Arpitania is a cultural region in the Western Alps split between parts of France, Switzerland, and Italy (and it has one of my favorite flags). Its name was coined as Harpitania in the 1970s by ethnologist Joseph Henriet, who was trying to promote geographic unity in the area. He created the term from arpian, a word in the local dialect of the Aosta Valley meaning "one who works in the Alps", with the influence of Basque harri-pe, meaning "under the rocks" (Henriet was highly influenced by Basque writer Federico Krutwig). For aesthetic purposes, the initial h was dropped and a t was added. The name really started getting popular in the 1990s as people turned to Arpitan to replace Franco-provençal as the word for the dialect the people in the region spoke (it sounded less cumbersome and rhymed with Occitan), so here we are.
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.