includes 70,000 in France (1971 census)  and 68,000 in
Map of the Franco-Provençal Language Area:
Dark Blue: Protected. — Medium Blue: General regions.
Light Blue: Historical transition zone.
Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal or Arpitan) is a dialect group within
The designation Franco-Provençal (Franco-Provençal: francoprovençâl;
Formerly spoken throughout the territory of
Aside from regional French dialects (the
Franco-Provençal emerged as a
Franco-Provençal is first attested in manuscripts from the 12th century, possibly diverging from the
The antiquated character of the Savoyard patois is striking. One can note it not only in phonetics and morphology, but also in the vocabulary, where one finds numerous words and directions that clearly disappeared from French.
Franco-Provençal failed to garner the cultural prestige of its three more widely spoken neighbors: French, Occitan, and Italian. Communities where speakers lived were generally mountainous and isolated from one another. The internal boundaries of the entire speech area were divided by wars and religious conflicts. France, Switzerland, the
Franco-Provençal dialects were widely spoken in their speech areas until the 20th century. As French political power expanded and the "single-national-language" doctrine was spread through French-only education, Franco-Provençal speakers abandoned their language, which had numerous spoken variations and no standard