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Jèrriais

Jèrriais

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Encyclopedia
Jèrriais is the form of the Norman language
Norman language
Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. Norman can be classified as one of the northern Oïl languages along with Picard and Walloon...

 spoken in Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, in the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

, off the coast of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It has been in decline over the past century as English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 has increasingly become the language of education, commerce and administration. There are very few people who speak Jèrriais as a mother tongue and, owing to the age of the remaining speakers, their numbers decrease annually. Despite this, efforts are being made to keep the language alive.

A similar language, Dgèrnésiais
Dgèrnésiais
Guernésiais, also known as Dgèrnésiais, Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the Norman language spoken in Guernsey. It is sometimes known on the island by the semi-disparaging name "patois"...

 is spoken in neighbouring Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

; the language of Sark
Sark
Sark is a small island in the Channel Islands in southwestern English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It is a royal fief, geographically located in the Channel Islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population...

, Sercquiais
Sercquiais
' also known as Sarkese or Sark-French is the Norman dialect of the Channel Island of Sark. In the island it is sometimes known, slightly disparagingly, as the "patois", a French term meaning "regional language"....

, is a descendant of the Jèrriais brought by the Jersey colonists who settled Sark in the 16th century; and there is inter-comprehension with the Norman language of mainland Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

.

Jèrriais is often called "Jersey French" or "Jersey Norman French" in English (though this may give the impression that the language is a dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 of French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

) and "jersiais" or "normand de Jersey" in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

. Care should be taken to distinguish between Jèrriais and the Jersey Legal French
Jersey Legal French
Jersey Legal French, also known as Jersey French, is the official dialect of French used administratively in Jersey. Since the anglicisation of the island, it survives as a written language for some laws, contracts, and other documents. Jersey's parliament, the States of Jersey, is part of the...

 used for legal contracts, laws and official documents by the government and administration of Jersey. For this reason, some prefer using the term "Jersey Norman" to avoid ambiguity and to disassociate the language from standard French.

Status




The latest census figures (2001) show that approximately 3% of the island's population speak Jèrriais in their personal interactions, although research suggests that up to 15% of the population have some understanding of the language. The latest census figures also showed an increase in declarations of children speaking the language: the first such increase recorded in census figures (although this may be due to greater consciousness among parents than to language use), doubtless encouraged by the introduction of a Jèrriais teaching programme into Jersey schools. The parish
Parishes of Jersey
The Channel Island of Jersey is divided into twelve administrative districts or parishes. All have access to the sea and are named after the saints to whom their ancient parish churches are dedicated.:* Saint Helier...

 with the highest proportion (8%) of Jèrriais speakers is Saint Ouen
Saint Ouen, Jersey
-Cueillettes:Unlike the other parishes of Jersey, the subdivisions of this parish are not named vingtaines, but cueillettes . Vingteniers are still elected, however, in the cueillettes.*La Petite Cueillette*La Grande Cueillette...

, and that with the lowest proportion (2.1%) is Saint Helier
Saint Helier
Saint Helier is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel. St. Helier has a population of about 28,000, roughly 31.2% of the total population of Jersey, and is the capital of the Island . The urban area of the parish of St...

, although Saint Helier as the largest parish has the highest number of Jèrriais speakers. The number of census respondents who stated that they "usually" spoke Jèrriais was 113; 2,761 respondents stated that they "sometimes" spoke Jèrriais. A survey carried out among a sample of Jèrriais speakers in 1996 found that 18% spoke Jèrriais more often than English, 66% spoke Jèrriais as often as English, and 16% spoke Jèrriais less often than English.

The States of Jersey
States of Jersey
The States of Jersey is the parliament and government of Jersey.The Assembly of the States of Jersey has exercised legislative powers since 1771, when law-making power was transferred from the Royal Court of Jersey....

 fund the teaching programme in schools and provide some support in terms of signage, e.g. welcome signs at harbours and airport. Ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a European treaty adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe...

 is under discussion. In September 2005, the States approved the development of a cultural strategy, one of whose strategic objectives was as follows:
"Jersey almost lost its language in the 20th century. By 2001 there were less than 3,000 speakers of Jèrriais. In the 21st century strenuous efforts are being made to re-establish it. Le Don Balleine, funded by the States, is leading a programme in schools teaching Jèrriais. L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais promotes the language generally. Language brings distinctiveness, a sense of localness and a whole new set of skills all of which are important qualities in attracting the creative economy. It is fundamental to the Island's identity. This objective is to work with these organisations to help in the revival and status of the language." http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/documents/propositions/22189-12814-1972005.htm


In September 2009 a partnership agreement was signed by the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture and the President of Le Don Balleine to formalise the rôle of L'Office du Jèrriais in protecting and promoting Jèrriais and to develop a language plan to help make the language more prominent on a daily basis.

There is newspaper and radio output in the language. From 2010, Jersey banknotes carry the value of the note written out in Jèrriais.
Jèrriais is recognised as a regional language by the British and Irish governments within the framework of the British-Irish Council.

Literature



The literary tradition is traced back to Wace
Wace
Wace was a Norman poet, who was born in Jersey and brought up in mainland Normandy , ending his career as Canon of Bayeux.-Life:...

, the 12th century Jersey-born poet, although there is little surviving literature in Jèrriais dating to before the introduction of the first printing press in Jersey in the 1780s. The first printed Jèrriais appears in the first newspapers at the end of the 18th century, and the earliest identified dated example of printed poetry is a fragment by Matchi L'Gé (Matthew Le Geyt
Matthew Le Geyt
Matthew Le Geyt was the first poet to publish in Jèrriais following the introduction of printing. The earliest dated piece of his writing comes from 1795. He was from St Helier but he must have lived in Trinity as well where he was a Vingtenier....

 1777 – 1849) dated 1795.

An astonishing boom in competing newspapers and journals throughout the 19th century provided a platform for poets and writers to publish regularly – typically, satirical comment on the week's news, elections, Jersey politicians and notables.

The first printed anthology of Jèrriais poetry, Rimes Jersiaises, was published in 1865.

Influential writers include "Laelius" (Sir Robert Pipon Marett
Robert Pipon Marett
Sir Robert Pipon Marett was a lawyer, journalist, poet, politician, and Bailiff of Jersey from 1880 until his death.He was born in St. Peter on 20 November 1820 and studied at the University of Caen and the Sorbonne...

 1820 – 1884, Bailiff
Bailiff (Channel Islands)
The Bailiff is the chief justice in each of the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, also serving as president of the legislature and having ceremonial and executive functions. Each bailiwick has possessed its own bailiff since the islands were divided into two jurisdictions in the...

 of Jersey 1880 – 1884), "A.A.L.G." (Augustus Aspley Le Gros 1840 – 1877), "St.-Luorenchais" (Philippe Langlois
Philippe Langlois
Philippe Langlois , , was a Norman language writer in Jèrriais. He wrote under the pen names of "Un Luorenchais" and "P.L."....

 1817 – 1884).

Elie (Edwin J. Luce 1881 – 1918) was editor of the French-language newspaper La Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey and a poet who wrote topical poems for the newspaper. He was also active in promoting the development of drama in Jèrriais and organised performances, ultimately leading to the establishment of a Jèrriais section of the Jersey Eisteddfod
Jersey Eisteddfod
The Jersey Eisteddfod is a cultural festival and competition in Jersey.It was founded in 1908 by a former Dean of Jersey who saw its competitive classes as a means by which the speech, presentation, and musical standards of his fellow islanders might be improved. With the exception of the years of...

 in 1912.

During the Occupation
Occupation of the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945. The Channel Islands are two British Crown dependencies and include the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey as well as the smaller islands of Alderney and Sark...

, little original writing was permitted to be published by the German censorship. However, very many older pieces of literature were re-published in the newspapers as an act of cultural self-assertion and morale-boosting.

After the Occupation and with the re-establishment of a free press, Edward Le Brocq (1877 – 1964) revived a weekly column in 1946 with a letter from Ph'lip et Merrienne, supposedly a traditional old couple who would comment on the latest news or recall time past.

The most influential writer of Jèrriais in the 20th century was a U.S. citizen, George Francis Le Feuvre (1891 – 1984) whose pen-name was "George d'la Forge". He emigrated to North America after the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 but for almost forty years maintained a flow of articles in Jèrriais back to Jersey for publication in newspapers. Selections of his articles have been published in book form.

Frank Le Maistre (1910–2002), compiler of the dictionary Dictionnaire Jersiais–Français, maintained a literary output starting in the 1930s with newspaper articles under the pseudonym Marie la Pie, poems, magazine articles, research into toponymy and etymology.

Since Le Maistre, Geraint Jennings
Geraint Jennings
- Biography :Geraint Jennings was born in Saint Helier in 1966. He was educated at Victoria College Preparatory and Christ's Hospital. He graduated from University College, Oxford with a Master of Arts in Modern Languages. Further studies include a Licenciate Diploma in TESOL from Trinity College,...

 has been influential in preserving the language by compiling thousands of pages of Jèrriais text online in Les Pages Jèrriaises
Les Pages Jèrriaises
Les Pages Jèrriaises is a collection of thousands of pages in and about Jèrriais posted on the internet. It was created and is maintained by Geraint Jennings. It is the largest collection of Norman materials on the internet. It has also been praised in Normandy as an example of how a Norman...

.

History



Although Jèrriais is now the first language of a very small minority, until the 19th century it was the everyday language of the majority of the population, and even until the Second World War up to half the population could communicate in the language. However, there is no complete Bible in Jèrriais (although there are versions of favourite Bible texts in Jèrriais), as French was, until the 20th century, the predominant language of the Church in Jersey (although sermons would be preached, or explained, in Jèrriais in country areas).

Awareness of the decline of language use became apparent in the 19th century in scholarly circles. Among foreign linguists, Louis Lucien Bonaparte
Louis Lucien Bonaparte
Louis Lucien Bonaparte was the third son of Napoleon's second surviving brother, Lucien Bonaparte. He was born at Thorngrove, mansion in Grimley, Worcestershire, England, where his family were temporarily interned after having been captured by the British en route to America A philologist and...

 visited Jersey and interested himself in the language and its literature. Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

, during his exile in Jersey, took an interest in the language and numbered some Jèrriais writers among his circle of acquaintances and supporters.

Sir Robert Pipon Marett's prestige and influence helped to reinforce the movement towards standardisation of the writing system based on French orthography, a trend which was also helped by the nascent Norman literary revival in the neighbouring Cotentin
Cotentin Peninsula
The Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy, forming part of the north-western coast of France. It juts out north-westwards into the English Channel, towards Great Britain...

 area of mainland Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 where writers, inspired by the example of the Norman writers of Jersey and Guernsey, began their own production of literary works. However, differing (if mutually comprehensible) writing systems have been adopted in Jersey, Guernsey and mainland Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. The question is sometimes raised as to whether Jèrriais should move to a writing system based on English orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

, however this would have implications for the continuity of the literary tradition over two centuries or more (note though, that the digraph "th" for the typical dental fricative of Jèrriais has evidently been borrowed from English orthography).

As English became dominant in Jersey in the 20th century, efforts were made to preserve the language. The Jersey Eisteddfod
Jersey Eisteddfod
The Jersey Eisteddfod is a cultural festival and competition in Jersey.It was founded in 1908 by a former Dean of Jersey who saw its competitive classes as a means by which the speech, presentation, and musical standards of his fellow islanders might be improved. With the exception of the years of...

 has included a Jèrriais section since 1912. Associations were founded: L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais was founded in 1951; Le Don Balleine is a trust set up in accordance with the will of Arthur E. Balleine (1864–1943) who bequeathed funds for the promotion of the language. L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais launched a quarterly magazine in 1952, which has been published since (with the occasional hiatus, and latterly under the editorship of Le Don Balleine); a standard grammar Lé Jèrriais pour tous (by Paul Birt) appeared in 1985; cassettes, booklets and other materials have also been produced.

George d'la Forge's maintenance of the language in North American diaspora is not as surprising as it might seem, as considerable numbers of Jersey people had been involved in the economic development and exploitation of the New World (see New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

), although much of the concentration focused on the cod
Atlantic cod
The Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, is a well-known demersal food fish belonging to the family Gadidae. It is also commercially known as cod, codling or haberdine....

 fisheries of the Gaspé
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 peninsula in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, which were controlled into the early 20th century by Jersey-based companies or companies of Jersey origin employing Jersey labour. The common language of business was Jèrriais, and it is reported that there were still some Jèrriais-speakers in Gaspé villages in the 1960s.

The use of Jèrriais is also to be noted during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands
Occupation of the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945. The Channel Islands are two British Crown dependencies and include the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey as well as the smaller islands of Alderney and Sark...

 during the Second World War; the local population used Jèrriais among themselves as a language neither the occupying Germans, nor their French interpreters, could understand. However, the social and economic upheaval of the War meant that use of English increased dramatically after the Liberation.

It is considered that the last monolingual adult speakers probably died in the 1950s , although monolingual speaking children were being received into schools in St. Ouen as late as the late 1970s.

Famous Jèrriais speakers include Lillie Langtry
Lillie Langtry
Lillie Langtry , usually spelled Lily Langtry when she was in the U.S., born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, was a British actress born on the island of Jersey...

 and Sir John Everett Millais
John Everett Millais
Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.-Early life:...

, the Pre-Raphaelite painter.

Dictionaries


The history of Jèrriais dictionaries
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

 goes back to 19th century manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

 glossaries
Glossary
A glossary, also known as an idioticon, vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms...

, the work of Philippe Langlois, A. A. Le Gros and Thomas Gaudin. These were later revised and expanded into the Glossaire du Patois Jersiais published in 1924 by La Société Jersiaise
Société Jersiaise
La Société Jersiaise is a scholarly society in Jersey which was founded in 1873, it promotes and encourages:* The study of the history, the archaeology, the natural history, the language and many other subjects of interest in the Island of Jersey...

. The 1960 Glossary of Jersey French (Nichol Spence) recorded Jèrriais in phonetic script. The 1924 Glossaire inspired the research by Frank Le Maistre that culminated in the Dictionnaire Jersiais–Français published in 1966 to mark the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest of England. The first practical English–Jèrriais dictionary was the English-Jersey Language Vocabulary (Albert Carré in collaboration with Frank Le Maistre and Philip de Veulle, 1972) which was itself based on the Dictionnaire Jersiais–Français. A children's picture dictionary Les Preunmié Mille Mots was published by La Société Jersiaise in 2000. A Jèrriais–English dictionary Dictionnaithe Jèrriais-Angliais was published by La Société Jersiaise, in collaboration with Le Don Balleine, in 2005 with a companion volume, a revised, modernised and expanded English–Jèrriais dictionary Dictionnaithe Angliais-Jèrriais published in 2008 by Le Don Balleine.

Vocabulary


Although Jèrriais is occasionally misleadingly described as a mixture of Norse and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, it would be more linguistically accurate to state that when the Norse-speaking Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 (lit. North-man) conquered the territory that is now called Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 they started speaking the langue d'oïl of their new subjects. The Norman language is therefore basically a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 with a certain amount of vocabulary of Norse origin, plus later loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

s from other languages.

Influence of Norse


Norse origins can be seen in Jèrriais words such as these:
  • mielle (sand dune)
  • mogue (mug)
  • bel (yard)
  • gradile (blackcurrant)
  • mauve (seagull)
  • graie (to prepare)
  • hèrnais (cart)
  • bète (bait)
  • haûter (to doze)

Influence of Breton


Jèrriais has also adopted a small number of words from the Breton language
Breton language
Breton is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany , France. Breton is a Brythonic language, descended from the Celtic British language brought from Great Britain to Armorica by migrating Britons during the Early Middle Ages. Like the other Brythonic languages, Welsh and Cornish, it is classified as...

 (e.g. pihangne 'spider crab', from Breton bihan 'small'; quédaine 'fast', from Breton gaden 'hare'), although the influence on today's language has overwhelmingly been from French and, increasingly, English.

Influence of French


A large number of gallicism
Gallicism
A Gallicism can be:* a mode of speech peculiar to the French;* a French idiom;* in general, a French mode or custom.* loanwords, words or phrases borrowed from French....

s have been introduced into the language due to the use of French as an official language and the cultural influence of France and French literature. Some French words have displaced in modern usage Jèrriais words that can still be found in older texts from the 18th and 19th centuries, for example:
  • French leçon (in the form léçon) has displaced native lichon (lesson)
  • French garçon has displaced native hardé (boy)
  • French chanson has displaced native canchon (song)


Efforts are being made to maintain some Jèrriais words which are competing in usage with French forms, for example:
  • native hielle is being promoted over French huile (oil)
  • native huiptante (eighty) is being promoted over French quatre-vingts (fourscore)

Influence of English


Some maritime vocabulary was borrowed from English at an early date, for example baûsouîn (boatswain), but by the late 18th century some domestic vocabulary, such as:
  • bliatchinner (to polish shoes, from blacking)
  • coutchi (to cook)
  • grévîn (gravy)
  • ouâchinner (to rub in soapy water, from washing)
  • scrobbine-broche (scrubbing brush)
  • sâsse-paine (saucepan)
  • stchilet (skillet)
  • ticl'ye (from tea-kettle)

entered the language through the employment of Jèrriais-speaking servants in the houses of bourgeois English-speaking immigrants.

Other words borrowed from English before 1900 include:
  • chârer (to share)
  • drâses (underpants, from drawers)
  • ouothinner (to worry)
  • ouadinne (cotton wool, from wadding)
  • nosse (nurse)
  • souîndgi (to throw, from swing)
  • sténer (to stand, to endure)


Care however needs to be taken in identifying anglicism
Anglicism
An Anglicism, as most often defined, is a word borrowed from English into another language. "Anglicism" also describes English syntax, grammar, meaning, and structure used in another language with varying degrees of corruption.-Anglicisms in Chinese:...

s as some words such as mogue (mug) or canne (can) which are often assumed to have been borrowed from English were in fact Norman words exported to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest, and words such as fliotchet (flock) and ridgi (rig) are Norman cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

s of English words.

More recently, words such as boutchi (to book), partchi (to park) and tyeur (tyre) have been absorbed into the language, although current initiatives in creating neologisms for technological and social innovations prefer to avoid wholesale borrowing where possible. Among recent coinings are words such as textéthie for texting
Short message service
Short Message Service is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices...

, maître-pêtre for webmaster
Webmaster
A webmaster , also called a web architect, web developer, site author, or website administrator is a person responsible for maintaining one or many websites...

(literally master-spider) and mégabouochie for megabyte
Megabyte
The megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage or transmission with two different values depending on context: bytes generally for computer memory; and one million bytes generally for computer storage. The IEEE Standards Board has decided that "Mega will mean 1 000...

.

Phonology


The phonological influence of Norse is debated, although the aspirated "h" may be due to Norse influence.

Palatalization


The palatalization
Palatalization
In linguistics, palatalization , also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate....

 of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 /k/ and /g/ before /a/ that occurred in the development of French did not occur in northern dialects of Norman, including Jèrriais:










Jèrriais English French
     
acater to buy acheter
cat cat chat
cow vache
caud warm chaud
gardîn garden jardin
gambe leg jambe


However the palatalization of /k/ before front vowel
Front vowel
A front vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far in front as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Front vowels are sometimes also...

 produced different results in the Norman dialect that developed into Jèrriais than in French. (Many developments are similar to those in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, cf. cento-hundred and faccia-face).








Jèrriais English French
     
bachîn basin bassine
face face
faichon fashion façon
chent hundred cent


At a later date surviving /k/ and /g/ underwent a secondary process of palatalization:








Jèrriais English French
     
motchi to mock moquer
patchet packet paquet
dgide guide guide
idgiot idiot idiot


This palatalization continues to operate (except in initial position) as can be seen by recent borrowings from English:








Jèrriais English
   
beustchi to busk
coutchi to cook
pliodgi to plug
braidgeux bragger

Dental fricative


One of the features of Jèrriais that is immediately noticeable and distinguishes it from neighbouring languages is the voiced dental fricative
Voiced dental fricative
The voiced dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound, eth, is . The symbol was taken from the Old English letter eth, which could stand for either a voiced or unvoiced...

 ð, written th, that typically occurs in intervocalic position:








Jèrriais English
   
bathi barrel
m'suther to measure
paiethie payment
ouothilyi pillow


Or in final position:






Jèrriais English
   
méthe mother
braithe to cry


The fricative devoices to assimilate with a neighbouring unvoiced consonant in words such as paqu'thie (packing) or malaûc'theux (disgusting).

The fricative developed from /r/ + front vowel, but evidently after the 16th century as this feature is unknown in the language of Sark (colonised by Jersey families). Although the voiced dental fricative is standard in the literary language, it is not found in the eastern dialects.

Some older speakers in St. Ouen use a dental fricative in positions where other dialects show a /z/. This may be represented in the orthography of particular writers.








standard Jèrriais St. Ouennais English
     
maîson maiethon house
ouaîselîn ouaiethelîn birds (collective)
tchaîse tchaîthe chair
anglyiciser anglyicîther anglicise


The dental fricative in the dialect of such speakers may also be heard in liaison
Liaison (linguistics)
Liaison is the pronunciation of a latent word-final consonant immediately before a following vowel sound. In French, most written word-final consonants are no longer pronounced and are known as latent or mute...

:







standard Jèrriais St. Ouennais English
     
ous êtes ous'th êtes you are
ches ôtis ches'th ôtis these tools
nou-s-a nou-th-a one has

Length


Length is phonemic in Jèrriais. Long vowels are usually indicated in writing by a circumflex accent. A noun ending in a vowel lengthens the final vowel to indicate the plural (shown in writing by adding an s).

Gemination
Gemination
In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

 occurs regularly in verb tenses, indicated by a consonant-apostrophe-consonant trigraph
Trigraph (orthography)
A trigraph is a group of three letters used to represent a single sound or a combination of sounds that does not correspond to the written letters combined. For example, in the word schilling, the trigraph sch represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative , rather than the consonant cluster...

, for example: ou pâl'la (she will speak); jé c'mench'chons (we will begin); i' donn'nait (he would give). Gerund
Gerund
In linguistics* As applied to English, it refers to the usage of a verb as a noun ....

s will also regularly contain geminate consonants, for example: faîs'sie (doing, making); chant'tie (singing); tith'thie (shooting); brîng'gie (sweeping); gângn'nie (winning).

Aspect


Jèrriais distinguishes between simple, progressive and perfect aspect
Grammatical aspect
In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb is a grammatical category that defines the temporal flow in a given action, event, or state, from the point of view of the speaker...

:

Past:





preterite
Preterite
The preterite is the grammatical tense expressing actions that took place or were completed in the past...

 
j'pâlînmes we spoke
progressive ou 'tait à pâler she was speaking
perfect ous avez pâlé you have spoken
imperfect j'pâlais I spoke


Future:




simple j'pâl'lai I will speak
progressive tu s'sa à pâler you will be speaking
perfect oulle étha pâlé she will have spoken


Present:



simple j'pâle I speak
progressive i' sont à pâler they are speaking

Iterative


Verbs can be made iterative in aspect by prefixing èr- (long form) or r' (short form):




















aver have
èraver have again
   
êt' be
èrêt' be again
   
netti clean
èrnettit clean again
   
muchi hide
èrmuchi hide again
   
èrgarder watch
èrèrgarder watch again
   
téléphoner phone
èrtéléphoner phone again

Gerunds



Verbs can be transformed into gerund
Gerund
In linguistics* As applied to English, it refers to the usage of a verb as a noun ....

s, which are commonly used:



















chanter sing
chant'tie singing
   
faithe make
faîs'sie making
   
haler pull
hal'lie hauling, haulage
   
partchi park
parqu'thie parking
   
liéthe read
liéthie reading
   
faxer fax
faxéthie faxing

Examples
























JÈRRIAISFRENCH ENGLISH
JèrriJerseyJersey
beinv'nubienvenuewelcome
belcouryard
bieauté beauté beauty
bouônjourbonjourhello
pantalontrousers
brîngebrossebrush
chièrcherdear
compathercomparercompare
l'êtrangil'étrangerabroad
janmaisjamaisnever
lian lien link
sacbag
tchaîsechaisechair
chiendog
ticl'yebouilloirekettle
viagesvoyagesjourneys
yioeileye

See also


  • Auregnais
    Auregnais
    Auregnais, Aoeur'gnaeux or Aurignais is the Norman dialect of the Channel Island of Alderney . It is estimated that there are now possibly only 20 people still fluent in the language....

  • Culture of Jersey
    Culture of Jersey
    The culture of Jersey is the culture of the Bailiwick of Jersey. This has been shaped by Jersey's indigenous Norman language and traditions as well as French and British cultural influences, to which have been added cultural trends from immigrant communities such as the Bretons and the...

  • Sercquiais
    Sercquiais
    ' also known as Sarkese or Sark-French is the Norman dialect of the Channel Island of Sark. In the island it is sometimes known, slightly disparagingly, as the "patois", a French term meaning "regional language"....


Literature

  • Lé Jèrriais Pour Tous by Paul W. Birt, 1985.
  • Dictionnaire Jersiais–Français, 1966.
  • Jersey Norman French: A Linguistic Study of An Obsolescent Dialect . Mari, C. Jones, 2001
  • Jèrriais: Jersey's Native Tongue by Mari C. Jones, 2003. ISBN 1-904210-3-1
  • Dictionnaithe Jèrriais-Angliais. 2005. ISBN 0-901897-40-X
  • Les Chroniques du Don Balleine/Les Nouvelles Chroniques du Don Balleine (magazine). Jersey 1979 – current.

External links