From the very beginning, three (not two) linguistic zones are plainly in evidence in Gaul/France, and my contention is that present-day Auvergnat -- together with Limousin and Dauphinois -- although considerably closer to its neighbors to the south and southeast, is the inheritor of a ``medioGallo-Roman'' idiom prevalent in much of the old Celtica. This common linguistic heritage has been, little by little, submerged by the French language over the centuries in the areas to the north that are closest to Paris. Auvergne, especially the northern part of the province, remains to all intents and purposes as the sole representative of this dialect -- or group of closely interrelated dialects. No Toulouse-centered spelling was ever in a position to impose itself, much beyond the end of the Middle Ages, on all areas within the southern half of present-day France. Thus, writers in Auvergnat (and in some areas outside Languedoc, too) have been left to their own devices in matters of spelling ever since those days -- witness in Auvergne a continued rejection of plurals in s -- appositely paralleled by a persistent attachment to local forms of phonetic spelling as a corresponding sign of independence from the northern
International Journal of the Sociology of Language – de Gruyter
Published: Jul 30, 2004
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