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Newfoundland French

NameNewfoundland French
NativenameFrançais terre-neuvien
FamilycolorIndo-European
StatesCanada
RegionPort au Port Peninsula, Newfoundland
Speakers<500
Fam1Indo-European
Fam2Italic
Fam3Romance
Fam4Italo-Western
Fam5Western
Fam6Gallo-Iberian
Fam7Gallo-Romance
Fam8Gallo-Rhaetian
Fam9Oïl
Fam10French
Extinctmoribund
MapcaptionHistorical Continental French settlements of Port-au-Port

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Newfoundland French or Newfoundland Peninsular French refers to the French spoken on the Port au Port Peninsula (part of the so-called “French Shore”) of Newfoundland. The francophones of the region are unique in Canada, tracing their origins to Continental French fishermen who settled in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and not to the Québécois, or Acadians of the Maritimes. For this reason, Newfoundland French is most closely related to the Norman and Breton French of nearby St-Pierre-et-Miquelon. Today, heavy contact with Acadian French &mdash; and especially widespread bilingualism with Newfoundland English &mdash; have taken their toll, and the community is in decline.

The degree to which lexical features of Newfoundland French constitute a distinct dialect is not presently known. It is uncertain how many speakers survive &mdash; the dialect could be moribund. There is a provincial advocacy organisation Fédération des Francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, representing both the Peninsular French and Acadian French communities.


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