What does Patois mean in linguistics?

74 viewsOther

Is it a kind of dialect of a language like English, or a different form of the language, or a separate language altogether? And what qualifies a language as a Patois?

In: Other

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a derogative term for a regional language, usually that is somewhat close to the mainstream language of the country.

When it first entered the French dictionary in 1762 it was defined as “rustic, rude language, like one of peasants or low people”.

Overtime some continued to use it derogatively to look down on a language within the country, some took the word as a badge of regional pride, and in both cases linguists are cringing. It is not a technical linguistic term.

A French linguist famously said “French is just a successful patois” (ie. the one local speech that spread over hundreds of others).

As far as I’m aware it carried over to English pretty much the same.

Anonymous 0 Comments

While *creole* and *pidgin* are formal linguistic terms that describe something specific, *patois* is not. It’s largely a dismissive or pejorative term used colloquially to imply a lack of sophistication.

Edit: made a mistake and put the wrong word in and people caught it. Thanks! Now corrected.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As the modern linguistics tend to use the paradigm of descriptivism, the concept of “patois” isn’t really a linguistic term. Linguists are expected to study and describe every form of language with the same approach, without creating arbitrary categories, which language is considered “proper” and which is ”broken/slang/patois”.