English in the Gaspé region of Quebec
This paper reports on the first-ever linguistic study of the variety of English spoken in the Gaspé region of eastern Quebec, which is 86 percent French-speaking. An on-line survey was used to gather data from 200 participants on 58 phonological, grammatical and lexical variables, drawn mostly, for comparative purposes, from earlier research on Canadian and Quebec English. The analysis, focusing on data from the 124 participants who still live in the Gaspé region, produces a complex linguistic portrait of the community. It displays a unique mixture of Canadian, Quebec, Maritime and rural features, reflecting its location near the boundary between Quebec and New Brunswick, with evidence of both convergence with and divergence from Quebec English as spoken in Montreal. It also shows more frequent use of several Gallicisms, or borrowings from French, suggesting that this effect of language contact is encouraged by its minority status.
Keywords: Canadian English, borrowing, borders, geolinguistic diffusion, sociolinguistics, Quebec English, dialect variation, language contact
Published online: 03 November 2015
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