French is an official language in Canada, alongside English. Although it shares its origins with European French, the French of Canada has developed its own unique set of characteristics over time.

Originally, the French of Canada was likely based on northwestern dialects of French. However, as the French colonies in Canada became increasingly isolated from France and began to come under the influence of the English-speaking population, the French language began to diverge from Parisian French. In fact, the 18th-century Canadian French was regarded as being particularly pure by metropolitan commentators, but it began to diverge from European French after 1760.

One of the most notable differences between Canadian French and standard French is in pronunciation. Canadian French is less clearly articulated, with less lip movement and a more monotonous intonation than standard French. Some consonantal sounds have also changed over time, with /t/ and /d/ shifting to /ts/ and /dz/, respectively. Additionally, both k and g become palatalized when followed by the letters i or e.

Nasal vowels, which are a defining characteristic of French, also tend to lose their nasal element in Canadian French. The vocabulary and syntax of Canadian French is heavily Anglicized, reflecting the influence of the English language.

While Canadian intellectuals often look to France for cultural inspiration, the pronunciation and usage of standard French is sometimes derided by French Canadians. This may be because their English-speaking compatriots are taught Parisian French at school, leading to a sense of linguistic separation between the French-speaking and English-speaking populations.

Despite this, the French-speaking population of Canada is growing at a relatively fast rate, with more than four-fifths of the population of Quebec province using French on a daily basis. The ongoing activities of the separatist movement in Quebec provide evidence of the persistence of resentment among many French Canadians.

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