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Occitan (Provençal) language
 
ToulouseIt is spoken not only in Provence, a southeastern province of France; its varieties are used mostly by rural population of the southern third of France. It is usually called Langue d'Oc in Southern France. Occitan developed an eminent literature in the 11th to 15th centuries, including the poems of the troubadours. It extended significantly north of its present speech region, and its standard literary dialect bridged many local dialects. This literary language began to wane after France established dominion over the south in the 14th century. In the 19th century the poet Frédéric Mistral led a movement to establish a modern standard literary Occitan. In a move to preserve regional heritage and culture, the French government in 1993 instructed state schools to start teaching Occitan and other indigenous languages.

Occitan major dialect groups include Limousin and Auvergnat in south-central France, Languedoc and Provençal in the Mediterranean area, and Gascon (sometimes considered a separate language) in southwest France. Settled by the Romans earlier than the rest of France, their Latin-derived speech was less influenced than northern French by Frankish and other Germanic languages. Although Occitan has been increasingly influenced by French, its structure is closer to that of Spanish and Catalan. The term Franco-Provençal refers to a distinctive group of dialects spoken northeast of the Occitan area, extending slightly into Switzerland and Italy.

An example: the verb ÈSTER (French être) conjugated:

Infinitive: èster
Past Participle: estat
Present tense Indicative mood: soi, ès, ei, ou, èm, ètz, son
Imperfect tense Indicative mood: èri, èras, èra, èram, èratz, èran
Past simple tense: estoi / estèi, estós / estès, estoc / estèc, estom / estèm, estotz / estètz, estón / estèn