Catalan language

Catalan language

Encyclopedia
Catalan is a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

, the national
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 and only official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

 and a co-official language in the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 autonomous communities
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 and Valencian Community
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, where it is known as Valencian
Valencian
Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

 (valencià, valensiˈa), as well as in the city of Alghero
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

, on the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 island of Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

. It is also spoken, with no official recognition, in the autonomous communities of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

 (in La Franja
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

) and Murcia
Region of Murcia
The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

 (in Carche
Carche
El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

) in Spain, and in the historic Roussillon
Roussillon
Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

 region of southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, roughly equivalent to the current département of the Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

 (Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

).

Although recognized as a regional language of the department Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales
Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

 since 2007, Catalan has no official recognition in France, as French is the only official language of that country, according to the French Constitution of 1958.

Middle Ages: origin


The Catalan language was developed from Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

 on both sides of the eastern end of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 mountains (counties of Rosselló
County of Roussillon
The County of Roussillon was one of the Catalan counties in the Marca Hispanica during the Middle Ages. The rulers of the county were the Counts of Roussillon, whose interests lay both north and south of the Pyrenees.-Visigothic county:...

, Empúries
County of Empúries
The County of Empúries was a medieval county centred on the town of Empúries and enclosing the Catalan region of Peralada. It corresponds to the historic comarca of Empordà....

, Besalú
County of Besalú
The County of Besalú was one of the landlocked medieval Catalan counties near the Mediterranean coastline. It was roughly coterminous with the modern comarca of Garrotxa and at various times extended as far north as Corbières, Aude, now in France. Its capital was the village of Besalú...

, Cerdanya, Urgell, Pallars
County of Pallars
The County of Pallars or Pallás was a de facto independent petty state, nominally within the Carolingian Empire and then West Francia during the ninth and tenth centuries, perhaps one of the Catalan counties, originally part of the Marca Hispanica in the ninth century...

 and Ribagorça
County of Ribagorza
The County of Ribagorza or Ribagorça was originally the independent creation of a local Basque dynasty, later absorbed into the Kingdom of Navarre, and then into the Crown of Aragon. Historically it had a strong connexion with the counties of Sobrarbe and Pallars. Its territory was the valleys of...

). It shares origin and characteristics with Gallo-Romance, Ibero-Romance, and the Gallo-Italian speech types of Northern Italy. Though some hypothesize a historical split from languages of Occitan typology, the area covered from Liguria (on the present Italian coast) to Alicante (in Spain) can be seen as a classic dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

, with some perturbation as a result of political divisions and overlay of standard national languages.

As a consequence of the Aragonese and Catalan conquests of Al-Andalus
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 to the south and to the west, the language spread to present-day Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 and most of the Valencian Community
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

.

In the 15th century, during the Valencian Golden Age, Catalan literature reached its apex, which was not matched again until La Renaixença
Renaixença
The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

, four centuries later.

18th century to the present: France


After the Treaty of the Pyrenees
Treaty of the Pyrenees
The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries...

, a royal decree by Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 on 2 April 1700 prohibited the use of Catalan language in present-day Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

 in all official documents under the threat of being invalidated.

Shortly after the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, the French First Republic
French First Republic
The French First Republic was founded on 22 September 1792, by the newly established National Convention. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I...

 prohibited official use of, and enacted discriminating policies against, the nonstandard languages of France (patois
Patois
Patois is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant...

); such as Catalan, Breton, Occitan and Basque.

The deliberate process of eradicating non-French vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

s in modern France and disparaging them as mere local and often strictly oral dialects was formalized with Abbé Grégoire's Report on the necessity and means to annihilate the patois and to universalize the use of the French language, which he presented on June 4, 1794 to the National Convention
National Convention
During the French Revolution, the National Convention or Convention, in France, comprised the constitutional and legislative assembly which sat from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 . It held executive power in France during the first years of the French First Republic...

; thereafter, all languages other than French were officially banned in the administration and schools for the sake of linguistically
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 uniting post-Bastille Day
Bastille Day
Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July of each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale and commonly le quatorze juillet...

 France.

To date, the French government continues its policy of recognizing only French as an official languages in France. Nevertheless, on 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
The General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales is the assembly elected for 6 years by the 31 Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales and its executive...

 officially recognized Catalan as one of the languages of the department in the Article 1 (a) of its Charte en faveur du Catalan and seek to further promote it in public life and education.
Article 1: "The General Council of Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognizes, along with the French language, Catalan as a language of the department.."


18th century to the present: Spain


After the Nueva Planta Decrees
Nueva Planta decrees
The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....

, administrative use of Catalan, and Catalan language education, were also banned in the territories of the Kingdom of Spain. It was not until the Renaixença
Renaixença
The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

 that that use of the Catalan language started to recover.

In Francoist Spain (1939–1975), the use of Spanish in place of Catalan was promoted, and public use of Catalan was initially repressed and discouraged by official propaganda campaigns. The use of Catalan in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. During later stages of the Francoist regime, certain folkloric or religious celebrations in Catalan were resumed and tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 was initially forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s in the theatre. Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship. There was no official prohibition of speaking Catalan in public or in commerce, but all advertising and signage had to be in Spanish alone, as did all written communication in business.

Following the death of Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 in 1975 and the restoration of democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 under a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, the use of Catalan increased significantly because of new affirmative action and subsidy policies and the Catalan language is now used in politics, education and the media, including the newspapers Avui
Avui
Avui is a Catalan daily newspaper, based in Barcelona, Catalonia . It is one of the city's newest papers, having been founded in 1976. The editorial line is Catalan nationalist.- History :...

("Today"), El Punt
El punt
El Punt is a Catalan daily newspaper based in Girona, Catalonia . The newspaper was renamed in 1990 from the original Punt Diari .-History:...

("The Point"), Ara
Ara (newspaper)
Ara is a Catalan daily newspaper that began publication on November 28, 2010, coinciding with the Catalan parliamentary elections. Between 40,000 and 60,000 copies are printed each day....

("Now"), La Vanguardia
La Vanguardia
La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading daily newspaper as well as the fourth best-selling in Spain. It has its headquarters in Barcelona, Catalonia's largest city....

and El Periódico de Catalunya
El Periódico de Catalunya
El Periódico de Catalunya is a morning daily newspaper based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and owned by Grupo Zeta. El Periódico is actually two newspapers, publishing separate editions in Spanish and in Catalan...

(sharing content with El Periòdic d'Andorra
El Periòdic d'Andorra
El Periòdic d'Andorra is a newspaper of the Principality of Andorra. It has its headquarters in Escaldes-Engordany.-External links:*...

, printed in Andorra); and the television channels of Televisió de Catalunya (TVC): TV3
TV3 (Catalonia)
TV3 is the primary television channel of Catalan public broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya, a subsidiary of the CCMA. TV3 broadcasts programs only in Catalan, with an optional dual track in the original language for some foreign-language series and movies...

, the main channel, and Canal 33 (culture channel), Super3
Canal Super3
Super3 is a Spanish public television channel owned by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalan language. It started broadcasting on 18 October 2009. Programming will be for children and teenagers based on the programme Club Super3, that started on 11 February 1991 on TV3 and has been seen on Canal 33...

/3XL
3XL
3XL is a Catalan television channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya. It was founded and started broadcasted in 2010 replacing the former Canal 300...

 (cartoons channel) as well as a 24-hour news channel 3/24
3/24
3/24 is a 24 hour news channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalonia. It is part of the five channel DVB-T multiplex of TVC. Currently, it broadcasts in digital terrestrial and cable television...

 and the sports channel Esport 3; in Valencia Canal 9
Canal 9
Canal Nou is a public television station in the Valencian Community, Spain. It is run by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana which operates from Burjassot. It is broadcast in Valencian and Spanish and it can be watched in the Valencian Community and adjacent areas...

, 24/9 and Punt 2
Punt 2
Canal Nou Dos is the second channel launched by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana on 9 October 1997.The channel was launched under the name Notícies 9, a channel dedicated to informative programmes made by RTVV. It changed its name to Punt 2 after it began to show informative, documentary and cultural,...

; in the Balearic islands IB3
IB3
IB3 is a Balearic television channel.IB3 began test transmissions before launch on 1 March 2005, the first regular broadcast began on 5 September 2005....

; in Catalonia there are also some private channels such as 8TV
8TV (Catalonia)
8TV is a Catalan private tv station based in Barcelona, Spain. The channel is run by Grupo Godó and broadcasts from street-level studios on the Avenida Diagonal in the heart of Barcelona.-History:8TV began as a local tv channel in Barcelona in 2001...

, Barça TV, Estil9 or Canal Català, in others. Furthermore, everywhere in the Catalan-speaking territories, there are local channels available in Catalan.

Classification


The ascription of Catalan to the Occitano-Romance
Occitano-Romance languages
The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

 branch of Gallo-Romance languages
Gallo-Romance languages
The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

 is not shared by all linguists, particularly those from Spanish-speaking areas; furthermore, many modern linguists consider any internal classification of the Romance languages a pointless task.

According to Pierre Bec
Pierre Bec
Pierre Bec , is an Occitan poet and linguist. Born in Paris, 1921, he spent his childhood in Comminges, where he learnt Occitan. He was deported to Germany between 1943 and 1945. After returning, he studied in Paris, where he graduated in 1959...

, its specific classification is as follows:
  • Indo-European languages
    Indo-European languages
    The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

    • Italic languages
      Italic languages
      The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages derived from Latin , and a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Latin.In the past various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed...

      • Romance languages
        Romance languages
        The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

        • Italo-Western languages
          Italo-Western languages
          Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It in turn comprises two branches, Italo-Dalmatian and Western:...

          • Western Romance languages
            Western Romance languages
            The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:* The Pyrenean–Mozarabic group consists of two languages in two separate branches:**Aragonese**Mozarabic...

            • Gallo-Iberian languages
              • Gallo-Romance languages
                Gallo-Romance languages
                The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

                 (alternatively classified as an Ibero-Romance language)
                • Occitano-Romance languages
                  Occitano-Romance languages
                  The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

                   (alternatively classified as an East Iberian language)
                  • Catalan language


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
Gallo-Romance languages
The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

). Thus, as it should be expected from closely related languages, Catalan today shares many traits with other Romance languages.

Catalan-speaking territories



Catalan is spoken in:
  • Andorra
    Andorra
    Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

     (Principat d'Andorra), a sovereign state
    Sovereign state
    A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

     where Catalan is the national
    National language
    A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

     and only official language
    Official language
    An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

    .
  • Catalonia
    Catalonia
    Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

     (Catalunya), in Spain.
  • Most of the Valencian Community
    Valencian Community
    The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

     (Comunitat Valenciana, also known as País Valencià), in Spain, where it is called Valencian
    Valencian
    Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

     (valencià).
  • La Franja
    La Franja
    La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

    , an adjacent strip of Aragon
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

    , in Spain (in particular the comarques of Ribagorça, Llitera, Baix Cinca, and Matarranya).
  • Balearic Islands
    Balearic Islands
    The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

     (Illes Balears), in Spain.
  • Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

     (Catalunya Nord: name used officially for the first time on 10 December 2007 by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

    ), in France.
  • The city of Alghero
    Alghero
    Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

     (L'Alguer) in Sardinia
    Sardinia
    Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

    , Italy.
  • A small region of Murcia
    Region of Murcia
    The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

    , Spain, known as Carche
    Carche
    El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

     (El Carxe).


These territories are sometimes referred to as the Països Catalans (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.

Number of Catalan speakers


The number of persons fluent in Catalan varies depending on the sources used. The 2004 language study cited below in this article does not indicate the total number of speakers, but an estimate of 9–9.5 million can be made, by matching the percentage of speakers to the population of each area where Catalan is spoken ("Sociolinguistic Situation in Catalan-speaking Areas." cited in the Section, External Links, of this article). The web site of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Generalitat de Catalunya
The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....

 gives the number, as of June 2007, as 9,118,882 speakers of Catalan. And according to Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

, Catalan has a total of 11,530,160 speakers.
Territory State
 Catalonia Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 
6,502,880 5,698,400
 Valencian Community Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 
3,448,780 2,407,951
 Balearic Islands Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 
852,780 706,065
  Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

 
France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 
203,121 125,621
 Andorra Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

 
75,407 61,975
  La Franja
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

 (Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

)
Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 
47,250 45,000
  Alghero
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

 (Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

)
Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 
20,000 17,625
  Carche
Carche
El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

 (Murcia
Region of Murcia
The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

)
Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 
No data No data
Total Catalan-speaking territories
Catalan Countries
The Catalan term Països Catalans refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly...

11,150,218 9,062,637
Rest of World No data 350,000
Total 11,150,218 9,412,637
Notes:
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.

Dialects


In 1861, Manuel Milà i Fontanals
Manuel Milà i Fontanals
Manuel Milà i Fontanals was a Catalan scholar. He was born at Vilafranca del Penedès, near Barcelona, and was educated first in Barcelona, and afterwards at the University of Cervera....

 proposed a division of Catalan into two major dialect blocks: Eastern Catalan and Western Catalan. The different Catalan dialects show deep differences in lexicon, grammar, morphology and pronunciation due to historical isolation. Each dialect also encompasses several regional varieties.

There is no precise linguistic border between one dialect and another because there is nearly always a transition zone of some size between pairs of geographically separated dialects (except for dialects specific to an island). The main difference between the two blocks is their treatment of unstressed vowels, in addition to a few other features:
  • Eastern Catalan (bloc or branca del català oriental):
    • Latin long /eː/ and short /ɪ/ have become /ɛ/; e.g. sec /ˈsɛk/ 'dry' (though in most of Balearic Catalan it has become a stressed /ə/; e.g. sec /ˈsək/, while /e/ in Alguerese; sec /ˈsek/).
    • The vowels /e/, /ɛ/ and /a/ reduce to [ə] when unstressed, and /o/, /ɔ/ and /u/ reduce to [u], while /i/ stays unchanged (in most of Majorcan, [o] also appears in unstressed position).
    • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is the fricative /ʃ/. Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩ it is also /ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkaʃə/ ('box').
    • 1st person present indicative is -o, -i or there is no marker: parlo, temo, sento (Central Catalan); parl, tem, sent (Balearic) and parli, temi, senti (Northern Catalan).
    • Inchoative verbs in -eixo, -eix, -eixen, -eixi.
    • The syllable beginning /n/ of medieval nasal plural is lost in words that were historically proparoxytonic: homes 'men', joves 'youth'.
    • Specific lexicon: mirall 'mirror', noi 'boy', escombra 'broom', llombrígol 'navel', sortir 'to exit', etc.

  • Western Catalan (bloc or branca del català occidental):
    • Latin long /eː/ and short /ɪ/ have become /e/; e.g. sec /ˈsek/ ('dry').
    • The vowels /e/ and /ɛ/ reduce to [e] when unstressed, and /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [o], while /a/, /i/ and /u/ stay unchanged. Distinction between unstressed ⟨e⟩ – ⟨a⟩ and ⟨o⟩ – ⟨u⟩ (though, in some subvarieties unstressed vowels may merge into different realizations in some instances).
    • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is affricated /tʃ/ (however there are many unpredictable exceptions; e.g. Xàtiva 'Xàtiva
      Xàtiva
      Xàtiva is a town in eastern Spain, in the province of Valencia, on the right bank of the river Albaida and at the junction of the Valencia–Murcia and Valencia Albacete railways....

      ', xarxa –also spelled xàrcia– 'net', xilòfon 'xilophone', etc. where it is a fricative /ʃ/). Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩, it is /i̯ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkai̯ʃa/ ('box').
    • 1st person present indicative is -e (elided in verbs of the 2nd and 3rd conjugation) or -o: parle, tem, sent (Valencian); parlo, temo, sento (North-Western Catalan).
    • Inchoative verbs in -isc/-ixo, -ix, -ixen, -isca.
    • Maintenance of medieval nasal plural in historical proparoxytone words: hòmens 'men', jóvens 'youth'.
    • Specific lexicon: espill 'mirror', xiquet 'boy', granera 'broom', melic 'navel', eixir 'to exit', etc.


In addition, neither dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. Catalan can be subdivided into two major dialect blocks and those blocks into individual dialects:

Western Catalan
  • North-Western Catalan
    • Ribagorçan
      Ribagorçan
      Ribagorçan is the name given to a number of Romance dialects spoken in the modern territories of the medieval County of Ribagorza, in northern Spain...

       -ribagorçà- (from Ribagorça)
    • Pallarès (from Pallars)
    • Lleidatà (from Lleida
      Lleida
      Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

      )
    • Transitional Valencian -tortosí- (from Tortosa
      Tortosa
      -External links:* *** * * *...

      )
  • South-Western Catalan (Valencian
    Valencian
    Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

    )
    • Northern Valencian -castellonenc- (from region of Plana)
    • Central Valencian -apitxat-
    • Southern Valencian
    • Alacantí (from the Alicante/Alacant's metropolitan area and most of Vinalopó
      Vinalopó
      The Vinalopó is a small river flowing through the Alicante province, of Spain. It flows from north to south and, with a length of 81 km., it is the longest of the rivers which flows for its entire length within the limits of this province...

       valley)
    • Majorcan Valencian (from Tàrbena
      Tàrbena
      Tàrbena is a municipality in the comarca of Marina Baixa, Alicante, Valencia, Spain....

       and La Vall de Gallinera)

Eastern Catalan
  • Northern Catalan
    Northern Catalan
    Northern Catalan is a Catalan dialect mostly spoken in Northern Catalonia, but also extending in the northeast part of Southern Catalonia in a transition zone with Central Catalan....

     -rossellonès- (from Roussillon
    Roussillon
    Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

    )
  • Central Catalan
    Central Catalan
    Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

    • Salat (from some coastal areas of Girona)
    • Barceloní (from Barcelona)
    • Tarragoní (from Tarragona)
    • Xipella (transitional Western–Eastern Catalan)
  • Balearic
    • Majorcan -mallorquí- (from Majorca)
    • Minorcan -menorquí- (from Minorca
      Minorca
      Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

      )
    • Ibizan -eivissenc- (from Ibiza/Eivissa
      Ibiza
      Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

       and Formentera
      Formentera
      Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

      )
  • Alguerese
    Alguerese
    Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

     -
    alguerès/alguerés- (from the Sardinia
    Sardinia
    Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

    n city of Alghero/L'Alguer
    Alghero
    Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

    )


Standards


Written varieties
Catalan (IEC) Valencian (AVL) gloss
anglès anglés English
conèixer conéixer to know
treure traure take out
néixer nàixer to be born
veure vore to see
càntir cànter pitcher
rodó redó round
meva meua my, mine
ametlla ametla almond
estrella (estel) estrela (estel) star
milió milló million
cop colp hit
llagosta llangosta lobster
homes hòmens men
servei servici service


Catalan is a pluricentric language
Pluricentric language
A pluricentric language is a language with several standard versions, both in spoken and in written forms. This situation usually arises when language and the national identity of its native speakers do not, or did not, coincide.-English:...

 with two main standards; one regulated by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans
Institut d'Estudis Catalans
The Institut d'Estudis Catalans , also known by the acronym IEC, is an academic institution which seeks to undertake research and study into "all elements of Catalan culture"....

(IEC), general standard, with Pompeu Fabra
Pompeu Fabra
Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

's orthography as axis, keeping features from Central Catalan
Central Catalan
Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

, and the other regulated by the
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

 (AVL), restricted scale standard, focused on Valencian
Valencian
Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

 standardization on the basis of Normes de Castelló
Normes de Castelló
Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

, that is, Pompeu Fabra
Pompeu Fabra
Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

's orthography but more adapted to Western Catalan pronunciation and features of Valencian dialects.

IEC's standard, apart from the basis of Central Catalan features, takes also other dialects' features in consideration as standard. Despite this, the most notable difference between both standards is some tonic ⟨e⟩ accentuation, for instance: francès, anglès (IEC) – francés, anglés (AVL) ('French, English'), cafè (IEC) – café (AVL) ('coffee'), conèixer (IEC) – conéixer ('to know'), comprèn (IEC) – comprén (AVL) ('he understands'). This is because of the different pronunciation of some stressed ⟨e⟩, especially tonic (long e) and (short i) from Latin, in both Catalan blocks (/ɛ/ in Eastern Catalan and /e/ in Western Catalan). Nevertheless, AVL's standard keeps the grave accent ⟨è⟩, without pronouncing this ⟨e⟩ as /ɛ/, in some words like: què ('what'), València, èter ('ether'), sèsam ('sesame'), sèrie ('series') and època ('age').

There are also some other divergences like the digraph ⟨tl⟩ used by AVL in some words instead of ⟨tll⟩ like in
ametla/ametlla ('almond'), espatla/espatlla ('back' an.
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

) or
butla/butlla ('bull'), the use of elided demonstratives (este 'this', eixe 'that' -near-) in the same level as reinforced ones (aquest, aqueix) 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 -ix- at the same level as -eix- or the priority use of -e morpheme in 1st person singular in present indicative (-ar verbs): jo compre instead of jo compro ('I buy').

In the Balearic Islands, IEC's standard is used but adapted for the Balearic dialect by the University of the Balearic Islands
University of the Balearic Islands
The University of the Balearic Islands is a Balearic Spanish university, founded in 1978 and located in Palma on the island of Majorca.-History:...

's philological section,
Govern de les Illes Balearss consultative organ. 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. Another feature of the Balearic standard is the non-ending in the 1st person singular present indicative: jo compr ('I buy'), jo tem ('I fear'), jo dorm ('I sleep').

In Alghero, the IEC has adapted its standard to the Alguerese dialect
Alguerese
Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

. In this standard one can find, among other features: the definite article lo instead of el, special possessive pronouns and determinants la mia ('mine'), lo sou/la sua ('his/her'), lo tou/la tua ('yours'), and so on, the use of -v- /v/ in the imperfect tense in all conjugations: cantava, creixiva, llegiva; the use of many archaic words, usual words in Alguerese: manco instead of menys ('less'), calqui u instead of algú ('someone'), qual/quala instead of quin/quina ('which'), and so on; and the adaptation of weak pronouns
Weak pronouns in Catalan
This article discusses the forms and functions of the personal pronouns in Catalan grammar.-Strong pronouns:The "strong" pronouns in Catalan have the following forms:...

.

In 2011, the Aragonese government
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

 passed a decree for the establishment of a new language regulator of Catalan in La Franja
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

 (the so-called Catalan-speaking areas of Aragon). The new entity, designated as Acadèmia Aragonesa del Català, shall allow a facultative education in Catalan and a standardization of the Catalan language in La Franja
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

.

Status of Valencian
The official language academy of the Valencian Community
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

 (the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

) considers Catalan and Valencian simply to be two names
Names of Catalan language
The first names, or glossonyms, of the Catalan language formed in a dialectal relation with Latin, in which Catalan existed as a variety. These names already expressed the relationship between the two languages...

 for the same language. All universities teaching Romance languages, and virtually all linguists, consider these two to be linguistic variants of the same language (similar to Canadian French
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

 versus Metropolitan French, and European
European Portuguese
European Portuguese refers to the variety of Portuguese spoken in continental Portugal, as well as the Azores and Madeira islands...

 versus Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

).

There is a roughly continuous set of dialects
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 covering the regional forms of Catalan/Valencian, with no break at the border between Catalonia and the Valencian Community, and the various forms of Catalan and Valencian are mutually intelligible This is not to say that there are no differences between them; the speech of Valencians is recognizable both in pronunciation as well as in morphological and lexical peculiarities. However, these differences are not any wider than among North-Western Catalan and Eastern Catalan. In fact, Northern Valencian (spoken in the Castelló province and Matarranya valley, a strip of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

) is more similar to the Catalan of the lower Ebro
Ebro
The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

 basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 (spoken in southern half of Tarragona province and another strip of Aragon) than to apitxat Valencian (spoken in the area of L'Horta, in the province of Valencia).

What gets called a language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 (as opposed to a dialect) is defined partly by mutual comprehensibility as well as political and cultural factors. In this case, the perceived status of Valencian as a dialect of Catalan has historically had important political implications including Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

 and the idea of the Catalan Countries. Arguing that Valencian is a separate language may sometimes be part of an effort by Valencians to resist a perceived Catalan nationalist agenda aimed at incorporating Valencians into what they feel is a "constructed" nationality centered on Barcelona. As such, the issue of whether Catalan and Valencian constitute different languages or merely dialects has been the subject of adversarial discussions for over a century and political agitation several times since the end of the Franco era. The latest political controversy regarding Valencian occurred on the occasion of the drafting of the European Constitution in 2004. The Spanish government supplied the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 with translations of the text into Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

, Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, Catalan, and Valencian, but the Catalan and Valencian versions were identical. While professing the unity of the Catalan language, the Spanish government claimed to be constitutionally bound to produce distinct Catalan and Valencian versions because the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community refers to the language as Valencian. In practice, the Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic versions of the EU constitution are identical: the government of Catalonia accepted the Valencian translation without any changes under the premise that the Valencian standard is accepted by the norms set forth by the IEC.

Catalan may be seen instead as a multi-centric language (much like English); there exist two standards, one regulated by the IEC, which is centered on Central Catalan (with slight variations to include Balearic verb inflection) and one regulated by the AVL, centered on Valencian.

The AVL accepts the conventions set forth in the Normes de Castelló
Normes de Castelló
Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

 as the normative spelling, shared with the IEC that allows for the diverse idiosyncrasies of the different language dialects and varieties. As the normative spelling, these conventions are used in education, and most contemporary Valencian writers make use of them. Nonetheless, a small minority mainly of those who advocate for the recognition of Valencian as a separate language, use in a non-normative manner an alternative spelling convention known as the Normes del Puig.

Vocabulary


The basic vocabulary shows more affinities with the Gallo-Romance group than with Ibero-Romance. These similarities are most notable with Occitan (examples below are from Languedocien).
> finestra 'window' (Oc. fenèstra/finèstra/hinèstra, Fr.
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 fenêtre, It.
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 finestra) vs > ventana (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

) vs > janela (Pt.
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) > menjar 'to eat' (Oc. manjar, Fr.
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 manger, It.
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 mangiare) vs > comer (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Pt.
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) > matí 'morning' (Oc. matin, Fr.
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 matin, It.
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 mattino/mattina) vs > mañana (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

), manhã (Pt.
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) > parlar 'to speak' (Oc. parlar, Fr.
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 parler, It.
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 parlare) vs > hablar (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

), falar Pt.
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) > taula 'table' (Oc.  taula, Fr.
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 table, It.
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 tavola) vs > mesa (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Pt.
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

)

Writing system


The Catalan alphabet consists of the twenty-six letters of the basic Modern Latin alphabet: A
A
A is the first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter Alpha, from which it derives.- Origins :...

, B
B
B is the second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds , most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.-History:...

, C
C
Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

, D
D
D is the fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic letter Dâlet may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, the letter represented ; in the...

, E
E
E is the fifth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in the Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish languages.-History:...

, F
F
F is the sixth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The origin of ⟨f⟩ is the Semitic letter vâv that represented a sound like or . Graphically, it originally probably depicted either a hook or a club...

, G
G
G is the seventh letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter 'G' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ⟨c⟩ to distinguish voiced, from voiceless, . The recorded originator of ⟨g⟩ is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school,...

, H
H
H .) is the eighth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The Semitic letter ⟨ח⟩ most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative . The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts....

, I
I
I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

, J
J
Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

, K
K
K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

, L
L
Ł or ł, described in English as L with stroke, is a letter of the Polish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Łacinka , Łatynka , Wilamowicean, Navajo, Dene Suline, Inupiaq, Zuni, Hupa, and Dogrib alphabets, several proposed alphabets for the Venetian language, and the ISO 11940 romanization of the Thai alphabet...

, M
M
M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...

, N
N
N is the fourteenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History of the forms :One of the most common hieroglyphs, snake, was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like English ⟨J⟩, because the Egyptian word for "snake" was djet...

, O
O
O is the fifteenth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin , which represented a consonant, probably , the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a...

, P
P
P is the sixteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Usage:In English and most other European languages, P is a voiceless bilabial plosive. Both initial and final Ps can be combined with many other discrete consonants in English words...

, Q
Q
Q is the seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic sound value of Qôp was , a sound common to Semitic languages, but not found in English or most Indo-European ones...

, R
R
R is the eighteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, "head". It was used for by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was rêš . It developed into Greek Ρ and Latin R...

, S
S
S is the nineteenth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.-History: Semitic Šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative . Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma came to represent...

, T
T
T is the 20th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in the English language.- History :Taw was the last letter of the Western Semitic and Hebrew alphabets...

, U
U
U is the twenty-first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter U ultimately comes from the Semitic letter Waw by way of the letter Y. See the letter Y for details....

, V
V
V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Letter:The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details....

, W
W
W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

, X
X
X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

, Y
Y
Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

and Z
Z
Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Name and pronunciation:In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed , reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta but in American English, its name is zee , deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal...

. The letters K
K
K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

, W
W
W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

and Y
Y
Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

are only used in loanwords, and in the case of Y also in the palatal digraph
Digraph (orthography)
A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined...

 ny. Modified letters with diacritics include À
À
is a letter of the Catalan, French, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic and Vietnamese languages, consisting of the Latin letter A and a grave accent. À is also used in Pinyin transliteration. In most languages, it represents the vowel a. This letter is also a letter in Taos.When...

, É
É
is a letter of the Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Luxembourgish, Slovak, and Catalan, Danish, English, French, Galician, Irish, Italian, Occitan, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese language as a variant of the letter “e”...

, È
È
or can be*The letter E with a Grave accent.*In Shakespeare's works, è would be used in the -ed suffix to indicate alternate pronunciation, for example with winged/wingèd, the è would be added to produce a pronunciation of instead of ....

, Í
Í
is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Czech, Slovak, and Tatar languages. This letter also appears in Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Galician, Leonese, Navajo, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “i”....

, Ï
Ï
', lowercase ', is a symbol used in various languages written with the Latin alphabet and in Ukrainian language which is written with the Cyrillic based Ukrainian alphabet; it can be read as the letter I with diaeresis or I-umlaut....

, Ó
Ó
is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Sorbian languages. This letter also appears in the Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Vietnamese languages as a variant of letter “o”. It is also used in English for other purposes...

, Ò
Ò
is a letter in the Kashubian language. This letter also appears in Catalan, Italian, Occitan, Scottish Gaelic, Taos, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “o”.-Character mappings:-External links:***...

, Ú
Ú
Ú or ú is a Latin letter used in the Czech, Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, and Slovak writing systems. This letter also appears in Dutch, Irish, Occitan, Pinyin, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Vietnamese as a variant of the letter "U"....

, Ü
Ü
Ü, or ü, is a character which can be either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter U with an umlaut or a diaeresis...

and Ç
Ç
is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

.

The Catalan spelling has a number of distinctive features. The graph l·l (named ela geminada 'geminate-l') is composed of an interpunct
Interpunct
An interpunct —also called an interpoint—is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, which also appears in some modern languages as a stand-alone sign inside a word. It is present in Unicode as code point ....

 (or middot) between two ⟨l⟩ (e.g. intel·ligent 'intelligent', novel·la 'novel') and is used to distinguish phonetically /lː/ from /ʎ/ (written ll
Ll
Ll/ll is a digraph which occurs in several natural languages.-In English:In English, ll represents the same sound as single l:...

as in Spanish). Another special grapheme is the digraph ny /ɲ/, found in Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

, Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 and in some African languages (e.g. banys 'baths'). Also of note is the final digraph ig, pronounced /tʃ/ after a vowel (e.g. raig 'ray', veig 'I see') and /itʃ/ after a consonant (e.g. mig 'half', desig 'desire'). The combination of t + nasal or lateral consonant is pronounced as a geminate
Gemination
In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

 of the second consonant: tm /mː/, tn /nː/, tl /lː/ and tll /ʎː/ (e.g. setmana 'week', cotna 'pork rind', Betlem 'Betlehem', bitllet 'bank note'), whereas t + sibilant consonant indicates affrication
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

: tx /tʃ/, ts /ts/, tz /dz/, tg and tj /dʒ/ (e.g. fletxa 'arrow', potser 'maybe', dotze 'twelve', jutge 'judge', platja 'beach'). Similarly, the less common graphemes dj /dʒ/ and ds /ts/ also stand for affricates. Other digraphs are rr /r/, ss /s/, ix /ʃ/, gu /g/ and qu /k/.

Catalan spelling utilizes ç
Ç
is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

(called ce trencada, literally 'broken cee') when ⟨c⟩ takes the soft sound /s/ before ⟨a, o, u⟩ (e.g. caça 'hunt') or in final position (e.g. dolç 'sweet'). The letter x
X
X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

is normally pronounced as a voiceless postalveolar /ʃ/ (usually affricated to /tʃ/ in many Western Catalan dialects); e.g. xic /ˈʃik/~/ˈtʃik/ ('little'). In Latin and Greek learned words it represents /ks/ (e.g. fixar 'fix') and /ɡz/ (e.g. exacte 'exact'), as in other closely related languages. The digraph ix instead, always represents /ʃ/ (/i̯ʃ/ in Western Catalan dialects); e.g. calaixos ('drawers').

Vowels


Standard Catalan and Valencian has the typical seven-vowel system from Vulgar Latin (/a/, /ɛ/, /e/, /i/, /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/). Notable features:
  • While Central Catalan has both /e/ and /ɛ/, the relation of these two sounds to the corresponding Proto-Romance sounds is quite complex. In most cases, in fact, original Proto-Romance /e/ and /ɛ/ actually swapped places, with an intermediary step being a separate phoneme /ǝ/ that still exists in the Balearic Islands (in Western Catalan, most original /ɛ/ turned into /e/).
  • Catalan is notable for vowel reduction in unstressed syllables: Eastern Catalan vowels reduce to three (/a/, /ɛ/ and /e/ →
    Catalan (kætəˈlæn, ˈkætəlæn, ˈkætələn; autonym
    Autonym
    Autonym may refer to*Autonym, the name used by a people to refer to themselves or their language, synonymous with endonym*Autonym, the true name of an author disclosed by resolving a pseudonym...

    : català, kətəˈɫakataˈla) is a Romance language
    Romance languages
    The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

    , the national
    National language
    A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

     and only official language
    Official language
    An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

     of Andorra
    Andorra
    Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

     and a co-official language in the Spanish
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     autonomous communities
    Autonomous communities of Spain
    An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

     of Catalonia
    Catalonia
    Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

    , the Balearic Islands
    Balearic Islands
    The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

     and Valencian Community
    Valencian Community
    The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

    , where it is known as Valencian
    Valencian
    Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

     (valencià, valensiˈa), as well as in the city of Alghero
    Alghero
    Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

    , on the Italian
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     island of Sardinia
    Sardinia
    Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

    . It is also spoken, with no official recognition, in the autonomous communities of Aragon
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

     (in La Franja
    La Franja
    La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

    ) and Murcia
    Region of Murcia
    The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

     (in Carche
    Carche
    El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

    ) in Spain, and in the historic Roussillon
    Roussillon
    Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

     region of southern France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    , roughly equivalent to the current département of the Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

     (Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

    ).

    Although recognized as a regional language of the department Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales
    Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

     since 2007, Catalan has no official recognition in France, as French is the only official language of that country, according to the French Constitution of 1958.

    Middle Ages: origin


    The Catalan language was developed from Vulgar Latin
    Vulgar Latin
    Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

     on both sides of the eastern end of the Pyrenees
    Pyrenees
    The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

     mountains (counties of Rosselló
    County of Roussillon
    The County of Roussillon was one of the Catalan counties in the Marca Hispanica during the Middle Ages. The rulers of the county were the Counts of Roussillon, whose interests lay both north and south of the Pyrenees.-Visigothic county:...

    , Empúries
    County of Empúries
    The County of Empúries was a medieval county centred on the town of Empúries and enclosing the Catalan region of Peralada. It corresponds to the historic comarca of Empordà....

    , Besalú
    County of Besalú
    The County of Besalú was one of the landlocked medieval Catalan counties near the Mediterranean coastline. It was roughly coterminous with the modern comarca of Garrotxa and at various times extended as far north as Corbières, Aude, now in France. Its capital was the village of Besalú...

    , Cerdanya, Urgell, Pallars
    County of Pallars
    The County of Pallars or Pallás was a de facto independent petty state, nominally within the Carolingian Empire and then West Francia during the ninth and tenth centuries, perhaps one of the Catalan counties, originally part of the Marca Hispanica in the ninth century...

     and Ribagorça
    County of Ribagorza
    The County of Ribagorza or Ribagorça was originally the independent creation of a local Basque dynasty, later absorbed into the Kingdom of Navarre, and then into the Crown of Aragon. Historically it had a strong connexion with the counties of Sobrarbe and Pallars. Its territory was the valleys of...

    ). It shares origin and characteristics with Gallo-Romance, Ibero-Romance, and the Gallo-Italian speech types of Northern Italy. Though some hypothesize a historical split from languages of Occitan typology, the area covered from Liguria (on the present Italian coast) to Alicante (in Spain) can be seen as a classic dialect continuum
    Dialect continuum
    A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

    , with some perturbation as a result of political divisions and overlay of standard national languages.

    As a consequence of the Aragonese and Catalan conquests of Al-Andalus
    Reconquista
    The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

     to the south and to the west, the language spread to present-day Catalonia
    Catalonia
    Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

    , the Balearic Islands
    Balearic Islands
    The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

     and most of the Valencian Community
    Valencian Community
    The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

    .

    In the 15th century, during the Valencian Golden Age, Catalan literature reached its apex, which was not matched again until La Renaixença
    Renaixença
    The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

    , four centuries later.

    18th century to the present: France


    {{See also|Language policy in France|La Vergonha}}

    After the Treaty of the Pyrenees
    Treaty of the Pyrenees
    The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries...

    , a royal decree by Louis XIV of France
    Louis XIV of France
    Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

     on 2 April 1700 prohibited the use of Catalan language in present-day Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

     in all official documents under the threat of being invalidated.

    Shortly after the French Revolution
    French Revolution
    The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

    , the French First Republic
    French First Republic
    The French First Republic was founded on 22 September 1792, by the newly established National Convention. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I...

     prohibited official use of, and enacted discriminating policies against, the nonstandard languages of France (patois
    Patois
    Patois is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant...

    ); such as Catalan, Breton, Occitan and Basque.

    The deliberate process of eradicating non-French vernacular
    Vernacular
    A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

    s in modern France and disparaging them as mere local and often strictly oral dialects was formalized with Abbé Grégoire's Report on the necessity and means to annihilate the patois and to universalize the use of the French language, which he presented on June 4, 1794 to the National Convention
    National Convention
    During the French Revolution, the National Convention or Convention, in France, comprised the constitutional and legislative assembly which sat from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 . It held executive power in France during the first years of the French First Republic...

    ; thereafter, all languages other than French were officially banned in the administration and schools for the sake of linguistically
    Linguistics
    Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

     uniting post-Bastille Day
    Bastille Day
    Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July of each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale and commonly le quatorze juillet...

     France.

    To date, the French government continues its policy of recognizing only French as an official languages in France. Nevertheless, on 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
    General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
    The General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales is the assembly elected for 6 years by the 31 Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales and its executive...

     officially recognized Catalan as one of the languages of the department in the Article 1 (a) of its Charte en faveur du Catalan and seek to further promote it in public life and education.
    Article 1: "The General Council of Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognizes, along with the French language, Catalan as a language of the department.."


    18th century to the present: Spain


    {{See also|Language politics in Spain under Franco}}

    After the Nueva Planta Decrees
    Nueva Planta decrees
    The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....

    , administrative use of Catalan, and Catalan language education, were also banned in the territories of the Kingdom of Spain. It was not until the Renaixença
    Renaixença
    The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

     that that use of the Catalan language started to recover.

    In Francoist Spain (1939–1975), the use of Spanish in place of Catalan was promoted, and public use of Catalan was initially repressed and discouraged by official propaganda campaigns. The use of Catalan in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. During later stages of the Francoist regime, certain folkloric or religious celebrations in Catalan were resumed and tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media
    Mass media
    Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

     was initially forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s in the theatre. Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship. There was no official prohibition of speaking Catalan in public or in commerce, but all advertising and signage had to be in Spanish alone, as did all written communication in business.

    Following the death of Franco
    Francisco Franco
    Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

     in 1975 and the restoration of democracy
    Democracy
    Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

     under a constitutional monarchy
    Constitutional monarchy
    Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

    , the use of Catalan increased significantly because of new affirmative action and subsidy policies and the Catalan language is now used in politics, education and the media, including the newspapers Avui
    Avui
    Avui is a Catalan daily newspaper, based in Barcelona, Catalonia . It is one of the city's newest papers, having been founded in 1976. The editorial line is Catalan nationalist.- History :...

    ("Today"), El Punt
    El punt
    El Punt is a Catalan daily newspaper based in Girona, Catalonia . The newspaper was renamed in 1990 from the original Punt Diari .-History:...

    ("The Point"), Ara
    Ara (newspaper)
    Ara is a Catalan daily newspaper that began publication on November 28, 2010, coinciding with the Catalan parliamentary elections. Between 40,000 and 60,000 copies are printed each day....

    ("Now"), La Vanguardia
    La Vanguardia
    La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading daily newspaper as well as the fourth best-selling in Spain. It has its headquarters in Barcelona, Catalonia's largest city....

    and El Periódico de Catalunya
    El Periódico de Catalunya
    El Periódico de Catalunya is a morning daily newspaper based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and owned by Grupo Zeta. El Periódico is actually two newspapers, publishing separate editions in Spanish and in Catalan...

    (sharing content with El Periòdic d'Andorra
    El Periòdic d'Andorra
    El Periòdic d'Andorra is a newspaper of the Principality of Andorra. It has its headquarters in Escaldes-Engordany.-External links:*...

    , printed in Andorra); and the television channels of Televisió de Catalunya (TVC): TV3
    TV3 (Catalonia)
    TV3 is the primary television channel of Catalan public broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya, a subsidiary of the CCMA. TV3 broadcasts programs only in Catalan, with an optional dual track in the original language for some foreign-language series and movies...

    , the main channel, and Canal 33 (culture channel), Super3
    Canal Super3
    Super3 is a Spanish public television channel owned by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalan language. It started broadcasting on 18 October 2009. Programming will be for children and teenagers based on the programme Club Super3, that started on 11 February 1991 on TV3 and has been seen on Canal 33...

    /3XL
    3XL
    3XL is a Catalan television channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya. It was founded and started broadcasted in 2010 replacing the former Canal 300...

     (cartoons channel) as well as a 24-hour news channel 3/24
    3/24
    3/24 is a 24 hour news channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalonia. It is part of the five channel DVB-T multiplex of TVC. Currently, it broadcasts in digital terrestrial and cable television...

     and the sports channel Esport 3; in Valencia Canal 9
    Canal 9
    Canal Nou is a public television station in the Valencian Community, Spain. It is run by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana which operates from Burjassot. It is broadcast in Valencian and Spanish and it can be watched in the Valencian Community and adjacent areas...

    , 24/9 and Punt 2
    Punt 2
    Canal Nou Dos is the second channel launched by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana on 9 October 1997.The channel was launched under the name Notícies 9, a channel dedicated to informative programmes made by RTVV. It changed its name to Punt 2 after it began to show informative, documentary and cultural,...

    ; in the Balearic islands IB3
    IB3
    IB3 is a Balearic television channel.IB3 began test transmissions before launch on 1 March 2005, the first regular broadcast began on 5 September 2005....

    ; in Catalonia there are also some private channels such as 8TV
    8TV (Catalonia)
    8TV is a Catalan private tv station based in Barcelona, Spain. The channel is run by Grupo Godó and broadcasts from street-level studios on the Avenida Diagonal in the heart of Barcelona.-History:8TV began as a local tv channel in Barcelona in 2001...

    , Barça TV, Estil9 or Canal Català, in others. Furthermore, everywhere in the Catalan-speaking territories, there are local channels available in Catalan.

    Classification


    The ascription of Catalan to the Occitano-Romance
    Occitano-Romance languages
    The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

     branch of Gallo-Romance languages
    Gallo-Romance languages
    The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

     is not shared by all linguists, particularly those from Spanish-speaking areas; furthermore, many modern linguists consider any internal classification of the Romance languages a pointless task.

    According to Pierre Bec
    Pierre Bec
    Pierre Bec , is an Occitan poet and linguist. Born in Paris, 1921, he spent his childhood in Comminges, where he learnt Occitan. He was deported to Germany between 1943 and 1945. After returning, he studied in Paris, where he graduated in 1959...

    , its specific classification is as follows:
    • Indo-European languages
      Indo-European languages
      The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

      • Italic languages
        Italic languages
        The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages derived from Latin , and a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Latin.In the past various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed...

        • Romance languages
          Romance languages
          The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

          • Italo-Western languages
            Italo-Western languages
            Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It in turn comprises two branches, Italo-Dalmatian and Western:...

            • Western Romance languages
              Western Romance languages
              The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:* The Pyrenean–Mozarabic group consists of two languages in two separate branches:**Aragonese**Mozarabic...

              • Gallo-Iberian languages
                • Gallo-Romance languages
                  Gallo-Romance languages
                  The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

                   (alternatively classified as an Ibero-Romance language)
                  • Occitano-Romance languages
                    Occitano-Romance languages
                    The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

                     (alternatively classified as an East Iberian language)
                    • Catalan language


    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
    Gallo-Romance languages
    The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

    ). Thus, as it should be expected from closely related languages, Catalan today shares many traits with other Romance languages.

    Catalan-speaking territories


    {{main|Països Catalans}}
    Catalan is spoken in:
    • Andorra
      Andorra
      Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

       (Principat d'Andorra), a sovereign state
      Sovereign state
      A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

       where Catalan is the national
      National language
      A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

       and only official language
      Official language
      An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

      .
    • Catalonia
      Catalonia
      Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

       (Catalunya), in Spain.
    • Most of the Valencian Community
      Valencian Community
      The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

       (Comunitat Valenciana, also known as País Valencià), in Spain, where it is called Valencian
      Valencian
      Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

       (valencià).
    • La Franja
      La Franja
      La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

      , an adjacent strip of Aragon
      Aragon
      Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

      , in Spain (in particular the comarques of Ribagorça, Llitera, Baix Cinca, and Matarranya).
    • Balearic Islands
      Balearic Islands
      The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

       (Illes Balears), in Spain.
    • Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

       (Catalunya Nord: name used officially for the first time on 10 December 2007 by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

      ), in France.
    • The city of Alghero
      Alghero
      Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

       (L'Alguer) in Sardinia
      Sardinia
      Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

      , Italy.
    • A small region of Murcia
      Region of Murcia
      The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

      , Spain, known as Carche
      Carche
      El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

       (El Carxe).


    These territories are sometimes referred to as the Països Catalans (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.

    Number of Catalan speakers


    The number of persons fluent in Catalan varies depending on the sources used. The 2004 language study cited below in this article does not indicate the total number of speakers, but an estimate of 9–9.5 million can be made, by matching the percentage of speakers to the population of each area where Catalan is spoken ("Sociolinguistic Situation in Catalan-speaking Areas." cited in the Section, External Links, of this article). The web site of the Generalitat de Catalunya
    Generalitat de Catalunya
    The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....

     gives the number, as of June 2007, as 9,118,882 speakers of Catalan. And according to Ethnologue: Languages of the World
    Ethnologue
    Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

    , Catalan has a total of 11,530,160 speakers.
    Territory State |a|1}} |b|2}}
     Catalonia Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     
    6,502,880 5,698,400
     Valencian Community Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     
    3,448,780 2,407,951
     Balearic Islands Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     
    852,780 706,065
      Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia
    Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

     
    France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     
    203,121 125,621
     Andorra Andorra
    Andorra
    Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

     
    75,407 61,975
      La Franja
    La Franja
    La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

     (Aragon
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

    )
    Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     
    47,250 45,000
      Alghero
    Alghero
    Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

     (Sardinia
    Sardinia
    Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

    )
    Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     
    20,000 17,625
      Carche
    Carche
    El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

     (Murcia
    Region of Murcia
    The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

    )
    Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     
    No data No data
    Total Catalan-speaking territories
    Catalan Countries
    The Catalan term Països Catalans refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly...

    11,150,218 9,062,637
    Rest of World No data 350,000
    Total 11,150,218 9,412,637
    Notes:
    1.{{note|a}} The number of people who understand Catalan includes those who can speak it.
    2.{{note|b}} Figures relate to all self-declared capable speakers, not just native speakers.

    Dialects


    In 1861, Manuel Milà i Fontanals
    Manuel Milà i Fontanals
    Manuel Milà i Fontanals was a Catalan scholar. He was born at Vilafranca del Penedès, near Barcelona, and was educated first in Barcelona, and afterwards at the University of Cervera....

     proposed a division of Catalan into two major dialect blocks: Eastern Catalan and Western Catalan. The different Catalan dialects show deep differences in lexicon, grammar, morphology and pronunciation due to historical isolation. Each dialect also encompasses several regional varieties.

    There is no precise linguistic border between one dialect and another because there is nearly always a transition zone of some size between pairs of geographically separated dialects (except for dialects specific to an island).{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} The main difference between the two blocks is their treatment of unstressed vowels, in addition to a few other features:
    • Eastern Catalan (bloc or branca del català oriental):
      • Latin long {{sm|ē}} /eː/ and short {{sm|i}} /ɪ/ have become /ɛ/; e.g. sec /ˈsɛk/ 'dry' (though in most of Balearic Catalan it has become a stressed /ə/; e.g. sec /ˈsək/, while /e/ in Alguerese; sec /ˈsek/).
      • The vowels /e/, /ɛ/ and /a/ reduce to [ə] when unstressed, and /o/, /ɔ/ and /u/ reduce to [u], while /i/ stays unchanged (in most of Majorcan, [o] also appears in unstressed position).
      • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is the fricative /ʃ/. Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩ it is also /ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkaʃə/ ('box').
      • 1st person present indicative is -o, -i or there is no marker: parlo, temo, sento (Central Catalan); parl, tem, sent (Balearic) and parli, temi, senti (Northern Catalan).
      • Inchoative verbs in -eixo, -eix, -eixen, -eixi.
      • The syllable beginning /n/ of medieval nasal plural is lost in words that were historically proparoxytonic: homes 'men', joves 'youth'.
      • Specific lexicon: mirall 'mirror', noi 'boy', escombra 'broom', llombrígol 'navel', sortir 'to exit', etc.

    • Western Catalan (bloc or branca del català occidental):
      • Latin long {{sm|ē}} /eː/ and short {{sm|i}} /ɪ/ have become /e/; e.g. sec /ˈsek/ ('dry').
      • The vowels /e/ and /ɛ/ reduce to [e] when unstressed, and /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [o], while /a/, /i/ and /u/ stay unchanged. Distinction between unstressed ⟨e⟩ – ⟨a⟩ and ⟨o⟩ – ⟨u⟩ (though, in some subvarieties unstressed vowels may merge into different realizations in some instances).
      • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is affricated /tʃ/ (however there are many unpredictable exceptions; e.g. Xàtiva 'Xàtiva
        Xàtiva
        Xàtiva is a town in eastern Spain, in the province of Valencia, on the right bank of the river Albaida and at the junction of the Valencia–Murcia and Valencia Albacete railways....

        ', xarxa –also spelled xàrcia– 'net', xilòfon 'xilophone', etc. where it is a fricative /ʃ/). Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩, it is /i̯ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkai̯ʃa/ ('box').
      • 1st person present indicative is -e (elided in verbs of the 2nd and 3rd conjugation) or -o: parle, tem, sent (Valencian); parlo, temo, sento (North-Western Catalan).
      • Inchoative verbs in -isc/-ixo, -ix, -ixen, -isca.
      • Maintenance of medieval nasal plural in historical proparoxytone words: hòmens 'men', jóvens 'youth'.
      • Specific lexicon: espill 'mirror', xiquet 'boy', granera 'broom', melic 'navel', eixir 'to exit', etc.


    In addition, neither dialect
    Dialect
    The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

     is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. Catalan can be subdivided into two major dialect blocks and those blocks into individual dialects:

    Western Catalan
    • North-Western Catalan
      • Ribagorçan
        Ribagorçan
        Ribagorçan is the name given to a number of Romance dialects spoken in the modern territories of the medieval County of Ribagorza, in northern Spain...

         -ribagorçà- (from Ribagorça)
      • Pallarès (from Pallars)
      • Lleidatà (from Lleida
        Lleida
        Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

        )
      • Transitional Valencian -tortosí- (from Tortosa
        Tortosa
        -External links:* *** * * *...

        )
    • South-Western Catalan (Valencian
      Valencian
      Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

      )
      • Northern Valencian -castellonenc- (from region of Plana)
      • Central Valencian -apitxat-
      • Southern Valencian
      • Alacantí (from the Alicante/Alacant's metropolitan area and most of Vinalopó
        Vinalopó
        The Vinalopó is a small river flowing through the Alicante province, of Spain. It flows from north to south and, with a length of 81 km., it is the longest of the rivers which flows for its entire length within the limits of this province...

         valley)
      • Majorcan Valencian (from Tàrbena
        Tàrbena
        Tàrbena is a municipality in the comarca of Marina Baixa, Alicante, Valencia, Spain....

         and La Vall de Gallinera)

    Eastern Catalan
    • Northern Catalan
      Northern Catalan
      Northern Catalan is a Catalan dialect mostly spoken in Northern Catalonia, but also extending in the northeast part of Southern Catalonia in a transition zone with Central Catalan....

       -rossellonès- (from Roussillon
      Roussillon
      Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

      )
    • Central Catalan
      Central Catalan
      Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

      • Salat (from some coastal areas of Girona)
      • Barceloní (from Barcelona)
      • Tarragoní (from Tarragona)
      • Xipella (transitional Western–Eastern Catalan)
    • Balearic
      • Majorcan -mallorquí- (from Majorca)
      • Minorcan -menorquí- (from Minorca
        Minorca
        Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

        )
      • Ibizan -eivissenc- (from Ibiza/Eivissa
        Ibiza
        Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

         and Formentera
        Formentera
        Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

        )
    • Alguerese
      Alguerese
      Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

       -
      alguerès/alguerés- (from the Sardinia
      Sardinia
      Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

      n city of Alghero/L'Alguer
      Alghero
      Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

      )


    Standards


    {{Main|Institut d'Estudis Catalans|Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua}}
    Written varieties
    Catalan (IEC) Valencian (AVL) gloss
    anglès anglés English
    conèixer conéixer to know
    treure traure take out
    néixer nàixer to be born
    veure vore to see
    càntir cànter pitcher
    rodó redó round
    meva meua my, mine
    ametlla ametla almond
    estrella (estel) estrela (estel) star
    milió milló million
    cop colp hit
    llagosta llangosta lobster
    homes hòmens men
    servei servici service


    Catalan is a pluricentric language
    Pluricentric language
    A pluricentric language is a language with several standard versions, both in spoken and in written forms. This situation usually arises when language and the national identity of its native speakers do not, or did not, coincide.-English:...

     with two main standards; one regulated by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans
    Institut d'Estudis Catalans
    The Institut d'Estudis Catalans , also known by the acronym IEC, is an academic institution which seeks to undertake research and study into "all elements of Catalan culture"....

    (IEC), general standard, with Pompeu Fabra
    Pompeu Fabra
    Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

    's orthography as axis, keeping features from Central Catalan
    Central Catalan
    Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

    , and the other regulated by the
    Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
    Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
    The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

     (AVL), restricted scale standard, focused on Valencian
    Valencian
    Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

     standardization on the basis of Normes de Castelló
    Normes de Castelló
    Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

    , that is, Pompeu Fabra
    Pompeu Fabra
    Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

    's orthography but more adapted to Western Catalan pronunciation and features of Valencian dialects.

    IEC's standard, apart from the basis of Central Catalan features, takes also other dialects' features in consideration as standard. Despite this, the most notable difference between both standards is some tonic ⟨e⟩ accentuation, for instance: francès, anglès (IEC) – francés, anglés (AVL) ('French, English'), cafè (IEC) – café (AVL) ('coffee'), conèixer (IEC) – conéixer ('to know'), comprèn (IEC) – comprén (AVL) ('he understands'). This is because of the different pronunciation of some stressed ⟨e⟩, especially tonic {{sm|ē}} (long e) and {{sm|i}} (short i) from Latin, in both Catalan blocks (/ɛ/ in Eastern Catalan and /e/ in Western Catalan). Nevertheless, AVL's standard keeps the grave accent ⟨è⟩, without pronouncing this ⟨e⟩ as /ɛ/, in some words like: què ('what'), València, èter ('ether'), sèsam ('sesame'), sèrie ('series') and època ('age').

    There are also some other divergences like the digraph ⟨tl⟩ used by AVL in some words instead of ⟨tll⟩ like in
    ametla/ametlla ('almond'), espatla/espatlla ('back' an.
    Anatomy
    Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

    ) or
    butla/butlla ('bull'), the use of elided demonstratives (este 'this', eixe 'that' -near-) in the same level as reinforced ones (aquest, aqueix) 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 -ix- at the same level as -eix- or the priority use of -e morpheme in 1st person singular in present indicative (-ar verbs): jo compre instead of jo compro ('I buy').

    In the Balearic Islands, IEC's standard is used but adapted for the Balearic dialect by the University of the Balearic Islands
    University of the Balearic Islands
    The University of the Balearic Islands is a Balearic Spanish university, founded in 1978 and located in Palma on the island of Majorca.-History:...

    's philological section,
    Govern de les Illes Balearss consultative organ. 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. Another feature of the Balearic standard is the non-ending in the 1st person singular present indicative: jo compr ('I buy'), jo tem ('I fear'), jo dorm ('I sleep').

    In Alghero, the IEC has adapted its standard to the Alguerese dialect
    Alguerese
    Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

    . In this standard one can find, among other features: the definite article lo instead of el, special possessive pronouns and determinants la mia ('mine'), lo sou/la sua ('his/her'), lo tou/la tua ('yours'), and so on, the use of -v- /v/ in the imperfect tense in all conjugations: cantava, creixiva, llegiva; the use of many archaic words, usual words in Alguerese: manco instead of menys ('less'), calqui u instead of algú ('someone'), qual/quala instead of quin/quina ('which'), and so on; and the adaptation of weak pronouns
    Weak pronouns in Catalan
    This article discusses the forms and functions of the personal pronouns in Catalan grammar.-Strong pronouns:The "strong" pronouns in Catalan have the following forms:...

    .

    In 2011, the Aragonese government
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

     passed a decree for the establishment of a new language regulator of Catalan in La Franja
    La Franja
    La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

     (the so-called Catalan-speaking areas of Aragon). The new entity, designated as Acadèmia Aragonesa del Català, shall allow a facultative education in Catalan and a standardization of the Catalan language in La Franja
    La Franja
    La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

    .

    Status of Valencian
    {{Main|Valencian}}

    The official language academy of the Valencian Community
    Valencian Community
    The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

     (the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
    Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
    The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

    ) considers Catalan and Valencian simply to be two names
    Names of Catalan language
    The first names, or glossonyms, of the Catalan language formed in a dialectal relation with Latin, in which Catalan existed as a variety. These names already expressed the relationship between the two languages...

     for the same language. All universities teaching Romance languages, and virtually all linguists, consider these two to be linguistic variants of the same language (similar to Canadian French
    Canadian French
    Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

     versus Metropolitan French, and European
    European Portuguese
    European Portuguese refers to the variety of Portuguese spoken in continental Portugal, as well as the Azores and Madeira islands...

     versus Brazilian Portuguese
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

    ).

    There is a roughly continuous set of dialects
    Dialect continuum
    A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

     covering the regional forms of Catalan/Valencian, with no break at the border between Catalonia and the Valencian Community,{{Citation needed|date=March 2009}} and the various forms of Catalan and Valencian are mutually intelligible This is not to say that there are no differences between them; the speech of Valencians is recognizable both in pronunciation as well as in morphological and lexical peculiarities. However, these differences are not any wider than among North-Western Catalan and Eastern Catalan. In fact, Northern Valencian (spoken in the Castelló province and Matarranya valley, a strip of Aragon
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

    ) is more similar to the Catalan of the lower Ebro
    Ebro
    The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

     basin
    Drainage basin
    A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

     (spoken in southern half of Tarragona province and another strip of Aragon) than to apitxat Valencian (spoken in the area of L'Horta, in the province of Valencia).

    What gets called a language
    Language
    Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

     (as opposed to a dialect) is defined partly by mutual comprehensibility as well as political and cultural factors. In this case, the perceived status of Valencian as a dialect of Catalan has historically had important political implications including Catalan nationalism
    Catalan nationalism
    Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

     and the idea of the Catalan Countries. Arguing that Valencian is a separate language may sometimes be part of an effort by Valencians to resist a perceived Catalan nationalist agenda aimed at incorporating Valencians into what they feel is a "constructed" nationality centered on Barcelona.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} As such, the issue of whether Catalan and Valencian constitute different languages or merely dialects has been the subject of adversarial discussions for over a century and political agitation several times since the end of the Franco era.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} The latest political controversy regarding Valencian occurred on the occasion of the drafting of the European Constitution in 2004. The Spanish government supplied the EU
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     with translations of the text into Basque
    Basque language
    Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

    , Galician
    Galician language
    Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

    , Catalan, and Valencian, but the Catalan and Valencian versions were identical. While professing the unity of the Catalan language, the Spanish government claimed to be constitutionally bound to produce distinct Catalan and Valencian versions because the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community refers to the language as Valencian. In practice, the Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic versions of the EU constitution are identical: the government of Catalonia accepted the Valencian translation without any changes under the premise that the Valencian standard is accepted by the norms set forth by the IEC.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}}

    Catalan may be seen instead as a multi-centric language (much like English); there exist two standards, one regulated by the IEC, which is centered on Central Catalan (with slight variations to include Balearic verb inflection) and one regulated by the AVL, centered on Valencian.

    The AVL accepts the conventions set forth in the Normes de Castelló
    Normes de Castelló
    Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

     as the normative spelling, shared with the IEC that allows for the diverse idiosyncrasies of the different language dialects and varieties. As the normative spelling, these conventions are used in education, and most contemporary Valencian writers make use of them. Nonetheless, a small minority mainly of those who advocate for the recognition of Valencian as a separate language, use in a non-normative manner an alternative spelling convention known as the Normes del Puig.

    Vocabulary


    The basic vocabulary shows more affinities with the Gallo-Romance group than with Ibero-Romance. These similarities are most notable with Occitan (examples below are from Languedocien).
    > finestra 'window' (Oc. fenèstra/finèstra/hinèstra, Fr.
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     fenêtre, It.
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     finestra) vs {{sm|ventvs}} > ventana (Sp.
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    ) vs {{sm|ianva}} > janela (Pt.
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

    ) > menjar 'to eat' (Oc. manjar, Fr.
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     manger, It.
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     mangiare) vs {{sm|comedere}} > comer (Sp.
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

     and Pt.
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

    ) > matí 'morning' (Oc. matin, Fr.
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     matin, It.
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     mattino/mattina) vs {{sm|hora maneāna}} > mañana (Sp.
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    ), manhã (Pt.
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

    ) > parlar 'to speak' (Oc. parlar, Fr.
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     parler, It.
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     parlare) vs {{sm|fābvlāre}} > hablar (Sp.
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    ), falar Pt.
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

    ) > taula 'table' (Oc.  taula, Fr.
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     table, It.
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     tavola) vs {{sm|mensa}} > mesa (Sp.
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

     and Pt.
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

    )

    Writing system


    {{Main|Catalan alphabet}}

    The Catalan alphabet consists of the twenty-six letters of the basic Modern Latin alphabet: A
    A
    A is the first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter Alpha, from which it derives.- Origins :...

    , B
    B
    B is the second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds , most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.-History:...

    , C
    C
    Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

    , D
    D
    D is the fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic letter Dâlet may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, the letter represented ; in the...

    , E
    E
    E is the fifth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in the Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish languages.-History:...

    , F
    F
    F is the sixth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The origin of ⟨f⟩ is the Semitic letter vâv that represented a sound like or . Graphically, it originally probably depicted either a hook or a club...

    , G
    G
    G is the seventh letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter 'G' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ⟨c⟩ to distinguish voiced, from voiceless, . The recorded originator of ⟨g⟩ is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school,...

    , H
    H
    H .) is the eighth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The Semitic letter ⟨ח⟩ most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative . The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts....

    , I
    I
    I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

    , J
    J
    Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

    , K
    K
    K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

    , L
    L
    Ł or ł, described in English as L with stroke, is a letter of the Polish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Łacinka , Łatynka , Wilamowicean, Navajo, Dene Suline, Inupiaq, Zuni, Hupa, and Dogrib alphabets, several proposed alphabets for the Venetian language, and the ISO 11940 romanization of the Thai alphabet...

    , M
    M
    M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...

    , N
    N
    N is the fourteenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History of the forms :One of the most common hieroglyphs, snake, was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like English ⟨J⟩, because the Egyptian word for "snake" was djet...

    , O
    O
    O is the fifteenth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin , which represented a consonant, probably , the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a...

    , P
    P
    P is the sixteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Usage:In English and most other European languages, P is a voiceless bilabial plosive. Both initial and final Ps can be combined with many other discrete consonants in English words...

    , Q
    Q
    Q is the seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic sound value of Qôp was , a sound common to Semitic languages, but not found in English or most Indo-European ones...

    , R
    R
    R is the eighteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, "head". It was used for by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was rêš . It developed into Greek Ρ and Latin R...

    , S
    S
    S is the nineteenth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.-History: Semitic Šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative . Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma came to represent...

    , T
    T
    T is the 20th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in the English language.- History :Taw was the last letter of the Western Semitic and Hebrew alphabets...

    , U
    U
    U is the twenty-first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter U ultimately comes from the Semitic letter Waw by way of the letter Y. See the letter Y for details....

    , V
    V
    V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Letter:The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details....

    , W
    W
    W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

    , X
    X
    X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

    , Y
    Y
    Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

    and Z
    Z
    Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Name and pronunciation:In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed , reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta but in American English, its name is zee , deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal...

    . The letters K
    K
    K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

    , W
    W
    W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

    and Y
    Y
    Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

    are only used in loanwords, and in the case of Y also in the palatal digraph
    Digraph (orthography)
    A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined...

     ny. Modified letters with diacritics include À
    À
    is a letter of the Catalan, French, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic and Vietnamese languages, consisting of the Latin letter A and a grave accent. À is also used in Pinyin transliteration. In most languages, it represents the vowel a. This letter is also a letter in Taos.When...

    , É
    É
    is a letter of the Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Luxembourgish, Slovak, and Catalan, Danish, English, French, Galician, Irish, Italian, Occitan, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese language as a variant of the letter “e”...

    , È
    È
    or can be*The letter E with a Grave accent.*In Shakespeare's works, è would be used in the -ed suffix to indicate alternate pronunciation, for example with winged/wingèd, the è would be added to produce a pronunciation of instead of ....

    , Í
    Í
    is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Czech, Slovak, and Tatar languages. This letter also appears in Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Galician, Leonese, Navajo, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “i”....

    , Ï
    Ï
    ', lowercase ', is a symbol used in various languages written with the Latin alphabet and in Ukrainian language which is written with the Cyrillic based Ukrainian alphabet; it can be read as the letter I with diaeresis or I-umlaut....

    , Ó
    Ó
    is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Sorbian languages. This letter also appears in the Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Vietnamese languages as a variant of letter “o”. It is also used in English for other purposes...

    , Ò
    Ò
    is a letter in the Kashubian language. This letter also appears in Catalan, Italian, Occitan, Scottish Gaelic, Taos, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “o”.-Character mappings:-External links:***...

    , Ú
    Ú
    Ú or ú is a Latin letter used in the Czech, Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, and Slovak writing systems. This letter also appears in Dutch, Irish, Occitan, Pinyin, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Vietnamese as a variant of the letter "U"....

    , Ü
    Ü
    Ü, or ü, is a character which can be either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter U with an umlaut or a diaeresis...

    and Ç
    Ç
    is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

    .

    The Catalan spelling has a number of distinctive features. The graph l·l (named ela geminada 'geminate-l') is composed of an interpunct
    Interpunct
    An interpunct —also called an interpoint—is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, which also appears in some modern languages as a stand-alone sign inside a word. It is present in Unicode as code point ....

     (or middot) between two ⟨l⟩ (e.g. intel·ligent 'intelligent', novel·la 'novel') and is used to distinguish phonetically /lː/ from /ʎ/ (written ll
    Ll
    Ll/ll is a digraph which occurs in several natural languages.-In English:In English, ll represents the same sound as single l:...

    as in Spanish). Another special grapheme is the digraph ny /ɲ/, found in Hungarian
    Hungarian language
    Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

    , Malay
    Malay language
    Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

     and in some African languages (e.g. banys 'baths'). Also of note is the final digraph ig, pronounced /tʃ/ after a vowel (e.g. raig 'ray', veig 'I see') and /itʃ/ after a consonant (e.g. mig 'half', desig 'desire'). The combination of t + nasal or lateral consonant is pronounced as a geminate
    Gemination
    In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

     of the second consonant: tm /mː/, tn /nː/, tl /lː/ and tll /ʎː/ (e.g. setmana 'week', cotna 'pork rind', Betlem 'Betlehem', bitllet 'bank note'), whereas t + sibilant consonant indicates affrication
    Affricate consonant
    Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

    : tx /tʃ/, ts /ts/, tz /dz/, tg and tj /dʒ/ (e.g. fletxa 'arrow', potser 'maybe', dotze 'twelve', jutge 'judge', platja 'beach'). Similarly, the less common graphemes dj /dʒ/ and ds /ts/ also stand for affricates. Other digraphs are rr /r/, ss /s/, ix /ʃ/, gu /g/ and qu /k/.

    Catalan spelling utilizes ç
    Ç
    is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

    (called ce trencada, literally 'broken cee') when ⟨c⟩ takes the soft sound /s/ before ⟨a, o, u⟩ (e.g. caça 'hunt') or in final position (e.g. dolç 'sweet'). The letter x
    X
    X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

    is normally pronounced as a voiceless postalveolar /ʃ/ (usually affricated to /tʃ/ in many Western Catalan dialects); e.g. xic /ˈʃik/~/ˈtʃik/ ('little'). In Latin and Greek learned words it represents /ks/ (e.g. fixar 'fix') and /ɡz/ (e.g. exacte 'exact'), as in other closely related languages. The digraph ix instead, always represents /ʃ/ (/i̯ʃ/ in Western Catalan dialects); e.g. calaixos ('drawers').

    Vowels


    Standard Catalan and Valencian has the typical seven-vowel system from Vulgar Latin (/a/, /ɛ/, /e/, /i/, /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/). Notable features:
    • While Central Catalan has both /e/ and /ɛ/, the relation of these two sounds to the corresponding Proto-Romance sounds is quite complex. In most cases, in fact, original Proto-Romance /e/ and /ɛ/ actually swapped places, with an intermediary step being a separate phoneme /ǝ/ that still exists in the Balearic Islands (in Western Catalan, most original /ɛ/ turned into /e/).
    • Catalan is notable for vowel reduction in unstressed syllables: Eastern Catalan vowels reduce to three (/a/, /ɛ/ and /e/ →
      Catalan (kætəˈlæn, ˈkætəlæn, ˈkætələn; autonym
      Autonym
      Autonym may refer to*Autonym, the name used by a people to refer to themselves or their language, synonymous with endonym*Autonym, the true name of an author disclosed by resolving a pseudonym...

      : català, kətəˈɫakataˈla) is a Romance language
      Romance languages
      The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

      , the national
      National language
      A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

       and only official language
      Official language
      An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

       of Andorra
      Andorra
      Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

       and a co-official language in the Spanish
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       autonomous communities
      Autonomous communities of Spain
      An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

       of Catalonia
      Catalonia
      Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

      , the Balearic Islands
      Balearic Islands
      The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

       and Valencian Community
      Valencian Community
      The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

      , where it is known as Valencian
      Valencian
      Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

       (valencià, valensiˈa), as well as in the city of Alghero
      Alghero
      Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

      , on the Italian
      Italy
      Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

       island of Sardinia
      Sardinia
      Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

      . It is also spoken, with no official recognition, in the autonomous communities of Aragon
      Aragon
      Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

       (in La Franja
      La Franja
      La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

      ) and Murcia
      Region of Murcia
      The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

       (in Carche
      Carche
      El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

      ) in Spain, and in the historic Roussillon
      Roussillon
      Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

       region of southern France
      France
      The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

      , roughly equivalent to the current département of the Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

       (Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

      ).

      Although recognized as a regional language of the department Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales
      Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

       since 2007, Catalan has no official recognition in France, as French is the only official language of that country, according to the French Constitution of 1958.

      Middle Ages: origin


      The Catalan language was developed from Vulgar Latin
      Vulgar Latin
      Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

       on both sides of the eastern end of the Pyrenees
      Pyrenees
      The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

       mountains (counties of Rosselló
      County of Roussillon
      The County of Roussillon was one of the Catalan counties in the Marca Hispanica during the Middle Ages. The rulers of the county were the Counts of Roussillon, whose interests lay both north and south of the Pyrenees.-Visigothic county:...

      , Empúries
      County of Empúries
      The County of Empúries was a medieval county centred on the town of Empúries and enclosing the Catalan region of Peralada. It corresponds to the historic comarca of Empordà....

      , Besalú
      County of Besalú
      The County of Besalú was one of the landlocked medieval Catalan counties near the Mediterranean coastline. It was roughly coterminous with the modern comarca of Garrotxa and at various times extended as far north as Corbières, Aude, now in France. Its capital was the village of Besalú...

      , Cerdanya, Urgell, Pallars
      County of Pallars
      The County of Pallars or Pallás was a de facto independent petty state, nominally within the Carolingian Empire and then West Francia during the ninth and tenth centuries, perhaps one of the Catalan counties, originally part of the Marca Hispanica in the ninth century...

       and Ribagorça
      County of Ribagorza
      The County of Ribagorza or Ribagorça was originally the independent creation of a local Basque dynasty, later absorbed into the Kingdom of Navarre, and then into the Crown of Aragon. Historically it had a strong connexion with the counties of Sobrarbe and Pallars. Its territory was the valleys of...

      ). It shares origin and characteristics with Gallo-Romance, Ibero-Romance, and the Gallo-Italian speech types of Northern Italy. Though some hypothesize a historical split from languages of Occitan typology, the area covered from Liguria (on the present Italian coast) to Alicante (in Spain) can be seen as a classic dialect continuum
      Dialect continuum
      A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

      , with some perturbation as a result of political divisions and overlay of standard national languages.

      As a consequence of the Aragonese and Catalan conquests of Al-Andalus
      Reconquista
      The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

       to the south and to the west, the language spread to present-day Catalonia
      Catalonia
      Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

      , the Balearic Islands
      Balearic Islands
      The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

       and most of the Valencian Community
      Valencian Community
      The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

      .

      In the 15th century, during the Valencian Golden Age, Catalan literature reached its apex, which was not matched again until La Renaixença
      Renaixença
      The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

      , four centuries later.

      18th century to the present: France


      {{See also|Language policy in France|La Vergonha}}

      After the Treaty of the Pyrenees
      Treaty of the Pyrenees
      The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries...

      , a royal decree by Louis XIV of France
      Louis XIV of France
      Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

       on 2 April 1700 prohibited the use of Catalan language in present-day Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

       in all official documents under the threat of being invalidated.

      Shortly after the French Revolution
      French Revolution
      The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

      , the French First Republic
      French First Republic
      The French First Republic was founded on 22 September 1792, by the newly established National Convention. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I...

       prohibited official use of, and enacted discriminating policies against, the nonstandard languages of France (patois
      Patois
      Patois is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant...

      ); such as Catalan, Breton, Occitan and Basque.

      The deliberate process of eradicating non-French vernacular
      Vernacular
      A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

      s in modern France and disparaging them as mere local and often strictly oral dialects was formalized with Abbé Grégoire's Report on the necessity and means to annihilate the patois and to universalize the use of the French language, which he presented on June 4, 1794 to the National Convention
      National Convention
      During the French Revolution, the National Convention or Convention, in France, comprised the constitutional and legislative assembly which sat from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 . It held executive power in France during the first years of the French First Republic...

      ; thereafter, all languages other than French were officially banned in the administration and schools for the sake of linguistically
      Linguistics
      Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

       uniting post-Bastille Day
      Bastille Day
      Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July of each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale and commonly le quatorze juillet...

       France.

      To date, the French government continues its policy of recognizing only French as an official languages in France. Nevertheless, on 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
      General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
      The General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales is the assembly elected for 6 years by the 31 Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales and its executive...

       officially recognized Catalan as one of the languages of the department in the Article 1 (a) of its Charte en faveur du Catalan and seek to further promote it in public life and education.
      Article 1: "The General Council of Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognizes, along with the French language, Catalan as a language of the department.."


      18th century to the present: Spain


      {{See also|Language politics in Spain under Franco}}

      After the Nueva Planta Decrees
      Nueva Planta decrees
      The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....

      , administrative use of Catalan, and Catalan language education, were also banned in the territories of the Kingdom of Spain. It was not until the Renaixença
      Renaixença
      The Renaixença was an early 19th century late romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The first stimuli of the movement date of the 1830s and 1840s, but the Renaixença stretches up into the 1880s, until it...

       that that use of the Catalan language started to recover.

      In Francoist Spain (1939–1975), the use of Spanish in place of Catalan was promoted, and public use of Catalan was initially repressed and discouraged by official propaganda campaigns. The use of Catalan in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. During later stages of the Francoist regime, certain folkloric or religious celebrations in Catalan were resumed and tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media
      Mass media
      Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

       was initially forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s in the theatre. Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship. There was no official prohibition of speaking Catalan in public or in commerce, but all advertising and signage had to be in Spanish alone, as did all written communication in business.

      Following the death of Franco
      Francisco Franco
      Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

       in 1975 and the restoration of democracy
      Democracy
      Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

       under a constitutional monarchy
      Constitutional monarchy
      Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

      , the use of Catalan increased significantly because of new affirmative action and subsidy policies and the Catalan language is now used in politics, education and the media, including the newspapers Avui
      Avui
      Avui is a Catalan daily newspaper, based in Barcelona, Catalonia . It is one of the city's newest papers, having been founded in 1976. The editorial line is Catalan nationalist.- History :...

      ("Today"), El Punt
      El punt
      El Punt is a Catalan daily newspaper based in Girona, Catalonia . The newspaper was renamed in 1990 from the original Punt Diari .-History:...

      ("The Point"), Ara
      Ara (newspaper)
      Ara is a Catalan daily newspaper that began publication on November 28, 2010, coinciding with the Catalan parliamentary elections. Between 40,000 and 60,000 copies are printed each day....

      ("Now"), La Vanguardia
      La Vanguardia
      La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading daily newspaper as well as the fourth best-selling in Spain. It has its headquarters in Barcelona, Catalonia's largest city....

      and El Periódico de Catalunya
      El Periódico de Catalunya
      El Periódico de Catalunya is a morning daily newspaper based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and owned by Grupo Zeta. El Periódico is actually two newspapers, publishing separate editions in Spanish and in Catalan...

      (sharing content with El Periòdic d'Andorra
      El Periòdic d'Andorra
      El Periòdic d'Andorra is a newspaper of the Principality of Andorra. It has its headquarters in Escaldes-Engordany.-External links:*...

      , printed in Andorra); and the television channels of Televisió de Catalunya (TVC): TV3
      TV3 (Catalonia)
      TV3 is the primary television channel of Catalan public broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya, a subsidiary of the CCMA. TV3 broadcasts programs only in Catalan, with an optional dual track in the original language for some foreign-language series and movies...

      , the main channel, and Canal 33 (culture channel), Super3
      Canal Super3
      Super3 is a Spanish public television channel owned by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalan language. It started broadcasting on 18 October 2009. Programming will be for children and teenagers based on the programme Club Super3, that started on 11 February 1991 on TV3 and has been seen on Canal 33...

      /3XL
      3XL
      3XL is a Catalan television channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya. It was founded and started broadcasted in 2010 replacing the former Canal 300...

       (cartoons channel) as well as a 24-hour news channel 3/24
      3/24
      3/24 is a 24 hour news channel operated by Televisió de Catalunya in Catalonia. It is part of the five channel DVB-T multiplex of TVC. Currently, it broadcasts in digital terrestrial and cable television...

       and the sports channel Esport 3; in Valencia Canal 9
      Canal 9
      Canal Nou is a public television station in the Valencian Community, Spain. It is run by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana which operates from Burjassot. It is broadcast in Valencian and Spanish and it can be watched in the Valencian Community and adjacent areas...

      , 24/9 and Punt 2
      Punt 2
      Canal Nou Dos is the second channel launched by Ràdio Televisió Valenciana on 9 October 1997.The channel was launched under the name Notícies 9, a channel dedicated to informative programmes made by RTVV. It changed its name to Punt 2 after it began to show informative, documentary and cultural,...

      ; in the Balearic islands IB3
      IB3
      IB3 is a Balearic television channel.IB3 began test transmissions before launch on 1 March 2005, the first regular broadcast began on 5 September 2005....

      ; in Catalonia there are also some private channels such as 8TV
      8TV (Catalonia)
      8TV is a Catalan private tv station based in Barcelona, Spain. The channel is run by Grupo Godó and broadcasts from street-level studios on the Avenida Diagonal in the heart of Barcelona.-History:8TV began as a local tv channel in Barcelona in 2001...

      , Barça TV, Estil9 or Canal Català, in others. Furthermore, everywhere in the Catalan-speaking territories, there are local channels available in Catalan.

      Classification


      The ascription of Catalan to the Occitano-Romance
      Occitano-Romance languages
      The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

       branch of Gallo-Romance languages
      Gallo-Romance languages
      The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

       is not shared by all linguists, particularly those from Spanish-speaking areas; furthermore, many modern linguists consider any internal classification of the Romance languages a pointless task.

      According to Pierre Bec
      Pierre Bec
      Pierre Bec , is an Occitan poet and linguist. Born in Paris, 1921, he spent his childhood in Comminges, where he learnt Occitan. He was deported to Germany between 1943 and 1945. After returning, he studied in Paris, where he graduated in 1959...

      , its specific classification is as follows:
      • Indo-European languages
        Indo-European languages
        The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

        • Italic languages
          Italic languages
          The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages derived from Latin , and a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Latin.In the past various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed...

          • Romance languages
            Romance languages
            The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

            • Italo-Western languages
              Italo-Western languages
              Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It in turn comprises two branches, Italo-Dalmatian and Western:...

              • Western Romance languages
                Western Romance languages
                The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:* The Pyrenean–Mozarabic group consists of two languages in two separate branches:**Aragonese**Mozarabic...

                • Gallo-Iberian languages
                  • Gallo-Romance languages
                    Gallo-Romance languages
                    The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

                     (alternatively classified as an Ibero-Romance language)
                    • Occitano-Romance languages
                      Occitano-Romance languages
                      The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France , Spain , Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy , and historically in the County of Tripoli and the...

                       (alternatively classified as an East Iberian language)
                      • Catalan language


      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
      Gallo-Romance languages
      The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

      ). Thus, as it should be expected from closely related languages, Catalan today shares many traits with other Romance languages.

      Catalan-speaking territories


      {{main|Països Catalans}}
      Catalan is spoken in:
      • Andorra
        Andorra
        Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

         (Principat d'Andorra), a sovereign state
        Sovereign state
        A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

         where Catalan is the national
        National language
        A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

         and only official language
        Official language
        An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

        .
      • Catalonia
        Catalonia
        Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

         (Catalunya), in Spain.
      • Most of the Valencian Community
        Valencian Community
        The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

         (Comunitat Valenciana, also known as País Valencià), in Spain, where it is called Valencian
        Valencian
        Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

         (valencià).
      • La Franja
        La Franja
        La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

        , an adjacent strip of Aragon
        Aragon
        Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

        , in Spain (in particular the comarques of Ribagorça, Llitera, Baix Cinca, and Matarranya).
      • Balearic Islands
        Balearic Islands
        The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

         (Illes Balears), in Spain.
      • Northern Catalonia
        Northern Catalonia
        Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

         (Catalunya Nord: name used officially for the first time on 10 December 2007 by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
        Pyrénées-Orientales
        Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave of Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.- History :...

        ), in France.
      • The city of Alghero
        Alghero
        Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

         (L'Alguer) in Sardinia
        Sardinia
        Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

        , Italy.
      • A small region of Murcia
        Region of Murcia
        The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

        , Spain, known as Carche
        Carche
        El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

         (El Carxe).


      These territories are sometimes referred to as the Països Catalans (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.

      Number of Catalan speakers


      The number of persons fluent in Catalan varies depending on the sources used. The 2004 language study cited below in this article does not indicate the total number of speakers, but an estimate of 9–9.5 million can be made, by matching the percentage of speakers to the population of each area where Catalan is spoken ("Sociolinguistic Situation in Catalan-speaking Areas." cited in the Section, External Links, of this article). The web site of the Generalitat de Catalunya
      Generalitat de Catalunya
      The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....

       gives the number, as of June 2007, as 9,118,882 speakers of Catalan. And according to Ethnologue: Languages of the World
      Ethnologue
      Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

      , Catalan has a total of 11,530,160 speakers.
      Territory State |a|1}} |b|2}}
       Catalonia Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       
      6,502,880 5,698,400
       Valencian Community Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       
      3,448,780 2,407,951
       Balearic Islands Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       
      852,780 706,065
        Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia
      Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

       
      France
      France
      The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

       
      203,121 125,621
       Andorra Andorra
      Andorra
      Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

       
      75,407 61,975
        La Franja
      La Franja
      La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

       (Aragon
      Aragon
      Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

      )
      Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       
      47,250 45,000
        Alghero
      Alghero
      Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

       (Sardinia
      Sardinia
      Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

      )
      Italy
      Italy
      Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

       
      20,000 17,625
        Carche
      Carche
      El Carche is a mountainous, sparsely populated area in Region of Murcia, Spain, lying between the municipalities Jumilla and Yecla. The mountains reach an altitude of 1,371 metres at the Pico de la Madama and part of the region has the status of regional park...

       (Murcia
      Region of Murcia
      The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

      )
      Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       
      No data No data
      Total Catalan-speaking territories
      Catalan Countries
      The Catalan term Països Catalans refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly...

      11,150,218 9,062,637
      Rest of World No data 350,000
      Total 11,150,218 9,412,637
      Notes:
      1.{{note|a}} The number of people who understand Catalan includes those who can speak it.
      2.{{note|b}} Figures relate to all self-declared capable speakers, not just native speakers.

      Dialects


      In 1861, Manuel Milà i Fontanals
      Manuel Milà i Fontanals
      Manuel Milà i Fontanals was a Catalan scholar. He was born at Vilafranca del Penedès, near Barcelona, and was educated first in Barcelona, and afterwards at the University of Cervera....

       proposed a division of Catalan into two major dialect blocks: Eastern Catalan and Western Catalan. The different Catalan dialects show deep differences in lexicon, grammar, morphology and pronunciation due to historical isolation. Each dialect also encompasses several regional varieties.

      There is no precise linguistic border between one dialect and another because there is nearly always a transition zone of some size between pairs of geographically separated dialects (except for dialects specific to an island).{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} The main difference between the two blocks is their treatment of unstressed vowels, in addition to a few other features:
      • Eastern Catalan (bloc or branca del català oriental):
        • Latin long {{sm|ē}} /eː/ and short {{sm|i}} /ɪ/ have become /ɛ/; e.g. sec /ˈsɛk/ 'dry' (though in most of Balearic Catalan it has become a stressed /ə/; e.g. sec /ˈsək/, while /e/ in Alguerese; sec /ˈsek/).
        • The vowels /e/, /ɛ/ and /a/ reduce to [ə] when unstressed, and /o/, /ɔ/ and /u/ reduce to [u], while /i/ stays unchanged (in most of Majorcan, [o] also appears in unstressed position).
        • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is the fricative /ʃ/. Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩ it is also /ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkaʃə/ ('box').
        • 1st person present indicative is -o, -i or there is no marker: parlo, temo, sento (Central Catalan); parl, tem, sent (Balearic) and parli, temi, senti (Northern Catalan).
        • Inchoative verbs in -eixo, -eix, -eixen, -eixi.
        • The syllable beginning /n/ of medieval nasal plural is lost in words that were historically proparoxytonic: homes 'men', joves 'youth'.
        • Specific lexicon: mirall 'mirror', noi 'boy', escombra 'broom', llombrígol 'navel', sortir 'to exit', etc.

      • Western Catalan (bloc or branca del català occidental):
        • Latin long {{sm|ē}} /eː/ and short {{sm|i}} /ɪ/ have become /e/; e.g. sec /ˈsek/ ('dry').
        • The vowels /e/ and /ɛ/ reduce to [e] when unstressed, and /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [o], while /a/, /i/ and /u/ stay unchanged. Distinction between unstressed ⟨e⟩ – ⟨a⟩ and ⟨o⟩ – ⟨u⟩ (though, in some subvarieties unstressed vowels may merge into different realizations in some instances).
        • Initial or post-consonantal ⟨x⟩ is affricated /tʃ/ (however there are many unpredictable exceptions; e.g. Xàtiva 'Xàtiva
          Xàtiva
          Xàtiva is a town in eastern Spain, in the province of Valencia, on the right bank of the river Albaida and at the junction of the Valencia–Murcia and Valencia Albacete railways....

          ', xarxa –also spelled xàrcia– 'net', xilòfon 'xilophone', etc. where it is a fricative /ʃ/). Between vowels or when final and preceded by ⟨i⟩, it is /i̯ʃ/; e.g. caixa /ˈkai̯ʃa/ ('box').
        • 1st person present indicative is -e (elided in verbs of the 2nd and 3rd conjugation) or -o: parle, tem, sent (Valencian); parlo, temo, sento (North-Western Catalan).
        • Inchoative verbs in -isc/-ixo, -ix, -ixen, -isca.
        • Maintenance of medieval nasal plural in historical proparoxytone words: hòmens 'men', jóvens 'youth'.
        • Specific lexicon: espill 'mirror', xiquet 'boy', granera 'broom', melic 'navel', eixir 'to exit', etc.


      In addition, neither dialect
      Dialect
      The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

       is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. Catalan can be subdivided into two major dialect blocks and those blocks into individual dialects:

      Western Catalan
      • North-Western Catalan
        • Ribagorçan
          Ribagorçan
          Ribagorçan is the name given to a number of Romance dialects spoken in the modern territories of the medieval County of Ribagorza, in northern Spain...

           -ribagorçà- (from Ribagorça)
        • Pallarès (from Pallars)
        • Lleidatà (from Lleida
          Lleida
          Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

          )
        • Transitional Valencian -tortosí- (from Tortosa
          Tortosa
          -External links:* *** * * *...

          )
      • South-Western Catalan (Valencian
        Valencian
        Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

        )
        • Northern Valencian -castellonenc- (from region of Plana)
        • Central Valencian -apitxat-
        • Southern Valencian
        • Alacantí (from the Alicante/Alacant's metropolitan area and most of Vinalopó
          Vinalopó
          The Vinalopó is a small river flowing through the Alicante province, of Spain. It flows from north to south and, with a length of 81 km., it is the longest of the rivers which flows for its entire length within the limits of this province...

           valley)
        • Majorcan Valencian (from Tàrbena
          Tàrbena
          Tàrbena is a municipality in the comarca of Marina Baixa, Alicante, Valencia, Spain....

           and La Vall de Gallinera)

      Eastern Catalan
      • Northern Catalan
        Northern Catalan
        Northern Catalan is a Catalan dialect mostly spoken in Northern Catalonia, but also extending in the northeast part of Southern Catalonia in a transition zone with Central Catalan....

         -rossellonès- (from Roussillon
        Roussillon
        Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

        )
      • Central Catalan
        Central Catalan
        Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

        • Salat (from some coastal areas of Girona)
        • Barceloní (from Barcelona)
        • Tarragoní (from Tarragona)
        • Xipella (transitional Western–Eastern Catalan)
      • Balearic
        • Majorcan -mallorquí- (from Majorca)
        • Minorcan -menorquí- (from Minorca
          Minorca
          Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

          )
        • Ibizan -eivissenc- (from Ibiza/Eivissa
          Ibiza
          Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

           and Formentera
          Formentera
          Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

          )
      • Alguerese
        Alguerese
        Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

         -
        alguerès/alguerés- (from the Sardinia
        Sardinia
        Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

        n city of Alghero/L'Alguer
        Alghero
        Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

        )


      Standards


      {{Main|Institut d'Estudis Catalans|Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua}}
      Written varieties
      Catalan (IEC) Valencian (AVL) gloss
      anglès anglés English
      conèixer conéixer to know
      treure traure take out
      néixer nàixer to be born
      veure vore to see
      càntir cànter pitcher
      rodó redó round
      meva meua my, mine
      ametlla ametla almond
      estrella (estel) estrela (estel) star
      milió milló million
      cop colp hit
      llagosta llangosta lobster
      homes hòmens men
      servei servici service


      Catalan is a pluricentric language
      Pluricentric language
      A pluricentric language is a language with several standard versions, both in spoken and in written forms. This situation usually arises when language and the national identity of its native speakers do not, or did not, coincide.-English:...

       with two main standards; one regulated by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans
      Institut d'Estudis Catalans
      The Institut d'Estudis Catalans , also known by the acronym IEC, is an academic institution which seeks to undertake research and study into "all elements of Catalan culture"....

      (IEC), general standard, with Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

      's orthography as axis, keeping features from Central Catalan
      Central Catalan
      Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

      , and the other regulated by the
      Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
      Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
      The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

       (AVL), restricted scale standard, focused on Valencian
      Valencian
      Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

       standardization on the basis of Normes de Castelló
      Normes de Castelló
      Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

      , that is, Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

      's orthography but more adapted to Western Catalan pronunciation and features of Valencian dialects.

      IEC's standard, apart from the basis of Central Catalan features, takes also other dialects' features in consideration as standard. Despite this, the most notable difference between both standards is some tonic ⟨e⟩ accentuation, for instance: francès, anglès (IEC) – francés, anglés (AVL) ('French, English'), cafè (IEC) – café (AVL) ('coffee'), conèixer (IEC) – conéixer ('to know'), comprèn (IEC) – comprén (AVL) ('he understands'). This is because of the different pronunciation of some stressed ⟨e⟩, especially tonic {{sm|ē}} (long e) and {{sm|i}} (short i) from Latin, in both Catalan blocks (/ɛ/ in Eastern Catalan and /e/ in Western Catalan). Nevertheless, AVL's standard keeps the grave accent ⟨è⟩, without pronouncing this ⟨e⟩ as /ɛ/, in some words like: què ('what'), València, èter ('ether'), sèsam ('sesame'), sèrie ('series') and època ('age').

      There are also some other divergences like the digraph ⟨tl⟩ used by AVL in some words instead of ⟨tll⟩ like in
      ametla/ametlla ('almond'), espatla/espatlla ('back' an.
      Anatomy
      Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

      ) or
      butla/butlla ('bull'), the use of elided demonstratives (este 'this', eixe 'that' -near-) in the same level as reinforced ones (aquest, aqueix) 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 -ix- at the same level as -eix- or the priority use of -e morpheme in 1st person singular in present indicative (-ar verbs): jo compre instead of jo compro ('I buy').

      In the Balearic Islands, IEC's standard is used but adapted for the Balearic dialect by the University of the Balearic Islands
      University of the Balearic Islands
      The University of the Balearic Islands is a Balearic Spanish university, founded in 1978 and located in Palma on the island of Majorca.-History:...

      's philological section,
      Govern de les Illes Balearss consultative organ. 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. Another feature of the Balearic standard is the non-ending in the 1st person singular present indicative: jo compr ('I buy'), jo tem ('I fear'), jo dorm ('I sleep').

      In Alghero, the IEC has adapted its standard to the Alguerese dialect
      Alguerese
      Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

      . In this standard one can find, among other features: the definite article lo instead of el, special possessive pronouns and determinants la mia ('mine'), lo sou/la sua ('his/her'), lo tou/la tua ('yours'), and so on, the use of -v- /v/ in the imperfect tense in all conjugations: cantava, creixiva, llegiva; the use of many archaic words, usual words in Alguerese: manco instead of menys ('less'), calqui u instead of algú ('someone'), qual/quala instead of quin/quina ('which'), and so on; and the adaptation of weak pronouns
      Weak pronouns in Catalan
      This article discusses the forms and functions of the personal pronouns in Catalan grammar.-Strong pronouns:The "strong" pronouns in Catalan have the following forms:...

      .

      In 2011, the Aragonese government
      Aragon
      Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

       passed a decree for the establishment of a new language regulator of Catalan in La Franja
      La Franja
      La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

       (the so-called Catalan-speaking areas of Aragon). The new entity, designated as Acadèmia Aragonesa del Català, shall allow a facultative education in Catalan and a standardization of the Catalan language in La Franja
      La Franja
      La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

      .

      Status of Valencian
      {{Main|Valencian}}

      The official language academy of the Valencian Community
      Valencian Community
      The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

       (the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
      Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
      The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

      ) considers Catalan and Valencian simply to be two names
      Names of Catalan language
      The first names, or glossonyms, of the Catalan language formed in a dialectal relation with Latin, in which Catalan existed as a variety. These names already expressed the relationship between the two languages...

       for the same language. All universities teaching Romance languages, and virtually all linguists, consider these two to be linguistic variants of the same language (similar to Canadian French
      Canadian French
      Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

       versus Metropolitan French, and European
      European Portuguese
      European Portuguese refers to the variety of Portuguese spoken in continental Portugal, as well as the Azores and Madeira islands...

       versus Brazilian Portuguese
      Brazilian Portuguese
      Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

      ).

      There is a roughly continuous set of dialects
      Dialect continuum
      A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

       covering the regional forms of Catalan/Valencian, with no break at the border between Catalonia and the Valencian Community,{{Citation needed|date=March 2009}} and the various forms of Catalan and Valencian are mutually intelligible This is not to say that there are no differences between them; the speech of Valencians is recognizable both in pronunciation as well as in morphological and lexical peculiarities. However, these differences are not any wider than among North-Western Catalan and Eastern Catalan. In fact, Northern Valencian (spoken in the Castelló province and Matarranya valley, a strip of Aragon
      Aragon
      Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

      ) is more similar to the Catalan of the lower Ebro
      Ebro
      The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

       basin
      Drainage basin
      A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

       (spoken in southern half of Tarragona province and another strip of Aragon) than to apitxat Valencian (spoken in the area of L'Horta, in the province of Valencia).

      What gets called a language
      Language
      Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

       (as opposed to a dialect) is defined partly by mutual comprehensibility as well as political and cultural factors. In this case, the perceived status of Valencian as a dialect of Catalan has historically had important political implications including Catalan nationalism
      Catalan nationalism
      Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

       and the idea of the Catalan Countries. Arguing that Valencian is a separate language may sometimes be part of an effort by Valencians to resist a perceived Catalan nationalist agenda aimed at incorporating Valencians into what they feel is a "constructed" nationality centered on Barcelona.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} As such, the issue of whether Catalan and Valencian constitute different languages or merely dialects has been the subject of adversarial discussions for over a century and political agitation several times since the end of the Franco era.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}} The latest political controversy regarding Valencian occurred on the occasion of the drafting of the European Constitution in 2004. The Spanish government supplied the EU
      European Union
      The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

       with translations of the text into Basque
      Basque language
      Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

      , Galician
      Galician language
      Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

      , Catalan, and Valencian, but the Catalan and Valencian versions were identical. While professing the unity of the Catalan language, the Spanish government claimed to be constitutionally bound to produce distinct Catalan and Valencian versions because the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community refers to the language as Valencian. In practice, the Catalan, Valencian, and Balearic versions of the EU constitution are identical: the government of Catalonia accepted the Valencian translation without any changes under the premise that the Valencian standard is accepted by the norms set forth by the IEC.{{Citation needed|date=March 2008}}

      Catalan may be seen instead as a multi-centric language (much like English); there exist two standards, one regulated by the IEC, which is centered on Central Catalan (with slight variations to include Balearic verb inflection) and one regulated by the AVL, centered on Valencian.

      The AVL accepts the conventions set forth in the Normes de Castelló
      Normes de Castelló
      Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

       as the normative spelling, shared with the IEC that allows for the diverse idiosyncrasies of the different language dialects and varieties. As the normative spelling, these conventions are used in education, and most contemporary Valencian writers make use of them. Nonetheless, a small minority mainly of those who advocate for the recognition of Valencian as a separate language, use in a non-normative manner an alternative spelling convention known as the Normes del Puig.

      Vocabulary


      The basic vocabulary shows more affinities with the Gallo-Romance group than with Ibero-Romance. These similarities are most notable with Occitan (examples below are from Languedocien).
      > finestra 'window' (Oc. fenèstra/finèstra/hinèstra, Fr.
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

       fenêtre, It.
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       finestra) vs {{sm|ventvs}} > ventana (Sp.
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

      ) vs {{sm|ianva}} > janela (Pt.
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

      ) > menjar 'to eat' (Oc. manjar, Fr.
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

       manger, It.
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       mangiare) vs {{sm|comedere}} > comer (Sp.
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

       and Pt.
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

      ) > matí 'morning' (Oc. matin, Fr.
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

       matin, It.
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       mattino/mattina) vs {{sm|hora maneāna}} > mañana (Sp.
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

      ), manhã (Pt.
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

      ) > parlar 'to speak' (Oc. parlar, Fr.
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

       parler, It.
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       parlare) vs {{sm|fābvlāre}} > hablar (Sp.
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

      ), falar Pt.
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

      ) > taula 'table' (Oc.  taula, Fr.
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

       table, It.
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       tavola) vs {{sm|mensa}} > mesa (Sp.
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

       and Pt.
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

      )

      Writing system


      {{Main|Catalan alphabet}}

      The Catalan alphabet consists of the twenty-six letters of the basic Modern Latin alphabet: A
      A
      A is the first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter Alpha, from which it derives.- Origins :...

      , B
      B
      B is the second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds , most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.-History:...

      , C
      C
      Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

      , D
      D
      D is the fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic letter Dâlet may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, the letter represented ; in the...

      , E
      E
      E is the fifth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in the Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish languages.-History:...

      , F
      F
      F is the sixth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The origin of ⟨f⟩ is the Semitic letter vâv that represented a sound like or . Graphically, it originally probably depicted either a hook or a club...

      , G
      G
      G is the seventh letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter 'G' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ⟨c⟩ to distinguish voiced, from voiceless, . The recorded originator of ⟨g⟩ is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school,...

      , H
      H
      H .) is the eighth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The Semitic letter ⟨ח⟩ most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative . The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts....

      , I
      I
      I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

      , J
      J
      Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

      , K
      K
      K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

      , L
      L
      Ł or ł, described in English as L with stroke, is a letter of the Polish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Łacinka , Łatynka , Wilamowicean, Navajo, Dene Suline, Inupiaq, Zuni, Hupa, and Dogrib alphabets, several proposed alphabets for the Venetian language, and the ISO 11940 romanization of the Thai alphabet...

      , M
      M
      M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...

      , N
      N
      N is the fourteenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History of the forms :One of the most common hieroglyphs, snake, was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like English ⟨J⟩, because the Egyptian word for "snake" was djet...

      , O
      O
      O is the fifteenth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin , which represented a consonant, probably , the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a...

      , P
      P
      P is the sixteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Usage:In English and most other European languages, P is a voiceless bilabial plosive. Both initial and final Ps can be combined with many other discrete consonants in English words...

      , Q
      Q
      Q is the seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.- History :The Semitic sound value of Qôp was , a sound common to Semitic languages, but not found in English or most Indo-European ones...

      , R
      R
      R is the eighteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, "head". It was used for by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was rêš . It developed into Greek Ρ and Latin R...

      , S
      S
      S is the nineteenth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.-History: Semitic Šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative . Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma came to represent...

      , T
      T
      T is the 20th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in the English language.- History :Taw was the last letter of the Western Semitic and Hebrew alphabets...

      , U
      U
      U is the twenty-first letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter U ultimately comes from the Semitic letter Waw by way of the letter Y. See the letter Y for details....

      , V
      V
      V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Letter:The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details....

      , W
      W
      W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

      , X
      X
      X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

      , Y
      Y
      Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

      and Z
      Z
      Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Name and pronunciation:In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed , reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta but in American English, its name is zee , deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal...

      . The letters K
      K
      K is the eleventh letter of the English and basic modern Latin alphabet.-History and usage:In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this sound is also transcribed by in the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA....

      , W
      W
      W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

      and Y
      Y
      Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...

      are only used in loanwords, and in the case of Y also in the palatal digraph
      Digraph (orthography)
      A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined...

       ny. Modified letters with diacritics include À
      À
      is a letter of the Catalan, French, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic and Vietnamese languages, consisting of the Latin letter A and a grave accent. À is also used in Pinyin transliteration. In most languages, it represents the vowel a. This letter is also a letter in Taos.When...

      , É
      É
      is a letter of the Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Luxembourgish, Slovak, and Catalan, Danish, English, French, Galician, Irish, Italian, Occitan, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese language as a variant of the letter “e”...

      , È
      È
      or can be*The letter E with a Grave accent.*In Shakespeare's works, è would be used in the -ed suffix to indicate alternate pronunciation, for example with winged/wingèd, the è would be added to produce a pronunciation of instead of ....

      , Í
      Í
      is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Czech, Slovak, and Tatar languages. This letter also appears in Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Galician, Leonese, Navajo, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “i”....

      , Ï
      Ï
      ', lowercase ', is a symbol used in various languages written with the Latin alphabet and in Ukrainian language which is written with the Cyrillic based Ukrainian alphabet; it can be read as the letter I with diaeresis or I-umlaut....

      , Ó
      Ó
      is a letter in the Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kashubian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Sorbian languages. This letter also appears in the Catalan, Irish, Occitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Vietnamese languages as a variant of letter “o”. It is also used in English for other purposes...

      , Ò
      Ò
      is a letter in the Kashubian language. This letter also appears in Catalan, Italian, Occitan, Scottish Gaelic, Taos, and Vietnamese language as a variant of letter “o”.-Character mappings:-External links:***...

      , Ú
      Ú
      Ú or ú is a Latin letter used in the Czech, Faroese, Hungarian, Icelandic, and Slovak writing systems. This letter also appears in Dutch, Irish, Occitan, Pinyin, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Vietnamese as a variant of the letter "U"....

      , Ü
      Ü
      Ü, or ü, is a character which can be either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter U with an umlaut or a diaeresis...

      and Ç
      Ç
      is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

      .

      The Catalan spelling has a number of distinctive features. The graph l·l (named ela geminada 'geminate-l') is composed of an interpunct
      Interpunct
      An interpunct —also called an interpoint—is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, which also appears in some modern languages as a stand-alone sign inside a word. It is present in Unicode as code point ....

       (or middot) between two ⟨l⟩ (e.g. intel·ligent 'intelligent', novel·la 'novel') and is used to distinguish phonetically /lː/ from /ʎ/ (written ll
      Ll
      Ll/ll is a digraph which occurs in several natural languages.-In English:In English, ll represents the same sound as single l:...

      as in Spanish). Another special grapheme is the digraph ny /ɲ/, found in Hungarian
      Hungarian language
      Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

      , Malay
      Malay language
      Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

       and in some African languages (e.g. banys 'baths'). Also of note is the final digraph ig, pronounced /tʃ/ after a vowel (e.g. raig 'ray', veig 'I see') and /itʃ/ after a consonant (e.g. mig 'half', desig 'desire'). The combination of t + nasal or lateral consonant is pronounced as a geminate
      Gemination
      In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

       of the second consonant: tm /mː/, tn /nː/, tl /lː/ and tll /ʎː/ (e.g. setmana 'week', cotna 'pork rind', Betlem 'Betlehem', bitllet 'bank note'), whereas t + sibilant consonant indicates affrication
      Affricate consonant
      Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

      : tx /tʃ/, ts /ts/, tz /dz/, tg and tj /dʒ/ (e.g. fletxa 'arrow', potser 'maybe', dotze 'twelve', jutge 'judge', platja 'beach'). Similarly, the less common graphemes dj /dʒ/ and ds /ts/ also stand for affricates. Other digraphs are rr /r/, ss /s/, ix /ʃ/, gu /g/ and qu /k/.

      Catalan spelling utilizes ç
      Ç
      is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish and Zazaki alphabets. This letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan and Portuguese as a variant of the letter “c”...

      (called ce trencada, literally 'broken cee') when ⟨c⟩ takes the soft sound /s/ before ⟨a, o, u⟩ (e.g. caça 'hunt') or in final position (e.g. dolç 'sweet'). The letter x
      X
      X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

      is normally pronounced as a voiceless postalveolar /ʃ/ (usually affricated to /tʃ/ in many Western Catalan dialects); e.g. xic /ˈʃik/~/ˈtʃik/ ('little'). In Latin and Greek learned words it represents /ks/ (e.g. fixar 'fix') and /ɡz/ (e.g. exacte 'exact'), as in other closely related languages. The digraph ix instead, always represents /ʃ/ (/i̯ʃ/ in Western Catalan dialects); e.g. calaixos ('drawers').

      Vowels


      Standard Catalan and Valencian has the typical seven-vowel system from Vulgar Latin (/a/, /ɛ/, /e/, /i/, /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/). Notable features:
      • While Central Catalan has both /e/ and /ɛ/, the relation of these two sounds to the corresponding Proto-Romance sounds is quite complex. In most cases, in fact, original Proto-Romance /e/ and /ɛ/ actually swapped places, with an intermediary step being a separate phoneme /ǝ/ that still exists in the Balearic Islands (in Western Catalan, most original /ɛ/ turned into /e/).
      • Catalan is notable for vowel reduction in unstressed syllables: Eastern Catalan vowels reduce to three (/a/, /ɛ/ and /e/ → {{IPAblink; /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/ → {{IPAblink; and /i/ → {{IPAblink, except for most of Majorcan where a fourth unstressed vowel may appear, that is, unstressed /ɔ/ and /o/ normally merge with o), while Western Catalan vowels reduce to five (/a/ → {{IPAblink; /ɛ/ and /e/ → {{IPAblink; /ɔ/ and /o/ → {{IPAblink; /u/ → {{IPAblink; and /i/ → {{IPAblink).

      Consonants

      Catalan consonants
      Bilabial
      Bilabial consonant
      In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

      Labio-
      dental
      Labiodental consonant
      In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.-Labiodental consonant in IPA:The labiodental consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

      Dental/
      Alveolar
      Alveolar consonant
      Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

      Palatal
      Palatal consonant
      Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

      Velar
      Velar consonant
      Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

      Nasal
      Nasal consonant
      A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

      m n ɲ ŋ
      Plosive voiceless
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      p (c) ~ k
      voiced
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      b (ɟ) ~ ɡ
      Affricate
      Affricate consonant
      Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

      voiceless
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      ts
      voiced
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      dz
      Fricative
      Fricative consonant
      Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

      voiceless
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      f s ɕ
      voiced
      Voice (phonetics)
      Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

      (v) z ʑ
      Trill
      Trill consonant
      In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

      r
      Tap ɾ
      Approximant
      Approximant consonant
      Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

      j w
      Lateral
      Lateral consonant
      A lateral is an el-like consonant, in which airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth....

      l ʎ


      {{Clear}}

      The consonant system of Catalan is rather conservative, shared with most modern Western Romance languages. Notable features:
      • Most occurrences of /l/ are heavily velarized
        Velarization
        Velarization is a secondary articulation of consonants by which the back of the tongue is raised toward the velum during the articulation of the consonant.In the International Phonetic Alphabet, velarization is transcribed by one of three diacritics:...

        : ɫ (feature shared with European Portuguese
        European Portuguese
        European Portuguese refers to the variety of Portuguese spoken in continental Portugal, as well as the Azores and Madeira islands...

        ).
      • Voiced obstruents are devoiced word-finally (feature shared with Occitan).
      • Voiced plosives /b d g/ are lenited
        Lenition
        In linguistics, lenition is a kind of sound change that alters consonants, making them "weaker" in some way. The word lenition itself means "softening" or "weakening" . Lenition can happen both synchronically and diachronically...

         [{{IPAlink after a continuant. Exceptions include /d/ after lateral consonants and /b/ after /f/ (feature shared with Ibero-Romance languages, such as Spanish, Galician or European Portuguese).
      • Phonetic work done by Daniel Recasens shows the postalveolar sibilants /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ to be alveolo-palatal
        Alveolo-palatal consonant
        In phonetics, alveolo-palatal consonants are palatalized postalveolar sounds, usually fricatives and affricates, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate...

         (palatalized postalveolars): ɕ, ʑ, tɕ and dʑ, respectively (however, since ⟨ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ⟩ are overwhelmingly used in the linguistic literature on Catalan and Valencian, those characters are also used at Wikipedia).
      • In standard Catalan, original /dʒ/ remains as /tʃ/ word-finally, and elsewhere splits lexically into /ʒ/ and /dʒ/ (cf. French and Portuguese, where /dʒ/ never occurred word-finally and with uniform reduction to /ʒ/ elsewhere). In standard Valencian instead, the presence of /dʒ/ for /ʒ/ reflects the historical change /ʒ/ > /dʒ/ and the failure for /dʒ/ to become /ʒ/ (feature shared with Occitan and standard Italian).
      • Unlike elsewhere, no native /tʃ/ ever arose in the medieval period. Current /tʃ/ are largely due to late strengthening of /ʃ/ in certain Catalan dialects (and in words borrowed from them into standard Catalan), or in foreign borrowings.
      • Unlike most other Western Romance languages, Catalan has phonemic geminate consonants
        Gemination
        In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

        . These are restricted to nasals, laterals and the voiced plosives /b/ and /g/.

      Phonological evolution


      {{Main|Latin-to-Catalan sound changes}}
      Catalan is one of the Western Romance languages
      Western Romance languages
      The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:* The Pyrenean–Mozarabic group consists of two languages in two separate branches:**Aragonese**Mozarabic...

      , which forms a dialect chain running across Iberia from Portuguese
      Portuguese language
      Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

       through Astur-Leonese, Spanish
      Spanish language
      Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

       and Aragonese
      Aragonese language
      Aragonese is a Romance language now spoken in a number of local varieties by between 10,000 and 30,000 people over the valleys of the Aragón River, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in Aragon, Spain...

      . From there, the chain runs across the Pyrenees
      Pyrenees
      The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

       to various Occitan dialects: either northwest to Gascon
      Gascon language
      Gascon is usually considered as a dialect of Occitan, even though some specialists regularly consider it a separate language. Gascon is mostly spoken in Gascony and Béarn in southwestern France and in the Aran Valley of Spain...

       and Limousin, or north to Languedocien
      Languedocien
      Languedocien or Lengadocian is an Occitan dialect spoken by some people in the part of southern France known as Languedoc, Rouergue, Quercy, Agenais and Southern Périgord....

      ; then from Languedocien, either north to Auvergnat and eventually French, northeast to Franco-Provençal and the Rhaeto-Romance languages
      Rhaeto-Romance languages
      Rhaeto-Romance languages are a Romance language sub-family which includes multiple languages spoken in north and north-eastern Italy, and Switzerland...

      , or east through Provençal and across to Ligurian
      Ligurian language
      The Ligurian language was spoken in pre-Roman times and into the Roman era by an ancient people of north-western Italy and south-eastern France known as the Ligures...

       and the other Gallo-Italian languages.

      As a result, Catalan shares many of the basic features of the Western Romance languages, and more specifically evinces linguistic features similar to those of its closest neighbors (Occitan, Aragonese, Sardinian, Spanish and Italian). Catalan is most closely related to Occitan, only diverging from it towards the end of the first millennium AD. Since then, the Ibero-Romance languages have exerted a large conservatizing force over Catalan, preventing it from taking part in many later Occitan changes.

      The following sections list:
      1. The most important features grouping Catalan with the Western Romance languages against the Italo-Romance languages.
      2. The main features shared with Occitan, usually considered the closest relative to Catalan.
      3. Features not shared with Occitan, but shared with one or more Ibero-Romance language (often due to preservation where Occitan later innovated).
      4. Features unique to Catalan.

      Common features with Western Romance


      Common features with Western Romance languages, but not Italo-Romance:
      • Palatalization of all {{lcons|coronal}} and {{lcons|velar}} consonants followed by yod /j/ (Latin -{{sm|e}}-, -{{sm|i}}-, -{{sm|ae}}-, -{{sm|oe}}- or -{{sm|y}}-): {{sm|caelvm}} 'sky, heaven' → Old Catalan cel /ˈtsɛl/ → modern /ˈsɛl/ (cf. Italian cielo /ˈtʃɛlo/).
      • Voicing and lenition of intervocalic obstruent
        Obstruent
        An obstruent is a consonant sound formed by obstructing airflow, causing increased air pressure in the vocal tract, such as [k], [d͡ʒ] and [f]. In phonetics, articulation may be divided into two large classes: obstruents and sonorants....

        s -{{sm|p}}-, {{sm|t}}- and -{{sm|k}}-: {{sm|capra}} 'goat' → cabra, {{sm|catēna}} 'chain' → cadena, {{sm|secūris}} 'safe' → segur (cf. Italian capra, catena, sicuro).
      • Degemination of stop consonant
        Stop consonant
        In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...

        s: {{sm|bvcca}} 'mouth' → boca, {{sm|qvattvordecim}} 'fourteen' → catorze (cf. Italian bocca, quattordici).
      • Development of {{sm|c}} in -{{sm|ct}}-, -{{sm|cs}}- into palatal /j/ (vs. /tː/, /sː/ and /ʃː/ in Italian).
      • Apico-alveolar pronunciation of /s/ and /z/, except for Valencian where they may be either apico-alveolar or lamino-alveolar (such minimal distinction was once common to all Western Romance languages, but has since disappeared from most).

      Common features with Occitan


      Common features with Occitan, but not French and Spanish:
      • Development of late final /v/ into /w/: {{sm|nāvis}} 'ship' → nau (cf. French nef, Spanish non-final nave).
      • Loss of word-final (originally intervocalic) {{sm|-n}}: {{sm|pānis}} 'bread' → pa, {{sm|vīnvm}} 'wine' → vi (cf. French pain, vin; Spanish pan, vino; some Occitan dialects –e.g. Provençal– also keep the {{sm|-n}}).

      Common features with Southern Occitan but not Northern Occitan:
      • Reduction of consonant cluster -{{sm|nd}}- to -n-: {{sm|mandāre}} 'to send' → manar, {{sm|vnda}} 'wave' → ona (cf. Gascon and Southern Languedocien manar, ona; standard Occitan mandar, onda).
      • Merger of Proto-Western-Romance /ð/ (from intervocalic -{{sm|d}}-) and /dz/ (from intervocalic -{{sm|ti}}-, -{{sm|c(e)}}-, -{{sm|c(i)}}-). The result was originally /z/ or /dz/, still preserved in Occitan and partly in Old Catalan, but in modern Catalan now developed to /w/ (in word-final position) or lost (in intervocalic position). See unique features of Catalan further below.
      • Old intervocalic /dʒ/ (Latin -{{sm|dvc}}-, -{{sm|di(cv)}}-, -{{sm|ti(cv)}}- and -{{sm|nicv}}-) remains as modern /ʒ ~ dʒ/ (Catalan and Gascon) or /dʒ/ (Valencian and Occitan):
        • /dʒ/: {{sm|medicvs}} 'doctor' → metge, {{sm|silvaticvs}} 'wild' → salvatge (cf. Occitan mètge, salvatge; Provençal sauvatge).
        • /ʒ/: {{sm|invidia}} 'envy' → enveja, {{sm|diēs dominica}} 'Sunday' → diumenge (cf. Occitan enveja, dimenge; but diménegue in Provençal. In Valencian and most Occitan dialects merged with /dʒ/).
      In final position, /dʒ/ became voiceless /tʃ/ in Catalan and Valencian, while in modern Occitan it was vocalized (to /i̯/ and /u̯/) in most cases: {{sm|radivs}} 'ray' → raig, {{sm|faciō}} 'I do' → faig, {{sm|podivm}} 'balcony' → puig 'hill' (cf. Occitan rai, fau; but puèg or puòg). Note that in some nonstandard Catalan dialects (i.e. Pallarese, Ribagorçan and Northern Catalan) old /dʒ/ was also vocalized (to /i̯/) in the coda: {{sm|podivm}} 'ray' → raig /ˈratʃ/ → [ˈraj] (cf. Occitan rai, Portuguese raio Spanish rayo).

      Common features with Occitan and French, but not Spanish and Portuguese:
      • Loss of final unstressed vowels except -{{sm|a}}, and devoicing of newly final obstruents: {{sm|mūrvm}} 'wall' → mur, {{sm|capvt}} 'head' → cap, {{sm|frīgidvs}} 'cold' → fred /ˈfɾɛd/ or /ˈfɾed/ → [ˈfɾɛt] or [ˈfɾet] (cf. Spanish muro, cabeza, frío; Portuguese muro, cabeça, frio).
      • Conditioned diphthongization of Latin stressed -{{sm|e}}- and -{{sm|o}}- (short ⟨ĕ⟩ /ɛ/ and ⟨ŏ⟩ /ɔ/) before palatal consonants: {{sm|coxa}} 'hip' → cuixa 'thigh', {{sm|octō}} 'eight' → vuit/huit, but {{sm|factvm}} 'done' → *feitfet (cf. Spanish cojo 'lame', ocho, hecho; Portuguese coxa –earlier coixa, but oito, feito).
      • Epenthesis of /ə/ (Eastern Catalan) or /e/ (Western Catalan) in syllable-final position after clusters: {{sm|templvm}} 'temple' → temple, {{sm|qvattvor}} 'four' → quatre (cf. Spanish templo, cuatro; Portuguese templo, quatro).
      • Preservation of initial {{sm|pl}}-, {{sm|cl}}-, {{sm|fl}}-: {{sm|plicāre}} 'fold' → aplegar 'to reach', {{sm|clāvis}} 'key' → clau, {{sm|flamma}} 'flame' → flama (cf. Spanish llegar, llave, llama; Portuguese chegar, chave, chama).


      Common features with Occitan, French, Galician and Portuguese, but not Spanish:
      • Initial Vulgar Latin /j/ and palatalized /d/, /g/ → */dʒ/ → /ʒ/ (standard Catalan) or /dʒ/ (standard Valencian), rather than Spanish /j/, and preserved in all cases, rather than lost in unstressed syllables: {{sm|gelvm}} 'ice' → gel, {{sm|iectāre}} 'to throw' → gitar 'to throw (out/up), lay down' (cf. Spanish hielo, echar).
      • Initial /f/ remains as such, whereas in Spanish it became /h/ then silent before a vowel (i.e. unless preceding /ɾ/, /l/, /w/, /j/): {{sm|filivs}} 'son' → fill; {{sm|fāmes}} 'hunger' → fam (cf. Spanish hijo, hambre; Gascon actually develops /f/ into /h/ in all circumstances, even before consonants or semivowels).
      • Western Romance /ʎ/ (from Latin -{{sm|cvl}}-, -{{sm|tvl}}-, -{{sm|le}}- and -{{sm|li}}-) remains rather than becoming Old Spanish */(d)ʒ/ (modern /x/): {{sm|mvlier}} 'wife' → muller, {{sm|avricvla}} 'ear' → orella, {{sm|vetvlvs}} 'old' → {{sic|hide=y|vell}} (cf. Spanish mujer, oreja, viejo).
      • Development of -{{sm|ct}}- to /jt/ (then into /t/ in most cases), rather than further development to /tʃ/ (many Occitan dialects, in fact, also have /tʃ/): {{sm|lac(te)}} 'milk' → *lleitllet, {{sm|lvcta}} 'fight' → lluita (cf. Spanish leche, lucha; Gascon lèit, luta; standard Occitan lach, lucha).


      Common features with Occitan, French and Portuguese, but not Spanish and Galician:
      • Medieval voiced sibilants remain as such (e.g. casa /ˈkazə/ or /ˈkaza/ 'house'), whereas in Spanish and Galician they merge into voiceless sibilants (cf. Spanish and Galician casa /ˈkasa/).


      Common features with Occitan, Galician and Portuguese, but not French and Spanish:
      • Preservation (non-diphthongization) of Vulgar Latin stressed -{{sm|e}}- and -{{sm|o}}- (short ⟨ĕ⟩ /ɛ/ and ⟨ŏ⟩ /ɔ/): {{sm|mel}} 'honey' → mel, {{sm|fortis}} 'strong' → fort (cf. Spanish miel, fuerte; French miel, but fort).

      Features not common with Occitan


      Common with Spanish:
      • Development of -{{sm|av}}- to /ɔ/ (/o/ in Spanish) and -{{sm|ai}}- to /e/: {{sm|cavla}} 'cabbage' → col, {{sm|lāicvs}} 'laity' → llec –also laic– (cf. Spanish col, lego –also laico–, Occitan caulet, laic).
      • Reduction of consonant cluster -{{sm|mb}}- to -m-: {{sm|camba}} 'leg' → cama, {{sm|plvmbvs}} 'lead' (metal) → plom, {{sm|colvmbvs}} 'dove' → colom (cf. Spanish cama 'bed', lomo, paloma; Portuguese cama 'bed', but lombo, pombo. In standard Occitan /mb/ is kept in intervocalic position: camba /ˈkambɔ/, while it is reduced to /n/ word-finally: colomb /kuˈlun/, plomb /ˈplun/. In Southern Occitan dialects, such as Gascon or Southern Languedocien, intervocalic /mb/ is simplified to /m/ as in Catalan or Spanish).
      • Palatalization of intervocalic -{{sm|ll}}- and -{{sm|nn}}- to -ll- /ʎ/ and -ny- /ɲ/: {{sm|caballvs}} 'horse' → cavall, {{sm|annvs}} 'year' → any (cf. Spanish caballo, año; Portuguese cavalo, ano; Occitan caval, annada). In a few cases, /l/ appears as a result of early simplification of -{{sm|ll}}- after a long vowel: {{sm|vīlla}} 'town' → vila, {{sm|st(r)ēlla}} 'star' → Western Catalan estrela, Eastern estrella –also estel– (cf. Spanish villa, estrella; Portuguese vila, estrela; Occitan vila, estela).


      Common with Astur-Leonese, but not Portuguese or Spanish:
      • Palatalization of initial {{sm|l}}-: {{sm|lūna}} 'moon' → lluna, {{sm|lvpvs}} 'wolf' → llop (cf. Asturian lluna, llobu; Occitan luna, lop).


      Common with Astur-Leonese, Galician, Portuguese and Spanish, but not French
      • Preservation of Western Romance long {{sm|ū}} /uː/ and short {{sm|u}} /ʊ/ as /u/ and /o/, rather than Gallo-Romance /u/ and /y/: {{sm|lūna}} 'moon' → lluna /ˈʎunə/~/ˈʎuna/, {{sm|dvplvm}} 'double' → doble /ˈdobːlə/~/ˈdoble/ (cf. Spanish luna /ˈluna/, doble /ˈdoble/; Portuguese lua /ˈluɐ/, dobro –also duplo– /ˈdobɾu/; Occitan luna /ˈlynɔ/, doble /ˈduble/).


      Common with Astur-Leonese, Galician, Portuguese and Italian, but not Spanish or French:
      • Palatalization of -{{sm|sc}}- and -{{sm|ss}}- (before yod) and -{{sm|x}}- to /(i̯)ʃ/: {{sm|piscis}} 'fish' → peix, {{sm|laxare}} 'to loosen' (later 'to let') → deixar (cf. Astur-Leonese pexe, dexar; Portuguese peixe, deixar; Gascon peish, deishar; standard Occitan peis, daissar/laissar). Especially visible in verbs of the third conjugation (-{{sm|īre}}) that took what was originally an inchoative infix
        Inchoative verb
        An inchoative verb, sometimes called an "inceptive" verb, shows a process of beginning or becoming. Productive inchoative infixes exist in several languages, including Latin and Ancient Greek, and consequently some Romance languages. Not all verbs with inchoative infixes have retained their...

         (-{{sm|ēsc}}-/-{{sm|īsc}}-): Vulgar Latin {{sm|patēscit}} (Classical Latin {{sm|patitvr}}) 'suffers' (present tense, 3rd person singular indicative) → pateix/patix (cf. Italian patisce, Occitan patís).

      Unique features not found elsewhere

      • Unusual development of early /(d)z/, resulting from merger of Proto-Western-Romance /ð/ (from intervocalic -{{sm|d}}-) and /dz/ (from intervocalic -{{sm|ti}}-, -{{sm|c(e)}}-, -{{sm|c(i)}}-). In early Old Catalan, became /w/ finally or before a consonant, remained as /(d)z/ between vowels. In later Old Catalan, /(d)z/ lost between vowels in most cases:
        • {{sm|pēs, pēdis}} 'foot' → *petzpeu
        • {{sm|crvx, crvcis}} 'cross' → *crotz → (*crou) → creu and {{sm|crēdit}} 'he believes' → *creu(ell) creu
        • Verbs in second-person plural ending in -{{sm|tis}}: {{sm|mirātis}} 'you (pl.) look' → *miratzmiraumireu/mirau
        • {{sm|ratiō}} 'reason' → *razóraó
        • {{sm|vīcīnvs}} 'neighbor' → *vezíveí
        • {{sm|recipere}} 'to receive' → *rezebrerebre

      • Nevertheless, /dz/ has been retained in intervocalic position in some exceptional cases (Latin -{{sm|dec}}- followed by yod, rare instances of Latin intervocalic -{{sm|c(e)}}-, -{{sm|c(i)}}-, in Arabic loanwords and in Graeco-Latin learned words):

      } 'twelve' → dotze
      } 'thirteen' → tretze
      } 'horn' → botzina
      } 'medicine' → metzina (Old Catalan) → medicina or medecina 'medicine' vs. metzines 'toxic substances'
      } 'sixteen' → setze
      } trans. horizōn 'horizon' → {{sm|horīzon}} → horitzó
      } trans. zahr 'dice' → atzar 'chance, hazard'
        • Suffix -{{lang|el|ιζειν}} trans. -izein '-ize or -ise' → -{{sm|izāre}} → -itzar (e.g. realitzar 'realize/realise')
      • Partial reversal of Proto-Western-Romance /e/ and /ɛ/, according to the following stages:
        • (1) Stressed /e/ → /ǝ/ in most circumstances
        • (2) Stressed /ɛ/ → /e/ in most circumstances
        • (3) Stressed /ǝ/ maintained as such (in Balearic Catalan); /ǝ/ → /ɛ/ (in Central Catalan); /ǝ/ → /e/ (in Western Catalan)

      • Secondary development of doubled resonant consonants (/mː/, /nː/, /lː/ and /ʎː/): {{sm|septimāna}} 'week' → setmana /səmˈmanə/, {{sm|cvtina}} from {{sm|cvtis}} 'skin' → cotna /ˈkonːə/ 'pork rind', atleta /əlˈlɛtə/, {{sm|modvlvm}} 'mold' → motlle /ˈmɔʎːə/ 'mold, a spring' (however, /ʎː/ does not occur in Valencian and Balearic Catalan: motle /ˈmɔlːe/~/ˈmɔːlə/).

      Grammar


      {{Main|Catalan grammar}}
      The first descriptive and normative grammar book of modern Catalan was written by Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra
      Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

       in 1918. In 1995, a new grammar by Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit
      Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit
      Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit is a Catalan linguist and philologist who has done studies on grammar and history of Catalan language. He graduated in philology or romance langues at the Universitat de Barcelona in 1943, where he was professor of history of Spanish language and Catalan language. He...

       was published, which also documents the Valencian and Balearic varieties.

      The grammar of Catalan follows the general pattern of Western Romance languages. The primary word order
      Word order
      In linguistics, word order typology refers to the study of the order of the syntactic constituents of a language, and how different languages can employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic subdomains are also of interest...

       is SVO (subject–verb–object).

      Substantives and adjectives are not declined by case, as in Classical Latin. There are two grammatical gender
      Grammatical gender
      Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

      s—masculine and feminine.

      Grammatical article
      Article (grammar)
      An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are the and a/an, and some...

      s developed from Latin demonstrative
      Demonstrative
      In linguistics, demonstratives are deictic words that indicate which entities a speaker refers to and distinguishes those entities from others...

      s. The form of the article depends on the gender and the number of the subject and the first sounds of the word and can be combined with prepositions that precede them. A unique feature of Catalan is a definite article that may precede personal names in certain contexts. Its basic form is en and it can change according to its environment: en Joan meaning 'John', na Maria meaning 'Mary' (note clitic
      Clitic
      In morphology and syntax, a clitic is a morpheme that is grammatically independent, but phonologically dependent on another word or phrase. It is pronounced like an affix, but works at the phrase level...

       en has also other lexical meanings). One of the common usages of this article is in the word can, a combination of la casa shortened to ca ('house', as French chez) and en, which here means 'the'. For example la casa d'en Sergi becomes can Sergi meaning 'the house of Sergi', 'Sergi's house'. Note here, other definite articles (el, la, els, les) can also be used with personal names like in Portuguese, as la Maria ('Mary', Portuguese a Maria).

      Verbs are conjugated according to tense and mood similarly to other Western Romance languages—present and simple preterite are based on classical Latin, future is formed from infinitive followed by the present form of the auxiliary verb haver (written together and not considered periphrastic), and periphrastic tenses are formed from the conjugated auxiliary verbs haver ('to have') and ésser ('to be') followed by the past participle. A unique tense in Catalan is the "periphrastic simple preterite," which is formed of vaig, vas (or vares), va, vam (or vàrem), vau (or vàreu) and van (there is the usual wrong idea these forms are the conjugated forms of anar, which means 'to go'), which is followed by the infinitive of the verb. Thus, jo vaig parlar (or more simply vaig parlar) means 'I spoke'.

      Nominative pronouns are often omitted, as the subject can be usually derived from the conjugated verb. The Catalan rules for combination of the object pronoun clitic
      Clitic
      In morphology and syntax, a clitic is a morpheme that is grammatically independent, but phonologically dependent on another word or phrase. It is pronounced like an affix, but works at the phrase level...

      s with verbs, articles and other pronouns are significantly more complex than in most other Romance languages; see Weak pronouns in Catalan
      Weak pronouns in Catalan
      This article discusses the forms and functions of the personal pronouns in Catalan grammar.-Strong pronouns:The "strong" pronouns in Catalan have the following forms:...

      .

      Morphology

      • The definite article
        Article (grammar)
        An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are the and a/an, and some...

        s el, la, els, les derive from Latin demonstratives {{sm|ille}}, {{sm|illa}}. The older forms lo (m.
        Grammatical gender
        Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

         s.
        Grammatical number
        In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

        ) and los (m.
        Grammatical gender
        Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

         pl.
        Grammatical number
        In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

        ) are still common nowadays in some western dialects and in Algherese. Several varieties of the Catalan language (Balearic Islands
        Balearic Islands
        The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

        , Costa Brava
        Costa Brava
        The Costa Brava is a coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, Spain, in the comarques of Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and Selva, in the province of Girona. Costa is the Catalan and Spanish word for 'coast', and Brava means 'rugged' or 'wild'...

        , and Tàrbena
        Tàrbena
        Tàrbena is a municipality in the comarca of Marina Baixa, Alicante, Valencia, Spain....

        ) have maintained an article called salat (< Latin {{sm|ipse}}, {{sm|ipsa}} → es, sa), probably formed before the variants of {{sm|ille}} developed. Singular articles are elided before vowel-initial words, in speech and writing: el + home > l'home 'the man', la + hora > l'hora 'the time'.
      • Possessive adjectives are formed with the definite article (el meu gos 'my dog') like in Italian (il mio cane), Portuguese (o meu cão) and in many Occitan dialects (Languedocien and Pyrenean Gascon). Weak forms of possessive adjectives (mon, ma, mos, mes, etc.) are fossilized for certain usages, as close familiar relatives or in order to express a high degree of affection (for instance: mon pare 'my dad', ma mare 'my mum'; in Valencian ma casa 'my home', ma vida 'my life'). Also note the postposition of the possessive to express particular nuances, e.g. casa meva ('my home', literally 'a house of mine') as different from la meva casa ('my house').
      • Plurals are formed in a number of ways:
        • -a becomes -es (e.g. casa 'house' > cases).
        • Most consonant- and vowel-final words (except -a) add -s: noi 'boy' > nois, detall 'detail' > detalls
        • Words ending in sibilants (-s, -ç, -x, -ig) form plurals with -os: gos 'dog' > gossos, peix 'fish' > peixos. Some plural words with -ig may alternate forming plural by adding -os or a silent -s: raig 'ray' > rajos/raigs.
        • Words ending in sibilant clusters (-sc, -st, -xt) may form plurals by adding -os or -s: bosc 'forest' > boscos/boscs, aquest 'this' > aquestos/aquests.
        • Words ending in a stressed vowel often take -ns: pi 'pine' > pins, cinturó 'belt' > cinturons (but esquí 'ski' > esquís, tabú 'taboo' > tabús). In Western Catalan dialects, some particular words ending in unstressed vowels may also form plural by adding -ns: home 'man' > hòmens (from Latin {{sm|homo}} > {{sm|homines}}).
      • Partitive: While Catalan patterns with Ibero-Romance in the lack of a partitive article (e.g. vull pa 'I want some bread', cf. Spanish quiero pan but French je veux du pain), it does have a partitive pronoun, like in Gallo-Romance languages: jo en tinc tres 'I have three of them' (Spanish tengo tres but French j'en ai trois).
      • The construction used to express punctual/perfective aspect
        Grammatical aspect
        In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb is a grammatical category that defines the temporal flow in a given action, event, or state, from the point of view of the speaker...

         in the past tense is one of the most distinctive features of Catalan. It is a periphrasis formed with a special conjugation of anar ('to go'), that comes from the Latin verb {{sm|vadere}}, plus the infinitive form of the main verb. For example: jo vaig dir ('I said'). This construction has almost completely replaced the historical simple past form (jo diguí), which corresponds to the Spanish preterit or French passé simple.

      Catalan names


      {{main|Catalan names}}

      Catalan naming customs are similar to those of Spain and Portugal; people take two surnames–their father's and their mother's–which are separated by the particle i, meaning 'and' (in Spanish the equivalent particle is written y, but often omitted altogether).

      For example, the full name of the architect Antoni Gaudí
      Antoni Gaudí
      Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

       is Antoni Gaudí i Cornet after his parents: Francesc Gaudí i Serra and Antònia Cornet i Bertran, meaning he was son of Gaudí and Cornet.

      Examples


      section
      English Catalan / Valencian IPA pronunciation (Catalan) IPA pronunciation (Valencian)
      Catalan / Valencian català / valencià kətəˈɫa valensiˈa
      English anglès / anglés əŋˈgɫɛs aŋˈgles
      Hello! hola! ˈɔɫə ˈɔla
      Yes ˈsi ˈsi
      No no ˈno ˈno
      Good morning! bon dia! ˈbɔn ˈdi.ə ˈbɔn ˈdi.a
      Good afternoon! bona tarda! / bona vesprada! ˈbɔnə ˈtarðə ˈbɔna vesˈpɾaː
      Good evening! bon vespre!, bon capvespre! (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

      )
      bona tarda! / bona vesprada! (coll.)
      ˈbɔm ˈbespɾə
      ˈbɔnə ˈtarðə
      ˈbɔm ˈvespɾe
      ˈbɔna vesˈpɾaː
      Good night! bona nit! ˈbɔnə ˈnit ˈbɔna ˈnit
      Goodbye! adéu!, adéu-siau!
      déu! (coll.)
      əˈðew
      əˈðew siˈaw
      aˈðew
      aˈðew siˈaw
      See you (later/soon) a reveure, fins després, fins aviat / fins prompte ə rəˈβɛwɾə
      finz ðəsˈpɾes
      finz əβiˈat
      finz ðesˈpɾes
      fins ˈpɾonte
      Please/if you please si us plau, per favor sis ˈpɫaw
      pər fəˈβo
      peɾ faˈvoɾ
      Thank you gràcies, mercès
      merci (coll.)
      ˈgɾasiəs
      mərˈsɛs
      ˈmɛrsi
      ˈgɾasies
      You are welcome de res də ˈrɛs de ˈres
      I am sorry perdó, em sap greu, ho sento / ho sent pərˈðo
      əm ˈsab ˈgɾew
      u ˈsentu
      peɾˈðo
      u ˈseŋk
      Who? qui? ˈki ˈki
      What? què? ˈkɛ ˈke
      When? quan?
      |ˈkwan
      ˈkwan
      Where? on? ˈon ˈon
      Why? per què? pər ˈkɛ peɾ ˈke
      Which? quin(a)? ˈkin(ə) ˈkin(a)
      How? com? ˈkɔm ˈkɔm
      How much? quant? ˈkwan ˈkwant
      What is your name? com et dius/diuen? (inf.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with tu)
      com es diu? (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vostè / vosté)
      com us / vos dieu/diuen? (inf.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vosaltres)
      com es diuen? (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vostès / vostès)
      ˈkɔm əd ˈdiws
      ˈkɔm əz ˈðiw
      ˈkɔm uz ðiˈɛw
      ˈkɔm əz ˈðiwən
      ˈkɔm ed ˈdiws
      ˈkɔm ez ˈðiw
      ˈkɔm voz ðiˈɛw
      ˈkɔm ez ˈðiwen
      Because perquè pərˈkɛ peɾˈke
      Because of a causa de ə ˈkawzə ðə a ˈkawza ðe
      I do not understand (it) no ho entenc ˈno w ənˈteŋ ˈno w anˈteŋk
      I agree estic d’acord əsˈtig dəˈkɔrt esˈtig daˈkɔɾt
      Generic toast salut! səˈɫut saˈlut
      Bless you! (after sneezing) Jesús!, salut! ʒəˈzus
      səˈɫut
      dʒeˈzus
      saˈlut
      Where are the toilets? on és el bany?, on és el lavabo?, on és el servei / servici? ˈon ˈez əɫ ˈβaɲ
      ˈon ˈez əɫ ɫəˈβaβu
      ˈon ˈez əɫ sərˈβɛj
      ˈon ˈez eɫ ˈβaɲ
      ˈon ˈez eɫ laˈvaβo
      ˈon ˈez eɫ seɾˈvisi
      Do you speak Catalan/Valencian? que parles català / valencià? (inf.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with tu)
      que parla català / valencià? (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vostè / vosté)
      que parleu català / valencià? (inf.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vosaltres)
      que parlen català / valencià? (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

       with vostès / vostés)
      kə ˈparɫəs kətəˈɫa
      kə ˈparɫə kətəˈɫa
      kə pərˈɫɛw kətəˈɫa
      kə ˈparɫəŋ kətəˈɫa
      ke ˈpaɾlez valensiˈa
      ke ˈpaɾla valensiˈa
      ke paɾˈlɛw valensiˈa
      ke ˈpaɾlem valensiˈa
      I do not speak Catalan/Valencian no parlo català / no parle valencià ˈno ˈparɫu kətəˈɫa ˈno ˈpaɾle valensiˈa
      Yes, I speak Catalan/Valencian sí, parlo català ˈsi ˈparɫu kətəˈɫa ˈsi ˈpaɾle valensiˈa
      How are you (doing)? com va (això)?, com anem?, com estàs (inf.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

      ) / està (frm.
      Register (sociolinguistics)
      In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...

      )?, què hi ha?
      ˈkɔm ˈba (əˈʃɔ)
      ˈkɔm əˈnɛm
      ˈkɔm əsˈta(s)
      ˈkɛ ˈja
      ˈkɔm ˈva (ajˈʃɔ)
      ˈkɔm aˈnɛm
      ˈkɔm esˈta(s)
      ˈke ˈja
      I am fine, thanks (molt) bé, gràcies ˈmoɫ ˈbe ˈgɾasiəs ˈmoɫd ˈbe ˈgɾasies

      English words of Catalan origin


      • Aubergine
        Aubergine
        The eggplant, aubergine, melongene, brinjal or guinea squash is a plant of the family Solanaceae and genus Solanum. It bears a fruit of the same name, commonly used in cooking...

        , from Catalan albergínia or albergina through French.
      • Barracks
        Barracks
        Barracks are specialised buildings for permanent military accommodation; the word may apply to separate housing blocks or to complete complexes. Their main object is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training and esprit de corps. They were sometimes called...

        , from Old Catalan barraca ('hut') through French baraque. Another term barracoon
        Barracoon
        A barracoon is a type of barracks used historically for the temporary confinement of slaves or criminals.In the African slave trade, captured individuals were temporarily transported to and held at barracoons along the western coast of the continent, where they awaited transportation across the...

        , from Catalan barraca ('hut') through Spanish barracón.
      • Surge, from Middle French
        Middle French
        Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from 1340 to 1611. It is a period of transition during which:...

        , which took it from Old Catalan surgir.
      • Paella
        Paella
        Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish...

        , Valencian Catalan, via Old French
        Old French
        Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

         paele, ultimately from Latin patella (small dish).

      See also


      {{Portal box|Catalan-speaking countries|Spain|France|Italy|Language}}
      {{InterWiki|code=ca}}
      • Catalan orthography
        Catalan orthography
        Like those of many other Romance languages, the Catalan alphabet derives from the Latin alphabet and is largely based on the language’s phonology. The Catalan alphabet consists of the twenty-six letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet:...

      • Catalan phonology
      • Catalan conjugation
        Catalan conjugation
        This article discusses the conjugation of verbs in a number of varieties of the Catalan language, including Medieval Catalan. Each verbal form is accompanied by its phonetic transcription...

      • Catalan literature
        Catalan literature
        Catalan literature is the name conventionally used to refer to literature written in the Catalan language. The Catalan literary tradition is extensive, starting in the Middle Ages....

      • Institut d'Estudis Catalans
        Institut d'Estudis Catalans
        The Institut d'Estudis Catalans , also known by the acronym IEC, is an academic institution which seeks to undertake research and study into "all elements of Catalan culture"....

         (Catalan Studies Institute)
      • Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
        Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
        The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua , also known by the acronym AVL, is an institution created on September 16, 1998 by the Valencian Parliament, which belongs to the set of official institutions that compose the Generalitat Valenciana, according to the Act of Autonomy of the Valencian...

         (Valencian Academy of the Language)
      • Pompeu Fabra
        Pompeu Fabra
        Pompeu Fabra i Poch was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language....

      • Normes de Castelló
        Normes de Castelló
        Normes de Castelló , also known as Normes del 32, are elementary orthographic guidelines which follow Pompeu Fabra's Catalan language norms for its Valencian variety...

      • Alguerese
        Alguerese
        Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero , in the northwest of Sardinia....

      • Central Catalan
        Central Catalan
        Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

      • Northern Catalan
        Northern Catalan
        Northern Catalan is a Catalan dialect mostly spoken in Northern Catalonia, but also extending in the northeast part of Southern Catalonia in a transition zone with Central Catalan....

      • Balearic
      • Valencian
        Valencian
        Valencian is the traditional and official name of the Catalan language in the Valencian Community. There are dialectical differences from standard Catalan, and under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua has been established as its regulator...

      • Languages of France
      • Languages of Italy
      • Languages of Spain
        Languages of Spain
        The languages of Spain are the languages spoken or once spoken in Spain. Romance languages are the most widely spoken in Spain, of which Spanish is the country's official language...

      • Names of Catalan language
        Names of Catalan language
        The first names, or glossonyms, of the Catalan language formed in a dialectal relation with Latin, in which Catalan existed as a variety. These names already expressed the relationship between the two languages...

      • Òmnium Cultural
        Òmnium Cultural
        Òmnium Cultural is a cultural association based in Barcelona . It was originally created to promote the Catalan language and spread Catalan culture....

      • Plataforma per la Llengua
        Plataforma per la Llengua
        La Plataforma per la Llengua is a civil organization supported by various intellectuals and public figures of the Catalan society and brings together a range of entities and individuals with the common goal of working for the linguistic normalization of the Catalan language...

      • Spanish (Spain) keyboard layout (used to type Catalan)
      • .cat
        .cat
        .cat is a sponsored top-level domain intended to be used to highlight the Catalan language and culture. Its policy has been developed by ICANN and Fundació puntCAT...

         (the first top-level domain
        Top-level domain
        A top-level domain is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. The top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the name space. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the last label of a...

         based on the Catalan language and culture)

      External links



      Institutions

      About the Catalan language

      Monolingual dictionaries

      Bilingual and multilingual dictionaries

      Automated translation systems
      • Traductor automated, online translations of text and web pages (Catalan < > English, French and Spanish)
      • SisHiTra automated, online translations of text and web pages (Catalan < > Spanish)
      • apertium.org Apertium
        Apertium
        Apertium is a rule-based machine translation platform. It is free software and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.-History:...

         (free software
        Free software
        Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients can also do...

        ) translates text, documents or web pages, online or offline, between Catalan and Aranese, English, Esperanto
        Esperanto
        is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

        , French, Occitan, Portuguese and Spanish
      • translate.google.com online translations catalan <> English & several languages


      Phrasebooks

      Learning resources

      Catalan-language online encyclopedia

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      {{Catalan dialects}}
      }}
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      |title=Geopolitical use
      |list =
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