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Encyclopedia > Demolinguistics of Quebec

This article presents the current demolingistics of the Canadian province of Quebec. ...

Contents

Overview

  • Population: 7,542,800 (2004)
  • Official language: French (de jure)
  • Majority group: francophone (81.2%)
  • Minority groups: anglophone (8.0%), allophone (9%), autochtone (1%), bilingual (french and english) (0.8%)
  • Political status: province of the Canadian federation since 1867

Note: The language mentioned refers to the mother tongue (see below), unless otherwise specified. De jure (in Classical Latin de iure) is an expression that means by law, as contrasted with de facto, which means in fact. The terms de jure and de facto are used like in principle and in practice when one is describing political situations. ...


Demolinguistic descriptors

The complex nature of Quebec's demolinguistic situation, with its often bilingual and trilingual population, has required the use of multiple methods in order to determine who speaks what language.


Mother tongue: The language spoken by the mother or the person responsible for taking care of the child is the most basic measure of a population's language. However, with the high number of mixed francophone-anglophone marriages and the reality of multilingualism in Montreal, this description does not give a true linguistic portrait of Quebec. It is, however, still essential, for example in order to calculate the assimilation rate. Statistics Canada defines mother tongue as the first language learned in childhood and still spoken; it does not presuppose literacy in that or any language. Statistics Canada is the Canadian federal government bureau commissioned with gathering and analysing statistics about Canada. ...


Home language: This is the language most often spoken at home. This descriptor has the advantage of pointing out the current usage of languages. However, it fails to describe the language that is most used at work, which may be different.


Knowledge of official languages: This measure describes which of the two official languages of Canada a person can speak informally. This relies on the person's own evaluation of his/her linguistic competence and can prove misleading.


First official language spoken: This is a composite measure of mother tongue, home language and knowledge of official language.


Demolinguistic situation

Among the ten provinces of Canada and the 50 states of the United States, Quebec is the only jurisdiction whose majority is francophone. Quebec francophones account for 19.5% of the Canadian population and 90% of all of Canada's French-speaking population. Quebec is the only province whose francophone population is currently not declining. (See Language in Canada). ... This article presents the current demolinguistics of Canada. ...


The 8% of the Quebec population whose mother tongue is English resides mostly in the Greater Montreal Area, where they have a well-established network of educational, social, economic, and cultural institutions.


The remaining 10%, named allophones in Quebec, comprises some 30 different nationalities. With the exception of the aboriginal peoples (Inuit, Huron, etc.), the majority are of 20th century immigration. There are 6.3% Italians, 2.9% Spanish speakers, 2.5% Arabs, 1.7% Chinese, 1.5% Greeks, 1.4% French Creoles, 1.1% Portuguese, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.8% Polish, and so on. This is article is about the term used in Quebec and Canada. ... Inuit woman Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, singular Inuk or Inuq / ᐃᓄᒃ) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. ... The Huron-Wendat Nation is a Huron-Wendat community whose reserve is at Wendake, just outside of Quebec City. ... The definition of who an Arab is has three main aspects: Political: whether they live in a country which is a member of the Arab League (or, more vaguely, the Arab world); this definition covers more than 300 million people. ...


Montreal

There are today two distinct territories in the Greater Montreal Area: the metropolitan region itself and Montreal Island, which has been coterminous with the City of Montreal between the municipal merger of 2002 and the "demerger" scheduled to occur in 2006. The Island of Montreal (in French, île de Montréal), in extreme southwestern Quebec, Canada, is located at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. ... {{Canadian City/Disable Field={{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: Concordia Salus (Salvation through harmony) Ville de Montréal, Québec, Canada Location. ...


Quebec allophones form 9% of the population of Quebec, but 88% of them are concentrated in the GMA. (Anglophones are also concentrated in a similar proportion.)


Francophones account for 68% of the total population of the Greater Montreal Area, anglophones 12,5% and allophones 18.5%. On the island of Montreal, the francophone majority drops to 52.8%, a net decline since the 1970s. The anglophones account for 18.2% of the population and the allophones 29.0%.


Multilingualism

In 1996, 34% of native francophones claimed to also know English, compared to 26% in 1971, and 63% percent of native anglophones claimed to also know French, compared to 37% in 1971.


Among allophones, 23% know French as well, 48% French and English, and 19% English. On the whole, there has been a progression towards a better knowledge of French since 1971.


In 1996, some 182 480 persons (2.6% of population) were trilingual French-English-Spanish.


Birth rate

Quebec's fertility rate is now among the lowest in Canada. At 1.48, it is well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1. This contrasts with the fertility rate before 1960 which was among the highest of the industrialized countries. The fertility rate is a little bit higher among the allophones than among the francophones and the anglophones.


Immigration

In 2003, Quebec welcomed some 37,619 immigrants. A large fraction of these immigrants originated from francophone countries and countries that are former French colonies. Countries from which significant numbers of people immigrate include Haiti, Congo, Lebanon, Morocco, Rwanda, Syria, Algeria, France and Belgium. Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ...


Evolution

Evolution of the languages in Quebec
Language / Year 1951 1961 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001
French 82,5% 81,2% 80,7% 80,0% 82,4% 82,9% 82,1% 80,9% 81,2%
English 13,8% 13,3% 13,1% 12,8% 11,0% 10,3% 9,6% 8,3% 8,0%
Allophones 3,7% 5,6% 6,2% 7,2% 6,6% 6,8% 8,3% 10,7% 10,0%
Bilingual - - - - - - - - 0,8%

Legislation

There are two sets of language laws in Quebec, which overlap and in various areas conflict or compete with each other: the laws passed by the Parliament of Canada and the laws passed by the National Assembly of Quebec. The Charter of the French Language (also known as Bill 101) is a framework law in the province of Quebec, Canada, defining the linguistic rights of all Quebecers and making French, the language of the majority, the sole official language of Quebec. ... The Official Language Act of 1974, is an act of the National Assembly of Quebec which made French the sole official language of Quebec, a province of Canada. ... Official Languages Act can refer to: the Official Languages Act of Canada or the Official Languages Act of Ireland. ... The Parliament of Canada (French: Parlement du Canada) is Canadas legislative branch, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. ... The Quebec Parliament Building at night The National Assembly of Québec (French: Assemblée nationale du Québec) is the legislative body of the Province of Quebec, Canada. ...


Since 1982, both parliaments have had to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which constitutionalized a number of fundamental human rights and educational rights of minorities in all provinces (education is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada). Prior to this, Quebec was effectively the sole province required constitutionally to finance the educational needs of its linguistic minority. Ontario and Quebec are both required to finance schools for their principal religious minorities (Roman Catholic in Ontario, Protestant in Quebec), but only in Quebec is the minority almost completely composed of speakers of the minority language. (Quebec also provided English schools for anglophone Roman Catholics.) In 1997, an amendment to the constitution allowed for Quebec to replace its system of denominational school boards with a system of linguistic school boards.


The federal language law and regulations seek to make it possible for all Canadian anglophone and francophone citizens to obtain services in the language of their choice from the federal government. Ottawa promotes the adoption of bilingualism by the population and especially among the employees in the public service.


In contrast, the Quebec language law and regulations try to promote French as the common public language of all Quebecers, while respecting the constitutional rights of its anglophone minority. The government of Quebec promotes the adoption and the use of French to counteract the trend towards the anglicization of the population of Quebec.


Francization

With over 80% of the population speaking French, it might not be obvious to understand why language is such a big issue in Quebec. A closer look at the situation of Montreal, the largest city in Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada (3.5 million) allows us to understand why. (See the Montreal section in this article for the statistics.)


With only 18.2% of the population, the anglophone Quebecers living in Montreal attract significantly more immigrants to their community than the size of their population would let us assume. Numerous socio-economic factors are behind this reality: the influence and prestige of the English language in North America (and indeed the world) and thus the perceived advantage of learning English rather than French being the most important.


In 1996, about 51% of allophone immigrants assimilated to French, compared to 29% in 1971. All other linguistic transfers go to English. By comparison, in the rest of Canada, linguistic transfers are generally at over 95% towards English. On the island of Montreal, the francophones do not possess the critical mass to insure that the majority of the linguistic transfers will be towards French.


Another reality is that of the French-English bilingualism in the private sector. Although the Charter of the French language makes French the language of the workplace, English is very often made a requirement for employment by Quebec businesses. The result is that the workforce of Quebec, and especially Montreal, is largely bilingual. Francophones are compelled to learn English to find employment, anglophones are pressured to do the same with French and allophones are asked to learn both. In reality, allophones often learn one of the two, mostly English but more and more French. In 2001, 29% of Quebec workers declared using English, either solely (193 320), mostly (293,320), equally with French (212,545) or regularly (857,420). The proportion rises to 37% in the Montreal metropolitan area.


Aboriginal peoples

Quebec's aboriginal peoples are comprised of a heterogeneous group of about 71,000 individuals, who account for 9% of the total aboriginal population of Canada. Approximately 60% of those are officially recognized as "Indians" under the federal Indian Act. Nearly half (47%) of the Aboriginal population in Quebec reported an Aboriginal language as mother tongue, the highest proportion of any province. The following table shows the demolinguistic situations of Quebec's aboriginal people:-1...

People Number Linguistic family Region of Quebec Language of use Second language
Abenakis 1,900 Algonquian Mauricie French Abenaki
Algonquins 8,600 Algonquian North East Algonquin French or English
Atikameks 4,900 Algonquian North Atikamek French
Crees 13,000 Algonquian North Cree English
Malecites 570 Algonquian St. Lawrence South shore French English
Micmacs 4,300 Algonquian Gaspésie Micmac French or English
Innus 13,800 Algonquian North Coast Innu French
Naskapis 570 Algonquian North East Naskapis English
Hurons 2,800 Iroquoian near Quebec City French English
Mohawks 13,000 Iroquoian near Montreal English Mohawk
Inuit 8,000 Eskimo-Aleut Arctic Inuktitut English

Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... Abenaki wigwam with birch bark covering The Abenaki (also Wabanaki), meaning people of the dawn, are a tribe of Native Americans/First Nations belonging to the Algonquian peoples of the Northeast portion of North America. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Mauricie is a traditional and current administrative region of Quebec. ... Abenaki is a native language with fewer than 10 speakers currently alive. ... This article is about the Native American tribe. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... For the larger language family of which Algonquin is but one member, see Algonquian. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Atikamekw are the indigenous inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan, in the upper St. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The Atikamekw are the indigenous inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan, in the upper St. ... Cree camp near Vermilion, Alberta The Cree form an aboriginal nation of North America. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Maliseet (also known as Wolastoqiyik and in French also as Étchemins and Malécites) are a Native American tribe that inhabits the Saint John River valley and its tributaries, roughly overlapping the International Boundary between New Brunswick and Quebec in Canada, and Maine in the United States. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Mikmaq (also Míkmaq, Micmac; in Quebec, Migmaq) are a First Nations people indigenous to northeastern New England, Canadas Maritimes and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The Gaspé Peninsula or just the Gaspé (la Gaspésie in French) is a North American peninsula on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River, in Quebec. ... The Mikmaq (also Míkmaq, Micmac; in Quebec, Migmaq) are a First Nations people indigenous to northeastern New England, Canadas Maritimes and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the First Nations people, the Wyandot, also known as the Huron. ... The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Motto: Don de Dieu feray valoir (Gift of God shall make prosper) Area: 547. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Kanienkehaka, or Mohawk tribe of Native American people live around Lake Ontario and the St. ... The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... {{Canadian City/Disable Field={{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: Concordia Salus (Salvation through harmony) Ville de Montréal, Québec, Canada Location. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Mohawk is a Native American language spoken in the United States and Canada. ... Inuit woman Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, singular Inuk or Inuq / ᐃᓄᒃ) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. ... Eskimo-Aleut (also called Inuit-Aleut, but both names are considered offensive by some) is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

See also

This article presents the current demolinguistics of Canada. ... Current Statistics Population: The current population of Quebec is estimated at 7 509 928 individuals (1 April 2004). ... Aboriginal peoples in Quebec total 11 distinct nations. ... Anglo-Quebecers are anglophone (English-speaking) residents of Quebec, in Canada. ... The Charter of the French Language (also known as Bill 101) is a framework law in the province of Quebec, Canada, defining the linguistic rights of all Quebecers and making French, the language of the majority, the sole official language of Quebec. ... The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada. ...

External links

  • Aménagement linguistique dans le monde - Québec (http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/amnord/quebecacc.htm) (in French)
  • Dynamique des langues - Secrétariat à la politique linguistique du Québec (http://www.spl.gouv.qc.ca/publications/statistiques/tableau.html) (in French)
  • Statistics Canada: Canadian Statistics: Population (http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/popula.htm#lan)
  • The Atlas of Canada - English-French Bilingualism (http://atlas.gc.ca/site/english/maps/peopleandsociety/officiallanguages/englishfrenchbilingualism)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Quebec: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (6112 words)
Quebec is bounded on the N by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, on the E by the Labrador area of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on the S by New Brunswick and the United States, and on the W by Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay.
Quebec is also the sole territory north of the Caribbean Sea – aside from France itself, and the thinly populated archipelago of St-Pierre and Miquelon – where French is spoken by a majority of the population.
The avian emblem of Quebec is the snowy owl.
Quebec at AllExperts (2709 words)
Quebec (pronounced or) (French: Québec, pronounced) is the largest province in Canada geographically, and the second most populous, after Ontario, with a population of 7,568,640 (Statistics Canada, January 2005).
Quebec is the only Canadian province where English is not an official language (at the provincial level), and it is one of only two provinces â€" in addition to the federal government â€" where French is an official language (the other, per the Constitution Act, 1982, is New Brunswick; Manitoba enjoys limited official bilingualism).
In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act that helped ensure the survival of the French language and French culture in the region; since it did not hinder Catholicism in Quebec, it was deemed as one of the Intolerable Acts that spurred the American Revolution.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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