Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

French Studies

First Advisor

Sylvie Dubois

Abstract

Most of the research done on the Louisiana Creole community has concentrated on the vocabulary and folklore of Creole French. To date, there has been no methodological examination of other parameters enveloping the community. In this dissertation, the previous findings will be extended by analyzing the results of a survey on the linguistic attitudes and cultural, ethnic, and racial identity of the African-Americans in South Louisiana who identify as Creole. Due to the presence of several varieties of French in the state, the ethnic and racial admixture among the people who speak these dialects, and the overwhelming presence of English in all facets of modern-day life, linguistic and social boundaries have been blurred. This is reflected in the attitudes and the self-identification of the informants. In this study, surveys were administered to 240 African-Americans in South Louisiana. The sample was stratified by age, sex, Creole ancestry, and degree of fluency in Creole French. The synchronic attitudes toward the language and the community were analyzed in light of the historical changes undergone by the community. The results show that Creoles in Louisiana today are still cognizant of the historical meaning attached to the term, but are also participating in the more general movement toward ethnic and racial pride, and are therefore largely identifying as African-American, while still showing some residual pride in Creole heritage, and a concomitant loyalty toward both Creole language use in daily life as well as viewing Creole French as a positive item for the community.

ISBN

9780599906105

Pages

215

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