Using Creole in transatlantic space: the linguistic behaviour of Caribbean migrants in France

Stephanie Condon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

For the last two decades, much of the increase in the French Caribbean population has taken place outside Guadeloupe and Martinique through the settlement of thousands of Caribbean migrants and the birth of children in the French metropole. The Family History Study (1999), which offers the opportunity to examine the transmission of languages other than French in the family context, enables the analysis of the use of Creole in the home according to generation, social origin, gender, education, family form. Residential and occupational concentration has facilitated maintenance of the language in France. Although it is rarely passed on to children as a first mother tongue, it is frequently a second language in the homes of migrants. Analysis of the survey results and interviews with Caribbeans in France and in the islands reveal the importance of the language in the process of return migration and transatlantic circulation.

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Presented in Session 170: Minorities and languages