Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Sociolinguistic variation in the Paris suburbs
Author: Jamin, Mikael Jan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 4717
Awarding Body: The University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2005
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis investigates linguistic variation, diffusion and change in two suburban towns of Paris (La Courneuve and Fontenay-sous-Bois), using quantitative methods to analyse innovative accent forms presently developing. After an introductory chapter which sets out the origins and objectives of the study, Chapter 2 gives the background to the Paris banlieues as well as a description of the research sites. Banlieues are ideal places of investigation for the linguist interested in sociolectal variation in that they accommodate a population which is relatively isolated from the linguistic norm of the dominant society. As a result of this isolation, a recognisable localised vernacular has emerged. This is in itself unsurprising, as similar phenomena have been observed elsewhere in low-contact contexts. What is particularly interesting here is that this vernacular has emerged in an urban context, generally characteristised by a relatively high degree of sociolectal contact, especially with prestigious varieties. Chapter 3 aims at showing how previous research has tackled the study of sociolinguistic variation in urban contexts. We then discuss the sociolinguistic literature more specifically focused on banlieues. From this, three linguistic variables thought to be potentially interesting are selected. In Chapter 4, the methodology used to obtain the linguistic data is discussed and the social characteristics of the sample are described. We then proceed to analyse the linguistic data collected. Chapter 5 focuses on the sociolinguistic distribution of palatalisation in the corpus. Chapter 6 investigates /r/-realisation and Chapter 7 variation between /a/ and /a/. Generally, the same social group seems to lead the adoption of non-standard variants for most variables: working-class youngsters from immigrant backgrounds. Interestingly, the adoption seems to be spreading to other social and ethnic groups, especially amongst the younger age group of the sample. This diffusion is quantitatively explained in terms of integration and identification with the street-culture which has developed in the banlieues and of the nature of social network ties that the street creates. What is also interesting is that for all age groups and for all the linguistic variables concerned, a generational increase is observed. This in tum suggests that this possible diffusion of non-standard forms in the banlieues might be introducing a change in progress in contemporary metropolitan French.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available