Thanks for including me in the discussion--it looks very interesting and

I am not subscribed to the ADS list. I do have a few thoughts where

Louisiana is concerned.

The issue of the influence of TV on Cajun and/or Creole would have been

more meaningful in the 1940s and 1950s than it is today, I think, because

today there would in fact be no way to separate TV influences from

interactive/ conversational influences. This is because the vast majority

of Cajuns today are English dominant and speak English every bit as

fluently as you and I do. English is their language. Cajuns (and

Indians, in the Terrebonne-Lafourche area where I worked) for whom this

is not the case are growing increasingly rare, and are already isolated

cases, exceptions to the rule. The only way TV influence could be shown

today would perhaps be with examples such as those you cite (e.g. exotic

place names like Rwanda).

Regarding the question of Standard French on TV influencing Cajun, I

imagine this is possible, but saw no evidence of it for two reasons: 1)

most TV in French is available in and around Lafayette, which is not

where I was doing my work. In Terrebonne-Lafourche there is no more

French on TV than there is here, unless one gets cable. 2) Even those

Cajuns who have cable often do not watch TV in French because they claim

not to be able to understand it. I do not see that a speech form which is

largely unintelligible to the masses would have any significant effect on

local dialects--it is only if there is intelligibility that there could

be any influence.

There is, certainly, some Standard French influence, but this comes via

the schools (many kids take French in school for a year or two) and via

the busloads of French and Canadian tourists that are in Louisiana all

the time.

So, while I don't see TV influencing Cajun speech today (Cajun French or

English), it is certain that the arrival of anglophone TV in remote areas

of Louisiana in the 40s contributed to the language shift. This claim has

been made in many minority communities, and a lot of foreigners, as you

have heard too, I'm sure, claim to have learned most of their English

from TV. But this is a somewhat different issue than the one being

discussed above, since the ADS discussion seems interested primarily in

native speakers of some dialect being influenced by the standard dialect

via TV.

I would be interested to hear of some more concrete examples of influence

from TV--specific words that someone actually noted that could only have

been gotten from TV. For rare words such as Rwanda, it would not surprise

me at all if your claim is correct. I have a similar anecdote; a friend

of mine from Michigan whose parents are from Tennessee, has no Tennessee

accent of his own, but speaks perfectly good Michigan-ese, EXCEPT in some

rare words that he has probably never heard anyone but his parents say.

Two examples come to mind, 'naked' and 'bowels'. It seems to me, than,

that words that people have only heard on TV would likewise have a "TV"

pronunciation; but I have a hard time imagining how many words we're

talking about, except exotic places or high-tech technological terms. If

you have some more eamples, I'd be very interested.

By the way, I'd be interested in seeing Mike Picone's contribution, but I

don't think you sent me that one (or maybe I accidentally deleted it

without reading it). If you would forward that I'd appreciate it.

Thanks, and keep in touch!

Kevin Rottet