The designation Franco-Provençal (Franco-Provençal: francoprovençâl; French: francoprovençal; Italian: francoprovenzale) dates to the 19th century. Traditionally, the dialect group is also referred to as patois(patouès), and since the late 20th century as Arpitan (Franco-Provençal: arpetan; Italian: arpitano), and its areal as Arpitania. The number of speakers of Franco-Provençal has been declining significantly. According to UNESCO (1995), Franco-Provençal is a "potentially endangered language" in Italy and an "endangered language" in Switzerland and France.
Indo-European phylosector → Romanic phylozone → Italiano+Româneasca (Romance) set → Italiano+Româneasca chain → Romance-West net → Lyonnais+Valdôtain (Franco-Provençal) reference name. The Linguasphere Observatory language code for Franco-Provençal is 51-AAA-j
A philological classification for Franco-Provençal published by Stanford University (Ruhlen, 1987, pp. 325–326) is as follows: