WI: instead of France and Italy becoming two nationalities, there are three nationalities?

Apparently, Southern France and Northern Italy used to speak languages more similar to each other than either was to Northern French or Southern Italian dialects, respectively. What if instead of "French" and "Italian" becoming nationalities in the early modern period, we got three nationalities: Northern French, Southern French & North Italian, and South Italian?

On a related note, what would they likely be called? Perhaps Frankish, Gaulish, and Sicilian, with the countries called Frankland, Gaul, and the Two Sicilies.
 
Apparently, Southern France and Northern Italy used to speak languages more similar to each other than either was to Northern French or Southern Italian dialects, respectively. What if instead of "French" and "Italian" becoming nationalities in the early modern period, we got three nationalities: Northern French, Southern French & North Italian, and South Italian?

On a related note, what would they likely be called? Perhaps Frankish, Gaulish, and Sicilian, with the countries called Frankland, Gaul, and the Two Sicilies.
This looks like a very interesting scenario. Are you thinking of an alternate Carolingian partition?
 
Biggest problem here is the mountains. The Po Valley is very difficult to access from Liguria or from southern France thanks to the Alps and Apennines and that's going to be one of the economic and demographic heartlands of this state just like it was OTL. Conversely, northern and southern Italy and especially northern and southern France lack such a huge geographic barrier.

But if you had this state it would likely include much of the Aragonese crown including Catalonia. Holding that much land in Italy behind the Alps would take a lot of prolonged naval superiority and a focus protecting the Po Valley, maybe via a lucky medieval inheritance or two combined with some campaigning. I think it's likely to have a lot of separatist tendencies just because of this isolation and because no matter which way you look at it, Lombard, Tuscan, Venetian, etc. are different languages from Provençal, Gascon, Catalan, etc. and because to hammer this country into a solid state you've inevitably embarked on lots of suppression of regionalism.

But modern nation building would do a lot of the work. Personally I'd just call this state the Roman Empire, especially if it can trace a link to the Carolingians (plausible).
 
A way to get around the mountain issue is to have the base of power for this new nation be in the Alps. An extra wanked Switzerland could unite at least some of the Gallo-Romance regions into a small Romansh/Lombard/Occitan speaking empire.
 
A way to get around the mountain issue is to have the base of power for this new nation be in the Alps. An extra wanked Switzerland could unite at least some of the Gallo-Romance regions into a small Romansh/Lombard/Occitan speaking empire.
What about wanking the Kingdom of Arles?
 
A way to get around the mountain issue is to have the base of power for this new nation be in the Alps. An extra wanked Switzerland could unite at least some of the Gallo-Romance regions into a small Romansh/Lombard/Occitan speaking empire.
Such a nation wouldn't be Switzerland. A kingdom of Burgundy (or "Arles") could do it, though. That would be "easy" by having Rudolf III have a son.

Surprisingly wealthy and with the potential backing of the Emperor, such a state would have two centers of power; one around Lyon and one along the Mediterranean coast. Even though there's the Alps in the way, Savoy historically expanded into Piedmont (as early as the 11th century). With a foothold south of the Alps, they could expand across Lombardy and down the Po Valley, I think (adding a third center in Turin or Milan). Genoa would remain a notable free city (it was under a Bishop at the time). Venice is probably going to stick around and be a thorn in its side.

This hypothetical state could be very wealthy, and the language spoken would probably be somewhere between the Franco-Provencal languages and the Gallo-Italic languages; which is a fancy way of saying "showing northern French, southern French, and Italian influences".
 
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Apparently, Southern France and Northern Italy used to speak languages more similar to each other than either was to Northern French or Southern Italian dialects, respectively.
Historically there was a Romance continuum : neighboring regions would speak dialects that were largely intelligible. The language borders that exist now are due to politics and the emergence of standardized forms of languages. With an early enough timeline you could create any number of new Romance-speaking "nations".
 
Historically there was a Romance continuum : neighboring regions would speak dialects that were largely intelligible. The language borders that exist now are due to politics and the emergence of standardized forms of languages. With an early enough timeline you could create any number of new Romance-speaking "nations".
In any case I seriously doubt the idea that Gallo-Italian is closer to Occitan than Central Italian dialects or that Occitan is closer to Gallo-Italian as a whole than to Northern Oil varieties. Not only because I never heard any linguistic or source claiming that but also because I feel like people take linguistic taxonomy to mean something it's not meant to, plus the taxonomy itself is controversial, debated and the models criticized(surely we can at least agree a tree model wouldn't work in a continuum)
 
Provencal is the simplest way of going - when I visited my aunt and uncle out there, everything had two spellings, like you might find in Wales, one in French and one in Provencal

AFAIK Provence was late to France, being a province of the Empire for a long time?

I haven't researched my answer, but it would seem that if you created a sort of Provence+Savoy entity you would get there
 
Do you really have to go back to the fall of the Roman Empire to accomplish this? I was under the impression the regional languages were still strong until the 1600-1700's.
 
As others have said embiggening (the older dialects of ) Provencal could be the way to do it.

One way would be for Septimania to be conquered earlier by the Franks and lead to a bigger Kingdom of Provence-Narbonne later down the line.
 
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In any case I seriously doubt the idea that Gallo-Italian is closer to Occitan than Central Italian dialects or that Occitan is closer to Gallo-Italian as a whole than to Northern Oil varieties. Not only because I never heard any linguistic or source claiming that but also because I feel like people take linguistic taxonomy to mean something it's not meant to, plus the taxonomy itself is controversial, debated and the models criticized(surely we can at least agree a tree model wouldn't work in a continuum)
Actually the closest Romance language to Occitan would be Catalan. The continuum between various Occitan or Franco-Provencal dialects and Italian ones is quite faint (save perhaps for Piemondtese)
 
In any case I seriously doubt the idea that Gallo-Italian is closer to Occitan than Central Italian dialects or that Occitan is closer to Gallo-Italian as a whole than to Northern Oil varieties. Not only because I never heard any linguistic or source claiming that but also because I feel like people take linguistic taxonomy to mean something it's not meant to, plus the taxonomy itself is controversial, debated and the models criticized(surely we can at least agree a tree model wouldn't work in a continuum)
There isn’t one form of Occitan, there are several. Same for the Gallo-Italian dialects, the Oïl dialects, etc. There was no hard linguistic border in France between Oïl and Oc, there were transitional dialects. But this has mostly been lost today because of standardization.
 
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I have seen it argued that Northern French (Langue d'Oil) domination occurred as part of the Cathar crusade, and that the ability to exploit the riches of southern France were a primary motivation for Northern French nobles coming south. Therefore, perhaps your POD is that Innocent III never becomes pope. This could have two impacts. First, if the crusade is never proclaimed, the Langue d'Oc region remains powerful. In addition, Innocent III was the most powerful of medieval popes. Perhaps the Counts of Toulouse (or some other major southern French Noble) could come to dominate Northern Italy. I would note the geography seems a bit problematic and obviously this would bring Toulouse into conflict with the Holy Roman Empire frequently, but I put this out for the group to consider.
 
There isn’t one form of Occitan, there are several. Same for the Gallo-Italian dialects, the Oil dialects, etc. There was no hard linguistic border in France between Oil and Oc, there were transitional dialects. But this has mostly been lost today because of standardization.
While that's true I still wonder if those main isoglosses we see within a continuum aren't still a relatively strong border, this is something I never understood, sure the essence of a dialect continuum remains but if a key sound change divergence exists between 2 neighbouring region would the continuum be weaker there than where there is not such isogloss? Otherwise how could we meaningfully classify any dialect at all? It's confusing really.

Actually the closest Romance language to Occitan would be Catalan. The continuum between various Occitan or Franco-Provencal dialects and Italian ones is quite faint (save perhaps for Piemondtese)
Maybe Ligurian too, interestingly Occitan and Arpitan taxonomically dominate the Alps and their borders with Piedmontese start literally at the foot hills of Italian side of the Alps.


I honestly don't understand why that's the case, tentatively I'd jump to migration or "non-natural"(meaning for me that language prestige, political power, migrations etc. had a role) expansion of Occitan, because i can't fathom a linguistic border "naturally"(by local trade and exchange) forming there and not in the Alps themselves.
 
I have seen it argued that Northern French (Langue d'Oil) domination occurred as part of the Cathar crusade, and that the ability to exploit the riches of southern France were a primary motivation for Northern French nobles coming south. Therefore, perhaps your POD is that Innocent III never becomes pope. This could have two impacts. First, if the crusade is never proclaimed, the Langue d'Oc region remains powerful. In addition, Innocent III was the most powerful of medieval popes. Perhaps the Counts of Toulouse (or some other major southern French Noble) could come to dominate Northern Italy. I would note the geography seems a bit problematic and obviously this would bring Toulouse into conflict with the Holy Roman Empire frequently, but I put this out for the group to consider.
Right before the Albigensian Crusade, the king of Aragon (I think Alfonso II) was making a play to claim Provence as part of his territory. An Aragon-controlled Provence could be kept politically separate from the Kingdom of France. And if alt-Aragon claims Milan during an alternate series of Italian Wars (Marseilles would be a pretty good springboard for a maritime invasion of Italy), we could then see a single country that includes northwestern Italy, Provence and Aragon speaking a unified, standardized language.
 
While that's true I still wonder if those main isoglosses we see within a continuum aren't still a relatively strong border, this is something I never understood, sure the essence of a dialect continuum remains but if a key sound change divergence exists between 2 neighbouring region would the continuum be weaker there than where there is not such isogloss? Otherwise how could we meaningfully classify any dialect at all? It's confusing really.
It seems to be rather arbitrary, based on some combination of linguistic features. I guess if a dialect has a majority of the features, it is determined to be on one side of the border. But it still gets a bit messy. For example, the northern dialects of Occitan have nasal vowels (like French) and the southern dialects do not (like Catalan).
 
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