Language Dialect and Identity in Lille

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This two-volume book tackles a number of major themes, which, although largely neglected in studies of European French, can be exemplified with particular clarity in the context of the Lille conurbation. This work not only clearly breaks significant new ground within the field of French Studies, combining insights of dialectology with the rigor of modern sociolinguistics applied to a rich array of oral data, thus opening up the perspective of a thorough sociolinguistic overview of a major city. This book will be of vital interest to students and lecturers involved in the advanced courses in French Studies as well as sociolinguists interested in other languages, specialists in historical linguistics, cultural studies, social history and political science.


“I am pleased to present one of the first studies to show how a combination of structural and sociolinguistic factors may influence the use of an urban vernacular. It is about three towns surrounded by almost a hundred villages – towns so close and yet so divided by their histories, their economies….and most of all by their mentalities!....Tim Pooley has attempted to read into the highly diverse processes of the dual function of language: communication and self-differentiation. For this he deserves our thanks.” -(From the Commendatory Preface) Fernand Carton, Professeur émérite d’Université, Directeur de l’Atlas linguistique et ethnographie picard

“[This book] offers something of a compendium of all previous work on the language of Lille from medieval times until now, incorporating it into an analytical frame derived from the latest Anglo-American and French sociolinguistic thinking. The Picard dialect has a long recorded history, enabling [the author] to elucidate the degree of continuity/ discontinuity between the modern speech of Lille and its medieval antecedents.” – Professor Anthony Lodge, University of St. Andrew’s

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
List of Maps, Acknowledgements, Preface, 1. The quiet waters of Shibboleth 2. The archeology of an identity 3. A sociolinguistic history of Picard i) 4. A sociolinguistic history of Picard ii) 5. Investigating urban space 6. Dialect shift i) the depicardisation of the Lille vernacular 7. Dialect shift ii) the emergence of the northern accent

VOL. 2
8. Perceptions of Picard 9. The Picard Skills Test i) linguistic factors 10. Perceptions of Picard 11. Language representation i) forms of vitality 12. Language representation ii) status 13. Conclusion,
Bibliography, Index

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