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Innovation in Multicultural Paris French: uses and attitudes

A seminar by Dr Maria Secova (Open University) for the Centre for Translating Cultures Seminar Series

A Centre for Translating Cultures seminar
Date25 January 2017
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceQueens Building 1G

A seminar by Dr Maria Secova (Open University) for the Centre for Translating Cultures Seminar Series

This paper examines the results of the project ‘Multicultural London English – Multicultural Paris French’ (2010-14), focusing more closely on grammatical and discourse-pragmatic innovations in Paris French.

The results show that innovative forms and their frequencies vary across factors such as gender, age and ethnicity, while some variants also appear to be grammaticalising. The analysis includes a comparison of different age groups, and finds that not only age grading but also generational change might be occurring at different linguistic levels in Paris French.

Additionally, this paper reports on a survey of language attitudes carried out as part of the MPF project among pupils aged 15-18 in two secondary schools in a working-class northern suburb of Paris. The questionnaire used audio extracts and written examples of innovative linguistic features identified as undergoing change. The aim of the questionnaire was to investigate pupils’ knowledge and use of these items, as well as their perceptions and attitudes to the types of speakers likely to use them.

The school questionnaire adds a qualitative dimension to the findings of the MPF project, showing that the features have different degrees of perceptual salience and acceptability among the speakers themselves.


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