The Linguistic Geography of the French of Northern France: Do We Have the Basic Data?
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Author. Language and Linguistics Compass © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume 7, Issue 9, pages 477–499, September 2013
How to Cite
Hall, D. (2013), The Linguistic Geography of the French of Northern France: Do We Have the Basic Data?. Language and Linguistics Compass, 7: 477–499. doi: 10.1111/lnc3.12046
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 2 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 25 MAY 2012
Linguistic geography and dialectology in France have a long and distinguished history. Much foundational early work on the geography of accents and dialects was done there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the work of Gilliéron and Edmont, and their successors. Later, such distinguished figures as Martinet, Walter and others continued the tradition. Most of this dialectology, though, has in common the fact that it is done by ear: a trained fieldworker interviews participants and writes down what he / she hears. Meanwhile, in the United States, Labov, Ash and Boberg have pioneered a new method of phonetic and phonological dialectology, where maps are made not from a linguist's impressions of sounds but from actual phonetic measurements of those sounds. This article describes the French dialectological tradition and these more recent techniques from the United States, then goes on to describe Towards A New Linguistic Atlas of France (TANLAF), a project which will apply these American phonetic and phonological techniques to the linguistic geography of the regional French varieties of Northern France.