Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
‘Francophones may aspire to the long-established myth of an idealized standard, the variety to which they grant the highest aesthetic and prestige status, yet the reality of everyday language use displays an ever widening gap in relation to that standard.’ Discuss with reference to contemporary French.

‘Francophones may aspire to the long-established myth of an idealized standard, the variety to which they grant the highest aesthetic and prestige status, yet the reality of everyday language use displays an ever widening gap in relation to that standard.’ Discuss with reference to contemporary French.

Ratings: (0)|Views: 12 |Likes:
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Helena Hogan. Originally submitted for French (Structures and Varieties of contemporary French) at University College Cork, with lecturer Dr Martin Howard in the category of Languages & Linguistics
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Helena Hogan. Originally submitted for French (Structures and Varieties of contemporary French) at University College Cork, with lecturer Dr Martin Howard in the category of Languages & Linguistics

More info:

Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
See more
See less

05/13/2014

 
‘Francophones may aspire to the long-established myth of an idealized standard,the variety to which they grant the highest aesthetic and prestige status, yet thereality of everyday language use displays an ever widening gap in relation to that standard.’ 
Discuss with reference to contemporary French.The French language is undoubtedly one of the richest andmost beautiful languages in the world. Despite the efforts of certain Francophones,such as l’Académie Française, to “reject alternative linguistic usage” the Frenchlanguage continues to grow and develop in new and unforeseen ways
(Battye andHintze: 1992, 297).
The various linguistic distinctions between the “idealized standard”and non-standard French will be analyzed by comparing their contrasting lexical,syntactical, morphological and phonological features. Firstly, these linguistic brancheswill be used to distinguish the differences between the French language used in thevarious regions of France and standard French. Indeed, it is necessary to examine themanner in which dialectal forms of French have been influenced by the promotion of the “idealized standard”. Subsequently, the execution of the French language inCanada, and Africa will be discussed. In relation to this point, the influence of Englishon the French language will be ascertained. Furthermore, the employment of language by the younger generation is one of the most distinct features of divergence betweenthe “idealized standard” and non standard French. Ultimately, this analysis will focuson the manner in which the use of non-standard French is perceived and treated bythose who wish to judge the prestige of a language by its fixed and unchanging nature,rather than by its evolution.‘La dialecte’ is the term used to describe the regional varieties of the Frenchlanguage in France. “Le patois” differs in that it represents the “local variants of a
1
 
dialect”
(Battye and Hintze: 1992, 301).
These terms are infused with a series of negative connotations concerning age, social class and geographical region. The mostcommon users of “les français régionaux” and “le patoisoriginate from rural areas,are above fifty years of age, and as a consequence of these factors, may not havereceived a comprehensive education. Battye contends that speakers of dialect feel “asense of insecurity with regard to their command of French”. This, he explains, is dueto “the commonly received opinion that dialects are sub-standard forms of French”
(Battye and Hintze: 1992, p304).
Nonetheless, lexically, the French language hasabsorbed vocabulary from many of France’s regional dialects; familiar words like“truc,” “beurre,” and “gamin” hail from the regional dialects of Provence, Lorrain,and Alsace. Similarly, according to Hintze, the aspirated ‘h,’ which is of Germanicorigin, is still prevalent in Normandy (dehors)
[d
ə
’h
ɔ
R]
 
and in Alsace (haut) [’ho].Furthermore, the e-muet of standard French is pronounced differently in the North andSouth; the pronunciation of Toulouse is disyllabic in the North [tu.luz]
 
 but trisyllabicin the South [tu.lu.ze]. Regarding the lexicology of regional dialects, many wordswhose meanings have changed in standard French remain the same in these dialects.In Franco-Provençal ‘partir’ still means ‘to share’ and in the West of France ‘un besson’
 
is still used to describe ‘un jumeau’
(Battye and Hintze: 1992, 308).
Moreover,the morphology and syntax of “les français régionaux” contrasts starkly with that of Standard French. In Northern France, the ending of ‘o’: (j’avos/j’auros),
 
indicates theuse of the conditional and imperfect tenses, but in the West ‘a’
 
is used instead (je pouvas). Certainly, this is in complete contrast to the standard ‘ais’ ending of standardFrench. Furthermore, in Provence, ‘être’ is used as an auxiliary for compound tenses,(je suis été),
 
 but in the North, ‘avoir’: (il a tombé) dominates
(Battye and Hintze: 1992,
2
 
312).
Yet again, the manner in which verbs are conjugated by users of “les françaisrégionauxdoes not in any way reflect the verbal morphology of the “idealizedstandard”. Therefore, in spite of the promotion of standard French, and the prestigeassociated with it, the use of regional dialects and “le patois” is persistent. Indeed,Coveney states that, in a similar manner to Basque and Breton, “there is evidence of arenewed interest in dialects and some reversal of negative attitudes towards them”
(Battye and Hintze: 1992, 304).
Whether all Francophones agree or not, it is clear from alinguistic perspective that contemporary French is enriched by the use of regionaldialects. Evidently, the reality of everyday language use is in direct contrast to the publicized myth that the “idealized standard” is the only true expression of the Frenchlanguage.Undoubtedly, there is an enormous gap between standard French and the usageof French in Canada and Africa. In France, those who associate linguistic prestigewith standard French continue to ignore the varied usage of the French language inother Francophone countries. Regarding phonology, Canadian pronunciation greatlydiffers from the prescribed pronunciation of standard French, as Canadian French stillemploys diphthongization. Hence, chaude is pronounced
[
ʃ
owd]
 
as opposed to
[
ʃ
od]
 
in standard French,
 
and
 
neige is pronounced
[n
ɛ
 j
ʒ
]
 
instead of 
 
the prescribed pronunciation
[n
ɛ
ʒ
]
 
of standard French
(Battye and Hintze: 1992, 314).
Alternatively,the “idealized standardhas had an effect on Acadian French. According toMotapanyane, in New Brunswick where Acadian French is spoken, the younger generation pronounce ‘chose’ as
[
ʃ
ouz]
which is more similar to the standard French
[
ʃ
oz]
than the Acadian
[
ʃ
u:z]
 
(Motapanyane: 1997, 11)
.
Furthermore, Battye contendsthat the ‘ne’ is absent from negation in spoken Canadian French: ‘j’ai pas vu’ instead
3

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->