On a Lesser Known Montreality: French Among the City's Haitian Youth

Colloquium | March 7 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Luc Baronian, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

 Canadian Studies Program (CAN))

Haitian Creole possesses certain features in common with French as spoken in Montréal. For example, both spoken languages affricate /t, d/ before high front vowels, both contain traces of a former palatalization, both have a progressive marker based on the word for 'after' and both share certain Amerindian borrowings such as "boucane / boukan". For nearly half a century now, a modern Haitian community has taken strong roots in Montréal. Being concentrated in neighborhoods such as Saint-Michel and Montréal-Nord has allowed Haitian Creole to influence the local vernacular French in its phonology and lexicon. In this talk, I enumerate several of these influences and pay particular attention to examples taken from hip-hop lyrics demonstrating the consolidation of an identity common to the youth speaking a Haitian-influenced version of Montréal French.