Why language revitalization fails: Revivalist vs. traditional ontologies of language in Provence - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Language in Society Year : 2024

Why language revitalization fails: Revivalist vs. traditional ontologies of language in Provence

Abstract

Abstract This article asks why the Occitan language revitalization movement, which began in the 1850s, failed to convince the vast majority of Occitan speakers. Traditional explanations focus on social conflict, alienation, and diglossic ideologies. While essential elements, they may not provide a full account. Challenging the idea that patois is just a derogatory term pinned on what is in fact a language, this article proposes to take seriously the claim by traditional speakers that a patois is not a language. Drawing on fieldwork in Provence and historical data, I propose that the divergence is fundamentally ontological, revealing sharp differences that suggest that patois and language are indeed two separate things. The language movement's reduction of the patois/language issue to one of labels helps explain why traditional speakers and language advocates have been talking past each other for 150 years, raising practical questions for language movements worldwide. (Patois, occitan, ontologies of language, language revitalization, linguistic natures)*

Domains

Linguistics

Dates and versions

hal-04534055 , version 1 (05-04-2024)

Licence

Attribution

Identifiers

Cite

James Costa. Why language revitalization fails: Revivalist vs. traditional ontologies of language in Provence. Language in Society, 2024, pp.1-21. ⟨10.1017/S0047404524000204⟩. ⟨hal-04534055⟩
19 View
0 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More