Friulian is the second largest linguistic minority in Italy and is spoken by more than half a million people. Together with Romansh of the Grisons in Switzerland and Ladin in the Dolomites, this language belongs to the so-called Romanic Alps. Despite the supposedly same origin, all three language groups now have different minority protection provisions, whereby Friulian became state-recognized only in 1999, and thus as the last of the three. This diploma thesis has drawn a comparison between the two linguistic minorities of Friulians and Ladins and has analyzed their development in the past 100 years. A chronological outline of the most significant historical events affecting the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige and the associated language policy provisions are intended to shed light on the current differences in minority status. In addition to the historical dimension, other disciplines such as linguistics, law and politics were included in the analysis.