From local to supra-local

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This article discusses the &#8216;hybrid&#8217; writing practices of two socially distinct (groups of) writers from nineteenth century French Canada; we specifically focus on their acceptance of (supra-)local language norms. We argue that the writers from the well-known bourgeois Papineau family progressively distanced themselves from a local norm (and moved towards a supra-local norm instead) over a time span of four generations. A semi-literate writer (<i>peu-lettr&#233;</i>)<i>, </i>on the other hand, used writing practices as an object of social belonging, while at the same time his lack of control over the medium prevented him from getting full access to a supra-local norm. It appears, then, that the socially and geographically mobile writers (like the Papineau family) lead the way and that (access to) social networks was intrinsically related to literacy and access to supra-local norms.


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