Esteve Valls presents the results of research on a dialect found in la Franja at the University of Valencia
Esteve Valls, head of the Catalan Office in the Institute for Multilingualism, gave a talk as an invited speaker during a seminar entitled “The future of dialectology: an application to the way people speak in la Franja” organised by the University of Valencia on 26 March.
During his talk, Valls presented the results of his project entitled La llengua escapçada. Un estudi sobre l’autonomització dels parlars nord-occidentals a la cruïlla catalanoaragonesa. This project was awarded the V Joan Veny Research Grant from the Ramon Muntaner Institute, a total prize of €6.000.
The lecturer defended the importance of applying systems of dialectometric analysis to the study of processes of linguistic substitution. Often dialectometry has been used to quantitatively validate dialectal classifications based on groups of isoglosses (an imaginary line that draws a boundary between the presence and absence of a specific linguistic feature which separates two dialectal areas). This methodology offers a broad range of extraordinarily diverse tools to analyse the current situation and the future of languages.
In order to justify this new approach, Valls focused on two of the processes of change that have affected the north-western varieties of the Catalan language: on the one hand he analysed the impact language policies in Catalonia and Aragon have had on the north-western continuum, the so-called border effect. On the other hand, he noted that the language’s double process of autonomy has led to a certain hybridisation of the varieties in la Franja with the Spanish language.