Joual is the common name for the linguistic features of basilectal Quebec French that are associated with the French-speaking working class in Montreal which has become a symbol of national identity for a large number of artists from that area. Speakers of Quebec French from outside Montreal usually have other names to identify their speech, such as Magoua in Trois-Rivières and Chaouin South of Trois-Rivières. Linguists reserve the term Joual for the basilectal variety of Quebec French spoken in Montreal. [Gilles Lefebvre, «Faut-il miser sur le joual?» "Le Devoir" 1965, 30 octobre; «L'étude de la culture: la linguistique.» "Recherche sociographiques" 3:1-2.233-249, 1962; Henri Wittmann, 1973. «Le joual, c'est-tu un créole?» La Linguistique 1973, 9:2.83-93. [] ]

Attitudes towards "joual" range from stigma to exaltation depending on forms and components of human communication such as social setting (formal/informal; public/private), channel (spoken vs. written; broadcast) and so on. "Joual" is often understood to have become a sociolect of the Québécois working class. However, it can no longer be strictly considered as such given two major events in the latter half of the 20th century: upward socio-economic mobility among the Québécois, and a cultural renaissance around Joual connected to the Quebec sovereignty movement in the Montreal East-End. At the beginning of the 20th century, "joual" was at best a kind of Creole that also fitted the description of a diatype more than any other categorization. Today, many Québécois who were raised in Quebec during the last century (command of English notwithstanding) can understand and speak at least some "joual". Fact|date=July 2008

Origin of the name "joual"

Although coinage of the name "joual" is often attributed to French Canadian journalist André Laurendeau, usage of this term throughout French-speaking Canada predates the 1930s.

The actual word "joual" is the representation of how the word "cheval" (horse) is pronounced by those who speak "joual". "Cheval" is usually pronounced as one syllable, IPA| [ʃval] , by all francophones in the Francophonie. With this in mind, in the chain of speech some vowels and consonants undergo changes due to their environment. In the case of IPA| [ʃval] , the Voiceless postalveolar fricative IPA| [ʃ] was voiced to become a Voiced postalveolar fricative IPA| [ʒ] , thereby creating IPA| [ʒval] . Next, the IPA| [v] at the beginning of a syllable in some regional dialects of French or even in very rapid speech in general weakens to become the semi-vowel IPA| [w] written "ou". The end result is the word IPA| [ʒwal] transcribed as "joual".

Most notable or stereotypical linguistic features

Diphthongs are normally present where long vowels would be present in standard French.

Although "moé" and "toé" are today considered substandard slang pronunciations, these were the pronunciations of Old French and French used by the kings of France, the aristocracy and the common people in all provinces of Northern France. After the 1789 French Revolution, the standard pronunciation in France changed to that of a stigmatized form in the speech of Paris, but Quebec retained the historically "correct" one, having been isolated from the Revolution by the 1760 British Conquest of New France. [Marc Picard, "La diphtongue /wa/ et ses équivalents en français du Canada." "Cahiers de linguistique de l'Université du Québec" 1974, 4.147-164.]

Joual shares many features with modern Oïl languages, such as Norman, Gallo, Picard, Poitevin and Saintongeais though its affinities are greatest with the 17th century koiné of Paris. [Henri Wittmann, "Le français de Paris dans le français des Amériques." "Proceedings of the International Congress of Linguists" 16.0416 (Paris, 20-25 juillet 1997). Oxford: Pergamon (CD edition). [] ] Speakers of these languages of France predominated among settlers to New France.

Another outstanding characteristic of Joual is the use of profanity called sacre in everyday speech. [Gilles Charest, "Le livre des sacres et blasphèmes québécois." Montréal: L"Aurore, 1974; Jean-Pierre Pichette, "Le guide raisonné des jurons." Montréal: Les Quinze, 1980; Diane Vincent, "Pressions et impressions sur les sacres au Québec." Québec: Office de la langue française, 1982.]

English loanwords

There are a number of English loanwords in joual although they have been stigmatised since the 1960s: [The standard reference to this subject is Gilles Colpron, "Les anglicismes au Québec: Répertoire classifié. Montréal: Beauchemin.]
** Bécosse: From backhouse, used generally in the sense of a bathroom. Unlike most borrowing, this one can sometimes be seen written, usually as shown here.
** Bicycle or bécik: Bicycle
** Bike or bécik: Motorbike
** Blood: Compliment, as in "Té Blood" ("You're all right"). Rarely used today.
** Braker: pronounced|bʁɛke or IPA| [bʁeke] . Verb meaning "to brake".
** Breaker: IPA| [bʁeke] . Circuit breaker ("disjoncteur"). Still very often used nowadays.
** Caller: IPA| [kale] . Verb meaning to phone someone.
** Checker or chequé: Verb meaning to check something.
** Coat: Winter jacket (only for the clothing item), never in the sense of "layer".
** Chum: Most often in the sense of boyfriend, often simply as a male friend of a male.
** Dumper: IPA| [dɔ̃pe] . To throw in the trash, to deposit something, or to break up with someone. --Usually actually spelled and pronounced "domper".
** Enfirouaper: To cheat someone. This comes from "in fur wrap". Centuries ago, fur traders would sell a ballot of fur, actually filled with cardboard in the middle. [Gaston Dulong, "Dictionnaire des canadianismes." Québec: Larousse Canada, 1989, p. 180. However, this view of "enfirouaper" as an Anglicism is strongly disputed today. [] ]
** Frencher: IPA| [fʁɛnʃe] . To French-kiss.
** Fucker le chien: IPA| [fɔke lʃjɛ̃] . Can be used to imply that something is difficult to do or to indicate a problem.
** Fuse
** Fuser: To fart.
** Gas: IPA| [gɑz] . In the sense of fuel or in the sense of flatulence.
** Lift: Only used in the sense of giving a lift to someone in one's vehicle.
** Mossel: Muscle.
** Peppermint, usually pronounced like "pepper men"
** Pinotte: Peanuts. Unlike most other borrowings, this one is sometimes seen written, usually spelled like here. (also a street slang for amphetamines)
** les States: IPA| [le stet] . Used when referring to the USA.
** Tinque : Usually IPA| [tɛ̃k] . Used in the sense of "container": Tinque à gaz [fuel tank]
** Toaster: Grille-pain
** Tough
** Truck
** Suit: Coat.
** Ski-doo: Snowmobile (name of a Bombardier trademark that meant ski-dog).

*Some words were also previously thought to be of English origin, although modern research has shown them to be from regional French dialects:
** Pitoune (log, cute girl, loose girl): previously thought to come from "happy town" although the word "pitchoune" exists in dialects from southern France and means "cute girl".
** Poutine: was thought to come from "pudding", but some have drawn a parallel with the Languedocian word "poudingo", a stew made of scraps, which was (in Montreal) the previous use of the term.


ee also

* Quebec French
* Magoua
* Chaouin
* Quebec French lexicon
* Quebec French profanity
* French language
* English language
* Chiac
* Quebec
* Canada

External links

* [ Article on joual at Canadian theatre]
* [ Article on joual in "La Linguistique" journal]
* [ A few excerpts of texts in joual]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • joual — joual …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • joual — [ ʒwal ] n. m. • 1960; parler joual adv. « parler mal, de manière relâchée » av. 1920 (d apr. A. Laurendeau); prononc. pop. de cheval dans certaines régions du Québec et d ailleurs ♦ Mot utilisé au Québec pour désigner globalement les écarts… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Joual — (ʒual) es el nombre que se la da al Francés quebenquense hablado por una parte de la población de Montreal. El Joual es normalmente asociado con la clase trabajadora. El nombre Joual deriva de la palabra francesa cheval, que significa caballo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • joual — [zho͞o äl′] n. [Fr, < a dialectal pronun. of cheval, horse] name for any of various dialects of Canadian French: orig., and still sometimes, a derogatory term, used esp. for those dialects that diverge most widely from standard speech …   English World dictionary

  • Joual —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Joualle. Le joual est un sociolecte de langue française issu de la culture populaire québécoise urbaine de la région de Montréal[1]. Depuis que le joual a obtenu une certaine forme de reconnaissance sociale au …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joual — (ʒual) es el nombre que se la da al francés quebequense hablado por una parte de la población de Montreal. El Joual es normalmente asociado con la clase trabajadora. Se trata más precisamente de un sociolecto, o dialecto social. El nombre Joual… …   Wikipedia Español

  • joual — noun Etymology: Canadian French, rendering of a nonstandard pronunciation of French cheval horse Date: 1962 spoken Canadian French; especially the local forms of the spoken French of Quebec that differ the most from prescribed forms …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • joual — /zhooh al , ahl /, n. any of the nonstandard dialects of Canadian French, characterized by deviations from the standard phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary, and often containing many borrowings from English. [1960 65; repr. a non… …   Universalium

  • joual — noun The dialect of working class Quebecers …   Wiktionary

  • joual — n. urban dialect of French Canadian language that contains many English words, Canadian French spoken mainly in Quebec (Canada) …   English contemporary dictionary