Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Eloise Sureau-Hale


Almost four hundred years ago, the French and Spanish governments divided the Catalan border regions located between their respective countries. The subsequent centuries have seen the expansion and development of the Catalan language in Spain and the demise of the Catalan language in France, where it has nearly deteriorated to disuse. Is this a reflection upon the French and Spanish culture or was it simply governmental policy? If so, what did the central governments of Madrid and Paris do in the centuries following the division that resulted in this contrasting development of Catalan? What effect did the usage of Catalan in governmental relations, schools, and quotidian life have on its discontinuance, its prospering? How does one measure the vitality of a regional language? This study, rooted in Grenoble and Whaley's 1998 systemization of endangered language prospects, "Toward a typology of language endangerment," will focus upon several categories such as governmental intervention, economic strength, religious involvement, but particularly the consequences that the unique French and Spanish cultures have had upon the regional language Catalan.