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The internal boundaries of the entire speech area were divided by wars and religious conflicts. The edict explicitly replaced Latin and by implication, any other language with French as the language of law and the courts Grillet, , p. An amendment to the constitution of Italy  changed the status of the former province to an autonomous region which gives the Aosta Valley special powers to make its own decisions. Residents saw the region's economy expand and the population increase from to , which encouraged them to stay and continue long-held traditions.
The language is now explicitly protected by an Italian presidential decree  and a federal law. Lack of jobs has caused migration out of the Piedmont's alpine valleys, abetting the language's decline. Speakers live in western cantons where Swiss French predominates and converse in dialects mainly as a second language. Currently, its use in agrarian daily life is rapidly disappearing.
However, in a few isolated places the decline is considerably less steep. It also carries a generally low social status. This situation affects most regional languages that comprise the linguistic wealth of France. Speakers of regional languages are aging and mostly rural. Comprehension of one dialect by speakers of another is often difficult. Nowhere is it spoken in a "pure form" and there is no a "standard reference language" that the modern generic label used to identify the language may indicate.
Only in recent years have speakers not specialists in linguistics become conscious of the language's collective identity. The language region was first recognized in the 19th century during advances in research into the nature and structure of human speech. Graziadio Isaia Ascoli — , a pioneering linguist , analyzed the unique phonetic and structural characteristics of numerous spoken dialects. In an article written about and published later, he offered a solution to existing disagreements about dialect frontiers and proposed a new linguistic region.
Ascoli , p. The name Romand has been in use regionally in Switzerland at least since , when notaries in Fribourg were directed to write their minutes in both German and Rommant. It continues to appear in the names of many Swiss cultural organizations today. Other areas also had historical or political claims to such names, especially Meune, Some contemporary speakers and writers prefer the name Arpitan because it underscores the independence of the language and does not imply a union to any other established linguistic group.
Some Savoyard speakers call their language sarde. This is a colloquial term used because their ancestors were subjects of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the House of Savoy until Savoie and Haute-Savoie were annexed by France in The language is called gaga in the Forez region of France and appears in the titles of dictionaries and other regional publications.
Approximately 68, people speak the language in the Aosta Valley region of Italy according to reports conducted after the census. As of this community has dwindled to fewer than 50 daily speakers across three generations. The most recent edition of ethnologue. However, these figures are derived from the census.
In rural areas of the cantons of Valais and Fribourg in Switzerland, various dialects are spoken as a second language by about 7, residents figures for Switzerland: Lewis, Today, regional vernaculars are limited to a small number of speakers in secluded towns.
This was a greater loss than any other language in France, a loss called "critical. The table below compares a few words in each writing system, with French and English for reference. Conflans , and Stich The numbers "1", "2", and "4" have masculine and feminine forms Duplay, ; Viret, Between vowels, the Latinate " p " became " v ", " c " and " g " became " y ", and " t " and " d " disappeared.
Each canton and valley uses its own vernacular without standardization. Difficult intelligibility among dialects was noted as early as by Grillet. The dialects are divided into eight distinct categories or groups. Only two dialect groups — Lyonnaise and Dauphinois-N. Linguasphere has not listed any dialect idiom as "extinct", however, many are highly endangered. The Piedmont dialects need further study. The spellings and IPA equivalents listed below appear in Martin Many are immediately recognizable, ending in -az, -o t z, -uz, -ax, -ex, -ux, -ou l x, -aulx, and -ieu x.
These suffixes are vestiges of an old medieval orthographic practice indicating the stressed syllable of a word. In polysyllables, 'z' indicates a paroxytone stress on penultimate syllable and 'x' indicates an oxytone stress on last syllable. The following is a list of all such toponyms:. An early 12th century fragment containing verses from a poem about Alexander the Great may be the earliest known work in the language.
These include a translation of the Corpus Juris Civilis known as the Justinian Code in the vernacular spoken in Grenoble. The Legend of Saint Bartholomew is one such work that survives in Lyonnais patois from the 13th century. Marguerite d'Oingt ca. The first, entitled Speculum "The Mirror" , describes three miraculous visions and their meanings. The other work, Li Via seiti Biatrix, virgina de Ornaciu "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Beatrix d'Ornacieux " , is a long biography of a nun and mystic consecrated to the Passion whose faith lead to a devout cult.
This text contributed to the beatification of the nun more than years later by Pope Pius IX in The long narrative poem describes l'Escalade , a raid by the Savoyard army that generated patriotic sentiments. It became the unofficial national anthem of the Republic of Geneva. The first three verses follow below in Genevois dialect  with a translation:. Several writers created satirical , moralistic , poetic , comic , and theatrical texts during the era that followed, which indicates the vitality of the language at that time. These include a popular dictionary and humorous works in Lyonnaise dialect that have reprinted for more than years.
She was a passionate advocate for her language. Her literary efforts encompassed lyrical themes, work, love, tragic loss, nature, the passing of time, religion, and politics, and are considered by many to be the most significant contributions to the literature. The Concours Cerlogne — an annual event named in his honor — has focused thousands of Italian students on preserving the region's language, literature, and heritage since Cultural and regional savant societies began to collect oral folk tales , proverbs , and legends from native speakers in an effort that continues to today.
Numerous works have been published. Louis des Ambrois de Nevache, from Upper Susa Valley, transcribed popular songs and wrote some original poetry in local patois. There are compositions in the current language on the album Enfestar, an artistic project from Piedmont . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the Swiss Romand people, see Romands. For Swiss Romand region, see Romandy. For other uses, see Romand disambiguation. For the Brazilian footballer, see Bressan footballer. Language family. Writing system. Light Blue: Historical transition zone. Archived from the original on 5 March Retrieved 30 April Glottolog 3. The Linguasphere Register. Retrieved 1 March Le Flambeau, no. La Lingua Arpitana. Quaderni Padani, Vol. III, no. Accessed 11 March From series: Library of Medieval Women.
Cambridge: D. Retrieved 17 November Translation in Savoyard dialect. Editions des Pnottas, Brussels, Belgium: Casterman Editions. Translation in Bressan dialect. Belgium: Lucky Comics. Abry, Christian et al. Conflans Savoie : Centre de la Culture Savoyarde.
This work presents of one of the commonly used orthographic standards Aebischer, Paul Francke S. Agard, Frederick B. Washington D. Schizzi Franco-provenzali. Archivio glottologico italiano , III, pp. Article written about Bec, Pierre Manuel pratique de philologie romane. Tome 2, pp.