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6615Re: [mythsoc] Shippey, France and probably other question

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  • alexeik@aol.com
    Nov 13, 2002
      In a message dated 11/12/2 9:43:06 PM, Lizzie wrote:

      <<A sort of related question that I have long had would be does anyone
      know of anything written for the layperson about the fate of the
      Langue d'Oc? I dimly remember learning about France and its two
      languages and how Langue d'Oeuil (sp) won out.. but Languedoc was
      more than a place, more than a language, it was a whole culture. Has
      anyone treated with that (in English) the way we have treated with
      other great traditions, like Arthur and so on?
      >>

      The Langue d'Oc is still spoken today by hundreds of thousands of people in
      the southern third of France (as well as the Val d'Aran in Spain and parts of
      the Italian Alps), although it has no official standing and no public
      visibility, and the French government has long been trying to stamp it out as
      a worthless 'patois'. In modern discussions of language it's usually referred
      to as 'Occitan'. In spite of the official hostility many speakers of the
      language have been struggling to preserve it as a vehicle of high culture:
      many gifted writers produce works in Occitan, there's a weekly newspaper (_La
      Setmana_), and even a federation of private schools that teach entirely
      through the medium of Occitan (_Calandreta_); and in places like Gascony
      (especially the Béarn) it's still a very strong community language.
      Langue d'Oc began to lose out to Langue d'Oïl (_oïl_ being the way one
      said "yes" in Mediaeval French -- it has since evolved to _oui_) during the
      thirteenth century, when the bloody Albigensian Crusade established the
      political, economic, and cultural hegemony of the North over the South, under
      the guise of wiping out heresy. Occitan ceased to be a language with
      international prestige and faded into obscurity, although it remained the
      spoken language of most people in southern France until the nineteenth and
      twentieth centuries, when compulsory schooling attempted to make French the
      single, exclusive language of the entire population of France.
      Ieu parli la lenga d'òc -- l'ai appresa quora eri joine. :-)
      Alexei
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