Doctorate in Spanish Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Language as a Symbol of Identitarian Divergence - The Catalan of Valencia between Standard Language, National Language and Dialect

Full Text of the dissertation

At first glance, the Valencian language identity appears to be that of a Spanish region in the context of this nation and its specific cultural history. At second glance, however, the political discourse that has been increasingly polemical in the Valencian Autonomous Region, especially since the Spanish transición, points to an understanding of its own identity that does not necessarily coincide with the Spanish concept of nation. This was and still is about nothing less than the definition of the autochthonous Valencian language and identity: What is a Valencian who speaks Valencian? A dialect speaker who would be better off using Spanish for general communication? A representative of an autonomous language? A member of a language family that is suppressed in Spain? And how is one thus recognised in Spain; how should one politically position oneself in the overall national context? Starting from these questions, we look at the different fronts of linguistic-political identity represented in the Valencian Parliament between 2014 and 2016. Both historically and sociolinguistically, their discourses are reflected and contextualised in order to arrive at a distanced and differentiated description of the positions, perceptions and contradictory interpretations about the identity meaning of Valencian. With the help of a corpus-based analysis of conflicting discourse semantics, the emergence and current development of the competing conceptualisations that make this "own language" a 'symbol of identitary divergence' are shown.