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Are we not French?: Regional identity and language in Eastern Brittany Shaun Nolan (University of Limerick) Southampton 9 June 2004 IRCHSS Government of.

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Presentation on theme: "Are we not French?: Regional identity and language in Eastern Brittany Shaun Nolan (University of Limerick) Southampton 9 June 2004 IRCHSS Government of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are we not French?: Regional identity and language in Eastern Brittany Shaun Nolan (University of Limerick) Southampton 9 June 2004 IRCHSS Government of Ireland Scholar

2 What is Gallo and where is it spoken? Brittany’s historic Latin ‘language’ – A langue d’oïl. Historically spoken in the eastern half of Brittany also known as Upper-Brittany or Haute-Bretagne. Western Basse-Bretagne is the Breton Zone. Were the zones linguistically exclusive? No. Historical Brittany has always been bi or multilingual.

3 Map 1: The Linguistic division between Gallo and Breton (Hoare 2001: 74)

4 How many speak Gallo today? Census being carried out by the CREDILIF with the cooperation of Bertaèyn galeizz and Maézoe and the Gallo teachers association. One of the best estimates of by the INSEE dates from 1999 making it the 4 th most used language in Brittany after French, Breton and English.

5 Table 1: Speaker Estimates of Languages Practiced in Brittany (other than French) LanguageNo. of Speakers Proportion of National Sample (%) Breton Gallo Other Regional Languages English Spanish German Italian Arabic or other North African Languages Portuguese Other foreign languages Total Sample: 20% of total French sample made up of persons 18 years and older. Total Breton population: Source: INSEE survey on family history 1999.

6 The status of Gallo Gallo is recognised as a “parler” in the Charte culturelle de la Bretagne (1977) Taught as optional subject in:  Primary school  Lower-Secondary schools (Collèges)  Upper-Secondary schools (Lycées) It is currently the only Langue d’oïl that is examined at Baccalauréat level (since 1982). Optional subject for 1 st and 2 nd years at the University of Rennes (2) since No longer offered. Optional subject in Teacher Training College (IUFM) from Withdrawn 2002.

7 CollègeLycée Table 2: Pupils of Gallo in the school system Source: ‘Situation du bilinguisme: Enseignement optionnel ’ Dos/Rectorat 17/11/2003, Académie de Rennes.

8 Map 2: Primary schools, Collèges and Lycées where Gallo is taught There are 10 Gallo teachers between all of these schools. (NB. IUFM status withdrawn)

9 The current research Questionnaires distributed to three respondent categories since October/November 2003:  To the 10 Teachers of Gallo (4 collected, more forthcoming)  To the 569 (AY 2003/4) Pupils of Gallo (87 collected)  Parents of these pupils (44 collected). Extended interviews with Gallo language activists and teachers.

10 Analysis Informant’s perception of: Gallo “Gallo identity” Gallo’s place in Breton identity Gallo in the future of Brittany

11 Perception of Gallo

12 School Pupils (n = 87) 2.A) What term would you use to describe Gallo? For you it is a…

13 Parents (n = 44) 2.A) What term would you use to describe Gallo? For you it is a…

14 The existence of a “Gallo identity”

15 School Pupils (n = 87)3.A)For you, is there a Gallo identity?

16 Parents (n = 44) 3.A)For you, is there a Gallo identity?

17 Gallo’s place in Breton identity

18 3.C) For Breton identity: A.Gallo is as important as Breton  Pupils 49.9% ---- Parents 36.4% B. Gallo is more important than Breton  Pupils 2.3% ---- Parents 0% C. Gallo is less important than Breton  Pupils 42.5% ---- Parents 45.5% D. Gallo is not all important  Pupils 1.1% ---- Parents 11.4% No response  Pupils 4.6% ---- Parents 6.8

19 Gallo in the future of Brittany

20 Pupils (n = 87) 4.A) Does Gallo have a role to play in the future of Brittany?

21 Parents (n = 44) 4.A) Does Gallo have a role to play in the future of Brittany?

22 Summary of main points Negative value judgment of Gallo. But some pupils are more inclined to see it as a language or dialect than parents. Confusion among pupils as regards the concept of a “Gallo identity”. Parents do not share this confusion but a greater number do not accept it than do.

23 Conflict of opinion between parents and pupils in that: More pupils accept that Gallo is as important as Breton, whilst their parents show the inverse tendency More pupils think that Gallo has a positive role to play in Brittany’s future whilst their parents are more categorical in indicating that it does not.

24 Conclusions Parents appear negative as regards Gallo But, the presence of Gallo in the education system seems to have had some positive effect in raising the status of Gallo for pupils. Despite this, there seems to have had only limited success in raising Gallo’s status. Whilst there is some hope for Gallo, will this be enough to help Gallo maintain or regain lost ground?


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