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Variation and Change in Francoprovençal: A Study of an Emerging Linguistic Norm

Kasstan, Jonathan Richard (2015) Variation and Change in Francoprovençal: A Study of an Emerging Linguistic Norm. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:56637)

Language: English
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This variationist sociolinguistic study investigates language change in the Francoprovençal speaking communities of les monts du Lyonnais in France, and the Canton of Valais in Switzerland. In Chapter 1 we give a brief overview of Francoprovençal, and outline the parameters of the study. Chapter 2 presents an overview of where Francoprovençal has come from and why it is so controversial. Beginning with its origins, we give a brief history of dialectalisation for our fieldwork areas, before discussing Francoprovençal as an exceptional case in the Romance linguistic literature. Case studies on language maintenance and shift are presented in Chapter 3, where we contextualise our study on Francoprovençal and the emergence of the 'Arpitan' revitalisation movement. We argue that Francoprovencal does not quite fit the mould of other multidialectal contexts such as Breton or Corsican. Chapter 4 outlines the methods employed in undertaking the empirical and ethnographic fieldwork for the study. In Chapters 5, 6, and 7 we examine each of the linguistic variables in the study in relation to a number of extra-linguistic factors. Our findings indicate that, while older traditional speakers produce localised dialectal variants in a more monitored speech style, there is variation. Conversely, the new speakers not only show substantial linguistic divergence from other speakers in the sample, but also from each other. We present evidence to suggest that the pan-regional norm is having some impact on language use. In Chapter 8 we focus specifically on the Arpitan movement and its effects, asking in what ways a commitment to the revitalisation cause is driving change for some participants in the study. A novel Arpitan Engagement Index is employed to assess the extent to which speakers are connected with the movement and how this correlates with language use: we focus on the social significance of a series of 'new' Arpitan forms. We terminate with our conclusions in Chapter 9, where we advance a number of hypotheses in relation to language change in the communities under investigation. In particular, we suggest that convergence is taking place in the direction of both national and regional norms. Lastly, we suggest avenues for future research trajectories.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Hornsby, David
Thesis advisor: Hall, Damien
Uncontrolled keywords: language obsolescence, language change, sociolinguistics, Francoprovençal, Arpitan, Romance linguistics, new speakers
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance philology and languages
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 09:40 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 12:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Kasstan, Jonathan Richard.

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