Social change in Clare Acadian French: Regional variants in the 21st century
Since the creation of the largest sociolinguistic corpora for Nova Scotia Acadian French communities in the 1980s and early 1990s, there have been a number of major social changes affecting the region. One important change was the establishment of a provincial French-language school board in 1996, the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). Another major change involved the passing of the French-language Services Act in 2004, establishing policies for provincial government employees to offer services in French. Ultimately, these changes created a context for greater exposure to Standard French.
This paper presents a research project to understand how exposure to standard French, a consequence of these major social changes, may have affected the local varieties spoken in southwest Nova Scotia. The project presents the collection of sociolinguistic interviews gathered in 2016 in Clare (the Baie Sainte-Marie region) which can then be compared with earlier data sets thereby allowing us to mea- sure language change in real-time and to consider the role of the above-mentioned social changes on language use.