Catalan language

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Template:Redirect Template:Pp-pc1 Template:Short description Template:Use dmy dates {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}}Template:Main other Template:Catalan language

Catalan (Template:IPAc-en;[1] autonym: Template:Lang; Template:IPA-ca) is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin and named after the medieval Principality of Catalonia, in northeastern modern Spain. It is the only official language of Andorra,Template:Sfn and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, Valencia (where the language is known as Valencian) and Balearic Islands. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero.[2] It is also spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, in some villages of the region of Murcia called Carche and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These territories are often called Template:Lang or "Catalan Countries".

Catalan evolved from Vulgar Latin in the Middle Ages around the eastern Pyrenees. 19th-century Spain saw a Catalan literary revival,Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn culminating in the early 1900s.

Etymology and pronunciation

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Catalan Countries (Template:Lang): (In orange, strict Catalan-speaking area) NE modern Spain (Catalonia, Valencian Community and Balearic Islands), SE. France (Roussillon, touching the Pyrenees) and Comune of Alghero (NW coast of Sardinia, Island belonging to Italy)
The Crown of Aragon in 1443. King James the Conqueror [1208–1276] dictated his autobiographical chronicles entirely in Catalan. Some of this territory nowadays makes up the Catalan Countries.

The word Catalan is derived from the territorial name of Catalonia, itself of disputed etymology. The main theory suggests that Template:Lang (Latin Gathia Launia) derives from the name Gothia or Gauthia ("Land of the Goths"), since the origins of the Catalan counts, lords and people were found in the March of Gothia, whence Gothland > Gothlandia > Gothalania > Catalonia theoretically derived.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

In English, the term referring to a person first appears in the mid 14th century as Catelaner, followed in the 15th century as Catellain (from French). It is attested a language name since at least 1652. The word Catalan can be pronounced in English as Template:IPAc-en, Template:IPAc-en or Template:IPAc-en.[1]

The endonym is pronounced Template:IPA-ca in the Eastern Catalan dialects, and Template:IPA-ca in the Western dialects. In the Valencian Community, the term Template:Lang Template:IPA-ca is frequently used instead. Thus, the name "Valencian", although often employed for referring to the Valencian-specific varieties, is also used by Valencians as a name for the language as a whole,[3] synonymous with "Catalan".Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn Both uses of the term have their respective entries in the dictionaries by the AVL[note 1] and the IEC[note 2]. See also status of Valencian below.

History

Template:Further

Homilies d'Organyà (12th century)
Fragment of the Greuges de Guitard Isarn (ca. 1080–1095), one of the earliest texts written almost completely in Catalan,Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn predating the famous Homilies d'Organyà by a century
Linguistic map of Southwestern Europe

Middle Ages

Template:Further By the 9th century, Catalan had evolved from Vulgar Latin on both sides of the eastern end of the Pyrenees, as well as the territories of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis to the south.Template:Sfn From the 8th century onwards the Catalan counts extended their territory southwards and westwards at the expense of the Muslims, bringing their language with them.Template:Sfn This process was given definitive impetus with the separation of the County of Barcelona from the Carolingian Empire in 988.Template:Sfn

In the 11th century, documents written in macaronic Latin begin to show Catalan elements,Template:Sfn with texts written almost completely in Romance appearing by 1080.Template:Sfn Old Catalan shared many features with Gallo-Romance, diverging from Old Occitan between the 11th and 14th centuries.Template:Sfn

During the 11th and 12th centuries the Catalan rulers expanded up to north of the Ebro river,Template:Sfn and in the 13th century they conquered the Land of Valencia and the Balearic Islands.Template:Sfn The city of Alghero in Sardinia was repopulated with Catalan speakers in the 14th century. The language also reached Murcia, which became Spanish-speaking in the 15th century.Template:Sfn

In the Low Middle Ages, Catalan went through a golden age, reaching a peak of maturity and cultural richness.Template:Sfn Examples include the work of Majorcan polymath Ramon Llull (1232–1315), the Four Great Chronicles (13th–14th centuries), and the Valencian school of poetry culminating in Ausiàs March (1397–1459).Template:Sfn By the 15th century, the city of Valencia had become the sociocultural center of the Crown of Aragon, and Catalan was present all over the Mediterranean world.Template:Sfn During this period, the Royal Chancery propagated a highly standardized language.Template:Sfn Catalan was widely used as an official language in Sicily until the 15th century, and in Sardinia until the 17th.Template:Sfn During this period, the language was what Costa Carreras terms "one of the 'great languages' of medieval Europe".Template:Sfn

Martorell's outstandingTemplate:Sfn novel of chivalry Tirant lo Blanc (1490) shows a transition from Medieval to Renaissance values, something that can also be seen in Metge's work.Template:Sfn The first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in Catalan.[4]Template:Sfn

Start of the modern era

With the union of the crowns of Castille and Aragon (1479), the use of Spanish gradually became more prestigiousTemplate:Sfn and marked the start of the decline of Catalan.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn Starting in the 16th century, Catalan literature came under the influence of Spanish, and the urban and literary classes became bilingual.Template:Sfn

With the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659), Spain ceded the northern part of Catalonia to France, and soon thereafter the local Catalan varieties came under the influence of French, which in 1700 became the sole official language of the region.Template:Sfn[5]

Shortly after the French Revolution (1789), the French First Republic prohibited official use of, and enacted discriminating policies against, the regional languages of France, such as Catalan, Alsatian, Breton, Occitan, Flemish, and Basque.

France: 19th to 20th centuries

Official Decree Prohibiting the Catalan Language in France
"Speak French, be clean", school wall in Ayguatébia-Talau, 2010

Template:See also Following the French capture of Algeria (1833), that region saw several waves of Catalan-speaking settlers. People from the Spanish Alacant province settled around Oran, whereas Algiers received immigration from Northern Catalonia and Menorca. Their speech was known as patuet. By 1911, the number of Catalan speakers was around 100,000. After the declaration of independence of Algeria in 1962, almost all the Catalan speakers fled to Northern Catalonia (as Pieds-Noirs) or Alacant.Template:Sfn

Nowadays, France recognizes only French as an official language. Nevertheless, on 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognized Catalan as one of the languages of the department[6] and seeks to further promote it in public life and education.

Spain: 18th to 20th centuries

Template:See also

The decline of Catalan continued in the 16th and 17th centuries. The defeat of the pro-Habsburg coalition in the War of Spanish Succession (1714) initiated a series of laws which, among other centralizing measures, imposed the use of Spanish in legal documentation all over Spain.

In parallel, however, the 19th century saw a Catalan literary revival (Template:Lang), which has continued up to the present day.Template:Sfn This period starts with Aribau's Ode to the Homeland (1833); followed in the second half of the 19th century, and the early 20th by the work of Verdaguer (poetry), Oller (realist novel), and Guimerà (drama).Template:Sfn

In the 19th century, the region of Carche, in the province of Murcia was repopulated with Catalan speakers from the Land of Valencia.Template:Sfn The Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939) saw a brief period of tolerance, with most restrictions against Catalan being lifted.Template:Sfn Despite orthographic standardization in 1913 and the official status of the language during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39) the Francoist dictatorship banned the use of Catalan in schools and in the public administration between 1939 and 1975.[7]Template:Sfn

Present day

Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), Catalan has been institutionalized as an official language, language of education, and language of mass media; all of which have contributed to its increased prestige.Template:Sfn In Catalonia, there is an unparalleled large bilingual European non-state linguistic community.Template:Sfn The teaching of Catalan is mandatory in all schools,Template:Sfn but it is possible to use Spanish for studying in the public education system of Catalonia in two situations – if the teacher assigned to a class chooses to use Spanish, or during the learning process of one or more recently arrived immigrant students.[8] There is also some intergenerational shift towards Catalan.Template:Sfn

According to the Statistical Institute of Catalonia, in 2013 the Catalan language is the second most commonly used in Catalonia, after Spanish, as a native or self-defining language: 7% of the population self-identifies with both Catalan and Spanish equally, 36.4% with Catalan and 47.5% only Spanish.[9] In 2003 the same studies concluded no language preference for self-identification within the population above 15 years old: 5% self-identified with both languages, 44.3% with Catalan and 47.5 with Spanish.[10] To promote use of Catalan, the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia's official Autonomous government) spends part of its annual budget on the promotion of the use of Catalan in Catalonia and in other territories, with entities such as Template:Ill (Consortium for Linguistic Normalization)[11][12]

In Andorra, Catalan has always been the sole official language.Template:Sfn Since the promulgation of the 1993 constitution, several policies favoring Catalan have been enforced, like Catalan medium education.Template:Sfn

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 2004).Template:Sfn Catalan is studied as a foreign language by 30% of the primary education students, and by 15% of the secondary.Template:Sfn The cultural association Template:Lang promotes a network of community-run schools engaged in Catalan language immersion programs.

In Alicante province, Catalan is being replaced by Spanish and in Alghero by Italian.Template:Sfn There is also well ingrained diglossia in the Valencian Community, Ibiza, and to a lesser extent, in the rest of the Balearic islands.Template:Sfn

Classification and relationship with other Romance languages

Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria (not on socio-functional ones). Koryakov (2001) includes Catalan in Occitano-Romance, distinct from Iberian Romance.Template:Sfn

The ascription of Catalan to the Occitano-Romance branch of Gallo-Romance languages is not shared by all linguists and philologists, particularly among Spanish ones, such as Ramón Menéndez Pidal.

According to Pèire Bèc, its specific classification is as follows:

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.

Relationship with other Romance languages

Catalan shares many traits with the other neighboring Romance languages (Italian, Sardinian, Occitan, French, Spanish and Portuguese among others).Template:Sfn However, despite being spoken mostly on the Iberian Peninsula, Catalan has marked differences with the Iberian Romance group (Spanish and Portuguese) in terms of pronunciation, grammar, and especially vocabulary; showing instead its closest affinity with languages native to France and northern Italy, particularly OccitanTemplate:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn and to a lesser extent Gallo-Romance (Franco-Provençal, French, Gallo-Italian).[13]Template:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn

According to Ethnologue, the lexical similarity between Catalan and other Romance languages is: 87% with Italian; 85% with Portuguese and Spanish; 76% with Ladin; 75% with Sardinian; and 73% with Romanian.[14]

Lexical comparison of 24 words among Romance languages:
17 cognates with Gallo-Romance, 5 isoglosses with Iberian Romance, 3 isoglosses with Occitan, and 1 unique word.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn
Gloss Catalan Occitan (Campidanese) Sardinian Italian French Spanish Portuguese Romanian
cousin Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
brother Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
nephew Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
summer Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang[15] Template:Lang, Template:Lang[15] Template:Lang
evening Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang[16] Template:Lang, Template:Lang[16] Template:Lang
morning Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang
frying pan Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
bed Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang
bird Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
dog Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
plum Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
butter Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
piece Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang[17] Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang
gray Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang[18] Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang,[19] Template:Lang, Template:Lang
hot Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
too much Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
to want Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
to take Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang
to pray Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
to ask Template:Lang/Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
to search Template:Lang/Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang
to arrive Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
to speak Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang
to eat Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang (Template:Lang in lunfardo; Template:Lang in slang) Template:Lang (Template:Lang in slang), Template:Lang Template:Lang
Catalan and Spanish cognates with different meaningsTemplate:Sfn
Latin Catalan Spanish
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "to bring closer" Template:Wiktspa "to put to bed"
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "to remove;
wake up"
Template:Wiktspa "to take"
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "to remove" Template:Wiktspa "to bring"
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "to search" Template:Wiktspa "to fence"
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "to bury" Template:Wiktspa "to hang"
Template:Smallcaps Template:Wiktca "wife" Template:Wiktspa "woman or wife"

During much of its history, and especially during the Francoist dictatorship (1939–1975), the Catalan language was ridiculed as a mere dialect of Spanish.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn This view, based on political and ideological considerations, has no linguistic validity.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn Spanish and Catalan have important differences in their sound systems, lexicon, and grammatical features, placing the language in features closer to Occitan (and French).Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

There is evidence that, at least from the 2nd century Template:Smallcaps, the vocabulary and phonology of Roman Tarraconensis was different from the rest of Roman Hispania.Template:Sfn Differentiation arose generally because Spanish, Asturian, and Galician-Portuguese share certain peripheral archaisms (Spanish Template:Lang, Asturian and Portuguese Template:Lang vs. Catalan Template:Lang, Occitan Template:Lang "to boil") and innovatory regionalisms (Sp Template:Lang, Ast Template:Lang vs. Cat Template:Lang, Oc Template:Lang "bullock"), while Catalan has a shared history with the Western Romance innovative core, especially Occitan.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Like all Romance languages, Catalan has a handful of native words which are rare or only found in Catalan. These include:

The Gothic superstrate produced different outcomes in Spanish and Catalan. For example, Catalan Template:Wikt-lang "mud" and Template:Wikt-lang "to roast", of Germanic origin, contrast with Spanish Template:Wikt-lang and Template:Wikt-lang, of Latin origin; whereas Catalan Template:Wikt-lang "spinning wheel" and Template:Wikt-lang "temple", of Latin origin, contrast with Spanish Template:Wikt-lang and Template:Wikt-lang, of Germanic origin.Template:Sfn

The same happens with Arabic loanwords. Thus, Catalan Template:Lang "large earthenware jar" and Template:Wikt-lang "tile", of Arabic origin, contrast with Spanish Template:Wikt-lang and Template:Wikt-lang, of Latin origin; whereas Catalan Template:Wikt-lang "oil" and Template:Wikt-lang "olive", of Latin origin, contrast with Spanish Template:Wikt-lang and Template:Wikt-lang.Template:Sfn However, the Arabic element in Spanish is generally much more prevalent.Template:Sfn

Situated between two large linguistic blocks (Iberian Romance and Gallo-Romance), Catalan has many unique lexical choices, such as Template:Wikt-lang "to miss somebody", Template:Wikt-lang "to calm somebody down", and Template:Wikt-lang "reject".Template:Sfn

Geographic distribution

Catalan-speaking territories

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Traditionally Catalan-speaking territories in dark gray; non-Catalan-speaking territories belonging to traditionally Catalan-speaking regions in light gray
Template:Image label begin

Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label small Template:Image label end

Traditionally Catalan-speaking territories are sometimes called the Template:Lang (Catalan Countries), a denomination based on cultural affinity and common heritage, that has also had a subsequent political interpretation but no official status. Various interpretations of the term may include some or all of these regions.

Territories where Catalan is spokenTemplate:Sfn
State Territory Catalan name Notes
Andorra Template:Flagicon Andorra Template:Lang A sovereign state where Catalan is the national and the sole official language. The Andorrans speak a Western Catalan variety.
France Template:Flagicon Northern Catalonia Template:Lang Roughly corresponding to the Template:Lang of Pyrénées-Orientales.Template:Sfn
Spain Template:Flagicon Catalonia Template:Lang In the Aran Valley (northwest corner of Catalonia), in addition to Occitan, which is the local language, Catalan, Spanish and French are also spoken.Template:Sfn
Template:Flagicon Valencian Community Template:Lang Excepting some regions in the west and south which have been Aragonese/Spanish-speaking since at least the 18th century.Template:Sfn The Western Catalan variety spoken there is known as "Valencian".
Template:Flagicon
La Franja
Template:Lang A part of the Autonomous Community of Aragon, specifically a strip bordering Western Catalonia. It comprises the Template:Lang of Ribagorça, Llitera, Baix Cinca, and Matarranya.
Template:Flagicon Balearic Islands Template:Lang Comprising the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
Template:Flagicon Carche Template:Lang A small area of the Autonomous Community of Murcia, settled in the 19th century.Template:Sfn
Italy Siñal d'Aragón.svg Alghero Template:Lang A city in the Province of Sassari, on the island of Sardinia, where the Algherese dialect is spoken.

Number of speakers

The number of people known to be fluent in Catalan varies depending on the sources used. A 2004 study did not count the total number of speakers, but estimated a total of 9–9.5 million by matching the percentage of speakers to the population of each area where Catalan is spoken.[20] The web site of the Generalitat de Catalunya estimated that as of 2004 there were 9,118,882 speakers of Catalan.[21] These figures only reflect potential speakers; today it is the native language of only 35.6% of the Catalan population.[22] According to Ethnologue, Catalan had four million native speakers and five million second-language speakers in 2012.Template:Citation needed

According to a 2011 study the total number of Catalan speakers is over 9.8 million, with 5.9 million residing in Catalonia. More than half of them speak Catalan as a second language, with native speakers being about 4.4 million of those (more than 2.8 in Catalonia).[23] Very few Catalan monoglots exist; basically, virtually all of the Catalan speakers in Spain are bilingual speakers of Catalan and Spanish, with a sizable population of Spanish-only speakers of immigrant origin (typically born outside Catalonia or with both parents born outside Catalonia) Template:Citation needed existing in the major Catalan urban areas as well. In Roussillon, only a minority of French Catalans speak Catalan nowadays, with French being the majority language for the inhabitants after a continued process of language shift. According to a 2019 survey by the Catalan government, 31.5% of the inhabitants of Catalonia have Catalan as first language at home whereas 52.7% have Spanish, 2.8% both Catalan and Spanish and 10.8% other languages.[24]

Spanish is the most spoken language in Barcelona (according to the linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia in 2013) and it is understood almost universally. According to this census of 2013 Catalan is also very commonly spoken in the city of 1,501,262: it is understood by 95% of the population, while 72.3% can speak it over the age of 2 (1,137,816), 79% can read it (1,246.555), and 53% can write it (835,080).[25] The percentage in Barcelona who can speak is 72.3%[26] is less than overall percentage of persons in Catalonia (7.5 million inhabitants) who can speak Catalan, 81.2% over the age of 15 (according to the graph below in this Wikipedia article 'Level of Knowledge'). Knowledge of Catalan has increased significantly in recent decades thanks to a language immersion educational system. The most important social characteristic of the Catalan language is that all the areas where it is spoken are bilingual in practice: together with the French language in Roussillon, with Italian in Alghero, with Spanish and French in Andorra and with Spanish in the rest of the territories.

Territory State Understand Template:Ref[27] Can speak Template:Ref[27]
Template:Flag Template:Flag 6,502,880 5,698,400
Template:Flag Template:Flag 3,448,780 2,407,951
Template:Flag Template:Flag 852,780 706,065
Template:Flagicon Roussillon Template:Flag 203,121 125,621
Template:Flag Template:Flag 75,407 61,975
Template:Flagicon La Franja (Aragon) Template:Flag 47,250 45,000
Siñal d'Aragón.svg Alghero (Sardinia) Template:Flag 20,000 17,625
Template:Flagicon Carche (Murcia) Template:Flag No data No data
Total Catalan-speaking territories 11,150,218 9,062,637
Rest of World No data 350,000
Total 11,150,218 9,412,637
1.^ The number of people who understand Catalan includes those who can speak it.
2.^ Figures relate to all self-declared capable speakers, not just native speakers.

Level of knowledge

Area Speak Understand Read Write
Catalonia[28] 81.2 94.4 85.5 65.3
Valencian Community 57.5 78.1 54.9 32.5
Balearic Islands 74.6 93.1 79.6 46.9
Roussillon 37.1 65.3 31.4 10.6
Andorra 78.9 96.0 89.7 61.1
Franja Oriental of Aragón 88.8 98.5 72.9 30.3
Alghero 67.6 89.9 50.9 28.4

(% of the population 15 years old and older).

Social use

Area At home Outside home
Catalonia 45 51
Valencian Community 37 32
Balearic Islands 44 41
Roussillon 1 1
Andorra 38 51
Franja Oriental of Aragón 70 61
Alghero 8 4

(% of the population 15 years old and older).

Native language

Area People Percentage
Catalonia 2,813,000 38.5%
Valencian Community 1,047,000 21.1%
Balearic Islands 392,000 36.1%
Andorra 26,000 33.8%
Franja Oriental of Aragon 33,000 70.2%
Roussillon 35,000 8.5%
Alghero 8,000 20%
TOTAL 4,353,000 31.2%

[29][30][31]

Phonology

{{#invoke:main|main}} Template:Side box Catalan phonology varies by dialect. Notable features include:Template:Sfn

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.Template:Sfn Additionally, Catalan has final obstruent devoicing, which gives rise to an abundance of such couplets as Template:Lang "(male friend") vs. Template:Lang ("female friend").Template:Sfn

Central Catalan pronunciation is considered to be standard for the language.Template:Sfn The descriptions below are mostly representative of this variety.[32] For the differences in pronunciation between the different dialects, see the section on pronunciation of dialects in this article.

Vowels

Vowels of Standard Eastern CatalanTemplate:Sfn

Catalan has inherited the typical vowel system of Vulgar Latin, with seven stressed phonemes: /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/, a common feature in Western Romance, with the exception of Spanish.Template:Sfn Balearic also has instances of stressed /ə/.Template:Sfn Dialects differ in the different degrees of vowel reduction,Template:Sfn and the incidence of the pair /ɛ e/.Template:Sfn

In Central Catalan, unstressed vowels reduce to three: /a e ɛ/ > [ə]; /o ɔ u/ > [u]; /i/ remains distinct.Template:Sfn The other dialects have different vowel reduction processes (see the section pronunciation of dialects in this article).

Examples of vowel reduction processes in Central CatalanTemplate:Sfn
The root is stressed in the first word and unstressed in the second
Front vowels Back vowels
Word
pair
Template:Lang ("ice")
Template:Lang ("ice cream")
Template:Lang ("stone")
Template:Lang ("quarry")
Template:Lang ("he bathes")
Template:Lang ("we bathe")
Template:Lang ("thing")
Template:Lang ("little thing")
Template:Lang ("everything")
Template:Lang ("total")
IPA
transcription
[ˈʒɛl]
[ʒəˈlat]
[ˈpeðɾə]
[pəˈðɾeɾə]
[ˈbaɲə]
[bəˈɲɛm]
[ˈkɔzə]
[kuˈzɛtə]
[ˈtot]
[tuˈtal]

Consonants

Catalan consonantsTemplate:Sfn
Bilabial Alveolar
/ Dental
Palatal Velar
Nasal Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
Plosive voiceless Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink ~ Template:IPAlink
voiced Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink ~ Template:IPAlink
Affricate voiceless Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
voiced Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
Fricative voiceless Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
voiced (Template:IPAlink) Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
Approximant central Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
lateral Template:IPAlink Template:IPAlink
Tap Template:IPAlink
Trill Template:IPAlink

The consonant system of Catalan is rather conservative.

Phonological evolution

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Sociolinguistics

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 analyze the relation between the Catalan language, the speakers and the close reality (including the one of other languages in contact).

Preferential subjects of study

  • Dialects of Catalan
  • Variations of Catalan by class, gender, profession, age and level of studies
  • Process of linguistic normalization
  • Relations between Catalan and Spanish or French
  • Perception on the language of Catalan speakers and non-speakers
  • Presence of Catalan in several fields: tagging, public function, media, professional sectors

Dialects

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Overview

Main dialects of CatalanTemplate:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn

The dialects of the Catalan language feature a relative uniformity, especially when compared to other Romance languages;Template:Sfn both in terms of vocabulary, semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology.Template:Sfn Mutual intelligibility between dialects is very high,Template:SfnTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn estimates ranging from 90% to 95%.[37] The only exception is the isolated idiosyncratic Alguerese dialect.Template:Sfn

Catalan is split in two major dialectal blocks: Eastern Catalan, and Western Catalan.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn The main difference lies in the treatment of unstressed Template:Lang and Template:Lang; which have merged to /ə/ in Eastern dialects, but which remain distinct as /a/ and /e/ in Western dialects.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn There are a few other differences in pronunciation, verbal morphology, and vocabulary.Template:Sfn

Western Catalan comprises the two dialects of Northwestern Catalan and Valencian; the Eastern block comprises four dialects: Central Catalan, Balearic, Rossellonese, and Alguerese.Template:Sfn Each dialect can be further subdivided in several subdialects. The terms "Catalan" and "Valencian" (respectively used in Catalonia and the Valencian Community) are two varieties of the same language.[38] There are two institutions regulating the two standard varieties, the Institute of Catalan Studies in Catalonia and the Valencian Academy of the Language in the Valencian Community.

Central Catalan is considered the standard pronunciation of the language and has the highest number of speakers.Template:Sfn It is spoken in the densely populated regions of the Barcelona province, the eastern half of the province of Tarragona, and most of the province of Girona.Template:Sfn

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.Template:Sfn

Main dialectal divisions of CatalanTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn
Block Western Catalan Eastern Catalan
Dialect Northwestern Valencian Central Balearic Northern/Rossellonese Alguerese
Area Spain, Andorra Spain France Italy
Andorra, Provinces of Lleida, western half of Tarragona, La Franja Autonomous community of Valencia, Carche Provinces of Barcelona, eastern half of Tarragona, most of Girona Balearic islands Roussillon/Northern Catalonia City of Alghero in Sardinia

{{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}}Pronunciation

Vowels

Catalan has inherited the typical vowel system of Vulgar Latin, with seven stressed phonemes: /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/, a common feature in Western Romance, except Spanish.Template:Sfn Balearic has also instances of stressed /ə/.Template:Sfn Dialects differ in the different degrees of vowel reduction,Template:Sfn and the incidence of the pair /ɛ e/.Template:Sfn

In Eastern Catalan (except Majorcan), unstressed vowels reduce to three: /a e ɛ/ > [ə]; /o ɔ u/ > [u]; /i/ remains distinct.Template:Sfn There are a few instances of unreduced [e], [o] in some words.Template:Sfn Alguerese has lowered [ə] to [a].

In Majorcan, unstressed vowels reduce to four: /a e ɛ/ follow the Eastern Catalan reduction pattern; however /o ɔ/ reduce to [o], with /u/ remaining distinct, as in Western Catalan.Template:Sfn

In Western Catalan, unstressed vowels reduce to five: /e ɛ/ > [e]; /o ɔ/ > [o]; /a u i/ remain distinct.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn This reduction pattern, inherited from Proto-Romance, is also found in Italian and Portuguese.Template:Sfn Some Western dialects present further reduction or vowel harmony in some cases.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Central, Western, and Balearic differ in the lexical incidence of stressed /e/ and /ɛ/.Template:Sfn Usually, words with /ɛ/ in Central Catalan correspond to /ə/ in Balearic and /e/ in Western Catalan.Template:Sfn Words with /e/ in Balearic almost always have /e/ in Central and Western Catalan as well.Template:VagueTemplate:Sfn As a result, Central Catalan has a much higher incidence of /ɛ/.Template:Sfn

Different incidence of stressed /e/, /ə/, /ɛ/Template:Sfn
Word Western Majorcan Eastern
except Majorcan
Template:Lang ("thirst") /ˈset/ /ˈsət/ /ˈsɛt/
Template:Lang ("he sells") /ˈven/ /ˈvən/ /ˈbɛn/
General differences in the pronunciation of unstressed vowels in different dialectsTemplate:SfnTemplate:Sfn
Word Western Catalan Eastern Catalan
Northwestern Valencian Majorcan Central Northern
Template:Lang ("mother") /ˈmaɾe/ /ˈmaɾə/
Template:Lang ("song") /kanˈso/ /kənˈso/
Template:Lang ("to put") /poˈza(ɾ)/ /puˈza(ɾ)/
Template:Lang ("iron") /ˈfɛro/ /ˈfɛru/
Detailed examples of vowel reduction processes in different dialectsTemplate:Sfn
Word pairs:
the first with stressed root,
the second with unstressed root
Western Majorcan Central
Front
vowels
Template:Lang ("ice")
Template:Lang ("ice cream")
[ˈdʒɛl]
[dʒeˈlat]
[ˈʒɛl]
[ʒəˈlat]
[ˈʒɛl]
[ʒəˈlat]
Template:Lang ("pear")
Template:Lang ("pear tree")
[ˈpeɾa]
[peˈɾeɾa]
[ˈpəɾə]
[pəˈɾeɾə]
[ˈpɛɾə]
[pəˈɾeɾə]
Template:Lang ("stone")
Template:Lang ("quarry")
[ˈpeðɾa]
[peˈðɾeɾa]
[ˈpeðɾə]
[pəˈðɾeɾə]
[ˈpeðɾə]
[pəˈðɾeɾə]
Template:Lang ("he bathes")
Template:Lang("we bathe")
Majorcan: Template:Lang("we bathe")
[ˈbaɲa]
[baˈɲem]
[ˈbaɲə]
[bəˈɲam]
[ˈbaɲə]
[bəˈɲɛm]
Back
vowels
Template:Lang ("thing")
Template:Lang ("little thing")
[ˈkɔza]
[koˈzeta]
[ˈkɔzə]
[koˈzətə]
[ˈkɔzə]
[kuˈzɛtə]
Template:Lang ("everything")
Template:Lang ("total")
[ˈtot]
[toˈtal]
[ˈtot]
[toˈtal]
[ˈtot]
[tuˈtal]

Consonants

Template:Expand section

Morphology

Western Catalan: In verbs, the ending for 1st-person present indicative is Template:Lang in verbs of the 1st conjugation and -∅ in verbs of the 2nd and 3rd conjugations in most of the Valencian Community, or Template:Lang in all verb conjugations in the Northern Valencian Community and Western Catalonia.
E.g. Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang (Valencian); Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang (Northwestern Catalan).

Eastern Catalan: In verbs, the ending for 1st-person present indicative is Template:Lang, Template:Lang, or -∅ in all conjugations.
E.g. Template:Lang (Central), Template:Lang (Balearic), and Template:Lang (Northern), all meaning ('I speak').

1st-person singular present indicative forms
Conjugation Eastern Catalan Western Catalan Gloss
Central Northern Balearic Valencian Northwestern
1st Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang or Template:Lang Template:Lang 'I speak'
2nd Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang or Template:Lang Template:Lang 'I fear'
3rd Template:Small Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang or Template:Lang Template:Lang 'I feel', 'I hear'
Template:Small Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang or Template:Lang Template:Lang or Template:Lang Template:Lang 'I polish'

Western Catalan: In verbs, the inchoative endings are Template:Lang/Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang.

Eastern Catalan: In verbs, the inchoative endings are Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang.

Western Catalan: In nouns and adjectives, maintenance of /n/ of medieval plurals in proparoxytone words.
E.g. Template:Lang 'men', Template:Lang 'youth'.

Eastern Catalan: In nouns and adjectives, loss of /n/ of medieval plurals in proparoxytone words.
E.g. Template:Lang 'men', Template:Lang 'youth'.

Vocabulary

Despite its relative lexical unity, the two dialectal blocks of Catalan (Eastern and Western) show some differences in word choices.Template:Sfn Any lexical divergence within any of the two groups can be explained as an archaism. Also, usually Central Catalan acts as an innovative element.Template:Sfn

Selection of different words between Western and Eastern Catalan
Gloss "mirror" "boy" "broom" "navel" "to exit"
Eastern Catalan Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Western Catalan Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang

Standards

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Casa de Convalescència, Headquarters of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans
Written varieties
Catalan (IEC) Valencian (AVL) gloss
Template:Lang Template:Lang English
Template:Lang Template:Lang to know
Template:Lang Template:Lang take out
Template:Lang Template:Lang to be born
Template:Lang Template:Lang pitcher
Template:Lang Template:Lang round
Template:Lang Template:Lang my, mine
Template:Lang Template:Lang almond
Template:Lang Template:Lang star
Template:Lang Template:Lang hit
Template:Lang Template:Lang lobster
Template:Lang Template:Lang men
Template:Lang Template:Lang service

Standard Catalan, virtually accepted by all speakers,Template:Sfn is mostly based on Eastern Catalan,Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn 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.Template:Sfn

The most notable difference between both standards is some tonic Template:Angbr accentuation, for instance: Template:Lang (IEC) – Template:Lang (AVL). Nevertheless, AVL's standard keeps the grave accent Template:Angbr, while pronouncing it as /e/ rather than /ɛ/, in some words like: Template:Lang ('what'), or Template:Lang. Other divergences include the use of Template:Angbr (AVL) in some words instead of Template:Angbr like in Template:Lang/Template:Lang ('almond'), Template:Lang/Template:Lang ('back'), the use of elided demonstratives (Template:Lang 'this', Template:Lang 'that') in the same level as reinforced ones (Template:Lang) or the use of many verbal forms common in Valencian, and some of these common in the rest of Western Catalan too, like subjunctive mood or inchoative conjugation in Template:Lang at the same level as Template:Lang or the priority use of Template:Lang morpheme in 1st person singular in present indicative (Template:Lang verbs): Template:Lang instead of Template:Lang ('I buy').

In the Balearic Islands, IEC's standard is used but adapted for the Balearic dialect by the University of the Balearic Islands's philological section. In this way, for instance, IEC says it is correct writing Template:Lang as much as Template:Lang ('we sing') but the University says that the priority form in the Balearic Islands must be Template:Lang in all fields. Another feature of the Balearic standard is the non-ending in the 1st person singular present indicative: Template:Lang ('I buy'), Template:Lang ('I fear'), Template:Lang ('I sleep').

In Alghero, the IEC has adapted its standard to the Alguerese dialect. In this standard one can find, among other features: the definite article Template:Lang instead of Template:Lang, special possessive pronouns and determinants Template:Lang ('mine'), Template:Lang ('his/her'), Template:Lang ('yours'), and so on, the use of Template:Lang /v/ in the imperfect tense in all conjugations: Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang; the use of many archaic words, usual words in Alguerese: Template:Lang instead of Template:Lang ('less'), Template:Lang instead of Template:Lang ('someone'), Template:Lang instead of Template:Lang ('which'), and so on; and the adaptation of weak pronouns.

In 2011,[39] the Aragonese government passed a decree approving the statutes of a new language regulator of Catalan in La Franja (the so-called Catalan-speaking areas of Aragon) as originally provided for by Law 10/2009.[40] The new entity, designated as Template:Lang, shall allow a facultative education in Catalan and a standardization of the Catalan language in La Franja.

{{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}} Status of Valencian

Template:Wikisourcelang {{#invoke:main|main}}

Subdialects of Valencian

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).Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn The various forms of Catalan and Valencian are mutually intelligible (ranging from 90% to 95%)[37]

Linguists, including Valencian scholars, deal with Catalan and Valencian as the same language. The official regulating body of the language of the Valencian Community, the Valencian Academy of Language (Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, AVL) declares the linguistic unity between Valencian and Catalan varieties.Template:Sfn

Template:Quote box

The AVL, created by the Valencian parliament, is in charge of dictating the official rules governing the use of Valencian, and its standard is based on the Norms of Castelló (Normes de Castelló). Currently, everyone who writes in Valencian uses this standard, except the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture (Acadèmia de Cultura Valenciana, RACV), which uses for Valencian an independent standard.

Despite the position of the official organizations, an opinion poll carried out between 2001 and 2004[41] showed that the majority of the Valencian people consider Valencian different from Catalan. This position is promoted by people who do not use Valencian regularly.Template:Sfn Furthermore, the data indicates that younger generations educated in Valencian are much less likely to hold these views. A minority of Valencian scholars active in fields other than linguistics defends the position of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture (Acadèmia de Cultura Valenciana, RACV), which uses for Valencian a standard independent from Catalan.[42]

This clash of opinions has sparked much controversy. For example, during the drafting of the European Constitution in 2004, the Spanish government supplied the EU with translations of the text into Basque, Galician, Catalan, and Valencian, but the latter two were identical.[43]

Vocabulary

Word choices

Despite its relative lexical unity, the two dialectal blocks of Catalan (Eastern and Western) show some differences in word choices.Template:Sfn Any lexical divergence within any of the two groups can be explained as an archaism. Also, usually Central Catalan acts as an innovative element.Template:Sfn

Literary Catalan allows the use of words from different dialects, except those of very restricted use.Template:Sfn However, from the 19th century onwards, there has been a tendency towards favoring words of Northern dialects to the detriment of others, Template:Clarify spanTemplate:Sfn

Latin and Greek loanwords

Like other languages, Catalan has a large list of loanwords from Greek and Latin. This process started very early, and one can find such examples in Ramon Llull's work.Template:Sfn In the 14th and 15th centuries Catalan had a far greater number of Greco-Latin loanwords than other Romance languages, as is attested for example in Roís de Corella's writings.Template:Sfn The incorporation of learned, or "bookish" words from its own ancestor language, Latin, into Catalan is arguably another form of lexical borrowing through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church. 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.

Word formation

The process of morphological derivation in Catalan follows the same principles as the other Romance languages,Template:Sfn where agglutination is common. Many times, several affixes are appended to a preexisting lexeme, and some sound alternations can occur, for example Template:Lang [əˈlɛktrik] ("electrical") vs. Template:Lang [ələktrisiˈtat]. Prefixes are usually appended to verbs, as in Template:Lang ("foresee").Template:Sfn

There is greater regularity in the process of word-compounding, where one can find compounded words formed much like those in English.Template:Sfn

Common types of word compounds in CatalanTemplate:Sfn
Type Example Gloss
two nouns, the second assimilated to the first Template:Lang "banknote paper"
noun delimited by an adjective Template:Lang "military staff"
noun delimited by another noun and a preposition Template:Lang "typewriter"
verb radical with a nominal object Template:Lang "parachute"
noun delimited by an adjective, with adjectival value Template:Lang "robin" (bird)

Writing system

The word Template:Lang ("novel") in a dictionary. The geminated L (Template:Lang) is a distinctive character used in Catalan.
Billboard in Barcelona (detail), showing the word Template:Lang ("illusion")

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Main forms Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Modified forms Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang

Catalan uses the Latin script, with some added symbols and digraphs.Template:Sfn The Catalan orthography is systematic and largely phonologically based.Template:Sfn Standardization of Catalan was among the topics discussed during the First International Congress of the Catalan Language, held in Barcelona October 1906. Subsequently, the Philological Section of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans (IEC, founded in 1911) published the Normes ortogràfiques in 1913 under the direction of Antoni Maria Alcover and Pompeu Fabra. In 1932, Valencian writers and intellectuals gathered in Castelló de la Plana to make a formal adoption of the so-called Normes de Castelló, a set of guidelines following Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms.[44]

Pronunciation of Catalan special characters and digraphs (Central Catalan)Template:Sfn
Pronunciation ExamplesTemplate:Sfn
Template:Lang /s/ Template:Lang [fəˈlis] ("happy")
Template:Lang /ɡ/ ([ɡ~ɣ]) before Template:Lang and Template:Lang Template:Lang [ˈɡɛrə] ("war")
/ɡw/ elsewhere Template:Lang [ˈɡwan] ("glove")
Template:Lang [tʃ] in final position Template:Lang [ˈratʃ] ("trickle")
Template:Lang /ʃ/ ([jʃ] in some dialects) Template:Lang [ˈkaʃə] ("box")
Template:Lang /ʎ/ Template:Lang [ʎɔk] ("place")
Template:Lang Normatively /l:/, but usually /l/ Template:Lang [nuˈβɛlə] ("novel")
Template:Lang /ɲ/ Template:Lang [kətəˈɫuɲə] ("Catalonia")
Template:Lang /k/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang Template:Lang [ˈki] ("who")
/kw/ before other vowels Template:Lang [ˈkwatrə] ("four")
Template:Lang /s/
Intervocalic Template:Lang is pronounced /z/
Template:Lang [ˈɡɾɔsə] ("big-Template:Smallcaps)"
Template:Lang [ˈkazə] ("house")
Template:Lang, Template:Lang [ddʒ] Template:Lang [ˈfeddʒə] ("liver"), Template:Lang [midˈdʒo] ("sock")
Template:Lang [tʃ] Template:Lang [dəsˈpatʃ] ("office")
Template:Lang [ddz] Template:Lang [ˈdoddzə] ("twelve")
Letters and digraphs with contextually conditioned pronunciations (Central Catalan)Template:Sfn
Notes ExamplesTemplate:Sfn
Template:Lang /s/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other contexts
Template:Lang ("happy-Template:Smallcaps") - Template:Lang ("happy-Template:Smallcaps")
Template:Lang ("I hunt") - Template:Lang ("you hunt")
Template:Lang /ʒ/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ("to envy") - Template:Lang ("they envy")
final Template:Lang + stressed Template:Lang, and final Template:Lang before other vowels,
are pronounced [tʃ]
corresponds to Template:Lang~Template:Lang or Template:Lang~Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ['bɔtʃ] ("mad-Template:Smallcaps") - Template:Lang ['bɔʒə] ("mad-Template:Smallcaps") -Template:Lang ['bɔʒəs] ("mad-Template:Smallcaps")
Template:Lang [də'zitʃ] ("wish") - Template:Lang ("to wish") - Template:Lang ("we wish")
Template:Lang /ɡ/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ("shop") - Template:Lang ("shops")
Template:Lang /ɡw/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ("language") - Template:Lang ("languages")
Template:Lang /k/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ("cow") - Template:Lang ("cows")
Template:Lang /kw/ before Template:Lang and Template:Lang
corresponds to Template:Lang in other positions
Template:Lang ("oblique-Template:Smallcaps") - Template:Lang ("oblique-Template:Smallcaps")
Template:Lang [ʃ~tʃ] initially and in onsets after a consonant
[ʃ] after Template:Lang
otherwise, [ɡz] before stress, [ks] after
Template:Lang [ˈʃarʃə] ("net")
Template:Lang [ˈɡiʃ] ("chalk")
Template:Lang [əɡˈzaktə] ("exact"), Template:Lang [ˈfaks] ("fax")

Grammar

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The grammar of Catalan is similar to other Romance languages. Features include:Template:Sfn

Gender and number inflection

Gender and number inflection of the word Template:Lang ("cat")
Regular noun with definite article: Template:Lang ("the cat")
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang Template:Lang
plural Template:Lang Template:Lang
Adjective with 4 forms:
Template:Lang ("green")
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang Template:Lang
plural Template:Lang Template:Lang
Adjective with 3 forms:
Template:Lang ("happy")
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang
plural Template:Lang Template:Lang
Adjective with 2 forms:
Template:Lang ("indifferent")
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang
plural Template:Lang

In gender inflection, the most notable feature is (compared to Portuguese, Spanish or Italian), the loss of the typical masculine suffix Template:Lang. Thus, the alternance of Template:Lang/Template:Lang, has been replaced by ø/Template:Lang.Template:Sfn There are only a few exceptions, like Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("scarce").Template:Sfn Many not completely predictable morphological alternations may occur, such as:Template:Sfn

Catalan has few suppletive couplets, like Italian and Spanish, and unlike French. Thus, Catalan has Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("boy"/"girl") and Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("cock"/"hen"), whereas French has Template:Lang/Template:Lang and Template:Lang/Template:Lang.Template:Sfn

There is a tendency to abandon traditionally gender-invariable adjectives in favor of marked ones, something prevalent in Occitan and French. Thus, one can find Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("boiling") in contrast with traditional Template:Lang/Template:Lang.Template:Sfn

As in the other Western Romance languages, the main plural expression is the suffix Template:Lang, which may create morphological alternations similar to the ones found in gender inflection, albeit more rarely.Template:Sfn The most important one is the addition of Template:Lang before certain consonant groups, a phonetic phenomenon that does not affect feminine forms: Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("the pulse"/"the pulses") vs. Template:Lang/Template:Lang ("the dust"/"the dusts").Template:Sfn

Determiners

Sign in the town square of Begur, Catalonia, Spain. In Template:Lang (literally "square of the town"), since the noun Template:Lang ("town") is feminine singular, the definite article carries the corresponding form, Template:Lang ("the").
Definite article in Standard Catalan
(elided forms in brackets)Template:Sfn
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang (Template:Lang) Template:Lang (Template:Lang)
plural Template:Lang Template:Lang
Contractions of the definite article
preposition
a de per
article el Template:Lang (Template:Lang) Template:Lang (Template:Lang) Template:Lang (Template:Lang)
els Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Indefinite article
masculine feminine
singular Template:Lang Template:Lang
plural Template:Lang Template:Lang

The inflection of determinatives is complex, specially because of the high number of elisions, but is similar to the neighboring languages.Template:Sfn Catalan has more contractions of preposition + article than Spanish, like Template:Lang ("of + the [plural]"), but not as many as Italian (which has Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, etc.).Template:Sfn

Central Catalan has abandoned almost completely unstressed possessives (Template:Lang, etc.) in favor of constructions of article + stressed forms (Template:Lang, etc.), a feature shared with Italian.Template:Sfn

Personal pronouns

Catalan stressed pronounsTemplate:Sfn
  singular plural
1st person Template:Lang, Template:Lang Template:Lang
2nd person informal Template:Lang Template:Lang
formal Template:Lang Template:Lang
respectful (Template:Lang)[45]
3rd person masculine Template:Lang Template:Lang
feminine Template:Lang Template:Lang

{{#invoke:main|main}} 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).Template:Sfn Features include the gender-neutral Template:Lang and the great degree of freedom when combining different unstressed pronouns (65 combinations).Template:Sfn

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. Thus, Catalan can have Template:Lang ("they recommended me to him"), whereas in French one must say Template:Lang, and Spanish Template:Lang.Template:Sfn This allows the placement of almost any nominal term as a sentence topic, without having to use so often the passive voice (as in French or English), or identifying the direct object with a preposition (as in Spanish).Template:Sfn

Verbs

Simple forms of a regular verb of the first conjugation: Template:Lang ("to bring")Template:Sfn
Non-finite Form
Infinitive Template:Lang
Gerund Template:Lang
Past participle Template:Lang (Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang)
Indicative Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Present Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Imperfect Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Preterite (archaic) Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Future Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Conditional Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Subjunctive Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Present Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Imperfect Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
Imperative Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang
[[[:Template:Lang]]]
Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang Template:Lang

Like all the Romance languages, Catalan verbal inflection is more complex than the nominal. Suffixation is omnipresent, whereas morphological alternations play a secondary role.Template:Sfn Vowel alternances are active, as well as infixation and suppletion. However, these are not as productive as in Spanish, and are mostly restricted to irregular verbs.Template:Sfn

The Catalan verbal system is basically common to all Western Romance, except that most dialects have replaced the synthetic indicative perfect with a periphrastic form of Template:Lang ("to go") + infinitive.Template:Sfn

Catalan verbs are traditionally divided into three conjugations, with vowel themes Template:Lang, Template:Lang, Template:Lang, the last two being split into two subtypes. However, this division is mostly theoretical.Template:Sfn Only the first conjugation is nowadays productive (with about 3500 common verbs), whereas the third (the subtype of Template:Lang, with about 700 common verbs) is semiproductive. The verbs of the second conjugation are fewer than 100, and it is not possible to create new ones, except by compounding.Template:Sfn

Syntax

{{#invoke:main|main}} The grammar of Catalan follows the general pattern of Western Romance languages. The primary word order is subject–verb–object.[46] However, word order is very flexible. Commonly, verb-subject constructions are used to achieve a semantic effect. The sentence "The train has arrived" could be translated as Template:Lang or Template:Lang. 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. This subtle distinction is described as "what you might say while waiting in the station" versus "what you might say on the train."Template:Sfn

Catalan names

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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.Template:Sfn The law contemplates the possibility of joining both surnames with the Catalan conjunction i ("and").Template:Sfn[47]

Sample text

Selected textTemplate:Sfn from Manuel de Pedrolo's 1970 novel Template:Lang ("A love affair outside the city").

Original Word-for-word translationTemplate:Sfn Free translation
Template:Lang I was having close to eighteen years, when I go [past auxiliary] know (=I met) I was about eighteen years old when I met
Template:Lang the Raül, at the station of (=in) Manresa. Raül, at Manresa railway station.
Template:Lang The my father had died, unexpectedly and still young, My father had died, unexpectedly and still young,
Template:Lang a couple of years before, and of those times a couple of years before; and from that time
Template:Lang I keep a memory of acute loneliness I still harbor memories of great loneliness.
Template:Lang The my relations with the mother My relationship with my mother
Template:Lang not had at all improved, all the contrary, had not improved; quite the contrary,
Template:Lang perhaps even they were worsening and arguably it was getting even worse
Template:Lang at step that (=in proportion as) myself I was making big (=I was growing up). as I grew up.
Template:Lang Not it was existing, not it existed never between us, There did not exist, at no point had there ever existed between us
Template:Lang a community of interests, of affections. shared interests or affection.
Template:Lang It is necessary to believe that I was seeking... a person I guess I was seeking... a person
Template:Lang in whom to center the my life affective. in whom I could center my emotional life.

Loanwords in Catalan and English

English word Catalan word Catalan meaning Notes
barracks Template:Wiktca "mud hut" Eng < Fr baraques < Cat/Sp barracas.Template:Sfn
barracoon Template:Wiktca or Template:Wiktca "improvised hut" Eng < Spanish barracón < barraca (Sp < Cat).Template:Sfn
surge Template:Wiktca "to arise" Eng < Middle French sourgir < Old Catalan surgir.Template:Sfn
paella Template:Wiktca "small cooking pot" Eng < Cat < Old French pael(l)e (mod. poêle 'skillet') < Latin patella 'small pan' (> Sp padilla).Template:Sfn
cul-de-sac Template:Wiktca "with no exit" French < Old Catalan/Occitan (> English).Template:Sfn
Template:Wikten Template:Wiktca "ends like it starts"
cucumber Template:Wiktca "fruit used in salads" Eng < Old French / Occitan cocombre.Template:Sfn

See also

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Organizations
Scholars
Other

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References

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Bibliography

External links

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Institutions

About the Catalan language

Monolingual dictionaries

Bilingual and multilingual dictionaries

Automated translation systems

Phrasebooks

Learning resources

Catalan-language online encyclopedia

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  2. Template:Cite news
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  4. Trobes en llaors de la Verge Maria ("Poems of praise of the Virgin Mary") 1474.
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  15. 15.0 15.1 Portuguese and Spanish have Template:Lang and Template:Lang, respectively, for drought, dry season or low water levels.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Portuguese and Spanish have Template:Lang and Template:Lang, respectively, for eve, or the day before.
  17. Spanish also has Template:Lang, and it is actually a borrowing from Catalan Template:Lang. Colón 1993, p 39. Portuguese has Template:Lang, but aside from also being a loanword, it has a very different meaning: "thing", "gadget", "tool", "paraphernalia".
  18. Modern Spanish also has Template:Lang, but it is a modern borrowing from Occitan. The original word was Template:Lang, which stands for "reddish, yellow-orange, medium-dark and of moderate to weak saturation. It also can mean ochre, pale ochre, dark ohre, brownish, tan, greyish, grey, desaturated, dirty, dark, or opaque." Template:Cite book
  19. A 20th century introduction from French.
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  22. Población según lengua habitual. Datos comparados 2003–2008. Cataluña. Año 2008, Encuesta de Usos Lingüísticos de la población (2003 y 2008), Instituto de Estadística de Cataluña
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  27. 27.0 27.1 Sources:
    • Catalonia: Statistic data of 2001 census, from Template:Lang [1].
    • Land of Valencia: Statistical data from 2001 census, from Template:Lang {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation
    |CitationClass=web }}. |CitationClass=web }}.
    • Andorra: Sociolinguistic data from Andorran Government, 1999.
    • Aragon: Sociolinguistic data from Euromosaic [4].
    • Alguer: Sociolinguistic data from Euromosaic [5].
    • Rest of World: Estimate for 1999 by the Template:Lang outside the Catalan Countries.
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  29. Red Cruscat del Instituto de Estudios Catalanes
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  32. Wheeler 2005 takes the same approach
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  34. Template:Harvnb. Here Recasens labels these Catalan sounds as "laminoalveolars palatalitzades".
  35. Template:Harvnb. Here the authors label these Catalan sounds as "laminal postalveolar".
  36. See Template:Cite book for more information.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Central Catalan has 90% to 95% inherent intelligibility for speakers of Valencian (1989 R. Hall, Jr.), cited in Ethnologue.
  38. Template:Citation
  39. Decreto 89/2011, de 5 de abril, del Gobierno de Aragón, por el que se aprueban los Estatutos de la Academia Aragonesa del Catalán. BOA núm. 77, de 18 de abril de 2011
  40. Ley 10/2009, de 22 de diciembre, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas propias de Aragón BOE núm. 30, de 4 de febrero de 2010.
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  44. Template:Cite book
  45. Archaic in most dialects.
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  47. article 19.1 of Law 1/1998 stipulates that "the citizens of Catalonia have the right to use the proper regulation of their Catalan names and surnames and to introduce the conjunction between surnames"


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