Scottish Gaelic, English, and French: Some Aspects of the Macaronic Traditions of the Codroy Valley, Newfoundland

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At the present time, English is the language common to all tho inhabitants of the Codroy Valley on the west coast of Newfoundland. Because of the fact that education there has always been carried out in English, and also that English was the language of communIcation common to surrounding areas of Newfoundland and the rest of Canada, this necessitated a change for those people who spoke either Scottish Gaelic or French; they became bilingual people whose second language was English. A further transition then. ensued, where the children of bilingual parents learnt only one language, namely English. The younger generation of the Codroy Valley are now at this stage entirely English speaking. The fact that there remained several second generation Scottish Gaelic settlers who, though well up In years, were the bearers of a rich Gaelic tradition, prompted me to visit the area and attempt to preserve at least some record of traditions that existed among the Gaels. It was merely by accident while occupied In this pursuit that I came upon French speaking people In the same area. While both language traditions are included in this paper, most examples are taken from the Gaelic speaking people. For the purposes of this paper, the word "Macaronlc" Is being used in its broadest possible sense. It refers to the use of words from the mother tongue of either tho speaker or his parents, and might serve one or more purposes - namely, these words can be used to fill in gaps where English equivalents are not known to the speaker, to add colour to description where English equivalents do not exist, to add emphasis, amusement, irony, or simply to do justice to a point which the speaker wishes to make. The word "Macaronic" is also being used to describe songs which use more than one language.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
JournalRegional Languages Studies... Newfoundland
Publication statusPublished or Performed - May 1972