“L’État actuel du français louisianais” – Hunter Davis Thesis Announcement

The English and World Languages Department would like to announce the thesis defense of Hunter Davis for his BA in French and Spanish, Teacher Candidate, and Honor’s College. His thesis, titled “L’État actuel du français louisianais” or “The Current State of Louisiana French,” will be defended today, April 3rd, at 1:30pm in McComsey 237. His thesis is chaired by Dr. Christine Gaudry, with committee members Dr. Clarence Maxwell and Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum. The abstract for his thesis is included below.

Abstract: “In 2010, the American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau announced that less than 3.4% of the total population of Louisiana still spoke some form of Louisiana-dialectal
French at home (“Language Spoken at Home”). During the last 10 years, that number has only diminished, with a most recent estimate of around 1.5% of the total population in 2021 still speaking some form of the dialect (“Language Spoken at Home”). This shows a loss of 77,434 native speakers of Louisiana French or roughly 54.2% of the francophone population of Louisiana since 2010. The question proposed by this thesis is if there is any way to slow, stop, or reverse the decline of the use of dialectal varieties of Louisiana French in Louisiana. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the longevity of Louisiana French in relation to other linguistic groups who experienced a revival of their heritage language, with the goal of
analyzing their commonalities in order to draw concrete, feasible solutions for the case of Louisiana French.”