The Use of Occitan Dialects in Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Geddie, Virginia Jane (2014) The Use of Occitan Dialects in Languedoc-Roussillon, France. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Allison Burkette from Modern Languages, University of Mississippi.


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Since the medieval period, the Occitan dialects of southern France have been a significant part of the culture of the Midi region of France. In the past, it was the language of the state and literature. However, Occitan dialects have been in a slow decline, beginning with the Ordinance of Villers-Coterêts in 1539 which banned the use of Occitan in state affairs. While this did little to affect the daily life and usage of Occitan, it established a precedent that is still referred to in modern arguments about the use of regional languages (Costa, 2). In the beginning of the 21st century, the position of Occitan dialects in Midi is precarious. This thesis will investigate the current use of Occitan dialects in and around Montpellier, France, particularly which dialects are most commonly used in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon (where Montpellier is located), the environment in which they are learned, the methods of transmission, and the general attitude towards Occitan. It will also discuss Occitan’s current use in literature, music, and politics. While the primary geographic focus of this thesis will be on Montpellier and its surroundings, it should somewhat applicable to the whole of Occitan speaking France. The information for this thesis will be gathered from two sources. The first is the varied literature on the subject of Occitan dialects and their uses. The second is a series of interviews with Occitan speakers of Montpellier and Beziers conducted in the spring of 2013. The suspected conclusion is that the Occitan speakers of Languedoc-Roussillon are fighting a battle that they cannot win. Though the speakers themselves may do all that they possibly can breathe life into their language, political pressure from the national government will not allow Occitan to flourish as a viable and independent language with fully native speakers. In a few generations, Occitan will be a dead language (Pach, 91).

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Geddie, Virginia Jane
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in French
Thesis Advisor: Allison Burkette
Thesis Advisor's Department: Modern Languages
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Depositing User: Miss Virginia Jane Geddie
Date Deposited: 09 May 2014 18:41
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 18:41

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