Exploring contested authenticity among speakers of a contested language: the case of ‘Francoprovençal'

Kasstan, J. 2018. Exploring contested authenticity among speakers of a contested language: the case of ‘Francoprovençal'. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 39 (5), pp. 382-393. doi:10.1080/01434632.2018.1429451

TitleExploring contested authenticity among speakers of a contested language: the case of ‘Francoprovençal'
TypeJournal article
AuthorsKasstan, J.
Abstract

This paper explores the notion of speaker authenticity in the context of obsolescent ‘Francoprovençal’: a highly fragmented grouping of Romance varieties spoken in parts of France, Italy, and Switzerland by less than 1% of the total regional population. While Francoprovençal has long been losing ground to the dominant language(s) with which it is in contact, new speakers have begun to emerge within the context of revitalisation movements and activities geared more favourable language planning policies and increased literacy. The emergence of these new speakers has polarised native-speaker communities, and has blurred the lines associated with the traditional view of sociolinguistic authenticity. Through an analysis of qualitative data collected in 2012, this article argues in particular that it may not be sufficient to simply examine contested authenticities from a native–non-native perspective, but rather it is important to consider how new speakers might themselves form a complex spectrum of speaker types with new sets of tensions as has been argued elsewhere.

KeywordsFrancoprovençal
Obsolescence
Arpitan
Revlitalisation
New speakers
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Journal citation39 (5), pp. 382-393
ISSN0143-4632
Year2018
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript2 Kasstan FV.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/01434632.2018.1429451
Publication dates
Published28 Jan 2018

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