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Journal ArticleDOI

English in the Gaspé region of Quebec

01 Jan 2015-English World-wide (John Benjamins Publishing Company)-Vol. 36, Iss: 3, pp 277-314
TL;DR: This paper reported on the first-ever linguistic study of the variety of English spoken in the Gaspe region of eastern Quebec, which is 86 percent French-speaking, focusing on data from the 124 participants who still live in the region.
Abstract: This paper reports on the first-ever linguistic study of the variety of English spoken in the Gaspe region of eastern Quebec, which is 86 percent French-speaking. An on-line survey was used to gather data from 200 participants on 58 phonological, grammatical and lexical variables, drawn mostly, for comparative purposes, from earlier research on Canadian and Quebec English. The analysis, focusing on data from the 124 participants who still live in the Gaspe region, produces a complex linguistic portrait of the community. It displays a unique mixture of Canadian, Quebec, Maritime and rural features, reflecting its location near the boundary between Quebec and New Brunswick, with evidence of both convergence with and divergence from Quebec English as spoken in Montreal. It also shows more frequent use of several Gallicisms, or borrowings from French, suggesting that this effect of language contact is encouraged by its minority status.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors compared the effects of city and ethnicity with respect to Quebec English speakers' participation in two ongoing changes affecting /æ/ in Canadian English: retraction as part of the Canadian Shift and tensing in prenasal environments.
Abstract: This study compares the effects of city and ethnicity with respect to Quebec English speakers’ participation in two ongoing changes affecting /æ/ in Canadian English: retraction as part of the Canadian Shift and tensing in prenasal environments. Quebec English speakers might be expected to differ in their behavior with regard to these two phenomena as compared to other Canadian English speakers. Based on an analysis of Cartesian distances and a mixed-effects model using spontaneous speech, the authors find that Quebec English speakers are less advanced with respect to the Canadian Shift, especially speakers from Quebec City. For tensing, British-origin speakers from Montreal and Quebec City are found to pattern similarly, participating in the more widespread patterning, while Jewish and Italian speakers are moving in the opposite direction. The authors argue that this move away from characteristically Canadian patterns is an artefact of the interplay between the two phenomena under study, reflective of differential replication of the Canadian Shift in the two environments.

2 citations

Proceedings Article
11 May 2020
TL;DR: A 78.8-million-tweet, 1.3-billion-word corpus aimed at studying regional variation in Canadian English with a specific focus on the dialect regions of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver is presented.
Abstract: We present a 78.8-million-tweet, 1.3-billion-word corpus aimed at studying regional variation in Canadian English with a specific focus on the dialect regions of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Our data collection and filtering pipeline reflects complex design criteria, which aim to allow for both data-intensive modeling methods and user-level variationist sociolinguistic analysis. It specifically consists in identifying Twitter users from the three cities, crawling their entire timelines, filtering the collected data in terms of user location and tweet language, and automatically excluding near-duplicate content. The resulting corpus mirrors national and regional specificities of Canadian English, it provides sufficient aggregate and user-level data, and it maintains a reasonably balanced distribution of content across regions and users. The utility of this dataset is illustrated by two example applications: the detection of regional lexical and topical variation, and the identification of contact-induced semantic shifts using vector space models. In accordance with Twitter’s developer policy, the corpus will be publicly released in the form of tweet IDs.

2 citations


Cites background from "English in the Gaspé region of Queb..."

  • ...The preference for the term supper may likewise be related to the similarity of the corresponding Quebec French term souper (Boberg and Hotton, 2015)....

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 1963-WORD
TL;DR: The authors discuss dialect mixture, obsolescence and replacement, and show a very keen concern with the social mechanism of linguistic change, and include pejorativeracial terms in their discussion of dialect mixture.
Abstract: graphyand settlementhistory of Texas.His inclusionof pejorativeracial terms is a very valuable contribution. His discussion of dialect mixture, obsolescenceand replacement, shows a very keen concern with the social mechanism of linguistic change. The many students of American English who will use these materials must feel a very real senseof obligation towards the author for these advances,as well as for his successin ■tting this very large piece of the American puzzle into place.

1,394 citations

Book
01 Jan 2006
TL;DR: The Atlas of North American English re-defines the regional dialects of American English on the basis of sound changes active in the 1990s and draws new boundaries reflecting those changes.
Abstract: The Atlas of North American English provides the first overall view of the pronunciation and vowel systems of the dialects of the US and Canada The Atlas re-defines the regional dialects of American English on the basis of sound changes active in the 1990s and draws new boundaries reflecting those changes It is based on a telephone survey of 762 local speakers, representing all the urbanized areas of North America It has been developed by Bill Labov, one of the leading sociolinguists of the world, together with his colleagues Sharon Ash and Charles Boberg The Atlas consists of a printed volume accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM The print and multimedia content is alsoavailable online Combined Edition: Book and Multimedia CD-ROM The printed volume contains 23 chapters that re-define the geographic boundaries of North American dialects and trace the influence of gender, age, education, and city size on the progress of sound change; findings that show a dramatic and increasing divergence of English in North America; 139 four color maps that illustrate the regional distribution of phonological and phonetic variables across the North American continent; 120 four color vowel charts of individual speakers The interactive multimedia CD-ROM supplements the printed articles and maps by providing a data base with measurements of more than 100,000 vowels and mean values for 439 speakers; the Plotnik program for mapping each of the individual vowel systems; extended sound samples of all North American dialects; interactive applications to enhance classroom presentations Online only Version: Print and Multimedia Content The online only version offers simultaneous access to the print and multimedia content to all users in the university/library network; presents a wider selection of interactive data, maps, and audio samples that will be recurrently updated; provides students with concurrent access to research material for classroom assignments Key Features: a multimedia reference tool, overthrows previously heldhypothesesin North American dialectology, sound samples on CD-ROM easily accessible through clearly designedinteractive maps System Requirements for CD-ROM and Online only version: Windows PC: Pentium PC, Windows 9x, NT, or XP, at least 16MB RAM, CD-ROM Drive, 16 Bit Soundcard, SVGA (600 x 800 resolution) Apple MAC: OS 6 or higher, 16 Bit Soundcard, at least 16MB RAM Supported Browsers: Internet Explorer, 55 or 6 (Mac OS: Internet Explorer 51)/Netscape 7x or higher/Mozilla 10 or higher/Mozilla Firefox 10 or higher PlugIns: Macromedia Flash Player 6/Acrobat Reader

696 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Charles Boberg1
TL;DR: This paper used data from both sides of the U.S. and Canada border to investigate the influence of phonetic features on the way in which language changes diffuse over space, using a hierarchical gravity model.
Abstract: The way in which language changes diffuse over space—geolinguistic diffusion—is a central problem of both historical linguistics and dialectology. Trudgill (1974) proposed that distance, population, and linguistic similarity are crucial factors in determining diffusion patterns. His hierarchical gravity model has made correct predictions about diffusion from London to East Anglia, but has never been tested across a national boundary. The aim of this article is to do so using data from both sides of the U.S.–Canada border. Two cases are examined: the non-diffusion of phonetic features from Detroit to Windsor and the gradual infiltration into Canadian English of American foreign (a) pronunciations. In both cases, the model makes incorrect predictions. In the first case, it is suggested that the model needs a term representing a border effect, and that the diffusion of phonetic features is constrained by structural, phonological factors; in the second, a traditional wave theory of diffusion appears to fit the data more closely than a hierarchical model.

101 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Charles Boberg1
TL;DR: This article analyzed word list data from a larger number of speakers (eighty-six) drawn from a narrower social range, comprising young, university-educated speakers of Standard Canadian English from all across the country.
Abstract: Taking as a point of departure the preliminary view of regional phonetic differentiation in Canadian English developed by the Atlas of North American English, this article presents data from a new acoustic-phonetic study of regional variation in Canadian English carried out by the author at McGill University. While the Atlas analyzes mostly spontaneous speech data from thirty-three speakers covering a broad social range, the present study analyzes word list data from a larger number of speakers (eighty-six) drawn from a narrower social range, comprising young, university-educated speakers of Standard Canadian English from all across the country. The new data set permits a more detailed view of regional variation within Canada than was possible in the Atlas, which focuses on differentiating Canadian from neighboring varieties of American English. This view adds detail to the established account in some respects, while suggesting a revised regional taxonomy of Canadian English in others. In particular, this...

96 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Charles Boberg1
TL;DR: In this article, the authors extended the study of the Canadian Shift to the English-speaking community of Montreal, Quebec, using acoustic rather than impressionistic analysis and a larger and more diverse sample.
Abstract: Based on an impressionistic study of 16 young Canadians, mostly from Ontario, Clarke, Elms, and Youssef (1995) reported that the short front vowels of Canadian English are involved in a chain shift, the “Canadian Shift,” triggered by the merger of in low-back position, whereby is retracted to low-central position, and are lowered toward the low-front space vacated by . This article extends the study of the Canadian Shift to the English-speaking community of Montreal, Quebec, using acoustic rather than impressionistic analysis and a larger and more diverse sample. The new data motivate a revised view of the Shift, at least as it operates in Montreal, in which the three front vowels are retracted in a set of parallel shifts, rather than rotating in a chain shift.An earlier version of this paper was presented at NWAVE 32 (University of Pennsylvania, October 10, 2003). Thanks are due to members of the audience at that presentation, as well as to anonymous reviewers of the present version of the article, for helpful comments. In the preparation of the present version, the author is especially indebted to Anicka Fast and Erika Lawrance for research assistance and to Myrtis Fossey for assistance with statistical analysis. This research received financial support from three sources: the Research Grants Office of McGill University, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Fonds quebecois de la recherche sur la societe et la culture (Grant #2003-NC-81927).

95 citations