The Wall Street Journal has an article on Romansh, one of the minor Romance languages, with a meager population of some 60,000 speakers (Wall Street Journal, 1 September, 2011, p. A10). It is native to Val Müstair (Münstertal) at the far eastern edge of the Swiss Alps.
As has happened in so many other places, a political effort to protect the language has led to the creation of an official standard that no one speaks natively and that is now in conflict with the living dialects. Children are confronted with the constructed official standard (Romansh Grischun or RG) in school and a different native dialect at home.
Much of the article deals with a movement to oppose RG. The article ends with a linguist quoting some speakers as saying "If they're going to take away my mother tongue, I'd just as soon speak German."
W. D. Elcock's Romance Languages (London: Faber & Faber Limited, 1960), 478–81, says:
As a language [Romansh] profited from the general increase in literacy and tended to become the object of a patriotic cult, symbolic of local autonomy. This tendency came to a head in 1938, when the inhabitants, alarmed by the extravagant territorial claims of Fascist Italy, backed by the gratuitous assertion that [Romansh] is an Italian dialect, successfully brought pressure on the Federal Government to secure its recognition as the fourth national language of Switzerland.
Elcock goes on to describe two competing standards, one each for two towns with majority Catholic or Protestant populations, respectively. Elcock adds that the Protestant standard is (was?) more conservative, as it has been connected with printed religious literature since the sixteenth century.
Val Müstair's dialect is made to sound very parochial and isolated in Elcock's book.
In 1970, Rebecca Posner says,
Nowadays one has the impression that the Romance-speaking peasants are being swamped by Germanic hotel proprietors.
(Rebecca Posner, The Romance Languages: A linguistic introduction, [Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1970], pp. 259–61)