Episode 19: Amanda Lafleur, part 2, on peculiarities in Louisiana French and Creole

This week we continue our conversation with Amanda Lafleur about Louisiana French. The first part of our conversation focused on the development of the Dictionary of Louisiana French. In this second episode, we are joined by a colleague, Nathan Wendt, who studies Louisiana Creole, and we begin talking about some of the unique words and structures of Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole.

TOPICS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • how written rules “scaffold” words and the rules governing them
  • distinctions in meaning with vowel shifts
  • do different rules and variation equal “bad” language
  • the distinguishability between Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole
  • how Louisiana Creole speakers can accommodate speakers of Louisiana French
  • the immense linguistics repertoire in the French/Creole speaking community, is it being lost?
  • Louisiana French is changing intergenerationally
  • a couple mystery words Amanda needs help deciphering
  • how unwritten languages still have grammar
  • interesting lexicalized forms (lexicalized here means words/phrases that have become “set in stone” even though they may be “breaking” some grammar rule.)
  • a few peculiarities of Grand Isle speech
  • être après vs être en train de in Louisiana French
  • analytical structures that rely on infinitives conditional vs conditional perfects

WORDS AND PHRASES USED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • J’sus = Je suis = I am
  • petit/petite = tit/tite = small, little
  • brun = brown (Rue du brun pain)
  • lundi = Monday
  • brin (un petit brin de quelque chose)
  • un garçon = a boy
  • brin vs brun
  • pis vs puis, pus vs plus
  • tout quelque chose / tout quelqu’un / tout partout (everything, everyone, everywhere)
  • s’il vous plaît (like rendez-vous as lexicalized form)
  • este (old form for modern ce) = this/that
  • ayou = where (the y is the glide she refers to)
  • quoi c’est vs. qu’est-ce que c’est = what is that?
  • icitte vs ici = here
  • nous autres / vous autres / eux autres (eusses) (plural pronouns)
  • écoutez = listen
  • vous a vs vous avez = you have
  • ils and elles = they
  • en train de (a marker for present progressive -ing)
  • quitter vs partir vs laisser = to leave (Quitte-moi te dire, Quittez les bons temps rouler)
  • après (for present progressive -ing)
  • j’ai pour = I have to
  • Je lui ai dit que je danserais avec lui vs J’y ai dit que j’aurais dansé avec lui =  I told him I would dance with him. mentir = to lie

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Valdman, Albert, Thomas A. Klingler, Margaret M. Marshall, Kevin J. Rottet. Dictionary of Louisiana Creole
  • Marion Marcotte, Cajun French humorist

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