Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Problem of Language Quality and Norms in Francophone Television in the Canadian Province of Quebec Analysed with Phonological and Morphological Variables Add Dissertation
Author: Kristin Reinke Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Romance
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology; Sociolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): French
Director(s): Werner Thielemann
Johannes Klare
Annegret Bollée

Abstract: The issue of the linguistic quality and norm of Quebec French has, for a
long time, been a subject of controversy preoccupying both linguists and
nonlinguists alike. In recent years, the discussion has centered on
linguistic usage in audiovisual media, generally considered to be
responsible for the diffusion of an exemplary use of language. In this
regard, critics have accused the language used on television of too closely
reflecting informal language usage. However, few studies have been
undertaken on this subject and the criticisms appear to be mainly based on
value judgements.

The present study investigates the linguistic variation in French Quebec
television by analyzing 34 phonological and morphological variables based
on extralinguistic factors such as the type of television program and
station. Comparing the results obtained to those of other studies related
to ordinary or « daily » situations of communication indicates various
points of convergence and divergence. The latter may partly be due to the
specificity or uniqueness of the televisual mode of communication, but in
some cases, the data suggest an ongoing linguistic change.

The present results offer a better image of Quebec French. The linguistic
analysis indicates that francophone television in Quebec does indeed
fulfill its media function by diffusing a standard language model, while at
the same time, by its diversity, reflecting social and linguistic
realities. Although this model corresponds to a Quebec French standard, the
important differences observed among some of the variables analyzed could
be associated indirectly with the French of France. Since the data suggest
that the negative judgements pertaining to linguistic usage in television
should be questioned, it would now become more important to attempt to
further understand the causes underlying such perceptions. Indeed several
non linguistic characteristics were identified as possible causes, thus
pointing to the need for further interdisciplinary research.