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English in Canada: relevant settlement history
There are different varieties of English in Canada, but a quite widespread‘General CE’
Standard CE remarkably homogenous
Newfoundland English different: gets a separate chapter in CHEL
While N. was being settled by West country fisherfolk and Irish workers, the rest of Canada was being wrested from the French
Meanwhile inland we find
Canadian English is a lot like American English because of subsequent settlement history
It’s for this reason that Canadian English sounds like General American English
Second big wave of immigration after the War of 1812
Settlement patterns of C19th Britons
Third wave beginning around 1890s and peaking around 1910 (just before WWI interrupted it)
Fourth wave after WWII
Modern Canadian anglophone culture very multilingual
Coexistence of English with French e.g. on cereal boxes and toothpaste tubes
Different from English / like General American
Shared developments in NAm English
Some ‘British’ pronunciations of lexical items
Merger of low back vowels in cot and caught
More explicit identity markers for average Canadians are
Spelling mixture of UK and US
Sentence final eh?
Which leads me to syntax
More recently sociolinguists have tried to look at CE as more than just a variety that’s different from AmE
Oldest vocabulary imported from
Some terms are more regional
Indigenous plants and animals: some internationally known
Translations of place hames
-French version of Iroquois kanata ‘village’
French was the medium for aboriginal words like caribou (1665), Esquimaux (1548), toboggan (1691)
French influences Quebec English
English terms adapted/extended to life in Canada
Some words adapted to reflect culture specific to Canada (e.g.)
Immigrant languages -> words for food
What about the future of Canadian English?
Hasn’t picked up some features of northern/border American English
And some features found in Canada are spreading in the US
1b. Perhaps a development of ‘North American’ as a result of ‘the compression of space and time’ allowing more face-to-face interaction among speakers of different varieties
2. Interesting to consider the prospect of ESL varieties / urban varieties