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By Timothy Pooley

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Extra resources for Chtimi: the urban vernaculars of northern France

Sample text

I have some hesitation in using Chtimi rather than Chti to refer to vernacular speech in the Nord, particularly in and around Lille. It does, however, allow a useful distinction, a Chti being a person from northern France and Chtimi, a markedly regional form of speech, although, generally speaking, both forms are used interchangeably. 3. Claude Hagège's book Le Souffle de la Langue gives an interesting overview of the situation in Europe. Joshua Fishman's Reversing Language Shift not only gives a wider perspective but discusses the implementation of practical measures for saving endangered minority languages.

What] . . Irish has achieved during the past century'. Although one may seriously question whether it is likely that future generations will be able to refer to Picard as a living language at a time as distant as the end of the twenty-first century, the data that I present in this book confine my observations to what is happening in the Lille urban area. Just as one of the seminal works on the topic of language death (Dorian, 1981) describes not the Page 5 dying out of Scottish Gaelic but the loss of a particular variety spoken in East Sutherland on the east coast of the Scottish mainland, so this book will present opinion and evidence on the loss of patois in a specific area.

Littré, Dictionnaire de la Langue Francaise, Tome II) While terms like dégénéré and déchoient strongly suggest that patois are not appropriate for the most prestigious forms of linguistic expression, the problem for such varieties is to maintain a sufficient functional load for speakers to use them. This has almost invariably proved more difficult in urban than in rural societies. Urban Patois and Urban Vernaculars Littré's definition does, however, have the merit of not restricting the use of patois to rural milieux, which even Delomez, by his use of the term terroir seems to suggest.

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