Edited by Isabelle Léglise and Claudine Chamoreau
[Studies in Language Variation 12] 2013
► pp. 53–76
Advancing the change?
Contact-induced influences and inherent tendencies in variation among pronouns with indefinite reference in Quebec French
This article examines a change under way in French in contact with English in Quebec, namely the variation among on ‘one’, tu ‘you’, and vous ‘you’ to express indefinite reference. The variationist analysis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Quebec French data highlights how the usage of second-person pronouns as indefinite pronouns, although frequent in a twentieth-century sociolinguistic corpus, was rare in the corpus representing an earlier stage of the language and a less intense contact situation. Analysis of the linguistic behavior of bilingual Anglo-Montrealers reveals that their usage of the second-person indefinite not only goes in the same direction as the change under way in favor of second-person pronouns observed for L1 speakers at the end of the twentieth century, but actually advances the change in their own repertoire.
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