Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Albert Valdman Lecture: Kapwa ap kenbe djanm - Sociolinguistic Variation in Northern Haiti

March 5th, 2010
3:00 PM

Location
Greenleaf Conference Room
100A Jones Hall
Tulane University

Among French-based creoles, Haitian Creole has the highest degree of standardization, with a written norm—Standard Haitian Creole (SHC)—based on the speech of Port-au-Prince monolingual speakers. For instance, SHC lacks front rounded vowels and postvocalic /r/ and is reaching the rest of the country through the media and schools.

To evaluate the incursion of SHC into the North region, a sociolinguistic study of Northern Haitian Creole (NHC) was conducted in Cape Haitian, Haiti’s second largest city, and surrounding countryside. Besides stereotypes such as the possessive pronoun kin (vs. SHC pa), we found that several NHC features first described in Étienne (1974) are still ubiquitous in the North.

In this presentation, we look at social factors and linguistic conditioning (syntactic and phonological) of three sociolinguistic variables, shedding light on the current vitality and status of NHC features. While the frequently occurring third person singular pronoun seems to have remained below the level of consciousness, the preposition ak ‘with’, which alternates between local ake and standard ak / avè / avèk, appears to be at least a marker, if not a stereotype (Valdman 2008). As for the possessive, which varies between the local form N + a + NP and the standard N + NP, it is pointed out in some speakers’ metalinguistic comments, but its status as a marker or stereotype is unclear.

Using a subset of 24 speakers from the more than 120 in our corpus, we show that regardless of their individual sociolinguistic status, all three variables show a robust preference for NHC features in most syntactic contexts. This study contributes to the growing body of literature applying the tools and methods of variationist sociolinguistics to creole languages, in an effort to assess the effects of the standard on other geographic varieties.

Albert Valdman is the Rudy Professor of French and Linguistics (emeritus) at Indiana University and author of Ann Pale Kreyòl: An Introdcutory Course in Haitian Creole and Haitian Creole – English Bilingual Dictionary. This event is sponsored by the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

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Film Screening: El Súper with filmmaker Iván Acosta

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The 1979 film version of Cuban filmmaker Ivan Acosta’s award-winning play El Súper, which gained critical and international success for its depiction of exiled Cubans in New York City, will be screened. Mr. Acosta will be in attendance and a discussion in English will follow. Iván Acosta is a playwright, filmmaker, and creative director originally from Santiago de Cuba, now in New York City. His creative endeavors include documentaries, plays, films, and books, and he’s served as writer, director, and producer, among other roles.

A small reception will follow the screening. Seating may be limited. Admission is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/04/29/archives/the-screen-el-super-a-cubanamerican-tale-the-cast.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Iván Acosta book presentation: With A Cuban Song in the Heart / Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón

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Iván Acosta will present his memoir, With a Cuban Song in the Heart/ Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón, published by Un-Gyve Press, 2017. At this event, Mr. Acosta will incorporate his favorite Cuban songs in a musical and historical journey. His book features artwork from 280 album covers in his private collection and weaves a rich narrative combining real life experiences from his childhood in Santiago, Cuba along with tidbits of local lore and historical references. His favorite songs will be performed by local performers during the presentation.
This fascinating presentation, starting at 6:00PM, will be held at Tulane University in the Freeman Auditorium of the Newcomb Art Building (in Newcomb Circle) New Orleans, LA, 70118. A book signing and reception will follow on Woodward Way, right outside the Freeman Auditorium and in the Newcomb Art Museum. The book will be available for purchase for $60.00.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/nyregion/public-lives-cuba-on-his-mind-the-dual-life-of-an-artist-exile.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

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In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, please join us at the Audubon Zoo for the 2018 Celebración Latina family festival to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of Latin America. Celebración Latina, presented by Pan-American Life Insurance Group, will be held at the Zoo’s Capital One Stage and Field. It will offer a true taste of the Latin American culture with live music, children’s activities, and authentic Latin cuisine prepared and sold by local restaurants. Local artisans will sell hand crafts, and local social service, health, and education organizations will offer wellness, education, and social service information.

Celebración Latina is included with Zoo admission or Audubon membership. No outside food, beverages, or tents allowed. Portable chairs and blankets are welcomed.

Don’t forget to check out photos from past celebrations!

For more information, please visit the Audubon Zoo website.

Celebración Latina is sponsored in part by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Ron Austin & Associates.

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Join us for the 19th annual Carnaval Latino festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month from October 13 – 15, 2018.

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In addition to live music and fantastic food, the Krewe of Quetzal will kick off the celebration with a New Orleans style parade, Desfile de Las Americas, or Parade of the Americas, on Saturday, October 13th. See the Hispanic community ride in elaborate costumes, throwing souvenirs to the crowds. After the parade, festival goers will then enjoy Latin music, art, food and drink, during Carnaval Latino’s festival at Generations Hall in the Warehouse District.

For more information on the festival and parade, visit Carnaval Latino’s official website.