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Posts Tagged ‘Jean Drapeau’

Michael asks who in Québec rolls their Rs.

Up until the first half of the 1900s, the rolled R was the norm in Québec, especially in Montréal. (Montréal was the region most associated with the rolled R.) Québec City, though, used a non-rolled R.

The rolled R began to disappear from the Montréal area in the second half of the 1900s. It was replaced by the non-rolled R of Québec City. The non-rolled R is now the norm throughout Québec. (source)

You might still sometimes hear an older speaker in Montréal roll his Rs today.

The same source linked above suggests where the two different Rs came from: the rolled R of Montréal probably came from the regional varieties of French spoken in France, whereas the non-rolled R of Québec City probably came from the Paris region.

If you listen to some videos in the archives of Radio-Canada from the 1960s, you’ll hear the rolled R:

Jean Drapeau (Wikipédia)
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