Aging with French: Observations from South Louisiana

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Abstract

South Louisiana is home to long-established French and French-Creole speaking minorities of varied origin. This paper reports on fieldwork observation in a nursing home among whose residents were many French speakers. The research question with which this context was approached was kept deliberately wide, namely, how bilingualism might feature in the lives of participants, or what the linguistic practices and preferences of participants might be. Thus, rather than impose pre-determined analytical categories on the research situation that could be formulated into a hypothesis to be tested by quantificational means, the work reported here is an attempt to describe the participants' practices, and perspectives on the phenomenon under investigation.

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