Re: language in Canada

Marc W.D. Tyrrell (mwtyrrel@CCS.CARLETON.CA)
Mon, 22 May 1995 09:26:38 GMT

In article <> Thomas Bird <tabird@UNITY.NCSU.EDU> writes:
>From: Thomas Bird <tabird@UNITY.NCSU.EDU>
>Subject: info request - language in Canada
>Date: Fri, 2 Jun 1995 21:14:53 GMT

> [...lacuna...]
>Our research project (due June 23) for the course is to find out about the
>effects of social, cultural, political, geographical, and other factors on
>language change (and vice versa) in a particular country.

Pwhew! Big project <grin>.

> I know it is a rather broad area of study, but I chose Canada because it
>presents many interesting possibilities -- the Quebecois independence
>movement and the reaction of other Canadians to it; the increasing movement
>for more cultural as well as political autonomy among native peoples, and
>their struggle to preserve their languages; the effect of bilingualism on the
>national character, etc.

You could also add in that there are (at least) three distinct dialects of
French (Quebecois, Acadian, Joual[sp?]), and that English has many dialects
here as well.

OK, here goes <grin>. First of all, if you are going to examine Canada, you
should look at it in terms of regions rather than a national examination. This
is because each region has a different history, dialect, and environment. I
would strongly suggest that you might just want to examine a single region.
Possibly the easiest one for you to look at would be the Province of New
Brunswick. It has both a French component (Acadian; ~30%), an English
component, and a native population. Also, the province is heavily wired, so
you can probably find out information quickly.

The French dialect spoken in New Brunswick is also quite interesting, mainly
because of its historical development. The Acadians were ex-French colonists
who were exiled by the British to Louisiana in the 18th century. About 20
years later, a small number of families made their way back to Acadia (New
Brunswick), and there they remain. Their history is very different from that
of the Quebecois and other French speakers in Canada, so you could really get
a strong historical development argument.