The French, Minority Language in the Workplace: The Linguistic Representations of Linguistic Insecurity (Le français, langue minoritaire, en milieu de travail : des représentations linguistiques à l’insécurité linguistique) (p. 17–63)
This article presents the partial results of an ethno-sociolinguistic study conducted in a bilingual (English-French) workplace in New-Brunswick. We particularly focus on how speakers of the minority language, French, perceive their own language and that of others in order to see how language representations are intimately linked to language practices and, in this case, linguistic insecurity. This gives a better understand of what it means to be a “minority language speaker” in the workplace and, most of all, why it is essential to take in consideration the symbolic aspects of language in the analysis of sociolinguistic settings.
Keywords: Linguistic representation, linguistic insecurity, bilingualism, work language, language contact, diglossia, linguistic minorities, official languages, sociolinguistics, language planning.
Annie Pilote, Marie-Odile Magnan, and Karine Vieux-Fort
Linguistic Identity and Weight of Language: A Comparative Study between Young People from Francophone Schools in New Brunswick and Anglophones in Quebec (Identité linguistique et poids des langues : une étude comparative entre des jeunes de milieu scolaire francophone au Nouveau-Brunswick et anglophone au Québec) (p. 65–98)
This article examines the construction of identity within the context of Canadian linguistic minorities. Comparing youths attending a French language school in New-Brunswick and English language schools in Québec, it analyses the processes through which these youths construct their linguistic identity – i.e. through a negotiation between their subjective definition of Self and the identities transmitted by Others (in particular by their family and their school). The qualitative results are presented according to different configurations of sense of identity and family environment: endogamous (majority language), endogamous (minority language), exogamous (French and English). This analysis demonstrates that bilingual identification is observed within both linguistic groups; however, social issues engendered by these bilingual identities are more likely to be understood while taking into account the different weight attributed to French and English languages in the North-American context.
Keywords: Linguistic minorities, linguistic identity, identity construction, socialization process, qualitative methodology, Quebec, New-Brunswick.
Carol Jean Léonard
Toponymical Heritage of Cultural Minorities, Place of Complexity: The Case of Fransaskois (Patrimoine toponymique des minorités culturelles, lieu de complexités : le cas de la Fransaskoisie) (p. 99–124)
This paper successively examines two fundamental issues that toponymy, as an identity reference, presents. Following an overview of the recent developments in toponymy which led to its recognition as an autonomous transdisciplinary science, this paper proceeds to identify the identity paradoxes that stem from all attempts to create a thorough inventory of a toponymy based on language and culture in a shared multilingual territory. A typology of the obstacles that hamper the identification of geographical names vis-à-vis a target culture is proposed. This process of analyzing how any attempt to address the exhaustive nomenclature of a cultural heritage identified through toponymy illustrates the unravelling of a rich diversity marked by interculturality. In order to better explore this phenomenon, the paper examines the obstacles encountered while compiling the inventory of the 2,500 toponyms of French origin and French influence in Saskatchewan, a province located in central Canada. These toponyms are examples of said process.
Keywords: Francophone minority, toponymy, cultural interpenetration, cultural heritage, linguistic contacts.
Multilingualism, Identities, and Representations: Practices of Speakers to the Definitions of Linguists (Plurilinguismes, représentations et identités : des pratiques des locuteurs aux définitions des linguistes) (p. 125–161)
This article identifies teenagers’ discourses on their sociolinguistic experience, the development of their capabilities as plurilingual speakers and the identities (individual, collective, linguistic, and cultural) they develop within a specific context. Through a series of individual sociobiographic interviews, the representations of languages and the strategies they use in language contact situations to construct and develop plurilingual identities emerge with regards to constraints related to language acquisition and transmission, as well as to the stated verbal repertoires and the many identities they claim in order to ponder on the best method to describe complex language situations.
Keywords: Plurilingualism, representations, identities, social network, languages in contact, teenagers.
Entre lieux et mémoire. L’inscription de la francophonie canadienne dans la durée, Anne Gilbert, Michel Bock et Joseph Yvon Thériault (dir.), Ottawa, Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 2009, 367 p. (p. 163-166)
Le suicide chez les jeunes Autochtones et l’effondrement de la continuité personnelle et culturelle, Michael J. Chandler, Christopher E. Lalonde, Bryan W. Sokol et Darcy Hallett, traduit de l’anglais par Caroline Malhame et Léonard R. Martin, Québec, Presses de l’Université Laval, 2010 , 210 p. (p. 167-172)