Saturday, August 20, 2011

Divide and conquer against the Catalan language

Homilies d'Organyà: One of the first
manuscripts in Catalan (12th century)
Catalan is a Romance language. It is the national and the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian (valencià, IPA: [valensi'a]), as well as in the city of Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia. It is also spoken, with no official recognition, in the autonomous communities of Aragon (in La Franja) and Murcia (in Carche) in Spain, and in the historic Roussillon region of southern France, roughly equivalent to the current département of the Pyrénées-Orientales (Northern Catalonia).

According to the Spanish Constitution, languages other than Spanish may also be official in a territory—together with Spanish, that is—if specified in the statute of autonomy of their territory. But the Spanish Constitution does not especify what languages these are.

Because the Catalan Statute of Autonomy specifies that Catalan is that other official language in Catalonia, and the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community specifies that Valencian is that other official language in their territory, Spanish nationalism supports the bizarre idea that Valencian and Catalan are different languages, although the scientific and academic communities clearly affirm that Catalan and Valencian are different names for the same language.

See for example this extract from a resolution from the Valencian Academy of Language, the normative institution for the Catalan language in that community:
According to the Romance of the solvent contributions accumulated since the nineteenth century to the present (historical grammar studies of dialectology, syntax, lexicography) of the language and history of Valencia, from the point of view of philology, which is also the share of the autonomous communities of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and Andorra. It is also the language of their own historical and other territories of the former Crown of Aragon (the eastern fringe of Aragon, the Sardinian city of Alghero and the French department of Pyrénées Orientales). The different dialects of all these territories constitute a language, ie, the same "language system."
Dialectal map of the Catalan language.
The definition in the Britannica, may also be of interest to the reader, as well as many other sources, including this page from the network of universities of the Catalan-speaking area, that confirm this philological truth: Valencian and Catalan are but one language.

Lately, in the Balearic Islands, Spanish nationalism is attacking the Catalan language—again—and with that purpose they have come up with a new "language", the “Balearic,” which is pretended to be different from Catalan—even though, again, all universities, in the Balearic Islands and everywhere, have never doubted that the language they speak in the Balearic Islands is Catalan, whatever name you used to refer to it.

With these attacks to the integrity of the Catalan langujage, Spanish nationalists intends to apply the classical “divide et impera” (divide and rule, or divide and conquer); their plan is that if “Valencian” and “Balearic” are disconnected from the Catalan language, they will lose speakers and eventually disappear; this will weaken the Catalan language and will put it at risk of disappearing everywhere.

It is a curious fact that most defenders of "Valencian" and "Balearic" as different "languages" are actually Spanish speakers [1] who actually just want to eliminate any language other than Spanish. Exactly the same as during Franco's dictatorship.

To defend the Catalan language is another reason to Help Catalonia.

[1] - Martin Harris & Nigel Vincent, The Romance Languages, Routledge Language Family Descriptions, 1997:207.

Related articles:
Spanish Nationalism (1)
Sapnish Nationalism (2)
Spanish Nationalism (3)
Spain seeks to Destroy Catalan Educational System
The Violation of the Right of Self Determination
Anothe attack against the Catalan People

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