The glottopolitics of Països Catalans in the Valencian elections of 28 May 2023

Vicente Lledó-Guillem


Following the Spanish municipal elections on 28 May 2023, the conservative party Partido Popular (PP) and the far-right group VOX reached an agreement to govern the Valencian region in coalition. Notably, their agreement explicitly mentions the term Països Catalans. Employing a glottopolitical perspective with an approach based on linguistic ideologies and post-colonial studies, this article scrutinizes the reference in connection with the distinct electoral programs of PP and VOX. The analysis underscores a shared linguistic agenda between the two parties. I contend that PP opposes the inclusion of the Valencian region in the Països Catalans by asserting the authenticity of Valencian as a separate language from Catalan, positing it as representing the Valencian identity. In contrast, VOX advocates for the dominant role of Spanish across formal societal domains by emphasizing the anonymity of Spanish as the language of no one and everyone. However, the agreement shows that PP’s electoral program can be read as denying the unique standing of the Valencian language in representing the Valencian identity, as the Valencian language is positioned at a parity with other Valencian cultural markers, such as music, artists, and folklore, all of which can ostensibly be expressed in Spanish. Consequently, the refusal of Països Catalans entails the disappearance of the Valencian language.


Països Catalans; Valencian language; authenticity; anonymity; sociolinguistic naturalism; glottopolitics

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