Submission Title

Valencian and Castilian: A Panorama of Urban and Rural Diglossia in the Valencian Community of Spain

Location

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Subject Area

Global Languages and Cultural Studies

Description

In Spain, Castilian (commonly known as Spanish) is the official language nationally. On a regional level, five other languages have been declared co-official languages: Basque in the Basque Country; Catalan and Aranese in Catalonia; Galician in Galicia; and Valencian in the Valencian Community. Two other languages, Asturleonese and Aragonese, are recognized in their respective communities but are not considered official languages. During the Franco dictatorship that lasted 36 years, the national government limited these regional languages to private and domestic spaces. Consequently, the use of and the attitudes towards these languages experienced a sharp decline, resulting in a loss of regional culture and identity.

The present work focuses on the attitudes of people in the Valencian Community towards Castilian and Valencian. In particular, I will focus on the cognitive and behavioral components of attitude and how they shape language usage in the region. An examination of rural and urban sociolinguistic attitudes will illustrate the concept of diglossia by which one language (Castilian) dominates while another language (Valencian) is considered the minority language. Discussion of these topics will demonstrate that Spain remains deeply divided by regional language and culture, but that education and legislation can improve linguistic diversity and attitudes.

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Valencian and Castilian: A Panorama of Urban and Rural Diglossia in the Valencian Community of Spain

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

In Spain, Castilian (commonly known as Spanish) is the official language nationally. On a regional level, five other languages have been declared co-official languages: Basque in the Basque Country; Catalan and Aranese in Catalonia; Galician in Galicia; and Valencian in the Valencian Community. Two other languages, Asturleonese and Aragonese, are recognized in their respective communities but are not considered official languages. During the Franco dictatorship that lasted 36 years, the national government limited these regional languages to private and domestic spaces. Consequently, the use of and the attitudes towards these languages experienced a sharp decline, resulting in a loss of regional culture and identity.

The present work focuses on the attitudes of people in the Valencian Community towards Castilian and Valencian. In particular, I will focus on the cognitive and behavioral components of attitude and how they shape language usage in the region. An examination of rural and urban sociolinguistic attitudes will illustrate the concept of diglossia by which one language (Castilian) dominates while another language (Valencian) is considered the minority language. Discussion of these topics will demonstrate that Spain remains deeply divided by regional language and culture, but that education and legislation can improve linguistic diversity and attitudes.