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Francien is a nineteenth-century linguists' term applied to the particular langue d'oïl that was spoken in the Île-de-France region (with Paris at its center) before the establishment of the French language as a standard language.
According to one theory of the development of French, Francien was chosen out of all the competing Oïl languages as an official language (Norman and Picard being the main competitors in the mediaeval period). The theory currently prevailing, however, is that Francien was one of the dialects in the dialect continuum on top of which an administrative language, untrammelled by perceived regionalisms, was imposed as a compromise means of communication and record to replace Latin.
The existence and definition of Francien was put forward in the 19th century, partly to support the idea of the French language as enjoying a direct and pure lineage from Latin and to minimise the contribution of the various Romance languages of France. Nowadays, the question of Francien is a controversial topic in discussions of language policy in France.
See also 
- ^ "Ce terme est une dénomination linguistique du XIXe siècle. En effet, avant on parlait tout simplement de françoys ou de françois (prononcé [frãswè] puis [frãsè])" (French Wikipedia).