The Impact Of The French On Louisiana Dialects

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The Impact of the French on Louisiana Dialects In Louisiana culture, the Creole and Cajun dialects dominate the language. In Connie Eble’s article “The Louisiana Purchase and American English”, she states that the event that has had the biggest influence on the dialects today is the Louisiana Purchase. In December of 1803, The Louisiana Purchase took place and America grew. Up to that point, areas in Northern America belonged to whomever was controlling the land at that time. In 1762, the French were losing and therefore had to give up the Louisiana territory to Spain. In the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the Louisiana Territory was split around Mississippi, reducing its size. By a secret treaty in 1800, Louisiana was given back to France (Eble …show more content…
Because of this, other languages were pushed out of the area, including French. In William Evan’s article “French-English Literary Dialect in The Grandissimes”, he discusses how the 1880 book by George Washington Cable portrays the people of the time after the Louisiana Purchase. To captivate how willing the people are to switch languages, a character says that there are “men in this city [New Orleans] would rather eat a dog than speak English” (qtd. in Evans 211). This shows how rough the transition is on the Louisiana people; they are extremely unwilling to change. Evans also discusses how Cable observes the phonology of the Creole dialect. One of the changes it makes from Standard American English is the dropping of final consonants, such as the change from “innocent” to “innocen’” (Evans 212). The French language has majorly impacted the Creole dialect, especially in terms of vowel usage and …show more content…
Through this perspective the reader learns about the history of the Cajuns, which is one of the more prominent dialects in southern Louisiana. It was assumed by the French in the 1700s that what is now North America would be dominated by the French and Spanish with a small group of English speakers. In 1604 France started to form colonies, beginning with what became known as Acadie (“Negotiating the Mainstream” 1235). They were thriving in 1613 and the English settlers took notice; they took a boat and destroyed the colony, leaving nothing for the French to survive. Because of this they had to return to France, but in 1632 they returned and stayed for over a century despite the control switching back and forth from English to French. The European settlers who lived there named the place Acadie, thus making them Acadiens. In the 1700s, the British wanted to rid Acadie of those thought to be French, so they began arresting as many of them as they could and deporting them. While many of them were sold into servitude and families were torn apart, some of them managed to get away and fled to Louisiana. Their descendants are those known as Cajuns today. Ancelet points out that “South Louisiana is a dialectal region of the French-speaking world, but it would be a serious over-simplification to think of it as a homogenous region” (“Negotiating the Mainstream”

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