Representing the Mythical French Tower of Babel: The Representation of Patois in the French Literary Arts

By Sylvie Gagnon.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the longitudinal evolution of the connotations associated with the word 'patois' in an electronic corpus of the French literary art, which includes works of fiction written between 1700 and 2000. There is evidence that the events which took place after the edict Villers-de Cotterets (1539), and particularly after the French Revolution (1789) have transformed the perceptions and meanings of patois. The analysis of the word 'patois' in the French literary arts, as 'langage parlant' will contribute in understanding the development of negative language attitudes towards the regional
languages of France.

Keywords: Literary Arts, Representation, Meaning, Language

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.135-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 534.182KB).

Dr. Sylvie Gagnon

Senior Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Sylvie Gagnon's maint interest as an interdisciplinary researcher is the interaction between individual identity, culture, language and gender at both literary and linguistic levels. After gaining a PhD in French Linguistics, she was appointed lecturer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1995. She has written articles in the field of linguistics and published two novels and poetry. Her work in progress includes the writing of a novel about the meaning of language loss and a funded research project on the representation of minority languages in a corpus of French literary texts between 1500 and 2000.

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