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Post Catalan and Valencian: the Endless Debate
Created by John Eipper on 07/29/20 6:22 AM

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Catalan and Valencian: the Endless Debate (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 07/29/20 6:22 am)

In his WAIS post of July 27th, Jordi Molins referred to a statement from Pablo Casado, leader of Spain's Partido Popular, that the Valencian language is not Catalan. Jordi argued that Casado made this claim with a clear political motivation.

This new mention of the subject by Jordi to convince us of the alleged victimization of the Catalans by the Spaniards, is a recurrent déjà vu. I will not insist on the issue that in my opinion, Valencian is not a Catalan dialect.

For those who want to review the arguments, I invite you to consult some WAIS posts I wrote on this topic:

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=123074&objectTypeId=89459&topicId=133

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=122969&objectTypeId=89414&topicId=133

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=136890&objectTypeId=100850&topicId=133

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=136915&objectTypeId=100864&topicId=133

Both languages have similar linguistic roots but their evolution was different, and in fact as a modern language Valencian should have more merits, as it is older and was standardized long before Catalan. Despite the opinion of the respectable and anonymous linguist recently cited by Ángel Viñas, I know that for many other accredited linguists it is a mistake to consider Valencian simply a dialectal variety of Catalan.

But what I really wanted to refer to is Jordi's obvious victimizing attempt, once again, to accuse the Spaniards of dehumanizing the Catalans. This conclusion attempts to make us believe that the statement of the leader of the PP has a manipulative political goal. Coming from an independentist it seems paradoxical, to say the least, to censure this supposedly intentionality when they themselves have repeatedly practiced historical manipulation and distortions to justify their independence aspirations.

JE comments:  I agree with José Ignacio Soler that "dehumanizing" is not applicable here.  Politicizing, yes.  This also applies to the language debate.  Those who speak a "dialect" are invariably marginalized vis-à-vis speakers of the "standard" language.  To call Valencian a dialect of Catalan is to relegate the Valencianos to junior partners in a Greater Catalonia.  To be fair to Jordi Molins, he has stated that it is just as legitimate to consider Catalan a dialect of Valencian.  Likewise, our friends in Galicia are quick to point out that Portuguese is arguably a "newer" language than Galician.  But Portugal long ago acquired its all-important army and navy.


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