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Language contact and contextual nasalization in Louisiana French

  • Darcie Blainey (a1)

This paper examines variation in Louisiana French nasalized vowels across two time periods: 1977 and 2010–2011. Non-contrastive nasal vowels are typical of English, while contrastive nasal vowels are typical of French. Louisiana French is an endangered language variety. Instead of simplifying to a single type of vowel nasality, as might be expected in a situation of heavy language contact and language shift, Louisiana French maintains a system of phonetic and phonemic nasal vowels. Digitized interviews with 32 native speakers from lower Lafourche Parish provide 2801 data points for analysis. In contrast with previous assertions in the literature, quantitative analyses reveal that contextual nasalization operates almost exclusively within the domain of the word, not the syllable.

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Language Variation and Change
  • ISSN: 0954-3945
  • EISSN: 1469-8021
  • URL: /core/journals/language-variation-and-change
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