Master of Arts (MA)


French Studies

Document Type



Cajun and Creole French are thought of by scholars and lay-people alike as the two varieties of French spoken in Louisiana. While this may have been true to some extent in the past, the linguistic landscape of Louisiana is constantly evolving. As in other parts of the world, globalization, higher education, and an ever expanding media presence are changing the linguistic reality for Louisiana’s French speaking community. The twentieth century has seen a complete shift in the status of the French language in relation to public schools in Louisiana. In the early twentieth century, many children learned French at home and were not allowed to speak it at school. By the end of the twentieth century, the sociopolitical landscape as well as the linguistic one had changed so much that children could not learn French in the home and were forced to learn it in the public school system. In this paper, I attempt to describe in technical terms how this shift in the linguistic reality of Louisiana has changed Louisiana French itself. Many hope that Louisiana’s expanding French immersion schools can help preserve the French language in Louisiana and ensure that a future generation of Louisianans will be able to take their rightful place in the Francophone world. Through my observation of French immersion students, I illustrate the ways in which the French language which will be spoken by future generations differs from that of their ancestors and I attempt to shed light on the causes of these changes. I also identify several different phenomena in Louisiana’s immersion schools which warrant future linguistic research.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dubois, Sylvie