Multilingualism and the Decline of French in Quebec
18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 25, 2016
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: Suggested Citation