French Heritage Language Communities in the United States

Authored by: Jane F. Ross , Fabrice Jaumont

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415520669
eBook ISBN: 9780203122419
Adobe ISBN: 9781136332494

10.4324/9780203122419.ch10

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Abstract

French heritage language speakers in the United States are distinguished by the diverse origins of their communities, both historically and geographically. Some French speakers are descendants of early colonial settlers who have transmitted their French language through multiple generations for more than 200 years, beginning with 17th- and 18th-century refugees from Europe and Canada, including the Acadians of Maine and Louisiana. Other French speakers are more recent immigrants from such Francophone countries as Haiti, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast as well as from France and other European countries. In recent years these multiethnic communities have increasingly worked together to guarantee the long-term vitality of French as a heritage language in the United States by creating educational opportunities as well as real economic prospects to encourage continuing transmission of French to a new generation.

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