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Provençal language

Provençal language

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Provençal is a 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,...

 of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in 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...

, mostly in Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

. In the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

-speaking world, "Provençal" is often used to refer to all dialects of Occitan, but it actually refers specifically to the dialect spoken in Provence.

"Provençal" (with "Limousin"
Limousin language
Limousin is a dialect of the Occitan language, spoken in the three departments of Limousin, parts of Charente and the Dordogne in the southwest of France.The first Occitan documents are in this dialect, particularly the Boecis, written around the year 1000....

) is also the customary name given to the older version of the langue d'oc used by the troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

s of medieval literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, corresponding to 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...

 or the langue d'oïl of the northern areas of France.

In 2007, the ISO 639-3
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-3:2007, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages, is an international standard for language codes in the ISO 639 series. The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages. It extends the ISO 639-2...

 code changed from prv to oci, as prv was merged into oci.

Sub-dialects


The main sub-dialects of Provençal are:
  • Rodanenc (in French Rhodanien) around the lower Rhone
    Rhône
    Rhone can refer to:* Rhone, one of the major rivers of Europe, running through Switzerland and France* Rhône Glacier, the source of the Rhone River and one of the primary contributors to Lake Geneva in the far eastern end of the canton of Valais in Switzerland...

     river, Arles
    Arles
    Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence....

    , Avignon
    Avignon
    Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

    , Nîmes
    Nîmes
    Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

    .
    • A Rodanenc subvariety, the Shuadit
      Shuadit language
      Shuadit, also spelled Chouhadite, Chouhadit, Chouadite, Chouadit, and Shuhadit is the extinct Jewish language of southern France, also known as Judaeo-Provençal, Judéo-Comtadin, Hébraïco-Comtadin...

      (or Judeo-Provençal), has been considered extinct since 1977. It was spoken by the Jewish community around Avignon
      Avignon
      Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

      . When Jews were granted freedom of residence in France the dialect declined.
  • Maritim or Centrau or Mediterranèu (Maritime or Central or Mediterranean) around Aix-en-Provence
    Aix-en-Provence
    Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

    , Marseilles, Toulon
    Toulon
    Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

    , Cannes
    Cannes
    Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

    , Antibes
    Antibes
    Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

    , Grasse
    Grasse
    -See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

    , Forcalquier
    Forcalquier
    Forcalquier is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France.Forcalquier is located between the Lure and Luberon mountain ranges, about south of Sisteron and west of the Durance river...

    , Castellane
    Castellane
    Castellane is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France.-Population:-References:*...

    , Draguignan
    Draguignan
    Draguignan is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and self-proclaimed "capital of Artillery" and "Porte du Verdon".The city is only from St...

    .
  • Niçard
    Niçard
    Niçard , Nissart/Niçart , Niçois , or Nizzardo is considered a distinct subdialect of the Occitan language spoken in the city of Nice and in the historical County of Nice Niçard (Classical orthography), Nissart/Niçart (Mistralian orthography), Niçois (French, IPA: ), or Nizzardo (Italian, IPA: )...

    in the lower County of Nice
    County of Nice
    The County of Nice or Niçard Country is a historical region of France, located in the south-eastern part, around the city of Nice.-History:Its territory lies between the Mediterranean Sea , Var River and the southernmost crest of the...

    .


Gavòt
Vivaro-Alpine
Vivaro-Alpine or Vivaroalpenc, Vivaroaupenc is the northeastern dialect of the Occitan language. It belongs to the Northern Occitan dialectal group. Vivaro-Alpine is spoken in Southern France and North-Western Italy, and in the remote Guardia Piemontese, Calabria, where it is known as gardiol...

(in French Gavot), spoken in the Western Occitan Alps, around Digne, Sisteron
Sisteron
Sisteron is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Sisteron is situated on the banks of the River Durance just after the confluence of the rivers Buëch and Sasse...

, Gap
Gap, Hautes-Alpes
Gap is a commune in southeastern France, the capital of the Hautes-Alpes department.-Geography:An Alpine crossroads at the intersection of D994 and Route nationale 85 the Route Napoléon, Gap lies above sea level along the right bank of the Luye River...

, Barcelonnette
Barcelonnette
Barcelonnette is a commune in the Ubaye Valley, in the southern French Alps, in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, of which it is a subprefecture.-History:...

 and the upper County of Nice
County of Nice
The County of Nice or Niçard Country is a historical region of France, located in the south-eastern part, around the city of Nice.-History:Its territory lies between the Mediterranean Sea , Var River and the southernmost crest of the...

, but also in a part of the Ardèche
Ardèche
Ardèche is a department in south-central France named after the Ardèche River.- History :The area has been inhabited by humans at least since the Upper Paleolithic, as attested by the famous cave paintings at Chauvet Pont d'Arc. The plateau of the Ardeche River has extensive standing stones ,...

, is not exactly a subdialect of Provençal, but rather an occitan dialect of its own, also known as Vivaro-Alpine
Vivaro-Alpine
Vivaro-Alpine or Vivaroalpenc, Vivaroaupenc is the northeastern dialect of the Occitan language. It belongs to the Northern Occitan dialectal group. Vivaro-Alpine is spoken in Southern France and North-Western Italy, and in the remote Guardia Piemontese, Calabria, where it is known as gardiol...

. So is the dialect spoken in the upper valleys of Piedmont
Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

, 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...

 (Val Maira, Val Varacha, Val d'Estura, Entraigas, Limon, Vinai, Pignerol, Sestriera). Some people view Gavòt as a variety of Provençal since a part of the Gavot area (near Digne and Sisteron) belongs to historical Provence.

Grammar


Written in mistralian norm ("normo mistralenco") the definite articles are masculine lou, feminine la, and plural li (lis before vowels). Nouns and adjectives, the Latin masculine endings have mostly dropped, but -e remains, while the feminine ending is -o. Nouns do not inflect for number, but all adjectives ending in vowels (-e or -o) become -i, and all plural adjectives take -s before vowels: lo bon ami "the good friend" (masc.), la bono amigo "the good friend" (fem.), li bons ami "the good friends" (masc.), li bonis amigo "the good friends" (fem.).

Written in classical norm ("norma classica") the definite articles are masculine lo, feminine la, and plural lis. Nouns and adjectives, the Latin masculine endings have mostly dropped, but -e remains, while the feminine ending is -a. Nouns do inflect for number, all adjectives ending in vowels (-e or -a) become -i, and all plural adjectives take -s: lo bon amic "the good friend" (masc.), la bona amiga "the good friend" (fem.), lis bons amics "the good friends" (masc.), lis bonis amigas "the good friends" (fem.).

The prononciation always remains the same, the two norms (mistralian and classical) are only two different ways to write the same language.

Literature


Modern Provençal literature
Provençal literature
Occitan literature — still sometimes called Provençal literature — is a body of texts written in Occitan in what is nowadays the South of France. It originated in the poetry of the 11th- and 12th-century troubadours, and inspired the rise of vernacular literature throughout medieval...

 was given impetus by Nobel laureate Frédéric Mistral
Frédéric Mistral
Frédéric Mistral was a French writer and lexicographer of the Occitan language. Mistral won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1904 and was a founding member of Félibrige and a member of l'Académie de Marseille...

 and the association Félibrige
Félibrige
The Félibrige is a literary and cultural association founded by Frédéric Mistral and other Provençal writers to defend and promote Occitan language and literature...

 he founded with other writers, such as Théodore Aubanel
Théodore Aubanel
Théodore Aubanel was a Provençal poet. He was born in Avignon in a family of painters.Aubanel started writing poetry in French but quickly switched to Provençal, due to the influence of Joseph Roumanille....

. The beginning of the 20th Century saw other authors like Joseph d'Arbaud
Joseph d'Arbaud
-Biography:Born in Meyrargues, he was schooled by Jesuits in Avignon, then studied law in Aix.After spending a few years with young writers from Aix-en-Provence, he left for Camargue and became a bull-herder.In 1918 he became a chief figure in Félibrige....

 and Valère Bernard. It has been enhanced and modernized since the second half of the 20th Century by writers such as Robèrt Lafont
Robèrt Lafont
Robèrt Lafont was an Occitan intellectual from Provence. He was a linguist, an author, an historian, an expert in literature and a political theoretician. His name in French reads Robert Lafont....

, Pierre Pessemesse, Claude Barsotti, Max-Philippe Delavouët, Philippe Gardy, Florian Vernet, Danielle Julien, Jòrgi Gròs, Sèrgi Bec, Bernat Giély, and many others.

External links