., Ayosso L., VialletonE. (Dirs), Le français parlé au XXIème siècle, Vol. I : Normes et variations géographiques et sociales, L'Harmattan, Paris, Jamin, M., Trimaille, C. & Gasquet-Cyrus M. (2006) « De la convergence dans la divergence : le cas des quartiers pluri-ethniques en France », Journal of French Language Studies, 16, Labov, W. (1976 [1972]) Sociolinguistique, Paris Minuit. Labov, W. (2001) Principles of linguistic change. Social factors, Oxford, Malden, Blackwell. Laks, B. (1983) : Langage et pratiques sociales, in Lusage de la parole, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales n° 46, p Trimaille, C. (2003) « Variations et marques dadaptation dans les pratiques langagières de pré-adolescents dans le cadre dactivités promues par un centre socioculturel et ailleurs », Cahiers du français contemporain, 8, Vernet, M. & Trimaille, C., 2007, « Contribution à lanalyse de la palatalisation en français parlé contemporain », Nottingham French Studies, Vol. 46, 2,

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