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Language use and language attitudes in New Caledonia with particular reference to French Creole Tayo

Journal Article


Abstract


  • New Caledonia has an unusual language dynamic in comparison to other French overseas

    territories. In most of these islands, a French Creole is usually the lingua franca and has a lower

    status than French. In contrast, in New Caledonia the French Creole, called Tayo, is a minority

    language and comes in contact with French, English and 28 Indigenous languages (also called

    Kanak languages). The 2014 census population revealed a multi-ethnic and multicultural NewCaledonian

    population. It did not, however, record the rate of multilingualism in speakers. Results

    from a recent sociolinguistic study on patterns of language use and language attitudes revealed that

    French is perceived as the ‘cement language’ that binds all Neo-Caledonians. English on the other

    hand, is considered the global language of the Pacific, and as such is more valued than Indigenous

    and migrant languages by the younger generations. In contrast, Creole Tayo, the only French Creole

    in the Pacific, acts as an identity marker and ‘code’ amongst its small group of speakers when they

    do not want ‘outsiders’ to know what they were saying.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Bissoonauth-Bedford, A. (2018). Language use and language attitudes in New Caledonia with particular reference to French Creole Tayo. Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2 (1), 80-88.

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 80

End Page


  • 88

Volume


  • 2

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand

Abstract


  • New Caledonia has an unusual language dynamic in comparison to other French overseas

    territories. In most of these islands, a French Creole is usually the lingua franca and has a lower

    status than French. In contrast, in New Caledonia the French Creole, called Tayo, is a minority

    language and comes in contact with French, English and 28 Indigenous languages (also called

    Kanak languages). The 2014 census population revealed a multi-ethnic and multicultural NewCaledonian

    population. It did not, however, record the rate of multilingualism in speakers. Results

    from a recent sociolinguistic study on patterns of language use and language attitudes revealed that

    French is perceived as the ‘cement language’ that binds all Neo-Caledonians. English on the other

    hand, is considered the global language of the Pacific, and as such is more valued than Indigenous

    and migrant languages by the younger generations. In contrast, Creole Tayo, the only French Creole

    in the Pacific, acts as an identity marker and ‘code’ amongst its small group of speakers when they

    do not want ‘outsiders’ to know what they were saying.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Bissoonauth-Bedford, A. (2018). Language use and language attitudes in New Caledonia with particular reference to French Creole Tayo. Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2 (1), 80-88.

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 80

End Page


  • 88

Volume


  • 2

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand