Monday 28 February 2011

Jèrriais at Cambridge

Jèrriais is an integral part of the course at Peterhouse on the French Language: Variation and Change. In their final year, Cambridge University students study the dialectal divisions of France, including Jersey, Guernsey and Sark.

Dr. Mari Jones presents information on the different vocabulary in Eastern and Western Jèrriais and the accents which are (or were) used in the linguistic pockets around the Island. One lecture compares the numbers and percentages able to use the different forms of Norman. Mainland Normandy has around 17,000 Norman speakers - about 1% of the population, Jersey has 2,874 or 3.2%, Guernsey with 1,327 speakers making up 2.2% and Sark has an estimated 10 speakers (1.7%)- and Alderney has none...

Students are also given information about the special features of the Norman language, with an emphasis on the Islands. They also examine Language policy and Planning, comparing programmes supporting Seselwa, the first official language of the Seychelles, with the States of Jersey's support of Jèrriais, Jersey's official minority language.

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