Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 10:03:47 CDT
From: Glen Accardo glen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SOFTINT.COM
Subject: Re: Cajun query
While I'm not the best to answer all of your questions, I grew up in southern
LA, Cajun Country on some maps I've seen, and went to school at the University
of Southwestern Louisiana.
If you would like more detailed information on Cajun Venacular English,
including several publications, contact Dr. Ann Scott at the U.S.L. English
Department -- ams8950[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]usl.edu
1. Should Cajun language be labelled as a language or as a dialect?
dialect, maybe two. There is cajun french and cajun english. Since the
native language is different, and there is varying level of french and
english, I'd say there are two separate dialects, and a range in between.
2. Is Cajun language a composition of several languages, and if so, which
The expressions are French and English, and I assume that many things along
the journey from England to The Netherlands to Canada to Louisiana influenced
the dialect greatly.
3. Is Cajun language still spoken on a large scale in Louisiana? Is it still
being used in, for instance, local newspapers, local radio and TV stations,
It is like most dialects in that it is considered a bastard language. It is
heard, but my opinion is that most people consider it cute or quaint, and
would rather news anchors sound like Dan Rather or someone more "generic."
There are Cajun French radio programs, there is news in French, and plenty
of Cajun music.
I would hesitate to call the dialect "large scale." Geographically, I've
seen a majority of it concentrated in an area about twice the size of
Houston, TX. However, even though many areas are geographically isolated,
the language seems to be rather consistent throughout, perhaps suggesting
that its development is somewhat static compared to other dialects.
7. Is Cajun language also spoken in schools in Louisiana or should standard
American English only be spoke in schools?
When I was in high school (grad '82), I never heard a Cajun dialect. In
college, I heard a few, but they were generally rather faint cajun accents.
My parents, and others of their age but different areas, say that speaking
French was roughly the same as cursing. That is, saying shit or oui would
get you slapped.
8. Also, if there is some sort of Cajun (cultural) institution, could you
send me the name and the address of this institution?
There are several. Dr. Scott could give you a bit more information.
glen accardo glen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]softint.com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707
Houston, TX 77084
Did the Corinthians ever write back?