L’espoir

élevé ici en d’dans la Paroisse St . Martin , au ras l Bayou Tèche en haut la terre-ça-là . Mo’ popa hérité la terre so popa à li . Li c’été ein blanc . Li marié mo grand’moman . C’été eine négresse mais li tee gain les ch’fés draites parce qué li gain ein tas di chavauge .

C’est drole la mognière mo’ cônain ça . C’été quand ma tante mouri . enséveli li en d’dans la maison mo grand-popa . courri ichequ’à mo grand-popa pis bon li en haut so la bouche . Mo mandé ma grand’-moman qui-cé c’été fômes-là . C’est ma grand’moman dit mon qué mo grand-popa c’été ein blanc . Même que mon . dit c’été les mounes qui vini di Canada . pa cônain arien pou’ ça . Ça c’té avant mon .

Ça s’trouve côme ça qué mo gain di blanc et di chauvage . Mais mo cônain mo toujou’ ein nèg . In’ a zen croit iche parce qué gain di blanc mié qu’les aut’ . Quand meme parait tout blanc , toujou’ noi’ . To cônain in’ a eine place au bois là-bas en arriere aoù in’ a jiche des milât’ , passé blancs . gain eine salle danse là-bas au large . p’olé laisser les nèg couri au bal - bas . dit mon long-temps passé t’habitude guetter à la porte pou’ empêcher les nèg noirs renter en d’dans la salle danse . Cilà qui t’apé guetter à la porte te gain ein sac-en papier pis ein peigne fin . fait les mounes mett’ mains au ras lo sac-en-papier . Si la main pli foncé pourré pas rantrer . Si la main pli blanc , bin passé peigne-là en d’dans les ch’fés . Si peigne-là glissé bien , laissé mounes-là couri danser .



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Why the accent? Is there a pronunciation difference between Mò (subject) and Mo' (possessive adjective)?

Was this in reference to mett'? [r] seems to occur elsewhere after a consonant, but not in final position like you mentioned.

It seems like you can say both 'mo grand'moman' and 'ma grand'moman'. I realize you don't usually make a gender distinction, but why would you do it sometimes?

Is the difference between 'iche' and 'jiche' due to the sound that precedes it? You use 'iche' after a consonant and 'jiche' after a vowel? Hopefully I'm right in that they both mean 'juste'.

From the limited instances of each that we have here, it is difficult to discern any difference between them except for the spelling. I don't think that it has to do with a preceding consonant or vowel, because wouldn't the pronunciation of 'croit' (which precedes 'iche') end in a vowel sound too?

The other instances of 'dé' are in 'salle dé danse' and 'terre dé so papa', thus corresponding to SF 'de.' In this case, 'dé' may refer to SF 'des.' There's actually a line from the original text that says 'Dé fômes-la c'té ses sères' which leads me to think that 'dé' might be more of a demonstrative, i.e. 'ces.' This would be logical for both of these instances. There is a 'des' in the text (des milât' ) that is clearly the plural indefinite, so this 'dé' is probably not serving that same function unless the forms are in free variation. This brings us to the question of pronunciation - would 'dé' and 'des' be pronounced the same way?

Yeah, I noticed that, too, Anna. I wonder what the origin of dé as 'ces' ultimately is. Could it potentially be an adoption from the English 'they'? I don't remember whether Valdman addressed the origin or not in his article.

It looks like 'mon' is used in 2 ways: 1.as an indirect object postverbally (Yé dit mon) 2. as a stress pronoun, i.e. moi (Même que mon, avant mon).

This is the only case of 'c'té.' There are many more cases of 'c'été.' Note that when there is no c', the preverbal tense marker is 'té' and not 'été' alone. Thus 'été' and 'té' seem to have separate domains except for this one case. What do 'c'été' and 'c'té' sound like? Would you naturally get some kind of epenthetic vowel between the c and t in the latter, in which case you typically end up with 'c'été'?

That is rather interesting. In response to your question, I don't think that there necessarily needs to be an epenthetic vowel. There could be, of course, but I'm inclined to think that we'd simply say [ste].

There seem to be three words that can cover the 1st person singular subject pronouns here: mo, mo', and mò. The first two also have other roles... Mo can be: 1st SG possessive adj for either gender (as in mo gran'moman and mo gran-popa); 1st SG subject pronoun (as in Mo mandé ma gran'-moman...); 1st SG pronominal object (as in Mais mo cônain mo toujou' ein nèg.) Mo' can be: 1st SG possessive adj (as in mo' popa); 1st SG subject pronoun (as in mo' cônain ça) Mò can be: 1st SG subject pronoun (as in mò té élevé ici...)\nWe only see 2 instances of each of these as subject pronoun (3 instances for mo), so it is difficult to say definitively when one is more appropriate than another (if they are even different words).

Hyphenation\n2 grand'moman\n1 grand'-moman (though probably unhyphenated when not separated by a line break)\n-but-\n3 grand-popa (none of which are interrupted by a line break)\nDoes the apostrophe (in place of an 'e' ?) in grand'moman fulfill the same purpose as the hyphen in grand-popa?

I think that the apostrophe is in place of an 'e' but it curious that the author would choose the mark the feminine in this compound word formed from an adjective and a noun, when it doesn't show up in other places like, the adjective in fômes blancs. I suppose that grand'moman is a fixed expression. I wonder if the pronunciation of grand in grand-popa is different from the pronunciation of grand' in grand'moman.

We seem to be missing two sentences preceding this one. \n"No' t'apé veiller corps-là quand in' a dé fômes blancs qui t'arrivé. Té renté en d'dans maison cé mo grand-popa."

I wonder why there is a circumflex here. In Standard French, the circumflex usually marks a historical 's'. However if this word means 'comme', like I think it does, then the circumflex must be marking something else.

Here's the circumflex on another word that historically didn't have an 's'. Maybe the circumflex marks vowel quality.

Looking at the adjectives blanc and noir in this piece it looks like adjectives agree with their nouns in number, but not gender.

c'est marrant qu'ils utilisent encore les paroisses. En France la revolution a separe l'eglise et l'etat et aujourd'hui les paroisses sont purement religieuses

mo' = que je ?\nou je tout simplement\nje cherche la difference entre le mo avec un accent et celui sans accent

chez nous en Lorraine on fait la veillee des morts. le corps est souvent dans la maison du mort. pour mon grand-pere et ma grand-mere, c'etait dans leur chambre, le corps etait dans le lit et on priait autour du lit. pour ma cousine, le corps etait carement sur la table de la salle a manger. Mon pere et ma mere, on avait le cercueil dans la salle a manger. Ca a evolue et maintenant on ne met plus le corps dans le lit ou sur une table.

couri (from courir, perhaps?) appears to have taken the place of 'aller', which I find to be an unusual case of semantic narrowing. Especially since I don't perceive people in Louisiana as hurrying from place to place?

oui, ca me fait pense a un L1 transfert, ici donc un transfer de l'anglais I ran to his house. \nQuoique, on dit aussi j'ai couru jusqu'a chez lui quand on veut preciser qu'on a bien courru et non pas marche.

In all the other appearances of yé in the text, it would apprear to be the 3rd person plural subject pronoun 'ils', but here we see an instance of yé where it appears to act also as the 3rd person plural possessive adjective 'ses'

je voulais selectionner les 3 mots meme que mo mais ce n'est pas possible. Je trouve que la feature devrait etre ajoutee.

en fait, je pense que les features de selection des mots devraient etre ameliorees. Par exemple on devrait pouvoir double-cliquer sur un mot pour le selctionner car c'est tres instinctif aujourd'hui. si on veut selectioner PLUSIEURS mots, alors la c'est logique de faire le drag.

Wherever a appears in the text, it is preceeded by in' I'm rather curious about this construction. Is it some time expression? or prepositional phrase showing motion?

'en' seems (from this text) to have become generalized to compound prepositional phrases. Everywhere you see 'en', you also get another locator: en d'dans, en haut, en arriere. It would be interesting to see if there are lone uses of 'en' in other data.

comment tu as fait pour prendre les 2 mots ? Tu as fait un comment sur en d'dans et pas sur en. J'ai essaye de faire ca mais ca n'a pas marche. peut etre que la feature est buggee.

il y en a qui se croient riche (= superieur) parce qu'ils sont en partie blancs, ils sont meilleurs que les autres

quand on selectionne un mot pour y mettre un comment, le cursor remonte tout en haut du texte. \nJe pense que le curseur devrait rester la ou on vient de mettre le comment. C'est counter-intuitif.

sorry, I am really switching gear to usability testing here. Not sure if this is what you needed, Carl. i don't mean to be critical of the s/w, it's an old réflexe professionel :-)

This is an interesting combination of the definite article coming before the noun, but with two more demonstratives coming afterwards. In the other uses of 'là' or 'ça' appearing in the text, they are independent of one another. Is this just for emphasis?

This would appear to be 'qui est-ce que', which is certainly a different usage from that of metropolitan French.

des mulatres (moitie blanc - moitie noir)\nma voisine qui vient de New Orleans, elle parle de sa cousine comme une passa blanc. C'est drole parce que la premiere fois que je l'ai rencontree, je n'avais pas remarque qu'elle etait noire. Pour moi, elle avait une peua de blanc, plus foncee que moi mais pas enormement. mais dans la conversation elle m'a dit something like i am Black ... C'etait totalement incongru. Je n'ai pas pu m'empecher de lui demander de quoi elle parlait et la elle a commence a me parle d'elle et de sa famille, qu'il y a beaucoup de sang blanc dans sa famille etc.

tout ca pour dire a quel point cette histoire de couleur de peau et de sang est importante pour leur identite

encore une chose a propos de ma voisine: elle se definit en tant que CAJUN, c'est tres important pour elle, et surtout pas Creole. je comprends maintenant pourquoi elle fait une telle difference (creole = le bas de l'echelle sociale et linguistique).

je ne comprends pas cette phrase.\nLe contexte = les noirs n'ont pas le droit d'aller dans cette salle de danse

ils avaient l'habitude de guetter a la porte pour empecher les noirs d'entrer dans la salle\nDonc c'est bien l'epoque de la segregation.

si le peigne glisse bien dans le cheveux, c'est bon. Si les cheveux sont crepus, le peigne ne va pas bien glisser, donc c'est un signe de sang noir

An apostrophe usually denotes an element that has been deleted. I'm wondering if grand'- differs in pronunciation from grand-. Perhaps the 'd' is pronounced for grand'moman but not for grand-popa.

I notice variation between an -en- and -an- spelling for this nasal vowel. Lower down we also see rantrer, which seems to have the same meaning. I wonder if this has any significance.

It is interesting to me that "sur" has also been expressed as 'so', given that this word is also used for the 3rd sing. possessive, like "so papa à li". I would have thought that sur might have become "si", eliminating the final r and unrounding the vowel.

Interesting here that noirs is spelled out (to agree with the noun?), whereas above it's noi', and many other word-final Rs are dropped. Wonder if it's pronounced. Showing some kind of prestige of "standard French", perhaps?

To deal with the variation of mo, I pulled out all of the instances, and grouped them together by usage:\n\n\nMò té élevé\nmo' cônain\nMo mandé\nmo gain\nmo cônain\ncônain mo toujou' ein nèg\n\nMo' popa\nmo grand'moman\nmo grand-popa\nmo grand-popa\n(qué) mo grand-popa\nMò pa\n\ngrand-moman dit mon qué\nMême que mon\navant mon\nYé dit mon\n\nThe first thing revealed is that mon is always used as an indirect/stress pronoun, never as the subject or a possessive. \n\nFor the possessives, there is some variation. While mo is always used with grand-popa/grand'-moma, we have mò and mo' for pa. Is this significant? Hard to say. If I had to guess, I might say that mò and mo' are two variants of the same class (with an undecided orthography), whereas mo makes up a different class. But on what grounds, not sure. Or this could all be by chance.\n\nThen we have the cases of mo/mo'/mò as a subject pronoun. We have both mo and mo' in front of cônain, so it would be difficult to posit some kind of verb-related/phonological argument. I have a feeling that the alternate spellings reflect just that there is some (free) variation in the pronunciation of the word, even if it isn't subject to allophonic rules. \n\n*Edit: eComma didn't like my formatting. Unfortunately it looks like you can't break things up into lines.

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