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Cajun English

Meredith Lowery Austin McNeal Diane Sirkoski David Tang Beryl Zhao

Diane Sirkoski

on 7 June 2011

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Transcript of Cajun English

Cajun History Cajun English Characteristics of Cajun English Questions for Discussion... Common Misconceptions Who are the Cajuns? Descendents of French Settlers in Acadia (Nova Scotia)
1713: Treaty of Utrecht - permanent British territory
1775: those who refused to declare allegiance to British government were deported—le grand derangement Feared by their English-speaking, Protestant neighbors
Sought out isolated communities to practice religion, language
Maintained mid-1700s French Varieties within
Cajun Engish Generational Cajun community was first bilingual: the older generations had to shift from French to English
-Cajun linguistic markers came from accented English of older generations and interference from French
-Older generations use more French phrases and have more French influence
These variants would disappear over next generations as speakers transition to English
Young people who speak Cajun use Cajun variants not because of French influence but as markers of identity Cajan Markers Across Generations Sociolinguistic markers are found across generations, social, and gender groups in different frequencies. Linear pattern
Variables are used more frequently by the older generations and less in the younger
Examples: sounds attributable to French influence
Unaspirated variant of p, t, k
“h” deletion in stressed position Variables are used more frequently by the older generations and less in the younger
Examples: sounds attributable to French influence
-Unaspirated variant of p, t, k
-“h” deletion in stressed position Linear Pattern Who were the Cajuns?? The Acadians The Cajuns Affected by various ethnic groups: Native American tribes, German and Irish immigrants, African and Caribbean Slaves, and Spanish-speaking Islenos
Fewer and fewer people speaking French due to:
-1921 Louisiana Constitution (established English as state language)
-Mass Media: even into most isolated areas of bayou V-shaped pattern Variables are used by the older generation, rejected by the middle generation while embraced by the younger generation
-Heavy nasalization
-Monophthongization of “ay”
-Substitution of dental stops for interdental fricatives
Cultural renaissance, Cajun pride Varieties Within Cajun English: Gender Cajun markers are found in differing frequencies among women and men of different age groups In the older generation, no significant differences between genders
In the middle and younger generations, men use variants more frequently
-Unaspirated stops: favored majorly by men
-Nasalization: in younger generation, males use 98% of nasalization
-Monophthongs variant for “ay”: no gender difference in old or middle, young men use, young women don’t
-Interdental fricatives: depends on openness of social network Cajan is NOT Creole! Although the two groups reside within the same area (Louisiana), they are not the same.
“Creole” (not our linguistic definition, but the culture group), descendants of early Spanish and French settlers of the New World.
Cajuns are descendants of the French-speaking Acadians from Acadia (Eastern Canada) who fled to Louisiana after the Seven Years War. Not to be mistaken as Southern American English (SAE), either! Southern American English Cajun English (Louisiana) 1.) What is a linear pattern and what
is a v-shaped pattern when examining
change of language over time?  The dialect of English that is spoken by Cajuns in both Southern Louisiana and parts of eastern Texas.
 Significantly influenced by Cajun French
 Considered to be an “endangered” language and is mostly spoken by older generations. Phonological Features Modification of the consonant /s/
/s/ = /z/, “gas” = “gaz”

Simplification of /th/
/θ/ = /t/, “bath” = “bat”

/r/ deletion
/r/ is dropped in medial and final position
“tired” = “tied” Simplification of some final consonant clusters
/sk/ = /ks/, “asked” =“axed”
/nt/ = /n/, “went” = “wen”

Deletion of modification of some final consonants
/l/, “simple” = “simpuh”
/k/, “like” = “lie”

Devoicing of some initial/final consonants and consonant clusters
/th/ = /d/, /ð/ = /d/, “then” = “den”
/v/ = /f/, “leave” = “leaf” Vowel modifications
/ĕ/ = /ă/, “yellow” = “yallow”
/ĭ/ = /ă/, “friend” = “fran”

Selected vowels are pronounced as nasals
“uncle” = “oncle”, “don’t” = “don”

Stressed-syllable shift
>>>Stress is shifted to the second syllable when it is usually on the first<<<<
straw’ berry = straw ber’ry Grammatical Features Plural overgeneralization
“gray hair” = “gray hairs
“underwear” = “underwears”

Deletion of plural
“blue jeans” = “blue jean”
“strawberries” = “strawberry” Use of “went” to indicate completed action
“I took Sam to the doctor” = “I went take Sam to the doctor

Change in verb conjugation
“had gone” = “had went”

Change in tense
“He gave me some soup for lunch” = “He give me some soup for lunch”

Deletion of linking verbs
“We are going to Nick’s” = “We goin to Nicks”

Omissions of modals and auxiliaries in questions
“What did I do?” = “What I do?”

Deletion of “-ed”
“”He is married” = “He is marry”

Use of “bring” in the place of “take”
“I am going to take Joe to the doctor” = “I’m goin bring Joe to the doctor.” Verbs Nouns “He has” = “He have”, “They weren’t” = “They wasn’t”

“I’m going to get it” = “I’m goin get it”

“You sure are dirty”, (reply) “And so are you” = “You sure are dirty”, (reply) “An you!” Ellipsis Deletion of infinitive instruction Noun-Verb Agreement Intensifying pronoun form and order change
“I’m going” = “I’m goin, me”

Substitution of “them” for “those”
“See those chairs” = “See them chairs”

Use of pronominal apposition
“Troy came home” = “Troy he come home” Pronouns Substitution of “you” for “your”
“He came into your house” = “He come into you house”

Deletion of markers
“They wash people’s houses” = “They wash people houses”

Addition of “s” to selected adverbs
“anyway” = “anyways”, “somewhere” = “somewheres”

Omission of “-ly”
“He ran slowly” = “He ran slow” Possessives Adverbs and adjectives Syntactical Features Sentence Patterns
Inversion of question form
“Can I sharpen my pencil?” = “I can sharpen my pencil?”

Use of “yes” and “no” for emphasis
“I can’t go to the store” = “I can’t go to the store, no”
“That’s mine” = “That’s mine, yes”

Placement of “there”
“We spent one day there” = “We spent there one day” Lexical Features Common expressions
“Save the dishes” = “Put the dishes away”
“Take off the light” = “Turn off the light”

Borrowed French terms
“Tante” and “Noncle” = “Aunt” and “Uncle”
“Cher” = “Dear” Sources... http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED352840.pdf. Cox, Juanita. “A Study of the Linguistic Features of Cajun English.” EDRS, 1992. Accessed 1 June 2011. http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/cajun/ Descendents of French Settlers in Acadia (Nova Scotia)
1713: Treaty of Utrecht=> permanent British territory
1775: those who refused to declare allegiance to British gov’t were deported—The Great Upheaval 2. What are two common misconceptions of Cajun English? (Answer varies). 3. Who are the Cajuns and where is Cajun English primarily spoken?
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