Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

La diglossie vu du "dedans" et du "dehors": l’exemple de Bienne et d’Evolène

Elmiger, Daniel ; Matthey, Marinette

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2006, vol. 43, p. 23-47

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    In this paper, we compare the diglossic situation of Biel/Bienne (oral Swiss German vs. written Standard German) with another diglossic setting: the village of Evolène (1500 inhabitants), located in the Swiss alps (French-speaking part of Valais/Wallis), one of the last micro-regions (along with the Alpine valleys of the autonomous Italian region of Val d’Aosta) where the Francoprovençal vernacular is still spoken. We take a closer look at the discourse of inhabitants who are "inside" or "outside" the diglossia (i. e. people who do or do not use the two varieties). In a first section we discuss the notion of diglossia for both contexts. The second section is based on several language biographies of people from Biel/Bienne and Evolène. Via some extracts of our research interviews, we describe different attitudes and representations related to the diglossic situation. In a last section we conclude by clarifying what seems most relevant to us in our data for the theoretical discussion of diglossia.