Trans-border communities in Europe and the emergence of “new” languages : From “Francoprovençal patois” to “Arpitan” and “Arpitania”

Abstract : The thesis examines the current phenomena of the emergence of “new” languages and trans-border proto-national communities in Europe. It is demonstrated how a set of idioms on the borderland between France, Italy and Switzerland, which had been considered as patois, became recognised as a unique “language”: the Francoprovençal language, and the trans-border linguistic space became identified as Arpitania. Conceived as cross-disciplinary, the study combines methods of anthropology and sociolinguistics, drawing more particularly on critical discourse analysis and studies on nationalism. The findings are based on extensive fieldwork in which priority was given to the ethnographic method of participant observation (five months-stay in the Francoprovençal-speaking areas of France, 10 months in those in both Switzerland and Italy). The observation was combined with in-depth sociolinguistic interviews (60 interviews of 1-3 hours in length). Besides, the study includes analysis of written discourse: scientific and journalistic printed sources, manifestos, internet blogs, etc.
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Natalia Bichurina. Trans-border communities in Europe and the emergence of “new” languages : From “Francoprovençal patois” to “Arpitan” and “Arpitania”. Linguistics. Université de Perpignan, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PERP0016⟩. ⟨tel-01368201⟩

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