Page:Dictamen AVL anglés.djvu/7

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for Valencians in codifying their own language.

The Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community (Organic Law 5/1982, 1 July) established the name 'Valencian' for the Valencian people's own language, specifying neither the philological identity of that which was being referred to by that name nor the institution in charge of normative aspects of the language. This approach did not put an end to the debate, as it allowed (and continues to allow) diverging interpretations. For some, that the Statute should mention Valencian amounts to saying that it is not the same as any other language spoken elsewhere. On the other hand, there are others who are of the opinion that the statute was deliberately making use of an age-old, well-recognised term to speak (in the context of the Valencian Community) about the language which we Valencians have in common with other peoples of the former Crown of Aragon. For other still, recognising linguistic unity is perfectly compatible with defending those traits which are uniquely Valencian, as a way of overcoming the differing linguistic perceptions which exist in Valencian society.

The enactment of the Law on the Use and Teaching of Valencian (4/1983, November 23, from the Generalitat Valenciana) was a historical landmark in the process of recovery of Valencian. For the first time the legal foundations needed for overcoming the unequal relationship that existed between the two official languages in the Valencian Community were laid by means of legal provisions which promoted both the use of Valencian and its incorporation into the education system. The preamble to the law also stated that the «Valencian language is a fundamental aspect of our society's cultural heritage» and that «the revival and extension of its use, as one of the elements in the rediscovery of our identity as a people, is a duty that corresponds also to all us Valencians». Nonetheless, despite these unquestionably wise decisions, the law neither defined the language's identity nor set up the relevant normative body.

The Law on the Creation of the AVL (7/1998, September 16, from the Generalitat Valenciana) was an important milestone in the process of harmonising the different positions, starting from the basic supposition that all positions contain aspects which are positive for our language. As far as the issue of name is concerned, the law recognises the term 'Valencian' to be the most appropriate when referring to the Valencian people's own language, while simultaneously stating that this language «forms part of the same linguistic system which is recognised to be the autochthonous language in the statutes of autonomy of the Hispanic regions of the former Crown of Aragon» (Preamble). Likewise, in referring to the linguistic model to be used, the law guarantees that Valencians are responsible, via the AVL, for prescribing normative rules for its language in the Valencian Community. However, in practice, the underlying problem has not actually been resolved, as can be seen from the frequency with which the subject of the Valencian language's name and identity has been the centre of controversy in the past years.

Consequently, aware of the need to solve these and other ambiguous issues (which serve only to arouse debate, being counterproductive to the normal use and prestige of our language), the AVL prescriptively approves the following