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Languages of Louisiana

Adapted from Tulane University ANTH 4930

This course examines the current and historically diverse linguistic situation in Louisiana, from indigenous languages spoken at the time of contact with Europeans to the present, in particular on the colonial languages that influenced the English spoken today. It covers basic features of the languages as well as their social settings. Students will further conduct independent field research projects, alone or in small groups, focusing on languages spoken in southern Louisiana, in particular in the city of New Orleans.

Nathalie Dajko

Assistant Professor - Department of Anthropology

Course Chapters

  • About This Chapter

    At the time of French arrival, there were many different languages spoken in what is now Louisiana. These languages belonged to…

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    The first European language to be established in Louisiana was French. This language is dealt with more fully in another course…

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    While Spain ran the Louisiana colony for 40 years (vs. the 60-year French rule), the presence of the Spanish language in…

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    African languages made their way to Louisiana with the arrival of the first slave ships in 1719. During the French period,…

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    Although most attention has been focused on French in Louisiana, several other European languages have also been very influential in Louisiana’s…

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    Major immigration of English speakers begins with Louisiana statehood in 1812. Shift from other languages, in particular French, to English began…

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    English is also the native language of most New Orleanians today. Some claim that up to five dialects are or have…

  • About This Chapter

    One of the most interesting linguistic phenomena in New Orleans is that of the chanting of the Mardi Gras Indians. For…