- Cajun English
Cajun English is the dialect of English spoken by
Cajuns living in southern Louisiana and, to some extent, in eastern Texas. Cajun English is significantly influenced by Cajun French, the historical language of the Cajun people, a direct descendant of Acadian French, which differs somewhat from Metropolian or Parisian French in terms of pronunciationand vocabulary, particularly because of the long isolation of Acadians, and even more so Cajuns, from the Francophone world. English is now spoken by the vast majority of the Cajun population, but French influence remains strong in terms of inflection and vocabulary, and the accent is quite distinct from the General American[ [http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/cajun/ Do You Speak American . Sea to Shining Sea . American Varieties . Cajun | PBS ] ] .
Part of the Cajun identity
While Cajun French is considered by many to be an
endangered language, mostly used by elderly generations, Cajun English is spoken by even the youngest Cajuns, and is considered to be part of the identity of the ethnic group.
Features of Cajun English
Cajun English distinguishes itself with some of the following features:
*Many vowels which are separate in General American English are pronounced the same way, for example, the words "hill" and "heel" are homophones, both being pronounced as IPA|/hɪɹl/.
*Stress is generally placed on the second or last syllable of a word, a feature directly inherited from French.
*The voiceless and voiced alveolar stops IPA|/t/ andIPA|/d/ often replace dental fricatives, a feature used by both Cajun English speakers and speakers of
Louisiana Creole French(Standard French speakers generally render dental fricatives as alveolar).
*Cajun English speakers generally do not aspirate the consonants IPA|/p/, IPA|/t/, or IPA|/k/. As a result, the words "par" and "bar" can sound very similar.
*The inclusion of many loanwords, calques, and phrases from French, such as "nonc" (uncle, from the French "oncle"), "cher" (dear, pronounced IPA|/ʃæ/, from the French "cher"), and "making groceries" (to shop for groceries, a calque of the French "faire des groceries")
Other Examples of Cajun Vocabulary
*"Allons!": Let's go!
*"alors pas": of course not
*"faire dodo": to go to sleep
*"Dis-mon la vérité!" : Tell me the truth!
*"quo' faire?" : Why?
*"my eye!" (also "my foot!"): no way!
*"en colaire: to be angry
*"mo chagren: I’m sorry
*"une piastre: a dollar
* [http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/cajun/ PBS American Accent series - Cajun]
Acadia, former home of the Cajuns, located in what is now eastern Canada
Acadiana, A 22-parish region in southern Louisiana
Acadian French, the dialect of French from which Cajun French derives
*Dialects of the English Language
Franglais, a term sometimes used to describe a mixed vernacular of French and English
Louisiana Creole French, a French-based creole which has had some influence on Cajun French and English
*Yat, another Louisiana dialect of English
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