It was interesting to see the reference to Occitan. 

I first came across Occitan many years ago, when I spent a year (1971-72) in Bordeaux, where I was in touch with a group called Cercle des Jeunes Occitanistes. It was made clear to me then that this language is itself something of a construct.I attended an evening class in the language in Montauban about four years ago, where much of the discussion centred on "In my village"..."


“Occitan is fundamentally defined by its dialects, rather than being a unitary language “ (Wikipedia). This was what people have confirmed to me many times over the decades. Indeed, some speakers of what is now called Occitan deny that they speak the language at all. They say that they speak  Gascon, Provençal or, simply “le patois”.

Again to cite Wikipedia,  “Standard Occitan, also called occitan larg (i.e., 'wide Occitan') is a synthesis that respects and admits soft regional adaptations (which are based on the convergence of previous regional koines)”.

As we know, Wikipedia is not perfect and has to be used with care. It has a section on “Occitan people”, a concept alien to most people I have spoken to.

 Bill Chapman,