Catalan and Occitan Versus Aragonese: The Poetic Ceremony Following the Coronation of Alfonso the Benign in Muntaner’s Crònica

  • Vicente Lledó-Guillem


This chapter focuses on Muntaner’s description of the poetic celebration that took place in the Palace of the Aljafería in Zaragoza following the coronation of Alfonso the Benign in 1328. This study suggests that this poetic celebration affirmed momentarily the existence of a unified Catalan-Provençal language that supported the monarchy of the Crown of Aragon and the Catalan interests in the Mediterranean. Aragonese was characterized as the language of opposition to the monarchy, reflecting the interests of the Aragonese nobility and some Aragonese cities. Muntaner explained that the ceremony was organized by the Lord Infant Peter (1305–1381), brother of Alfonso the Benign and carried out in Occitan, although it was described in Catalan. I argue that, consequently, Catalan was the language of the stage directions for a ceremony to be performed in the prestigious Occitan language, which was employed to exalt the power of the Catalan-Aragonese monarchy. Occitan did not appear directly in the text but it was placed, by means of the stage directions in Catalan, in a superior position as the exclusive language of tribute to the King. Aragonese, on the other hand, was completely erased. This poetic ceremony reflects not only a political use of the neutrality of the Occitan language to exalt the Catalan-Aragonese King, but also a brief performative episode of linguistic diglossia that would contest the ideology of linguistic standardization that began to be naturalized in the Romance-speaking world.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicente Lledó-Guillem
    • 1
  1. 1.Romance Languages and LiteratureHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

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