WI: Linguistic Effects of Napoleonic Victory

What would be the effects on languages spoken in Europe by a Napoleonic victory? Would something similar to OTL happen within France where Occitan and Breton have effectively been made near-extinct niche languages? Or would some corners of the empire have their own regional “dialects”?
 
Remember that there were three levels :

1) France proper (which is enlarged compared to OTL)

2) Dependent states, with their own governments but occupied by France, like the kingdom of Italy or Confederation of the Rhine.

3) “Allied” states like Austria (post-1809) and Russia for awhile

In the first and third it is probably the same as OTL (francisation in France, none in the allies) The second is less certain, but I imagine they probably would break free at some point after Napoléon’s death, so probably not too different from OTL.
 
While French would almost certainly be more widespread and important in a Napoleonic victory TL, there is simply no way for French to be enforced in Italy or most of Germany, no matter how politically close there areas are going to be to France. I can see it becoming the primary formal language in a French Rhineland and in Flanders, like it did in Alsace IOTL, and quite possibly also in Piedmont, but it won't replace German or Italian entirely (I think the same would apply to Dutch).
 
While French would almost certainly be more widespread and important in a Napoleonic victory TL, there is simply no way for French to be enforced in Italy or most of Germany, no matter how politically close there areas are going to be to France. I can see it becoming the primary formal language in a French Rhineland and in Flanders, like it did in Alsace IOTL, and quite possibly also in Piedmont, but it won't replace German or Italian entirely (I think the same would apply to Dutch).
absolutely. I do think it would be much more widespread as a language of diplomacy and business across Europe than it even was in OTL, though, sort of like English today.
 
Though I am sure that they will atleast try, otl france has pretty much killed most french dialects.
 
Though I am sure that they will atleast try, otl france has pretty much killed most french dialects.
I think it would depend on the region. Occitan and Bretognais would almost certainly be extinct. Italian speaking regions in the Piedmont would probably be majority French-speaking, and you’d probably see the same in much of Flanders and the French Rhineland over time, perhaps with regional pidgin dialects. Catalan is a weird one since it would be sort of peripheral to the rest of the Empire and it survived Spain’s attempts to suppress it, so that could be an interesting one...
 
IOTL it were especially the Third, Fourth and Fifth Republics, that pushed a heavy handed francisation language policy; as late as 1871 only a quarter of the French population spoke French as their native tongue. An unhumiliated French Empire with even more non-French native speakers in its' massively expanded borders could just as well result in a situation where most people are bilingual, with French as the official language of the state but with local dialects staying on as the day-to-day languages within their region.
 
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IOTL it were especially the Third, Fourth and Fifth Republics, that pushed a heavy handed francisation language policy; as late as 1871 only a quarter of the French population spoke French as their native tongue. A unhumiliated French Empire with even more non-French native speakers in its massively expanded borders could just as well result in a situation where most people are bilingual, with French as the official language of the state but with local dialects staying on as the day-to-day languages within their region.
There was no real change in policy regarding language under the Third Republic. The French government (regardless of régime) had a centuries-old policy of favoring the French language. Latin was dropped as an administrative language in 1539 and from the time of Louis XIII, solely French was used in administration. The First Republic promoted the idea of eliminating the "patois" and making French universal via public education, but it lacked the means to implement this. What simply happened under the Third Republic was that education (which had always been in French) finally became universal and mandatory. With any post-1800 POD I don't see how this changes.
 
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I think it would depend on the region. Occitan and Bretognais would almost certainly be extinct. Italian speaking regions in the Piedmont would probably be majority French-speaking, and you’d probably see the same in much of Flanders and the French Rhineland over time, perhaps with regional pidgin dialects. Catalan is a weird one since it would be sort of peripheral to the rest of the Empire and it survived Spain’s attempts to suppress it, so that could be an interesting one...
How would you make Occitan become extinct without likewise diminishing Catalan? Today, many of the native Occitan speakers are residing within Catalonia and it is the area where their language is official. If France makes inroads to such degree that Occitan in Catalonia is also decimated, I cannot imagine Catalan doing well either.
 
How would you make Occitan become extinct without likewise diminishing Catalan? Today, many of the native Occitan speakers are residing within Catalonia and it is the area where their language is official. If France makes inroads to such degree that Occitan in Catalonia is also decimated, I cannot imagine Catalan doing well either.
It could share the fate of OTL Gallo, caught between the language of separatism and anti-separatism, it has no natural constituency and gets eaten by the more political languages.
 
French and English would probably reach a parity in importance, rather than the runaway success of English in the modern world.
 
How would you make Occitan become extinct without likewise diminishing Catalan? Today, many of the native Occitan speakers are residing within Catalonia and it is the area where their language is official. If France makes inroads to such degree that Occitan in Catalonia is also decimated, I cannot imagine Catalan doing well either.
that is a fair point
 
It could share the fate of OTL Gallo, caught between the language of separatism and anti-separatism, it has no natural constituency and gets eaten by the more political languages.
I cannot see Catalan possessing separatist elements in a world where Occitan is uprooted in Catalonia. In other words, my point is, Occitan has a level of commonality with Catalan as part of the same branch and likewise informing each other’s protection. Occitan being decimated brings harm to Catalan. Likewise, protecting Occitan, protects Catalan. This is the understanding in Spain today, regarding their relation.

Hence, if Occitan is lost completely by French centralism, so too is Catalan at least harmed. We will not see for instance the status of: Catalan spoken in day-to-day relation as the primary tongue in Barcelona if Occitan is made extinct throughout the empire.

EDIT: To be clear, the last areas that speak Occitan solely or primarily, are in Catalonia. These number some 30-50k. This would account for nearly half of the world Occitan speaking base, and a larger percentage of the population of Catalonia than any jurisdiction in France.
 
It could share the fate of OTL Gallo, caught between the language of separatism and anti-separatism, it has no natural constituency and gets eaten by the more political languages.
The line between what is "Occitan" and "Catalan" is quite blurry. ITTL they might be considered one language.
 
The line between what is "Occitan" and "Catalan" is quite blurry. ITTL they might be considered one language.
I would not go this far. There is at least some level of drift between the two. If I recall, in the Parmiers Registry, the peasants would say in their account some level of difference in language between the area of Catalonia and that of the county of Foix. Though, admittedly, in the Middle Ages, the two were similar enough to permit transfer of peoples seamlessly.
 
I cannot see Catalan possessing separatist elements in a world where Occitan is uprooted in Catalonia. In other words, my point is, Occitan has a level of commonality with Catalan as part of the same branch and likewise informing each other’s protection. Occitan being decimated brings harm to Catalan. Likewise, protecting Occitan, protects Catalan. This is the understanding in Spain today, regarding their relation.

Hence, if Occitan is lost completely by French centralism, so too is Catalan at least harmed. We will not see for instance the status of: Catalan spoken in day-to-day relation as the primary tongue in Barcelona if Occitan is made extinct throughout the empire.
A language does not have to be dominant in order to be a language of separatism though, the vast majority of Wales cannot speak Welsh yet Welsh separatism is still highly based on its linguistic identity. This in turn keeps the language from obliteration, as it will always have a highly motivated group of speakers who will attempt to retain and spread it in order to fulfill their national aspirations. I don’t see how Catalan being hurt ITTL prevents it from building that core base that would set the stage for a revival while Occitan is left to wither.
 
A language does not have to be dominant in order to be a language of separatism though, the vast majority of Wales cannot speak Welsh yet Welsh separatism is still highly based on its linguistic identity. This in turn keeps the language from obliteration, as it will always have a highly motivated group of speakers who will attempt to retain and spread it in order to fulfill their national aspirations. I don’t see how Catalan being hurt ITTL prevents it from building that core base that would set the stage for a revival while Occitan is left to wither.
Yet Occitan has a level of separatist support also. My original point is; the addition of Catalonia will strengthen Occitan. Rather than permit the dissolution of Occitan. If Occitan is truly disintegrated, then Catalan will be mostly extinguished also. This was my discussion.
 
Yet Occitan has a level of separatist support also. My original point is; the addition of Catalonia will strengthen Occitan. Rather than permit the dissolution of Occitan. If Occitan is truly disintegrated, then Catalan will be mostly extinguished also. This was my discussion.
The addition of Catalonia May strengthen Occitan in a direct sense, but it implies a much richer and more powerful France that could implement universal mandatory education earlier. While it may not be the most likely scenario, I think it is absolutely possible that a wave of Frenchification sweeps Occitan away from the rest of France by starting earlier and being more intense than OTL, while Catalan survives and eats the previously Occitan constituency as Occitan Catalan is unable to power a separatist movement that claims its hypothetical territory outside Catalonia. Catalonia is on the other side of a mountain range after all, naturally limiting its contact with the rest of France and thus partially in insulating it from assimilation, while the rest of Southern France is connected to Northern France through geography, infrastructure and history.
 
How would English reach parity if Napoleon wins? It would be French that has the runaway success.
obviously depends on scope and nature of Napoleon’s win, but Britain’s naval-based empire and their more mercantile nature probably still makes English a fairly major language of commerce. It could have the role in ATL that French does in ours - a major language that many know, but French is the dominant world tongue.

could also see development of competition between an Anglosphere and a Francophonie over time
 
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