Catalan language - specific features. Where they speak the Catalan language


2018-03-21 12:35:13




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Catalan language belongs to occitano-romance subgroup of Indo-European family. Is a state in the Principality of Andorra. The total number of people speaking in Catalan, is about 11 million. Most often, this language can be heard in the Autonomous communities of Spain (Balearic Islands and Valencia), Italy (city of Alghero, which is located on the island of Sardinia) and France (Eastern Pyrenees).

General information and brief description

In the XVIII century Catalan it had many names due to the fact that it was used in different territories. To this day preserved two more term for this language, – Catalano-Valencian-Balearic (used mainly in the scientific literature) and Valencia. The last option use only the peoples who live in the Valencia community (part of Spain). There is also a rare name “Mallorcan”, which is used in informal occasions (Balearic Islands, the Kingdom of Mallorca).

Catalan occupies the sixth place in the Roman group in the number of speakers (at least 11.6 million people). It is ahead of Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian. Catalan language is on the 14th place in the European Union for the purity of use in everyday speech.


Writing is an adapted Latin: for example, the letter combination -ny-, -l∙l-it, -ig, which cannot be found anywhere else. Characteristic features of the language concerning phonetics and grammar, are about the number of vowel sounds (in the Roman group of seven, in Catalan – eight) and in particular the use of articles before names.


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History and development

It is considered that the Catalan language began to take shape in the X century, since the earliest examples of using dialect “Preaching the sounds of organya”, which was previously found date from this century. It arose on the basis of vulgar Latin in the Northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. During the late middle ages, Catalan was considered prestigious and was often used in the literature (poets preferred to write on an Occitan), philosophy and even science.

Since the thirteenth century, the dialect gradually strengthening its position to become an independent language. At that time Ramon Lull with the use of Catalan have created essays on the theological, philosophical and artistic themes. Truly a Golden age for the language of the XV century. The consummate and a bright wizard, which is one of the first to use this language in poetry, was Auzias mark. Championship in prose, of course, belongs to the novels of the ‘Tirant White” and “Serial and Guelph”, the author of which was Joanot Martorell.

where they speak in Catalan

In the early nineteenth century, the Catalan language has lost its former grandeur. The reason for this was the social and political elite, which began to use the Castilian (the ancient name of the Spanish). Thanks to the common people and clergy, who continued to use Catalan in everyday life, the language was not dead.

After the Civil war, 1936-1939 Franco's victory and were forbidden the use of dialect in spoken and written language. In Spain at that time there was even a law that a person who uses Catalan, subjected to criminal punishment. The emergence of democracy in the country led to the autonomy of certain areas, resulting in language regained the status of a state.


Catalan writing system uses the Latin alphabet with the use of diacritics. Among the features of this spelling stands out the following:

  • The use of interpunct between the doubled letter l: intel * ligent – intelligent;
  • A combination of -ig-, which represents the sound [ʧ] in words such as maig, faig, etc.
  • The use of the letter t, which stands for the following long consonant tl, tll, tn and tm: setmana-week bitllet – a ticket;
  • Combination of tz, ts, tj, tg are used to denote affricates.

the characteristic features of the language

Characteristic features of vowels

One of the features of this type of sound – the disappearance of vowels at the end of words of Latin origin in addition to the letter –and. This feature is primarily distinguished Catalan from languages Italo-romance and West-Iberian subgroup. The languages of these podseli retain all final vowels. Catalan and Occitan have a number of common monosyllabic words, and numerous diphthongs. The difference between the two above-mentioned languages is the reduction of the diphthong AU to O. the open sound

Catalan is different from Spanish, preserving the open pronunciation of short stressed vowels of Latin origin Ŏ and Ĕ. A combination of letters –ACT in the middle of words undergoes reduction and becomes –ET. This feature is common to Catalan and the language of the Western-romance (Occitan and Languedoc dialect).

Balearic Islands


This type of sound is characterized bythe transition of deaf -T, -C, -P in the voiced -d-, -g-, -b. This feature combines Catalan with Western-Roman podziemia. With Gallo-romance group, this language makes the preservation of the initial sounds FL, PL, CL, the change of voiceless consonants corresponding to voiced if the subsequent word starts voiced consonant or a vowel. The process of loss intervocalic –N originated in vulgar Latin and stun the final consonant combines Catalan from Occitan and Languedoc dialect.

  • Consider the original features that are not found in the romance languages:
  • Latin consonant-D is sound –u;
  • End –goes in TIS-u (only for second person plural);
  • A combination of Latin final sounds, C + e, i → - u (approx. CRUCEM → creu).


At different times in the territories of those areas where people speak Catalan language, under its influence appeared different dialects. Consider most important and where they occur:

  • Sicilian language in southern Italy;
  • A dialect of pathet, which until the second half of the last century spoke immigrants, and later-their descendants from the South of Valencia, Minorca. As for vocabulary, its Foundation has become part of Arabic and French words;

Catalan country

  • The formation of the dialect of Panamco (Autonomous community of Murcia) influenced Catalan language. Country of origin – Spain;
  • Sicilian language, southern Italy;
  • A dialect of churros, the territory of Spanish-speaking areas of the Autonomous community of Valencia;
  • Neapolitan language, country – Italy.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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