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By Timothy Pooley

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Additional resources for Chtimi: the urban vernaculars of northern France

Sample text

The existence of the term patois not only encourages people to believe that a distinct variety exists, but also to apply it to usages when the linguistic evidence hardly justifies it. Chtimi is, by definition, not a self-contained system, either synchronically or diachronically, but a generic term that covers a range of variable usages. Equally important, however, is the perception of the speakers themselves. Whatever I, or any linguist, may argue, for the soundest of linguistic reasons, concerning the distinctiveness of a variety, has little import for ordinary speakers, whose speech behaviour may well be affected by the fact that they perceive varieties designated by such labels as patois and Regional French to be distinct and (largely) self-contained codes.

Automation, on the other hand, did increase the need for technicians and Page 21 supervisory staff, although new developments inevitably entailed an overall reduction in staffing levels. In the 1960s and 1970s, native Roubaisians increasingly shunned the low-paid, exhausting shiftwork offered by the textile industry. As in the nineteenth century, the textile industry turned to imported labour, firstly from the increasingly depressed mining areas of the Pas-de-Calais, but also from Southern Europe and the Maghrebine countries.

Person from Pas-de-Calais . Page 15 2 The Place of Roubaix and Marcq-En-Baroeul in the Lille Conurbation The Emergence of Lille as a Regional Capital Lille and 'Greater Lille' Although Lille is readily regarded as the centre of a conurbation of just over a million people, 1 the notion of 'Greater Lille' (le grand Lille) is relatively recent, and its effective realisation dates from the 1960s. The Chambers of Commerce of Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing and Armentières were merged in 1965 (Trénard, 1977), and the CUDL (Communauté Urbaine de Lille) was set up in 1967.

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