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Sociolingüística catalana

Catalan language organizations. Observations on the language organizations archive and database,
by Efrem Sebastià i Ortigosa


It is interesting to see which areas are the object of the activity of these organizations within their respective territories. Figure 2 (distribution of areas of activity of the organizations according to region) shows the proportion of organizations from one or another area of activity separated according to region.

We can see that half or more of the language organizations in French Roussillon, Alguer and the Community of Valencia focus on teaching. The local government in these territories does not favour public schooling in Catalan and the population has had to organise itself to promote and defend teaching in Catalan. Figure 2 also reveals that the organizations working in the institutional sphere are located mainly in Catalonia, although the largest group is made up of the associations working for language at a general level. Andorra and the Franja de Ponent do not have organizations that specialise in a specific area, whilst the area of activity of organizations with a national scope has a greater diversity.

Territorial scope. If we look at the territorial scope of language organizations field, we can see that the majority of the organizations have a local or comarcal scope, and make up over half of the associations that work for language. The number of associations also decreases at the rate that geographical scope increases.

Table 2. Distribution of organizations according to their territorial scope

local o comarcal scope


regional scope


national scope


international scope


Another particularly strong group is that of organizations with a regional scope, making up a third of all language associations. As regards these, we can say that administrative structures and the specific problems that these produce in the language of each territory have a significant influence and largely condition the territorial scope of language organizations. The scope of each administrative region is more predominant than the scope of the linguistic domain of the language. In fact, there are relatively few organizations with a national scope and, what is more, not one of the six is a solid, general unit reference for the defence of the language in Catalan-speaking territories.

Additionally, organizations with a different territorial scope predominate in each region. On the one hand, in the Community of Valencia, the Franja and the Balearics, local and comarcal associations predominate, whilst in Catalonia and French Roussillon, organizations tend to have a regional scope. Interestingly, organizations with an international scope are located mainly in Catalonia.

Media Presence. This project also aims to collate information about the presence of language organizations in the mass media. Around two hundred press cuttings concerning the linguistic activism of the organizations and their activities have been collated. In quantitative terms, we can see that the Coordinadora d'Associacions per la Llengua Catalana (CAL) appears most often in the press, with around fifty news articles concerning its most significant campaigns (Correllengua and Sant Jordi). The following organizations obtained the second highest number of articles after CAL: Òmnium Cultural, Obra Cultural Balear (OCB), Acció Cultural del País Valencià (ACPV), Plataforma per la Llengua, Institut d'Estudis del Baix Cinca, Organització pel Multilingüisme (OM) and the Federació per a la Defensa de la Llengua i la Cultura Catalanes. In addition to news articles, the Associació per la Llengua has also had a significant number of opinion articles published in the press.

Notably, articles about the associations and linguistic activism appear more frequently in local and comarcal press. Newspapers such as El Punt, Segre, La Mañana, El 9 nou and Regió 7 appear most commonly in the archive. As regards weekly publications, El Temps is particularly important given its publication of articles and interviews with language associations.

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