Compiled by Amy J. Ransom and Amy Reid
REMYSEN, WIM et NADINE VINCENT, dirs. La langue
franÃ§aise au QuÃ©bec et ailleurs: Patrimoine linguistique, socioculture
et modÃ¨les de rÃ©fÃ©rence. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2016.
Pp. 378. ISBN 978-3-631-67016-3.
Debates surrounding French language usage in QuÃ©bec have
preoccupied linguists, authors, and intellectuals for centuries. In the
twentieth century, prominent QuÃ©bÃ©cois linguists and lexicographers
like Louis Mercier â€“ the inspiration for this volume â€“ engaged in
massive projects to document, study, organize, and present to the
public the unique characteristics of French as it is spoken in QuÃ©bec.
By approaching it as an object of study and an artefact of cultural
heritage, Mercier and others legitimized QuÃ©bÃ©cois French, dispelling
the myth that there exists only one standard version of French and
celebrating the rich diversity of the language as it is spoken throughout
the francophone world. As Michel Francard summarizes in his
preface: â€œIl ne sâ€™agit ni dâ€™isoler cette variÃ©tÃ© parmi la francophonie,
ni de la fondre dans un franÃ§ais standard. Mais plutÃ´t de lui donner
une rÃ©elle lÃ©gitimitÃ©, y compris dans ce quâ€™elle a de plus spÃ©cifiqueâ€
(8). The bookâ€™s title evokes this openness and willingness to engage
with all aspects of the French language, as it is spoken in QuÃ©bec and
â€œailleurs.â€ This well-curated collection of essays seeks to examine
the impact of the lexicographic projects of the previous century on
studies of QuÃ©bÃ©cois French and to present new research based on
these projects. In homage to Mercier, the volume is organized around
three themes found in his own works: language as national heritage,
the sociocultural dimension of lexicography, and the use of QuÃ©bÃ©cois
French as a reference model.
The first section, entitled â€œPatrimoine linguistique,â€ includes six
essays that explore the ways in which the repository of documents
about QuÃ©bÃ©cois French constitutes a national treasure. Cristina
QuÃ©bec Studies, 65