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Grant number like: FEL-262357-19

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Natalie Operstein
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Pacific Palisades, CA 902720032)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2019 – 1/31/2020

Lingua Franca in the "Dictionnaire de la langue franque": historical, typological, and theoretical perspectives

Research and writing leading to publication of a linguistic analysis of Lingua Franca, a language used for interethnic communication in the Mediterranean from the medieval period to the nineteenth century.

The NEH fellowship will be used to support the writing of a book on the key publication on the Mediterranean Lingua Franca, Dictionnaire de la langue franque, published anonymously in Marseille in 1830. The book has two interconnected goals. The first is to provide a detailed historical, philological and linguistic study of the Dictionnaire. The second goal is to demonstrate that the linguistic features of the Lingua Franca variety recorded in the Dictionnaire place it typologically with Romance languages rather than with pidgins, as is commonly asserted. By providing a detailed study of the Dictionnaire, including the previously unaddressed issues of its sources, authorship, and publication history, the book will allow for a more precise assessment of the Dictionnaire's place in the LF scholarship. By demonstrating the Romance typological profile of the Dictionnaire's Lingua Franca, the book will contribute to current theoretical debates on the typology of contact languages.