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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Friend of the Blog sends in a link to an article in Reconstruction, a language magazine, examining language use in BON COP BAD COP.
Woolard’s notion of bivalency, mentioned above, is an interesting one but proves difficult to apply to the text of Bon Cop, Bad Cop. While some important words in the film, such as “hockey” and “tattoo,” are identical in French and English, they do not provide a point of intrasentential transition from one language to another as they do in her Catalan/Castilian examples. Nevertheless, we can look at instances of interlingual borrowing and codeswitching. Again, David and Martin show contrasting approaches to language use. Martin keeps the two languages separate and uses a formal register in both, for the most part. This is in keeping with his rules-oriented, organized characterization; his use of languages is one of his many skills and he values his linguistic competence in a similar way to his other professional abilities. David, by contrast, uses an informal register and borrows freely from English even in his conversations with other Francophones; despite his many borrowings, however, it is clear when he says to his boss, “Ah come on, c’est mon journée off,” for example, that he is in fact speaking French.
I hope you take notes when reading it, because this will be on the exam.

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2 Comments:

I started getting serious brain-freeze about a third of the way into the article, but "Harry Buttman" reference was enough to get me to add the DVD to my Netflix (US) queue.

As an aside, from my experience in another minority language culture (Welsh) I've observed that formality of speech among first-language speakers is often correlates to their level of anxiety about the survival of the language. Welsh speakers who use a lot of anglicisms are generally a lot less worried about the death of the language than those who have vapors when someone says "dim idea" (no idea) instead of "dim syniad".

Just thought I'd throw that in there.

By Blogger Greylocks, at 12:17 AM  

Interesting...

Wondering if we should start trying to throw First Nations languages into our viewing mix, too.

By Blogger Dwight Williams, at 7:30 PM  

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