Collections and services

Languages and linguistics

From Occitan to French, from Basque to Alsatian, from Catalan to Spanish...

French and regional and foreign languages

BnF is the place to study French, regional languages and minority languages. Foreign languages are very well represented, with the emphasis on languages that use the Latin alphabet.
Collections on the French language at the François Mitterrand Library (Site François-Mitterrand) include general materials (dictionaries, grammars, etc.), theoretical works, and journals on the history of the language.

The Library also holds collections on regional and minority languages.

For example, it includes materials on the following:

  • Occitan and the langue d’oïl
  • Franco-Provençal 
  • French regional languages (Alsatian, Corsican, Basque, Breton, Catalan, etc.) 
  • French-based creoles 
  • French spoken outside France (e.g. Belgian, Swiss, Quebec, and African French) 
  • languages spoken in the Pacific islands and Guyana (Hmong)
These materials are categorized geographically and are available on an open-access basis. For example, Alsatian is categorized with Germanic languages, Corsican with Italian dialects, Catalan and Basque with Spanish, Breton with the range of Celtic languages following English, etc.

The Research library has a particularly extensive collection of materials on Occitan language and literature, Celtic poetry and the Basque language. The majority of books on the latter were bequeathed by the linguist Antoine Abbadie in 1901, and are in French, Spanish, and Basque. These documents include the Basque language journal Californiako Eskual herria, published in Los Angeles from 1893 onwards.

In foreign languages, in addition to monolingual and multilingual dictionaries, the Art and Literature Department holds linguistic atlases, studies of languages and language histories.

At the Richelieu Library (Site Richelieu), more than 200 languages are represented in the collections held by the Manuscripts Department. Old French and the Romance languages hold an important place there, alongside classical languages (Latin and Greek) and languages from Africa, Asia, America, and the Middle East.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

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