© 2018

Language Attitudes and Minority Rights

The Case of Catalan in France


Table of contents

About this book


This book presents a detailed sociolinguistic study of the traditionally Catalan-speaking areas of Southern France, and sheds new light on language attitudes, phonetic variation, language ideologies and minority language rights. The region’s complex dual identity, both Catalan and French, both peripheral and strategic, is shown to be reflected in the book’s attitudinal findings which in turn act as reliable predictors of phonetic variation. The author’s careful discursive analysis paints a clear picture of the linguistic ideological landscape: in which French dominates as the language of status and prestige. This innovative work, employing cutting-edge mixed methods, provides an in-depth account of an under-examined language situation, and draws on this research to propose a number of policy recommendations to protect minority rights for speakers of Catalan in the region. Combining language attitudes, sociophonetics, discourse studies, and language policy, this will provide an invaluable reference for scholars of French and Catalan studies and minority languages around the world.


France ECRML Catalonia Linguistic practices Pyrénées-Orientales sociophonetics language attitudes Andorra language ideologies linguistic ideology phonetic variation supralocal monoglossic language Language loyalties Catalan heritage languages

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Modern LanguagesUniversity of BristolBristolUnited Kingdom

About the authors

James Hawkey is Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Bristol, UK. His research interests include language attitudes, language policy, language and migration, and language variation and change. His work focuses on Catalonia, France, and Andorra.

Bibliographic information


“Hawkey burnishes his reputation as one of the foremost scholars working within Catalan studies as he presents here an important English-language examination of key language questions from Northern Catalonia. Drawing on his own extensive attitudinal and phonetic data, Hawkey expertly grapples with urgent issues at stake for the Catalan language and its (semi-)speakers in France.” (Robert Blackwood, Professor of French Sociolinguistics, University of Liverpool, UK)

“At a time of renewed interest in France’s regional languages, this study provides a much-needed, up-to-date sociolinguistic portrait of one of the lesser-studied linguistic minorities. Ambitious in its scope, it combines empirical analyses of language attitudes, broader language ideologies and linguistic variation to make a valuable contribution to language rights debates.” (Leigh Oakes, Reader in French and Linguistics, Queen Mary, University of London, UK)