Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-65d66dc8c9-bwxmq Total loading time: 0.188 Render date: 2021-09-28T21:17:37.940Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The English Vernacular of the Creoles of Louisiana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2004

Sylvie Dubois
Affiliation:
Louisiana State University
Barbara M. Horvath
Affiliation:
University of Sydney

Abstract

The English spoken by Creole African Americans in southern Louisiana reveals language change in the shift from French to English and the persistence of local forms of English. The overview of the socioeconomic history of Louisiana details the number of ethnic groups and the fluctuating social and linguistic relations among them over time. The study sample consists of 42 African Americans with French ancestry living in Opelousas in St. Landry Parish and Parks in St. Martin Parish. The high rate of the absence of glides in the vowels (ai, au, oi, i, u, e, o) is maintained across all generations of the 24 male speakers described. A possible source of glide absence, such as foreign language influence, is explored but found unconvincing. A more plausible explanation is that glide absence was part of the English brought to the area by native speakers in the early 19th century.We acknowledge the generous support of the National Science Foundation (BSR-0091823) as well as the coding work done by two research assistants Vicky Polston and David Herrell. We also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of the text and their valuable comments.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Arthe, Anthony. (2000). Lost boundaries: Racial passing and poverty in segregated New Orleans. In Sybil Kein (ed.), Creole: The history and legacy of Louisiana's free people of color. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 295316.
Bailey, Charles-James N. (1982). Irish English and Caribbean Black English: Another rejoinder. American Speech 57:237239.Google Scholar
Bailey, Guy. (2001). The relationship between African American Vernacular English and White Vernaculars in the American South: A sociocultural history and some phonological evidence. In Sonja L. Lanehart (ed.), Sociocultural and historical contexts of African American English. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 5392.
Bailey, Guy, & Bassett, Marvin. (1986). Invariant BE in the Lower South. In Michael Montgomery & Guy Bailey (eds.), Language variety in the South. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 158179.
Berlin, Ira. (1998). Many thousands gone: The first two centuries of slavery in North America. Cambridge, MA: Belknap.
Brasseaux, Carl. (1992). Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803–1877. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Brasseaux, Carl. (1996). Creoles of color in Louisiana's Bayou Country. In James Dormon (ed.), Creoles of color of the Gulf South. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 6786.
Brasseaux, Carl, Fontenot, Keith, & Oubre, Claude. (1994). Creoles of color in the Bayou Country. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press.
Chaudenson, Robert. (1992). Des iles, des hommes, des langues: Essais sur la creolisation linguistique et culturelle. Paris: L'Harmattan.
Chenault, William W., & Reinders, Robert C. (1996). The northern-born community of New Orleans in the 1850s. In Carl Brasseaux (ed.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history (vol. 10). Collection. Lafayette: The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. 437450.
Cheramie, Deany. (1999). Cajun Vernacular English and the influence of vernacular on student writing in South Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation. University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Clarke, Sandra. (1997). The Role of Irish English in the formation of New World Englishes: The case from Newfoundland. In Jeffrey Kallen (ed.), Focus on Ireland. Varieties of English around the world. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: Benjamins. 207225.
Collins, Alma. (1997). Diphthongization of (o) in Claddagh Hiberno-English. In Jeffrey Kallen (ed.), Focus on Ireland. Varieties of English around the world. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: Benjamins. 153170.
Daniels, Roger. (1990). Coming to America: A history of immigration and ethnicity in American life. New York: Harper Perrinial.
Deerr, Noël. (1949). The history of sugar. London: Chapman and Hall.
Dobson, E.J. (1968 [1957]). English pronunciation 1500–1700 vol. 2. Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dominguez, Virginia. (1986). White by definition: Social classification in Creole Louisiana. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Dormon, James. (1996). Ethnicity and identity: Creoles of color in twentieth century South Louisiana. In James Dormon (ed.), Creoles of color of the Gulf South. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 166179.
Dorrill, George. (1986). A comparison of stressed vowels of Black and White speakers in the South. In Michael B. Montgomery & Guy Bailey (eds.), Language variety in the South: Perspectives in Black and White. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 149157.
Dubois, Sylvie. (2003). Letter-writing in French Louisiana: Interpreting variable spelling conventions, 1685–1840. Written Language & Literacy 6(1):3170.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (1998a). Let's tink about dat: Interdental fricatives in Cajun English. Language Variation and Change 10:245261.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (1998b). From accent to marker in Cajun English: A study of dialect formation in progress. English World-wide 19(2):161188.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (1999). When the music changes, you change too: Gender and language change in Cajun English. Language Variation and Change 11:287313.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (2002). Sounding Cajun: The rhetorical use of dialect in speech and writing. American Speech 77(3):264287.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (2003a). Verbal morphology in Cajun Vernacular English: A comparison with other varieties of Southern English. Journal of English Linguistics 31:3459.Google Scholar
Dubois, Sylvie, & Horvath, Barbara. (2003b). Creoles and Cajuns: A portrait in black and white of Louisiana. American Speech. 192207.
Dubois, Sylvie, & Melançon, Megan. (1998). Creole French maintenance in Louisiana. In Denise Deshaies, Diane Vincent, Claude Paradis, & Marty Laforest (eds.), Papers in sociolinguistics: Proceedings of NWAV-26. Montreal: Nota Bene. 3139.
Dubois, Sylvie, & Melançon, Megan. (2000). Creole is, Creole ain't: Diachronic and synchronic attitudes toward Creole identity in South Louisiana. Language in Society 29(2):237258.Google Scholar
Eckert, Penelope. (2000). Linguistic variation as social practice. Oxford: Blackwell.
Fontenot, Leigh Ann. (2003). Cajun English: A study of monothongization. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
Fairclough, Adam. (1995). Race and democracy. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Gray, Lewis. (1933). History of agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institute.
Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo. (1992). Africans in colonial Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
Hamel, Reginald. (1984). La Louisiana creole, litteraire, politique et sociale. Ottawa: Lemeac.
Harris, John. (1991). Ireland. In Jenny Cheshire (ed.) English around the world: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 3750.
Hillard, Sam Bowers. (1884). Atlas of antebellum Southern agriculture. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
Hirsch, Arnold. (1992). Simply a matter of Black and White: The transformation of race and politics in twentieth-century New Orleans. In Arnold R. Hirsch & Joseph Logsdon (eds.), Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 262319.
Ingersoll, Thomas. (1999). Mammon and Manon in early New Orleans: The first slave society in the Deep South, 1718–1819. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.
Johnstone, Barbara, Bhasin, Neeta, & Wittkofski, Denise. (2002). “Dahntahn” Pittsburgh: Monophthongal /aw/ and representations of localness in Southwestern Pennsylvania. American Speech 77(2):148166.Google Scholar
Labbé, Dolores E. (1996). Anglo-Americans in antebellum Attakapas and Opelousas. In Carl Brasseaux (ed.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history (vol. 10). Collection. Lafayette: The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. 463469.
LaChance, Paul. (1996). The 1809 Immigration of Saint-Domingue refugees to New Orleans. In Carl Brasseaux & Glenn Conrad (eds.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies. 258286.
Lambert, Sage. (1995). The r-ful truth of the matter: An analysis of the constriction of /r/ in Mississippi and Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation. University of Memphis.
Maguire, Robert. (1989). Hustling to survive: Social and economic change in a South Louisiana Creole community. Projet Louisiane Collection. Quebec City: Department of Geography.
Melançon, Megan. (2000). The sociolinguistic situation of Creoles in South Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation. Louisiana State University.
Mills, Gary. (1977). The forgotten people: Cane River's Creoles of color. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
Milroy, Lesley. (1980). Language and social networks. Oxford: Blackwell.
Montgomery, Michael. (1997). A tale of two Georges: The language of Irish Indian traders in colonial North America. In Jeffrey Kallen (ed.), Focus on Ireland. Varieties of English around the world. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: Benjamins. 227254.
Niehaus, Earl F. (1996a). The old Irish, 1803–1830. In Carl Brasseaux (ed.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history (vol. 10). Collection. Lafayette: The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. 357377.
Niehaus, Earl F. (1996b). The new Irish 1830–1862. In Carl Brasseaux (ed.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history (vol. 10). Collection. Lafayette: The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. 378389.
O'Baoill, Donall. (1997). The emerging Irish phonological substratum in Irish English. In Jeffrey Kallen (ed.), Focus on Ireland. Varieties of English around the world. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: Benjamins. 7587.
Poplack, Shana, & Tagliamonte, Sali. (2001). African American English in the diaspora. Oxford: Blackwell.
Pringle, Ian, & Padolsky, Enoch. (1981). The Irish Heritage of the Ottawa Valley. English Studies in Canada 8(3):338351.Google Scholar
Rubrecht, August. (1971). Regional phonological variants in Louisiana speech. Doctoral dissertation. Florida: University of Florida.
Schilling-Estes, Natalie. (2000). Investigating intra-ethnic differentiation: /ay/ in Lumbee Native American English. Language Variation and Change 12(2):141174.Google Scholar
Schweninger, Loren. (1990). Black property owners in the South, 1790–1915. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Scott, Ann Marie (ed.). (1992). Cajun Vernacular English: Informal English in French Louisiana. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Smith, Harley. (1936). A recording of English sounds at three age levels in Ville Platte, Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University.
Spletstoser, Frederick. (1978). Backdoor to the land of plenty: New Orleans as an immigrant port, 1820–1860. Doctoral dissertation. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University.
Thomas, Erik R. (1997). A rural/metropolitan split in the speech of Texas Anglos. Language Variation and Change 9:309332.Google Scholar
Thomas, Erik R. (2001). An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English. Publication of the American Dialect Society. Durham: Duke University Press.
Thomas, Erik, & Bailey, Guy. (1998). Paralleles between vowels subsystems of African American Vernacular English and Caribbean Anglophone Creoles. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 13(2):267296.Google Scholar
Tregler, Joseph G. (1992). Creoles and Americans. In Arnold R. Hirsch & Joseph Logsdon (eds.), Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 131185.
Trout, Robert. (1996). The origin of the pioneer population of North Central Louisiana Hill Country. In Carl Brasseaux (ed.), A refuge for all ages: Immigration in Louisiana history (vol. 10). Collection. Lafayette: The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. 470477.
U.S. Bureau of Census. (2000). Census of the population: General, social and economic characteristics—Louisiana. Washington, DC: Department of Commerce.
Walton, Shana. (1994). Flat speech and Cajun ethnic identity in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation. New Orleans: Tulane University.
Wells, J.C. (1982). Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wolfram, Walt, & Thomas, Erik R.. (2002). The development of African American English. Oxford: Blackwell.
Woods, Frances Jerome, Sr.. (1972). Marginality and identity: A Colored Creole family through ten generations. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
4
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The English Vernacular of the Creoles of Louisiana
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The English Vernacular of the Creoles of Louisiana
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The English Vernacular of the Creoles of Louisiana
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *