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The Recovery of the Generalized Use of Catalan in Catalonia

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  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science


T H E R E C O V E R Y O F T H E G E N E R A L I Z E D U S E O F C A T A L A N IN C A T A L O N I A MOVEMENTS TO REVIVE CATALAN HAVE ALWAYS DEMANDED ITS NORMAL USE IN ALL FIELDS OF PUBLIC LIFE, BOTH AS THE INSTRUMENT OF EDUCATION OR IN LITERATURE AND THE PRESS, AND IN POLITICS, WORK AND CULTURE GENERALLY. I S I D O R MAR^ A S S I S T A N T D I R E C T O R - G E N E R A L F O R L I N G U I S T I C S P O L I C Y O F T H E D E P A R T M E N T O F C U L T U R E O F T H E G E N E R A L l T A T D E C A T A L U N Y A he future of a language de- pends rnainly on its use as the normal vehicle for comrnunica- tion in the principal public functions: the media, teaching, financia1 and cornmer- cial activities, etc. This is sornething the Catalans are only too well aware of, even if they are not experts in socio-linguistics: throughout history, the various atternpts rnade by Spanish rulers to destroy the Catalan language have always consisted of re- strictions or prohibitions of its use in public, frorn Philip V's decree of "Nueva Planta" (1 71 51 to the Franco dictator- ship, and even in more recent times. Inversely, rnovernents to revive Catalan have always dernanded its normal use in al1 fields of public life, both as the instrurnent of education (starting with the work of Baldiri Reixach in the 18th century) or in literature and the press (the airn of 19th century writers), and in politics, work and culture generally, as part of the national proiect which the Modernist intellectuals put forward at the end of last century and which has dorninated the wole of the 20th century. Frorn the rnornent of General Franco's death in 1975, the use of Catalan in society started to spread at a rernark- able rate, since social aspirations no longer had to overcorne the opposition of the authorities, but, as these becarne dernocratized and decentralized, ac- tually began to receive their support. Official and Administrative Use Altho

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