UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Les origines d'une confusion identitaire : le cas du gascon Brock, Beau


Of the various regional languages in France, Occitan, a language spoken in the southern third of the country, is facing some major problems, namely those of the creation of a written standard — a process which began only in the late 19th century — and the splintering of the Occitan movement into several distinct dialect groups. One of these dialects, Gascon, has long been considered the black sheep of the Occitan dialects, due in part to its peculiar phonology, lexicon and its literature, which developed in a much different manner than the other Occitan dialects for a number of reasons. Gascon is also the most widely misunderstood of the varieties of "Langue d'Oc", often being confused as being either a separate language, a very corrupt form of French (a patois), or simply a very distant relative to Occitan. This thesis attempts to explain the rationale for a Gascon language movement by examining its historical and social development and the shifting cultural identity over time. The linguistic traits specific to Gascon will be discussed, as well as the differences between it and the other forms of Occitan. Finally, a brief discussion of the present state of Gascon and the regional movement(s) will conclude this overview of one of the many regional or minority languages of France.

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