The description of minority or threatened languages with a view to documenting the linguistic consequences of language contact and restriction has now emerged as a distinct area of investigation within sociolinguistics. In this book, Raymond Mougeon and Édouard Beniak present a series of analyses of the impact that contact with English on the one hand, and language-use restriction on the other, have had on the evolution of the French dialect spoken in the
predominantly English-speaking province of Ontario, Canada. As a background to the analyses, the authors provide sociohistorical and sociolinguistic information on the Franco-Ontarian community, and make comparisons with other varieties of French both within and outside North America. They address
fundamental theoretical issues such as the interplay between linguistic and extralinguistic causes of structural change and the mechanisms of linguistic change in bilingual as opposed to unilingual speech communities.
'a work whose contribution to the field of linguistic change in minority languages on both the theoretical and the methodological levels is considerable'
Cynthia Fox, SUNY, Albany, French Review
`This is an important contribution to the sociolinguistic literature ... The implications of the study ... are well worth pursuing further.'
Discourse and Society
'This book is a welcome addition to a growing genre: variationist approaches to bilingualism and language contact. M&B's important theoretical contribution goes considerably beyond earlier work by showing how interlingual contact and restriction interact ... M&B's discussion of interference is closely reasoned and attuned to issues of purism and stigmatization, as well as to the difficulty of distinguishing internal and external effects.
This book is a significant contribution to studies of minority languages and to the understanding of linnguistic change more generally.'
Susal Gal, Rutgers University, Language, Volume 68, Number 3 (1992)
`The book is an auspicious beginning to the new interdisciplinary series Oxford Studies in Language Contact whose immediate aim is to make "available a collection of research monographs presenting case studies of language contact around the world" ... This book is recommended for its important contribution to sociolinguistic theory, its fascinating and high quality data, and its consistently careful and insightful analyses of linguistic
performance. It will undoubtedly be of interest to scholars of sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and bilingualism, as well as those readers who wish to acquaint themselves with a lesser known variety of North American French.'
French Language Studies
Introduction; Socio-historical background; French-language spread; Methodology; Simplification; Children and linguistic change; Sociolectal reduction; Aborted sociolectal reduction; Covert interference; Overt interference; Core lexical borrowing; Conclusion; References; Index