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11 - The Diverging Paths of Consequence Markers in Canadian French

from Part III - Language Contact Settings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

Elizabeth Peterson
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki
Turo Hiltunen
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki
Joseph Kern
Affiliation:
University of Virginia’s College at Wise
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Summary

This study provides a real–time analysis of variation in the use of consequence markers (ça) fait (que), donc, alors and English borrowing so in two genetically related varieties of Canadian French. It is based on corpora collected in the 1970s and 2010s in Montreal, Quebec, a majority francophone environment, and Welland, Ontario, a minority francophone environment. Comparison of the two corpora reveals that Montreal and Welland French had already started to diverge in the 1970s in relation to variant inventory, variant frequency, and constraints on their use and that intercommunity divergence has intensified over time. Among the manifestations of divergence, one can mention the emergence of connector so in Welland in the 1970s and its subsequent growth, at the expense of vernacular variant (ça) fait (que). This stands in contrast with a marked increase of (ça) fait (que) and its diffusion to all social groups in Montreal over time. The evolution of standard variant alors reveals another facet of intercommunity divergence. In Montreal, it has undergone a sharp decline and is becoming obsolescent in the speech of the younger generations; however, in Welland, it evidences stability. Our study discusses some of the (extra)linguistic factors accounting for such patterns of divergence.

Type
Chapter
Information
Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change
Theory, Innovations, Contact
, pp. 230 - 250
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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