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Since the Spanish transition to democracy — , Catalan has been institutionalizated as an official language, language of education, and language of mass media; all of which have contributed to its increased prestige. According to the Statistical Institute of Catalonia , in the Catalan language is the second most commonly used in Catalonia, after Spanish , as a native or self-defining language: In Andorra , Catalan has always been the sole official language.

On the other hand, there are several language shift processes currently taking place. In the Northern Catalonia area of France, Catalan has followed the same trend as the other minority languages of France, with most of its native speakers being 60 or older as of Catalan bears varying degrees of similarity to the linguistic varieties subsumed under the cover term Occitan language see also differences between Occitan and Catalan and Gallo-Romance languages.

Thus, as it should be expected from closely related languages, Catalan today shares many traits with other Romance languages. Catalan shares many traits with the other neighboring Romance languages Italian , Sardinian , Occitan, and Spanish.

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According to Ethnologue , the lexical similarity between Catalan and other Romance languages is: During much of its history, and especially during the Francoist dictatorship — , the Catalan language was ridiculed as a mere dialect of Spanish. There is evidence that, at least from the 2nd century a. Catalan bullir , Occitan bolir "to boil" and innovatory regionalisms Sp novillo , Ast nuviellu vs. Like all Romance languages, Catalan has a handful of native words which are rare or only found in Catalan.


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The Gothic superstrate produced different outcomes in Spanish and Catalan. For example, Catalan fang "mud" and rostir "to roast", of Germanic origin, contrast with Spanish lodo and asar , of Latin origin; whereas Catalan filosa "spinning wheel" and templa "temple", of Latin origin, contrast with Spanish rueca and sien , of Germanic origin.

The same happens with Arabic loanwords. Situated between two large linguistic blocks Iberian Romance and Gallo-Romance , Catalan has many unique lexical choices, such as enyorar "to miss somebody", apaivagar "to calm somebody down", and rebutjar "reject". Various interpretations of the term may include some or all of these regions.

The number of people known to be fluent in Catalan varies depending on the sources used. A study did not count the total number of speakers, but estimated a total of 9—9. Catalan phonology varies by dialect. In contrast to other Romance languages, Catalan has many monosyllabic words, and these may end in a wide variety of consonants, including some consonant clusters.

Central Catalan pronunciation is considered to be standard for the language. Catalan has inherited the typical vowel system of Vulgar Latin , with seven stressed phonemes: In Central Catalan , unstressed vowels reduce to three: The consonant system of Catalan is rather conservative, as is the case with most modern Western Romance languages.

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Catalan sociolinguistics studies the situation of Catalan in the world and the different varieties that this language presents. It is a subdiscipline of Catalan philology and other affine studies and has as an objective to analyse the relation between the Catalan language, the speakers and the close reality including the one of other languages in contact. The dialects of the Catalan language feature a relative uniformity, especially when compared to other Romance languages; [38] both in terms of vocabulary , semantics , syntax , morphology , and phonology.

Catalan is split in two major dialectal blocks: Eastern Catalan, and Western Catalan. Western Catalan comprises the two dialects of Northwestern Catalan and Valencian ; the Eastern block comprises four dialects: Central Catalan , Balearic , Rossellonese , and Alguerese. The terms "Catalan" and " Valencian " respectively used in Catalonia and the Valencian Community are two varieties of the same language. Central Catalan is considered the standard pronunciation of the language and has the highest number of speakers. Catalan has an inflectional grammar.

Nouns have two genders masculine, feminine , and two numbers singular, plural. Pronouns additionally can have a neuter gender, and some are also inflected for case and politeness , and can be combined in very complex ways. Verbs are split in several paradigms and are inflected for person , number , tense , aspect , mood , and gender.

In terms of pronunciation, Catalan has many words ending in a wide variety of consonants and some consonant clusters, in contrast with many other Romance languages. In Eastern Catalan except Majorcan , unstressed vowels reduce to three: In Majorcan, unstressed vowels reduce to four: In Western Catalan , unstressed vowels reduce to five: In verbs, the inchoative endings are -eixo , -eix , -eixen , -eixi.

Despite its relative lexical unity, the two dialectal blocks of Catalan Eastern and Western show some differences in word choices. Also, usually Central Catalan acts as an innovative element. Standard Catalan, virtually accepted by all speakers, [26] is mostly based on Eastern Catalan, [54] [92] which is the most widely used dialect. Nevertheless, the standards of the Valencian Community and the Balearics admit alternative forms, mostly traditional ones, which are not current in eastern Catalonia. In this way, for instance, IEC says it is correct writing cantam as much as cantem 'we sing' but the University says that the priority form in the Balearic Islands must be cantam in all fields.

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Another feature of the Balearic standard is the non-ending in the 1st person singular present indicative: In this standard one can find, among other features: Valencian is classified as a Western dialect, along with the northwestern varieties spoken in Western Catalonia provinces of Lleida and the western half of Tarragona. Linguists, including Valencian scholars, deal with Catalan and Valencian as the same language. Ruling of the Valencian Language Academy of 9 February , extract of point 1. Despite the position of the official organizations, an opinion poll carried out between and [96] showed that the majority of the Valencian people consider Valencian different from Catalan.

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This position is promoted by people who do not use Valencian regularly. This clash of opinions has sparked much controversy. For example, during the drafting of the European Constitution in , the Spanish government supplied the EU with translations of the text into Basque , Galician , Catalan, and Valencian, but the latter two were identical. Literary Catalan allows the use of words from different dialects, except those of very restricted use. Like other languages, Catalan has a large list of loanwords from Greek and Latin.

Northern Catalonia

This process started very early, and one can find such examples in Ramon Llull 's work. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, most literate Catalan speakers were also literate in Latin; and thus they easily adopted Latin words into their writing—and eventually speech—in Catalan. The process of morphological derivation in Catalan follows the same principles as the other Romance languages , [99] where agglutination is common. Prefixes are usually appended to verbs, as in pre veure "foresee".

There is greater regularity in the process of word-compounding , where one can find compounded words formed much like those in English. Catalan uses the Latin script , with some added symbols and digraphs. The grammar of Catalan is similar to other Romance languages. In gender inflection , the most notable feature is compared to Portuguese , Spanish or Italian , the loss of the typical masculine suffix -o. Catalan has few suppletive couplets, like Italian and Spanish, and unlike French.

There is a tendency to abandon traditionally gender-invariable adjectives in favour of marked ones, something prevalent in Occitan and French. As in the other Western Romance languages, the main plural expression is the suffix -s , which may create morphological alternations similar to the ones found in gender inflection, albeit more rarely. The inflection of determinatives is complex, specially because of the high number of elisions, but is similar to the neighboring languages. Central Catalan has abandoned almost completely unstressed possessives mon , etc.

The morphology of Catalan personal pronouns is complex, specially in unstressed forms, which are numerous 13 distinct forms, compared to 11 in Spanish or 9 in Italian. Catalan pronouns exhibit T—V distinction , like all other Romance languages and most European languages, but not Modern English. This feature implies the use of a different set of second person pronouns for formality. This flexibility allows Catalan to use extraposition extensively, much more than French or Spanish. Like all the Romance languages, Catalan verbal inflection is more complex than the nominal.

Suffixation is omnipresent, whereas morphological alternations play a secondary role. However, these are not as productive as in Spanish, and are mostly restricted to irregular verbs. Catalan verbs are traditionally divided into three conjugations, with vowel themes -a- , -e- , -i- , the last two being split into two subtypes. However, this division is mostly theoretical. The verbs of the second conjugation are fewer than , and it is not possible to create new ones, except by compounding.

The grammar of Catalan follows the general pattern of Western Romance languages. The primary word order is subject—verb—object. Commonly, verb-subject constructions are used to achieve a semantic effect.

The sentence "The train has arrived" could be translated as Ha arribat el tren or El tren ha arribat. Both sentences mean "the train has arrived", but the former puts a focus on the train, while the latter puts a focus on the arrival.

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This subtle distinction is described as "what you might say while waiting in the station" versus "what you might say on the train. In Spain , every person officially has two surnames, one of which is the father's first surname and the other is the mother's first surname. Selected text [] from Manuel de Pedrolo 's novel Un amor fora ciutat "A love affair outside the city".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 17 September For the ship, see SS Catala. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. Catalan regulated by the IEC. Valencian regulated by the AVL. Territories where Catalan is spoken and is official. Territories where Catalan is spoken but is not official.

Territories where Catalan is not historically spoken but is official. Old Catalan and Phonological history of Catalan. Language policy in France , Vergonha , and Patois. Alta Cerdanya is geographically distinct from the rest of Northern Catalonia, lying to the south of the Pyrenean watershed in the upper valley of the Segre. The district lies on the most direct route between Toulouse Occitan: La Tor de Querol.

Northern Catalonia formed part of the Spanish Marches , established by Charlemagne as a buffer territory against the Moorish forces. By the end of the ninth century, these counties had gained de facto independence from the Carolingian kings and operated as princely states whose rulers nevertheless retained the title of count. As the seigneury of the counties became hereditary, the total number of Catalan counts fell steadily. One individual often had the charge of several counties, but these were not always transmitted on the basis of primogeniture. However the Counts of Barcelona steadily gained suzerainty over the other Catalan counts, a process which was virtually complete by the twelfth century.

Royal administration in Catalonia under the Crown of Aragon was organised on the basis of vegueries , under the charge of a veguer appointed by the King of Aragon as Count of Barcelona. In Northern Catalonia, the vegueries followed closely the boundaries of the old counties. The district of Capcir was a sotsvegueria , based around the castle of Puigbalador French: Puyvalador but subordinate to the vegueria of Conflent.

This division satisfied neither branch of the family, and the Kingdom of Majorca was retaken militarily by the Crown of Aragon in As is common, the present-day arrondissements do not correspond to pre- Revolutionary boundaries. The arrondissement of Prades Prada covers the whole of Haute-Cerdagne Alta Cerdanya and Conflent including Capcir , as well as about a third of Fenolheda not part of the province of Roussillon. Catalan writers sometimes speak of the " comarques of Northern Catalonia".

Unlike the autonomous community of Catalonia , these comarques have no administrative significance, although they usually correspond to a certain historical and geographical unity. The region is divided among those who support a union with France and those who support reuniting with Catalonia. A big majority a Northern Catalans oppose reuniting with Catalonia, however a political party Catalan Unity promotes the idea.


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The party has had some success since , winning seats in the municipal elections. It is now the biggest Catalan nationalist party in the region. Northern Catalans are proud of their Catalan heritage and have developed a "Northern Catalan" identity. In Northern Catalonia was merged with other areas of Occitania to form a new French region. This has led to fears that the Occitan language and culture will be given precedence over the Catalan language and culture. In December Express. Northern Catalans helped print ballot slips for the Catalan independence referendum, Catalan is spoken in all regions of Northern Catalonia except for Fenolleda which speaks the Occitan language.

The Catalan folk dance Sardana is a dance in the region. Northern Catalans support the Catalan Dragons rugby team.