Redefining Regional French
Koinéization and Dialect Levelling in Northern France
Studies In Linguistics 3
Legenda: Oxford, 2006
New regional varieties of French are currently emerging. The orthodox view considers them no more than an ephemeral dialect residue of little theoretical interest. Hornsby challenges that view by following the life cycle of an obsolescent urban Picard variety, spoken in a mining town in the Pas-de-Calais, and unravelling the complex reasons why some local variants survive and others perish. Applying a sociolinguistic model developed by Peter Trudgill, Hornsby shows how the processes of levelling and simplification have given rise to a new, stable variety or koiné. This is compared with other new urban varieties in Sweden and the UK, where different economic, social and demographic conditions have produced very different linguistic outcomes. Will the emergence of Regional French in the north herald the start of a new diversification of French in Europe?
David Hornsby is Lecturer in French at the University of Kent. He publishes on language variation and on the history of French, and was a research consultant for the BBC’s Voices project (2005) into contemporary British accent and dialect variation.