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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)....

    [...]

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: �The first aim of this paper is to describe some ways in which the Massachusetts speech varieties are “differentest,” specifically with respect to the unmerged status of several vowels which are merged in most areas of the United States. The second aim is to explore how Boston has maintained its linguistic distinction—as a result of non-Boston speakers, notably the New Hampshire neighbors of the Boston metropolis, not adopting the distinct features of the Boston accent. While it is popularly believed that regional dialects are being leveled, numerous studies have indicated that, in fact, cities retain distinct phonological patterns (cf. Labov 1994, 29). Rural varieties have received less sociolinguistic attention. In order to determine how linguistic patterns evolve and diffuse outside the domain of a metropolitan center, this paper begins exploration of a rural and small-town region of the United States that has not been thoroughly studied since the 1930s. The findings contradict Trudgill’s (1974) proposal that linguistic innovations diffuse from cities to the neighboring towns and villages, as Boston is the closest metropolis to all of New Hampshire. A social explanation is offered: the lack of appeal to New Hampshire residents of the “big city” life offered by Boston.

24 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors retrace l'histoire de l'utilisation of this type of questionnaire and analyse its efficacite, appuyant son argumentation sur l'exemple concret du Dialect Topography project, projet developpe par l'A. lui-meme en Ontario, Canada.
Abstract: L'A. decrit les interets que presente le questionnaire postal comme outil de recueil de donnees en dialectologie. Il retrace l'histoire de l'utilisation de ce type de questionnaire, puis analyse son efficacite, appuyant son argumentation sur l'exemple concret du Dialect Topography project, projet developpe par l'A. lui-meme en Ontario, Canada

23 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Charles Boberg1
TL;DR: The authors discusses the historical background of the contact situation and how this motivates hypotheses about its linguistic effects, and presents both anecdotal and quantitative survey data that demonstrate empirically the distinctive character of Quebec English.
Abstract: The variety of English spoken by about half a million people in the Canadian province of Quebec is a minority language in intensive contact with French, the local majority language. This unusual contact situation has produced a unique variety of English which displays many instances of French influence that distinguish it from other types of Canadian or world English. The most obvious instances involve the adoption of French words or senses of words, though influence at other levels of linguistic structure can also be observed. This paper discusses the historical background of the contact situation and how this motivates hypotheses about its linguistic effects. It then presents both anecdotal and quantitative survey data that demonstrate empirically the distinctive character of Quebec English. It concludes by categorizing the individual examples considered into a typology of five distinct patterns of influence arising from language contact.

21 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Charles Boberg1
TL;DR: A survey of variation and change in Canadian English, called Dialect Topography, has been extended from Southern Ontario, where it was conceived and originally implemented, to Montreal, in order to examine differences between the varieties of English spoken in Canada's two largest cities from a diachronic perspective as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: A new survey of variation and change in Canadian English, called Dialect Topography, has been extended from Southern Ontario, where it was conceived and originally implemented, to Montreal. In the tradition of earlier questionnaires investigating Canadian English, the new data contribute to our knowledge of Canadian English at several levels of structure, including phonology, morpho-syntax, and lexicon. In this paper, the Montreal data are compared to those from the Toronto region and to earlier studies of Quebec English, in order to examine differences between the varieties of English spoken in Canada's two largest cities from a diachronic perspective. Contrary to the conclusion of an earlier study, variables involving a contrast between British and American forms show similar frequencies in both cities. The data on these variables also show the frequency of American forms in Montreal speech to be increasing over time. Another set of variables displays wide discrepancies between the two regions. Some of the differences are explained in terms of settlement history and language contact; others are not so easily explained and are presented as a challenge for future research.

17 citations