Language emancipation and attitudes towards languages in the case of Guadeloupe


  • Béatrice Jeannot-Fourcaud Université des Antilles et de la Guyane



Guadeloupean Creole, language emancipation, attitudes towards languages, overt and covert prestige


This paper deals with the importance of attitudes towards languages for the process of language emancipation in the case of Guadeloupe, where two languages are spoken, French and Creole. The history of the settlement of Guadeloupe and the current sociolinguistic situation explain the links between the two languages. Today, we observe that French remains the H-language, and Creole the L-language. In this study, the question of Creole emancipation in Guadeloupe focuses on the educational system and includes a discussion of young teachers’ and pupils’ opinions, which show ambiguous feelings about the use of the Creole, especially at school. The analysis concludes that, despite the fact that Creole has already seen emancipatory development, one can state that attitudes towards this language act as a brake on its complete emancipation. The last part of the paper consists of a few proposals intended to change speakers’ views of Creole.

Author Biography

Béatrice Jeannot-Fourcaud, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane

Dr Beatrice Jeannot-Fourcaud is a lecturer in General and Applied Linguistics at the University of Antilles-Guyane, Guadeloupe. Her works are principally focused on the syntactic description of Creoles and on the sociolinguistic description of Creole contexts. She works also in didactics of plurilingualism in such situations.



How to Cite

Jeannot-Fourcaud, B. (2013). Language emancipation and attitudes towards languages in the case of Guadeloupe. Sociolinguistic Studies, 7(1-2), 113–131.