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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Redefining the Acadian French lexicon : the role of English loanwords in two Acadian villages Newell, Kristan Marie


In existing lexicographical works on Acadian French English loanwords are underrepresented and often purposely excluded. Despite purporting to represent a comprehensive, modern depiction of Acadian French, lexical works, such as Yves Cormier’s Dictionnaire du français acadien, display demonstrable bias against English loanwords. The disregard for these loanwords results from a general fear that Acadian French is assimilating into the dominant language, English. Using existing theory on language contact as a basis for comparison, I examine the speech and sociolinguistic situation of two Acadian villages, Wedgeport and Pubnico West. This corner of the Acadian diaspora has had some of the most prolonged contact with English and a great number of Acadianisms, as noted by Cormier. Because Acadian writers tend to edit out any traces of English borrowing, transcribed oral interviews were used as source data. Materials were collected from interviews conducted by native speakers from within the community to assure the most reliable representation of the Acadian French variety. There follows a discussion and categorization of the English borrowings found in these materials, taking a qualitative rather than quantitative approach. A proposal is made for future study and potential next steps of a dictionary project using these lexical items as a base for categorization and discussion.

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