Did the Quebec "habitant" of the nineteenth century speak "Parisian French" or "French-Canadian patois?" And does this matter? And is the joual of the 1960s a language or a sub-standard version of French? And does this matter? Since the early nineteenth-century French-Canadians have been harangued to speak good French, improve their language, and demonstrate pride in their heritage and the history of their culture through their language…
A fascinating study of the French-Canadian dialect, this insightful analysis examines the intimate relationship between Quebec and its heartily defended dialect, from 19th-century Parisian French to the joual of the 1960s.
Introduction -- A Prairie Accent; The Measure of a River; Oklahoma -- Meditations on Home & Homelessness; Hanley, Saskatchewan; "Their Own Emancipators" -- The Agrarian Movement in Alberta; Statues of Liberty -- The Political Tradition of the Producer; Populists, Patriots & Pariahs; We Are All Treaty People -- History, Reconciliation, & the "Settler Problem"; What is the Farm Crisis? -- Seven Short Commentaries; Two Albertas -- Rural & Urban Trajectories; A University at Home in the Rural; Notes; Index.
"...the book is a very insightful read which will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike who have sought to go beyond the 'short historical' perspective to examine how the language situation in Quebec arose, was conditioned and shaped, and subsequently evolved beyond the wildest dreams of those who participated in defining that history." - Martin Howard, University College, Cork, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Volume 23 (Number 2), 2010