The Occitan Language: A Hidden but Still Spoken Language Maria Estévez
Author: Maria Estévez e-mail: email@example.com Bachelor’s degree Applied Linguistics, Translation and Catalan Philology
Research advisor: PhD Lecturer Anca Daniela Frumușelu
Reviewer: Assoc. Prof. Desislava Cheshmedzhieva-Stoycheva, PhD
UNIVERSITAT DE LLEIDA DEPARTAMENT DE FILOLOGIA I COMUNICACIÓ 2023 г.
============================= Abstract: Spoken in many areas, such as Southern France, Italy’s Alps or Monaco and intricately connected to Catalan and French traditions, the Occitan language, also known pejoratively as patois, has been declared an endangered language by UNESCO (Posner & Sala 2023). Since 1539, the ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts guarantees the primacy and exclusivity of the French language in France, leading to a monolingualism approach throughout the entire country. Consequently, any other spoken language has been relegated to the background. The case of the Occitan language exemplifies the oppressive language policy of the French state, which has overshadowed the lenga d’oc to the point of endangering its very existence. This is opposed to the Catalan case, in which the Estatut d’Autonomia preserves both Occitan and Catalan official languages in Catalonia, following a multilingual approach that led people to express themselves in either language. Since 2010, Gascon, a dialectal variety of Occitan, is committed to having a co-official status throughout Catalonia to prioritize intercultural understanding and language learning (Ortiz de Antonio, 2015). This paper aims to conduct descriptive research on the sociolinguistic situation of Occitan and the decades-long linguistic policy that has affected it, while also proposing sociocultural measures to preserve and protect this invaluable language. Key words: Occitan, patois, endangered, monolingualism, language policy