Franco-Provençal (Francoprovençal), Arpitan, or Romand (in Switzerland) (Vernacular: francoprovençâl, arpetan, patoué; Italian: francoprovenzale, arpitano; French: francoprovençal, arpitan, patois) is a Gallo-Romance language spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland, and the Italian Aosta Valley. Franco-Provençal has several distinct dialects and is separate from but closely related to neighboring Romance languages: Oïl languages, Occitan, Gallo-Italian, and Romansh. The name Franco-Provençal was given to the language by G.I. Ascoli in the 19th century because it shared features with French and Provençal without belonging to either. Arpitan, a neologism, is becoming a popular name for the language and the people who speak it.
Today, the largest number of Franco-Provençal speakers reside in the Aosta Valley, an autonomous region of Italy. The language is also spoken in alpine valleys in the province of Turin, two isolated towns in Foggia, and rural areas of the Romandie region of Switzerland. It is one of the three Gallo-Romance language families of France and is officially recognized as a regional language of France, though its use is marginal. Organizations are attempting to preserve it through cultural events, education, scholarly research, and publishing.
The number of speakers of Franco-Provençal has been declining significantly. According to UNESCO (1995), Franco-Provençal is a "potentially endangered language" in Italy and an "endangered language" in Switzerland and France.
Read more about Lyonnais Dialect: History, Present Status, Classification, Origin of The Name, Geographic Distribution, Number of Speakers, Linguistic Structure, Word Comparisons, Dialects, Dialect Examples, Toponyms, Literature
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“The eyes of men converse as much as their tongues, with the advantage that the ocular dialect needs no dictionary, but is understood all the world over.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)