Mommy’s vernacular: A larval language, informal, akin to rumblings?

Samuel Marticotte :

Today, I would like to discuss the status of standard French in Quebec. I have always been aware that there was a standard spoken French that had more status than the one I spoke on the north-shore of Quebec. This is notably the case for all speakers of regions as Quebecers usually put emphasis on the difference between what they call regions (Gaspésie, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and other regions) and “les grands centres” metropolitan areas/big cities, referring to Quebec or Montreal.

Current standard French is closely associated with the language of French literature (not Quebec Literature), the variety taught in schools, and the variety used by broadcasters, also called “Radio Canada dialect”, a variety close to the language spoken in Quebec City. As in other societies, standard Quebec French is the language of  people with high-status and has overt prestige, as we are more likely to hear judges, lawyers, officials, politicians, business men and other people with high-status use it than working-class people in regions or the city.

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Language vs Dialect

Kunyao Kuang

Inspired by the seminar and class discussion in class, I would like to share a similar case happened in China.

I was born in southern China, a city near Guangzhou, a Cantonese spoken area. All my family and neighborhoods speak Cantonese thus it seems that I was born to know it. Moreover, I grew up with the influential popular culture of Hong Kong since 1990s. Thus, the identity of Cantonese has rooted deeply in my mind.

When I was in primary school, Mandarin started to enter my life. The Mandarin promotion policy was carried out in 1980s, strictly adopted in 1990s among schools, administrations, transportations and all public areas. Since then, Mandarin became an official language and the others were all dialects. (An interesting point from my teammate is that she thought dialect is viewed as being subordinated to a language, containing the sense of discrimination to some extent. Language is regarded as paramount while dialects are secondary.)

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