Multilingualism and the Decline of French in Quebec

18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2016

See all articles by Alex Arsenault Morin

Alex Arsenault Morin

Queen's University (Canada), Faculty of Arts & Science, Department of Economics, Students

Vincent Geloso

Bates College

Date Written: November 25, 2016

Abstract

Using census data from 2001, 2006 and 2011, we contest the view that the French language is retreating in Quebec. We argue that the apparent decline of French in Quebec is linked to a rise in multilingualism, especially of multilingualism in which French is one of the spoken languages. We find that inter-linguistic marriages, along with a rise in the proportion of individuals whose language at home is different from their language at work, distort statistics considerably. The level of usage of the French language is therefore considerably underestimated and the often discussed downward trend is absent. This yields important implications for policy analysis.

Keywords: Linguistic demography; Language Policy; Human Capital

JEL Classification: I26, J10

Suggested Citation

Arsenault Morin, Alex and Geloso, Vincent, Multilingualism and the Decline of French in Quebec (November 25, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2875788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2875788

Alex Arsenault Morin

Queen's University (Canada), Faculty of Arts & Science, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

99 University Avenue
Kingston K7L 3N6, Ontario
Canada

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

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