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I have come across references to 'les quatre coins de la Bretagne' and 'les falaises de Bretagne'. It seems more usual not to use the definite article in such a situation, but is there a grammatical principle involved ?

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Aux quatre coins de Bretagne is also possible but the form with la is more common. The phrase is about the region as a proper noun:

In every corner of Brittany

I don't think "In every Brittany corner" (or "in every Breton corner") would work.

In the second phrase, the genitive is closer to an adjective:

Les falaises de Bretagne = Les falaises bretonnes ("Breton cliffs" should be fine here I guess)

Les falaises de la Bretagne isn't incorrect though, but less natural. It would work if it wasn't generic (Les falaises de la Bretagne du Nord)

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    Dans la première phrase, but the form with le is more common --- pourquoi "le" ?
    – Oreste
    Nov 9 '21 at 23:03
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    @Oreste Parce que je me suis trompé... Je voulais bien sûr parler de l'article féminin la.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 9 '21 at 23:17

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