Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(ôksētäN`) or


(prôväNsäl`), member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The language label Provençal is often restricted in its reference to the dialects of Provence, a region of SE France, but it can be extended to include other related dialects of S France. In its latter, broader sense, Occitan is spoken today, usually along with French, by as many as 5 million people in France; however, it has no official status in that country. Additional speakers are also found in Pyrenean Catalonia, Spain, and in parts of Italy (mainly in the northwest).

In the Middle Ages, Provençal, also called langue d'oc (see langue d'oc and langue d'oïllangue d'oc and langue d'oïl
, names of the two principal groups of medieval French dialects. Langue d'oc
..... Click the link for more information.
), became important as the medium of the great literature of the troubadourstroubadours
, aristocratic poet-musicians of S France (Provence) who flourished from the end of the 11th cent. through the 13th cent. Many troubadours were noblemen and crusader knights; some were kings, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information.
, who developed it into a standard local Romance language. After the Albigensian Crusade (see under AlbigensesAlbigenses
[Lat.,=people of Albi, one of their centers], religious sect of S France in the Middle Ages. Beliefs and Practices

Officially known as heretics, they were actually Cathari, Provençal adherents of a doctrine similar to the Manichaean dualistic
..... Click the link for more information.
) weakened S France, Provençal culture declined and in time the Provençal language was wholly replaced by French as the standard language of France. In the 19th cent. an unsuccessful movement arose to bring back the former glory of Provençal by restoring it as the literary and regional tongue of S France.


See D. C. Haskell, Provençal Literature and Language (1925).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
Kay tackles both the Italian and Occitan texts that appear in this book with diligence, though his argument could be supplemented by more engagement with scholarship that reads the poetry of the troubadours in its manuscript context.
The year 1211 is described as "perhaps the most militarily active of the Occitan War" (p.
By the thirteenth century, so closely was the sirventes connected with the idea of formal imitation that the writers of the Occitan artes poeticae imagined that this must be the origin of the genre's name.
Occitan has chosen the Options PIPE Core service, that encompasses business communication, regulatory compliance and operations management.
In Part I, The Myths of Multilingualism, four Occitan texts are studied: the twelfth-century epic, Girart de Roussillon, Arnaut Vidal's Guilhem de la Barra, a translation of Paolino Veneto s Compendium (a universal history in vertical genealogical tables), and the Leys d'Amor.
Finally, all the programme's titles and sub-titles are translated into Occitan. This is the first stage in the Community Tourist Office's new editorial approach: as from 2011, this affirmation of the area's Occitan identity, beginning with its language, will be the norm in all tourist brochures.
What this book explores with considerable clarity are the responses of different poets across time as evidence of shifting hermeneutic attitudes and policies: the interpretative responses of a later poet, an Occitan poet, a Burgundian pasticheur, to the larger and more contentious ethical questions raised for us by the Roland tradition in general.
The socio-political context of the Toulousain Consistory and its nascent Occitan linguistic identity has dominated much subsequent criticism, as the city and its leaders had experienced a century of repressive policing on the part of religious authorities, as well as its annexation by the French crown by force and ultimately by succession.
And Montpellier travel to the Occitan stronghold boasting their new French internationals Francois Trinh-Duc and Francois Ouedraogo.
Since its initial focus in the late 1920s on various Western European literatures (e.g., French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, English, and Italian), WLT has expanded its purview to include, for example, Estonian, Frisian, Ladino, Occitan, Romansh, Tagalog, Urdu, Yiddish, and even Esperanto, a synthetic language that has fallen short of the expectations of its ambitious founders, who sought to create a universal language.
In the next section of her book, Sullivan deals with noble heretics: "While Cathars, in general, were thought to escape prosecution on account of their reclusiveness, the noblemen and noblewomen among them eluded such a fate on account of their prominence." Chapter four contrasts a Latin chronicle, the Historia Albigensis, which depicts Raimon VI as a Cathar believer, and an Occitan chanson de geste, the Canso de la Crozada, which does not depict nobles as heretics.