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Communication Accommodation Theory

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Academic Paper


Title: New insights on an old rivalry: The passé simple and the passé composé in spoken Acadian French
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.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 22, Issue 3.

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