<i>Ne</i> deletion in Picard and in regional French: Evidence for distinct grammars

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<i>Ne </i>deletion is arguably the best studied variable in French. Despite differences in overall rates of deletion, linguistic factors governing deletion pattern very similarly in most varieties. The comparative study presented here offers a new perspective by using <i>ne </i>deletion as a criterion to differentiate two closely-related languages, French and Picard. While patterns of <i>ne </i>deletion in the variety of French under study are similar to those found in other French varieties, <i>ne </i>in Picard behaves differently from its French counterpart, with respect to both frequency of deletion and linguistic factor effects. We investigate patterns of <i>ne </i>deletion in three bilingual speakers for whom we have both written and oral Picard, as well spoken French. We compare their French data with those of monolingual French speakers from the region. This study contributes additional linguistic evidence for the claim that Picard and French are distinct languages.


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