Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1847 poem “Évangéline: A Tale of Acadia” is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated written works in Acadian literature, having been widely translated around the world. Yet over the years, this poem has served to some extent as a means of mythicizing Acadia, leading to Barbara LeBlanc’s discussion of Acadia as “an imagined community that is limited and sovereign” (2003: 99). As part of a larger, ethnographic-style project, this current research examines the validity of this statement. To do so, we focus on the relation between identity, which we understand as constructed through interactional events and social practices, and the ideological discourse of the three regional French New Brunswick populations in order to understand the terms Acadia and Acadian through the linguistic anthropological concept of a speech community. Through this analysis, we introduce a term Acadian epithet, acadiotrope, to designate all individuals who consider themselves part of Acadia and the Acadian social equality cause that defines the overarching ideology within French New Brunswick today. However, we conclude by proposing the epithet 'L'Acadie communautaire' as a means of acknowledging the regional and ideological diversity within the speech community as a whole.
|Keywords:||New Brunswick, Canada, Acadia, French, Identity, Speech Community, Discourse, Ideology|
Assistant Professor of French and Linguistics, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Western Washington University, Belligham, Washington, USA