Let’s start the blog! For my individual research journal, I am studying linguistics in the southern United States, as well as the cultural Creole influence and history. As a Spanish/GS double major, I find language and culture to be uniquely intertwined, especially when focusing on colloquialisms. slang, and region dialectics such as those common in states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.
My positionality for this project is quite important. During most of my childhood, I grew up in Texas, about 45 minutes northeast of Houston, quite close to Baton Rouge in Louisiana. Southern culture was a large influence on my life, and although I prefer now living in New England because I am a skier, it is impossible to ignore the importance of location for my upbringing.
Secondly, my last name, Landry, is Acadian. Now you may be wondering what the heck is Acadian? Acadians are a group of people who originally hailed from French Canada, then traveled down south through Maine (hence Acadia National Park) and ended up in Louisiana. Original Acadia was located on Canada’s eastern seaboard, comprising Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They migrated south during the Conquest of Acadia, where the British army ruled over and then deported thousands of Acadians from their homeland during a time called the Great Expulsion around 1755. Their native language was French, and when they settled in Louisiana, they became known as Cajuns, and spoke Creole (Cajun French), a mixture of English and French, with several other influences.
Travel south, and you will see hundreds of Landry names, including prominent restaurants, firms, and even a bike shop, because the name is quite common among Cajun populations. And with this unique population, an even more unique language evolved. The Cajun/Southern world of linguistics is fascinating, ranging from made up words, distinct accents, and cultural influences.
Ya’ll will be our first point of analysis! In the mean time, check out the Acadian flag.
Ave Maris Stella! (Hail the Star of the Sea)