Language Shift in the Coastal Marshes of Louisiana

Language Shift in the Coastal Marshes of Louisiana

by Kevin J. Rottet
     
 

Throughout the twentieth century numerous ethnic cultures and languages have been threatened by increasing globalization. French Louisiana, a vibrant and diverse region that has been culturally and linguistically distinct from its neighbors for over two centuries, has not been spared this trend. Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, which comprise the coastal marsh

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Overview

Throughout the twentieth century numerous ethnic cultures and languages have been threatened by increasing globalization. French Louisiana, a vibrant and diverse region that has been culturally and linguistically distinct from its neighbors for over two centuries, has not been spared this trend. Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, which comprise the coastal marsh area, have been described as strongholds of tradition, in which large numbers of people have continued to speak Cajun French. Yet a closer examination reveals that widespread bilingualism is drawing to a close, with very few young people able to speak French at all. This book examines the intergenerational decline of French in the coastal marsh area, including changes taking place in the structure of the language in what appears to be its terminal phase.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
French-speaking Cajun Louisiana has been culturally and linguistically distinct from its neighbors for over two centuries. Now, however, widespread bilingualism in Louisiana's coastal marsh areas is dying out, with few young people able to speak French at all. Rottet (French, U. of Wisconsin-Whitewater) looks at the changes taking place in the structure of Cajun French in what appears to be its terminal stages. He focuses on Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes on the Gulf of Mexico, an area that has been noted as a bastion of Cajun tradition. The study has no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820449807
Publisher:
Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
Publication date:
07/05/2001
Series:
Studies in Ethnolinguistics Series, #8
Pages:
302
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

The Author: Kevin J. Rottet is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He earned his doctorate in French linguistics and general linguistics at Indiana University in 1995. Since then, Dr. Rottet has authored and co-authored a number of articles on French in North America and Louisiana, and he is co-author of Dictionary of Louisiana Creole.

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