Language use and language attitudes in New Caledonia with particular reference to French Creole Tayo (2018)
New Caledonia has an unusual language dynamic in comparison to other French overseas territories. In most of these islands, a French Creole is usually the lingua franca and has a lower status than French. In contrast, in New Caledonia the French Creole, called Tayo, is a minority language and comes in contact with French, English and 28 Indigenous languages (also called Kanak languages). The 2014 census population revealed a multi-ethnic and multicultural New- Caledonian population. It did not, however, record the rate of multilingualism in speakers. Results from a recent sociolinguistic study on patterns of language use and language attitudes revealed that French is perceived as the ‘cement language’ that binds all Neo-Caledonians. English on the other hand, is considered the global language of the Pacific, and as such is more valued than Indigenous and migrant languages by the younger generations. In contrast, Creole Tayo, the only French Creole in the Pacific, acts as an identity marker and ‘code’ amongst its small group of speakers when they do not want ‘outsiders’ to know what they were saying.
Keywordslanguage attitudes; Tayo; Kanak languages; English; French; New Caledonia
RightsCC BY 4.0
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Education, Colonisation and Kanak Aspirations in New Caledonia: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Challenges Small DT (2017)New Caledonia is an anomoly. Surrounded by independent nations in the South-West Pacific, it remains a non-self governing territory of France. Some of the residents are recognised, even by France, as “citizens” of the ...
Small, D. (University of Canterbury. School of Educational Studies and Human Development, 1995)Signed in June 1988, the Matignon Accords have been credited with bringing peace and development to the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. For the indigenous Kanak population, however, the Accords have led to ...
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