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Academic Paper


Title: New insights on an old rivalry: The passé simple and the passé composé in spoken Acadian French
Author: Philip Comeau
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: York University
Author: Ruth King
Institution: York University
Author: Gary R. Butler
Institution: York University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: French, Cajun
Abstract: This study investigates the expression of past temporal reference in a highly conservative variety of Acadian French spoken in the Baie Sainte-Marie region of Nova Scotia, Canada. Variationist analysis of data from a sociolinguistic corpus for the village of Grosses Coques reveals a split between narrative and conversational discourse, with variation mainly between use of the passé simple and the imparfait in the former and between the passé composé and the imparfait in the latter. The passé simple remains in robust use in this variety and is constrained in a manner similar to that found in 17th-century representations of colloquial speech involving narration.

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This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 22, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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