French dialect tradition fading in Missouri
January 11 , 2014
A bit of history is fading away in eastern Missouri where paw-paw French was introduced by settlers centuries ago.
Al Jazeera America has noted that the number of speakers who use it are only dozens in the number and include only those in their 70s and 80s. Parents may be the ones to discourage their children from using the dialect and speaking in English instead.
"Essentially the French that's spoken in Old Mines is a Norman-Britain French," one speaker, who is trying to keep the tradition alive said. "That really hearkens back to the Middle Ages, into the medieval period. That's whats going to be lost."
Paw-Paw French is at a disadvantage since scholars haven't paid much attention to it in recent decades.