Louisiana Creole French(language)

Louisiana Creole French (LCF) (négfrancaise négnigger french, couri vini) is one of three variety of French influence language in Louisiana. The other two are Cajun and Colonial French. The tongue is spoken in Creole country, Arcadiana, southwest of New Orleans to the Texas border. It is currently spoken by creoles of African descent and some whites. Louisiana Creole French(LCF) is not a form of French. It is its own language, unlike Colonial French and Cajun, which are forms of French. Colonial French or Plantation Society French(PSF) is now dead. The term creole now refers to black and those of mix ancestry in contrast to Cajun. 

The tongue is spoken in specific locations: Central Area, New Roads, German Coast, and Bayou Lacombe and Bayou Liberty. The creole is affiliated with slaves and was once viewed as having low status. The tongue used to be referred to as nég, francaise nég, nigger french, and couri vini. Louisiana Creole is diminishing due to wide dispersal of its core speakers. Few modern speakers of the tongue are mono-lingual. Preservation of the tongue has not been as aggressive as Cajun.

During the period of French occupation, slaves developed Louisiana French Creole. Slaves coming from a variety of african locale, needed to communicate with each other and their masters. A pidgin initially developed on the plantation. The pidgin would have developed from limited access to formal Colonial French, spoken by whites and since most slaves were field hands. In addition, learning to read French was forbidden and could result in death for slaves. Their native born children would developed the subject/verb structure needed for a mature language as Louisiana French Creole. Louisiana French Creole would be the only language of the slave population. The gens de couleur libre would be versed in both Louisiana French Creole of the slave population and the Colonial French of the general white population.

LCF differs from French in the position of the definite article, la. La comes after the noun, unlike French where the la is placed before the noun. It also can be used as an intermediary between the definite article and demonstrative adjective. Furthermore, it can show a three-way difference between a subject set, possessive determiners, a postposed set taking the role of a direct object and object of prepositions.


Works Cited

Valdman, Albert(1998). Dictionary of  Louisiana Creole. Indiana University Press, pp. 5 ISBN 0253334519, 9780253334510

Carlisle, Aimee Jeanne. Language Attrition in Louisiana Creole French. University of California, Davis, <http://iccweb.ucdavis.edu/diversity/Documents/PDF/ACarlisle_Final_thesis.pdf>

External Links:

YouTube Video