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New course: Le québécois en 10 leçons

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Arekkusu
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 Message 41 of 167
23 October 2012 at 8:30pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
All the author has to do is say "Les pronoms sujets du québécois populaire diffèrent de ceux du québécois standard" and everything would be perfect. The linguistic differences are not between québécois and français but between social varieties of each language.

I realize you didn't have access to the introduction, where I explained this.

To make reading easier, I said (roughly) that informal spoken Québec French is referred to as "québécois", whereas Standard French is called "français".

There is no doubt also, that some words and features of Québécois -- such as "y" -- are also found in France, but it still needs to be explained that this is what it is in Québécois, not to mention that there are other differences in usage, such as how y is used in the plural for both masculine and feminine.

As for "ne" dropping, I also explain how it's much less frequent in France and, later in the book, that this is reflected in other areas of the language, such as in negative imperatives, ie. fais-le pas vs. le fais pas. (the underlying absence of "ne" doesn't allow the pronoun to move to the front.)

Edited by Arekkusu on 23 October 2012 at 8:35pm

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Sprachprofi
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 Message 42 of 167
23 October 2012 at 8:35pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
Let's reflect a moment on the title of the book "Le québécois en 10 leçons." This
is not a region of France. So, we are not looking at a regional dialect of French.


It's not a requirement. Take Österreichisch (Austrian German) instead of Sächsisch then,
the example works just as well.
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s_allard
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 Message 43 of 167
23 October 2012 at 8:58pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
...
To make reading easier, I said (roughly) that informal spoken Québec French is referred to as "québécois", whereas Standard French is called "français".

..


This is the heart of the debate. And I'll say that we are splitting hairs here. This is not a big fight. But I dislike this idea that the only informal spoken Quebec French is to be called "québécois" because you are restricting "québécois" to this low-prestige variety. This is what used to be called "joual" as we know. What I'm saying is if we are going to use an all encompassing term like "québécois" let's get rid of "français" and simply differentiate between informal spoken and formal spoken québécois.

Again, I want to emphasize that I'm not questioning the content. And I'm certainly not a purist. Basically what I'm asking is why does "québécois" have to be synonymous with low prestige?

As for @Sprachprofi's comments, I appreciate the efforts but I'm not familiar with the situation of German dialects. So, I prefer not to debate the comparison.
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Arekkusu
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 Message 44 of 167
23 October 2012 at 9:16pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
Basically what I'm asking is why does "québécois" have to be synonymous with low prestige?

I refute the suggestion that I only present "low prestige" language. I understand what you mean and I'm not troubled by the expression "low prestige", it's just I present many mainstream features that belong to several registers.

For instance, there is a section on pronunciation and it covers several phonological phenomena, such as dz/ts which are NOT linked to register, neither is lax vs. tense high vowels. I explain "donne-moi-z'en" -- who in Québec says "donne-m'en"? Who says "je suis entré" instead of "j't'entré"? This is so mainstream that people usually have no idea they say it. It's not low-prestige; it's just mainstream Québécois.
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s_allard
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 Message 45 of 167
23 October 2012 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
s_allard wrote:
Basically what I'm asking is why does "québécois" have to be synonymous with low prestige?

I refute the suggestion that I only present "low prestige" language. I understand what you mean and I'm not troubled by the expression "low prestige", it's just I present many mainstream features that belong to several registers.

For instance, there is a section on pronunciation and it covers several phonological phenomena, such as dz/ts which are NOT linked to register, neither is lax vs. tense high vowels. I explain "donne-moi-z'en" -- who in Québec says "donne-m'en"? Who says "je suis entré" instead of "j't'entré"? This is so mainstream that people usually have no idea they say it. It's not low-prestige; it's just mainstream Québécois.


I have not doubt that certain features presented in the book are present in the speech of the majority of Québécois. I would object that many people say "je suis entré" in addition to "j"t'entré" but that's quibbling.

But let's keep in mind that the dialogues presented are not real samples of current speech but artificially contrived examples designed to illustrate as many features as possible. At least this is what I see from chapter 1.

There is nothing wrong with this, but one can ask the question: how accurately does this represent the spoken language of Quebec today? How many people speak like this? What is the social profile of these speakers?

If someone from abroad buys this book and comes to Montreal, what should they expect to hear in informal settings?

This is where things get complicated. Some people speak exactly as in chapter 1, but many people don't. They will share certain features, of course, but one could hardly say that all Québécois speak like this informally.

What is true is that working-class, uneducated, and often older speakers from certain areas of Montreal speak like this but others do not speak this way, even informally. Take for example the form "ch't'icitte" is be found solely in the speech of an ever decreasing number of speakers. The same thing for forms like "moé" and "toé" that are disappearing.

Our visitor from abroad will be exposed to quite a range of variation all within the scope of informal québécois French depending on certain factors. Age, education, social class and geographic origin are the most important factors of language usage.

But I recognize that @Arekkusu has not written a sociolinguistic study of contemporary popular Québécois French. For what it attempts to do, it's good. It's a compendium of certain features that one is likely to hear at some point. I still think that "Le québécois populaire" would be a better title, but it's not a big deal.


Edited by s_allard on 23 October 2012 at 10:14pm

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Arekkusu
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 Message 46 of 167
23 October 2012 at 10:07pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
I still think that "Le québécois populaire" would be a better title, but it's not a big deal.

Just can't let it go, can you ;)
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s_allard
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 Message 47 of 167
23 October 2012 at 11:26pm | IP Logged 
I was commenting on this very issue with a friend who is also working on a guide to informal québécois for English-speakers. It should be out in early 2013. For the time being the title in English is "Quebec Street French" and in French "Le québécois populaire et argotique." You know pretty much what you are getting from the title.

Edited by s_allard on 23 October 2012 at 11:36pm

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s_allard
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 Message 48 of 167
24 October 2012 at 12:23am | IP Logged 
As I mentioned earlier, the dialogs in this book are artificially constructed for teaching purposes. This is an excellent choice and is the way all teaching materials are designed. But it's not the way people really speak. For an idea of how the language is really spoken, you have to look at authentic recordings. Here, for example is something that I copied from the www.fluentfrenchnow.com website where a real recording in informal québécois has been transcribed: (the translation is on the site)


--Merci, Simon-Olivier d'être… à la Banquise.
--C'est un plaisir, M.C. Comment qu'on t'appelle? On t'appelle..,
--M.C.
--M.C. Gilles. Personne t'appelle Gilles?
--Tu peux m'appeler M, tsé,
--M.
--C'est encore plus intime,
--Ça fait..Merci, M.
--Est-ce que c'est un endroit que tu fréquentes, la Banquise?
--C'est un endroit que je fréquente tard la nuit.
--C'est ça.
--Pis, là, c'est de jour, c'est la première fois que je vois la couleur des murs.
--Tu trouves ça dur un peu, hein?
--Mais non, c'est pas si pire.
--Là, je veux savoir, qui c'est que j'interroge parce que t'es quoi dans la vie? Parce que là t'as.. t'as fait comme un milliard d'affaires. T'es-tu un humoriste? Un réalisateur? Un acteur? Un metteur en scène?
--Je pense…ça…mettons quand je signe mes chèques, quoi que ce soit.
--Ouais.
--Je veux dire des affaires écrites. Réalisateur. On dirait que ça englobe la patente parce que qu'est ce que j'aime, c'est j'aime ça, conter des histoires. Fait que je les écris. J'aime ça, jouer dedans. Fait que je..tsé…j'écris ce que je joue dedans.

This is exactly what informal Québécois looks like in 2012.



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