HOME

TheInfoList




Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a
Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of the Italic languages in the Indo-European languages, Indo- ...

Romance language
(or branch of numerous of these) spoken in
Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Répub ...
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
's
Occitan Valleys The Occitan Valleys ( oc, Valadas Occitanas, it, Valli Occitane, french: Vallées Occitanes) are the part of Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region in southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregi ...
, and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
's
Val d'Aran Aran (; ; ) (previously officially called in Occitan Val d'Aran, Catalan: ''Vall d'Aran'', Spanish: ''Valle de Arán'') is an administrative entity (formerly considered a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrati ...

Val d'Aran
; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as
Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελ ...

Occitania
. It is also spoken in Southern Italy (
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
) in a linguistic enclave of
Cosenza Cosenza ( , ; : ''Cusenza'', ) is a city in , . The has a population of approximately 70,000; the counts over 200,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the , which has a population of over 700,000. The demonym of Cosenza in English is Cosentian. ...

Cosenza
area (mostly
Guardia Piemontese Guardia Piemontese (Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin lang ...
). Some include
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
in Occitan, as the
distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or eve ...
between this language and some Occitan dialects (such as the
Gascon language Gascon (; , ) is the name of the vernacular Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a ...
) is similar to the distance among different Occitan dialects. Catalan was considered a dialect of Occitan until the end of the 19th century and still today remains its closest relative. Occitan is an official language of
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
, where a subdialect of Gascon known as Aranese is spoken in the
Val d'Aran Aran (; ; ) (previously officially called in Occitan Val d'Aran, Catalan: ''Vall d'Aran'', Spanish: ''Valle de Arán'') is an administrative entity (formerly considered a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrati ...

Val d'Aran
. Since September 2010, the
Parliament of Catalonia The Parliament of Catalonia ( ca, Parlament de Catalunya, ; es, Parlamento de Cataluña; oc, Parlament de Catalonha) is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislat ...
has considered Aranese Occitan to be the officially preferred language for use in the Val d'Aran. Across history, the terms
Limousin Limousin (; oc, Lemosin ) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-pr ...
(''Lemosin''), Languedocien (''Lengadocian''), Gascon, and later Provençal (''Provençal'', ''Provençau'' or ''Prouvençau'') have been used as synonyms for the whole of Occitan; nowadays, "Provençal" is understood mainly as the Occitan dialect spoken in
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, R ...

Provence
, in southeast France. Unlike other Romance languages such as French or
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
, there is no single written standard language called "Occitan", and Occitan has no official status in France, home to most of Occitania. Instead, there are competing norms for writing Occitan, some of which attempt to be pan-dialectal, whereas others are based on particular dialects. These efforts are hindered by the rapidly declining use of Occitan as a spoken language in much of southern France, as well as by the significant differences in phonology and vocabulary among different Occitan dialects. According to the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
Red Book of Endangered Languages The ''Red Book of Endangered Languages'' was published by UNESCO and collected a comprehensive list of the world's endangered languages. It has been replaced by the UNESCO ''Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger''. History In 1992 the Internat ...
, four of the six major dialects of Occitan (Provençal,
Auvergnat Auvergnat or Occitan auvergnat (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...

Auvergnat
, Limousin and Languedocien) are considered severely endangered, whereas the remaining two ( Gascon and
Vivaro-Alpine Vivaro-Alpine ( oc, vivaroalpenc, vivaroaupenc) is a variety of Occitan language, Occitan spoken in southeastern France (namely, around the Dauphiné area) and northwestern Italy (the Occitan Valleys of Piedmont and Liguria). There is also a smal ...
) are considered definitely endangered.


Name


History of the modern term

The name Occitan comes from the term ("language of "), being the Occitan word for ''yes.'' While the term would have been in use orally for some time after the decline of Latin, as far as historical records show, the Italian medieval poet
Dante Dante Alighieri (), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to Mononymous person, simply as Dante (, also ; – 1321), was an Italian poetry, Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origina ...

Dante
was the first to have recorded the term in writing. In his , he wrote in Latin, ("for some say , others , yet others say "), thereby highlighting three major
Romance literary languages
Romance literary languages
that were well known in Italy, based on each language's word for "yes", the '' language'' (Occitan), the '' language'' (French), and the '' language'' (Italian). This was not, of course, the only defining characteristic of each group. The word came from
Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, ...
("this"), while originated from Latin ("this
s
s
it").
Old Catalan Old Catalan is the modern denomination for Romance languages, Romance varieties that during the Middle Ages were spoken in territories that spanned roughly the territories of the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Balearic Isl ...
, and now the Catalan of Northern Catalonia also have (). Other Romance languages derive their word for "yes" from the Latin , "thus
t is T, or t, is the twentieth letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as ...
t was done etc.", such as Spanish ,
Eastern Lombard Eastern Lombard is a group of closely related dialects of Lombard language, Lombard, a Gallo-Italic languages, Gallo-Italic language spoken in Lombardy, mainly in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Mantua, in the area around Crema, Italy, Crema ...
, Italian , or Portuguese . In Modern Catalan, as in modern Spanish, is usually used as a response, although the language retains the word , akin to , which is sometimes used at the end of
yes–no question In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
s, and also in higher register as a positive response. French uses to answer "yes" in response to questions that are asked in the negative sense: e.g., ("You have no brothers?" "But yes, I have seven."). The name "Occitan" was attested around 1300 as , a crossing of and (
Aquitania Gallia Aquitania ( , ), also known as Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France ...

Aquitania
n).


Other names for Occitan

For many centuries, the Occitan dialects (together with
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
) were referred to as ''Limousin'' or ''Provençal'', after the names of two regions lying within the modern Occitan-speaking area. After
Frédéric Mistral Frederic Mistral (; oc, Josèp Estève Frederic Mistral, 8 September 1830 – 25 March 1914) was a French writer of Occitan literature and lexicographer of the Provençal form of the language. Mistral received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Litera ...

Frédéric Mistral
's
Félibrige , Joseph Roumanille, Théodore Aubanel, Jean Brunet, Paul Giéra, Anselme Mathieu, Alphonse Tavan The ''Félibrige'' (; in classical Occitan language, Occitan, in Mistralian norm, Mistralian spelling, ) is a literary and cultural association ...
movement in the 19th century, Provençal achieved the greatest literary recognition and so became the most popular term for Occitan. According to
Joseph Anglade Joseph Anglade (1868–1930) was a France, French philologist. He specialized in Romance languages, particularly Occitan, and studied the lyrics of the troubadours. He was instrumental in formalizing the term ''Occitan'' for the language of Provenc ...
, a
philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and writing, written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially strong ties to etymology). Philology is more commonly d ...
and specialist of
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
literature who helped impose the then
archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found or used currently: *List of archaeological periods **Archaic Sumerian language, spoken between 31st - 26th centu ...
term ''Occitan'' as the sole correct name, the word ''Lemosin'' was first used to designate the language at the beginning of the 13th century by
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...

Catalan
troubadour A troubadour (, ; oc, trobador ) was a composer and performer of Old Occitan Old Occitan ( Modern Occitan: ', ca, occità antic), also called Old Provençal, was the earliest form of the Occitano-Romance languages The Occitano-Romance or G ...

troubadour
Raimon Vidal de Besalú(n) in his :
The French language is worthier and better suited for romances and
pastourelle The pastourelle (; also ''pastorelle'', ''pastorella'', or ''pastorita'' is a typically Old French lyric poetry, lyric form concerning the romance of a shepherdess. In most of the early pastourelles, the poet knight meets a shepherdess who bests ...
s; but that (language) from
Limousin Limousin (; oc, Lemosin ) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-pr ...
is of greater value for writing poems and cançons and sirventés; and across the whole of the lands where our tongue is spoken, the literature in the Limousin language has more authority than any other dialect, wherefore I shall use this name in priority.
As for the word ''Provençal'', it should not be taken as strictly meaning the language of
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, R ...

Provence
, but of
Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελ ...

Occitania
as a whole, for "in the eleventh, the twelfth, and sometimes also the thirteenth centuries, one would understand under the name of Provence the whole territory of the old Provincia romana Gallia Narbonensis and even
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=n ...
". The term first came into fashion in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
. Currently,
linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...
s use the terms "Provençal" and "Limousin" strictly to refer to specific varieties within Occitania, keeping the name "Occitan" for the language as a whole. Many non-specialists, however, continue to refer to the language as Provençal, causing some confusion.


History

{{further, Old Occitan, Occitan literature One of the oldest written fragments of the language found dates back to 960, in an official text that was mixed with Latin:
{{lang, la, italic=no, De ista hora in antea non DECEBRÀ Ermengaus filius Eldiarda Froterio episcopo filio Girberga NE Raimundo filio Bernardo vicecomite de castello de Cornone ... {{lang, pro, cat=no, italic=no, NO·L LI TOLRÀ NO·L LI DEVEDARÀ NI NO L'EN DECEBRÀ ... nec societatem non {{lang, pro, cat=no, italic=no, AURÀ, si per castellum recuperare {{lang, pro, cat=no, italic=no, NON O FA, et si recuperare potuerit in potestate Froterio et Raimundo {{lang, pro, cat=no, italic=no, LO TORNARÀ, per ipsas horas quæ Froterius et Raimundus {{lang, pro, cat=no, L'EN COMONRÀ.
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...

Carolingian
litanies Litany, in Christian worship and some forms of Judaic worship, is a form of prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devo ...

litanies
(c. 780), both written and sung in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
, were answered to in Old Occitan by the audience ({{lang, pro, Ora pro nos; {{lang, pro, Tu lo juva). Other famous pieces include the ''
Boecis The ''Boecis'' (original name: ''Lo poema de Boecis'', , ; "The poem of Boethius Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius (; also Boetius ; 477 – 524 AD), was a Roman Roman Senate, senator, Roman consul, consul, ''magis ...
'', a 258-line-long poem written entirely in the Limousin dialect of Occitan between the year 1000 and 1030 and inspired by
Boethius Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius (; also Boetius ; 477 – 524 AD), was a Roman Roman Senate, senator, Roman consul, consul, ''magister officiorum'', and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a ye ...

Boethius
's ''
The Consolation of Philosophy ''The Consolation of Philosophy'' ( la, De consolatione philosophiae) is a philosophy, philosophical work by the Roman statesman Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in th ...
''; the Waldensian {{lang, pro, La nobla leyczon (dated 1100), {{lang, pro,
Cançó de Santa Fe
Cançó de Santa Fe
(c. 1054–1076), the '' Romance of Flamenca'' (13th century), the '' Song of the Albigensian Crusade'' (1213–1219?), {{lang, pro, Daurel e Betó (12th or 13th century), {{lang, pro, Las, qu'i non-sun sparvir, astur (11th century) and {{lang, pro, Tomida femina (9th or 10th century). Occitan was the vehicle for the influential
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
of the medieval
troubadours A troubadour (, ; oc, trobador ) was a composer and performer of Old Occitan Old Occitan ( Modern Occitan: ', ca, occità antic), also called Old Provençal, was the earliest form of the Occitano-Romance languages The Occitano-Romance or ...

troubadours
({{lang, pro, trobadors) and {{lang, pro,
trobairitz The ''trobairitz'' () were Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin language ...
: At that time, the language was understood and celebrated throughout most of educated Europe. It was the maternal language of the English queen
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine ( – 1 April 1204) (french: Aliénor d'Aquitaine, ) was Queen of France Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank and title to a ki ...

Eleanor of Aquitaine
and kings
Richard I of England Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from abo ...

Richard I of England
(who wrote troubadour poetry) and
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...

John
, respectively. With the gradual imposition of French royal power over its territory, Occitan declined in status from the 14th century on. The
Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts (french: Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts) is an extensive piece of reform legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation ...
(1539) decreed that the {{lang, fr,
langue d'oïl Langue is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordin ...
(French – though at the time referring to the
Francien language Francien is a 19th-century term in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging ...
and not the larger collection of dialects grouped under the name {{lang, oc, italic=no,
langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics ...
) should be used for all French administration. Occitan's greatest decline occurred during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
, in which diversity of language was considered a threat. In 1903, the four Gospels, {{lang, oc, italic= no, "Lis Evangèli" i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were translated into the form of Provençal spoken in Cannes and Grasse. This was given the official Roman Catholic Imprimatur by vicar general A. Estellon.{{citation needed, date=November 2018 The literary renaissance of the late 19th century (in which the 1904
Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literature , presenter = Swedish Academy The Swedish Academy ( sv, Svenska Akademien), founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Roya ...
winner, Frédéric Mistral, among others, were involved in) was attenuated by
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, when Occitan speakers spent extended periods of time alongside French-speaking comrades.


Origins

Because the geographical territory in which Occitan is spoken is surrounded by regions in which other
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of w ...

Romance languages
are used, external influences may have influenced its origin and development. Many factors favored its development as its own language. * Mountains and seas: The range of Occitan is naturally bounded by the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
,
Atlantic
Atlantic
,
Massif Central The Massif Central (; oc, Massís Central, ; literally ''"Central Massif"'') is a highland Highlands or uplands are any mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant e ...

Massif Central
,
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
, and
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
, respectively. * Buffer zones:
arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in d ...

arid
land,
marsh A marsh is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently (for years or decades) or seasonally (for weeks or months). Flooding results in oxygen-free (Anoxic waters, anoxic) processes prevail ...

marsh
es, and areas otherwise impractical for farming and resistant of colonization provide further separation (territory between
Loire The Loire (, also ; ; oc, Léger, ; la, Liger) is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of , it drains , more than a fifth of France's land while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône ...

Loire
and
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan language , Occitan, Catalan language , Catalan, Basque language, Basque, and es, Garona, ; la, Garumna or ) is a river of southwest France and northern Spain. It flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the ...

Garonne
, the
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in acc ...

Aragon
desert plateau). * Constant populations: Some Occitan-speaking peoples are descended from people living in the region since prehistoric times.{{sfn, Bec, 1963 * Negligible
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
influence{{sfn, Bec, 1963 * Ancient and long-term Roman influence:
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
once said that the people of
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais Poitevin-Saintongeais (french: poitevin-saintongeais, link=no, ; autonym: ''poetevin-séntunjhaes''; also called ''Parlanjhe'', ''Aguiain'' or even ''Aguiainais'' in Fren ...

Aquitaine
could teach the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
to speak better Latin. According to Müller, "France's linguistic separation began with Roman influence"{{sfn, Bec, 1963, pp=20–21 * A separate
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, pra ...

lexicon
: Although Occitan is midway between the
Gallo-Romance The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a rang ...

Gallo-Romance
and
Iberian Romance languages The Iberian Romance or Ibero-Romance is an areal grouping of Romance languages The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known ...
, it has "around 550 words inherited from Latin that do not exist in the {{lang, fr, italic=no,
langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics ...
or in
Franco-Provençal Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal, Patois, Gaga, Savoyard, Arpitan or Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland and northwestern Italy. Franco ...
"{{sfn, Bec, 1963, pp=20–21 * Negligible Germanization: "The
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman author ...
lexicon and its phonetic influence often end above the {{lang, oc, oc/{{lang, fr, oïl line"{{sfn, Bec, 1963, pp=20–21


Occitan in the Iberian Peninsula

Catalan in Spain's northern and central Mediterranean coastal regions and the
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea contai ...

Balearic Islands
is closely related to Occitan, sharing many linguistic features and a common origin (see
Occitano-Romance languages The Occitano-Romance or Gallo-Narbonnese ( ca, llengües occitanoromàniques, oc, lengas occitanoromanicas, an, lenguas/llenguas occitanorománicas), or rarely East Iberian, is a branch of the Romance language group that encompasses the Catala ...
). The language was one of the first to gain prestige as a medium for literature among Romance languages in the Middle Ages. Indeed, in the 12th and 13th centuries, Catalan troubadours such as Guerau de Cabrera, Guilhem de Bergadan, Guilhem de Cabestany, Huguet de Mataplana, Raimon Vidal de Besalú, Cerverí de Girona, Formit de Perpinhan, and Jofre de Foixà wrote in Occitan. At the end of the 11th century, the ''Franks'', as they were called at the time, started to penetrate the Iberian Peninsula through the Way of St. James, Ways of St. James via Somport and Roncesvalles, settling on various locations of the Kingdoms of Kingdom of Navarre, Navarre and Kingdom of Aragon, Aragon, enticed by the privileges granted them by the List of Navarrese monarchs, Navarrese kings. They established themselves in ethnic boroughs where Occitan was used for everyday life, e.g. Pamplona, Sangüesa, Estella-Lizarra, etc. The language in turn became the status language chosen by the Navarrese kings, nobility, and upper classes for official and trade purposes in the period stretching from the early 13th century to late 14th century. These boroughs in Navarre may have been close-knit communities with little intermingling, in a context where the natural milieu was predominantly Basque language, Basque-speaking. The variant chosen for written administrative records was a ''koiné language, koiné'' based on the Languedocien dialect from Toulouse with fairly archaic linguistic features. Evidence of a written account in Occitan from Pamplona centered on the Death by burning, burning of borough San Nicolas from 1258 survives today, while the ''History of the War of Navarre'' by Guilhem Anelier (1276) albeit written in Pamplona shows a linguistic variant from History of Toulouse#13th to 14th century, Toulouse. Things turned out slightly otherwise in Aragon, where the sociolinguistic situation was different, with a clearer Basque-Romance bilingual situation (cf. Basques from the {{lang, ca, italic=no, Val d'Aran cited c. 1000), but a receding Basque language (Basque banned in the marketplace of Huesca, 1349). While the language was chosen as a medium of prestige in records and official statements along with Latin in the early 13th century, Occitan faced competition from the rising local Romance vernacular, the Navarro-Aragonese, both orally and in writing, especially after Aragon's territorial conquests south to Zaragoza, Huesca and Tudela, Navarre, Tudela between 1118 and 1134. It resulted that a second Occitan immigration of this period was assimilated by the similar Navarro-Aragonese, Navarro-Aragonese language, which at the same time was fostered and chosen by the kings of Kingdom of Aragon, Aragon. The language fell into decay in the 14th century across the whole southern Pyrenean area and became largely absorbed into Navarro-Aragonese first and Castilian Spanish, Castilian later in the 15th century, after their exclusive boroughs broke up (1423, Pamplona#Three boroughs and one city, Pamplona's boroughs unified). Gascon-speaking communities were called in for trading purposes by Navarrese kings in the early 12th century to the coastal fringe extending from San Sebastián, San Sebastian to the river Bidasoa, where they settled down. The language variant used was different from the ones used in Navarre, i.e. a Béarnese dialect of Gascon,{{Cite journal , last1 = Cierbide Martinena , first1 = Ricardo , title = Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra , journal = Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología , issue = 20 , page = 248 , publisher = València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat , year = 1996 , url = http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2274080 , issn = 0214-8188 , lang=es with Gascon being in use far longer than in Navarre and Aragon until the 19th century, thanks mainly to the close ties held by Donostia and Pasaia with Bayonne.


Geographic distribution


Usage in France

Though it was still an everyday language for most of the rural population of southern France well into the 20th century, it is now spoken by about 100,000 people in France according to 2012 estimates. According to the 1999 census, there were 610,000 native speakers (almost all of whom were also native French speakers) and perhaps another million people with some exposure to the language. Following the pattern of language shift, most of this remainder is to be found among the eldest populations. Occitan activists (called ''Occitanists'') have attempted, in particular with the advent of Occitan-language preschools (the ''Calandretas''), to reintroduce the language to the young. {{Citation needed, date=October 2020 Nonetheless, the number of proficient speakers of Occitan is thought to be dropping precipitously. A tourist in the cities in southern France is unlikely to hear a single Occitan word spoken on the street (or, for that matter, in a home), and is likely to only find the occasional vestige, such as street signs (and, of those, most will have French equivalents more prominently displayed), to remind them of the traditional language of the area. {{Citation needed, date=October 2020 Occitan speakers, as a result of generations of systematic suppression and humiliation (see Vergonha), seldom use the language in the presence of strangers, whether they are from abroad or from outside Occitania (in this case, often merely and abusively referred to as ''Parisiens'' or ''Nordistes'', which means ''northerners''). Occitan is still spoken by many elderly people in rural areas, but they generally switch to French when dealing with outsiders. {{Citation needed, date=October 2020 Occitan's decline is somewhat less pronounced in Béarn because of the province's history (a late addition to the Kingdom of France), though even there the language is little spoken outside the homes of the rural elderly. The village of Artix, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Artix is notable for having elected to post street signs in the local language. {{Citation needed, date=October 2020


Usage outside France

* In the Val d'Aran, in the northwest corner of Catalonia, Spain, Aranese (a variety of Gascon) is spoken. It is an official language of Catalonia together with Catalan and Spanish. * In Italy, Occitan is also spoken in the
Occitan Valleys The Occitan Valleys ( oc, Valadas Occitanas, it, Valli Occitane, french: Vallées Occitanes) are the part of Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region in southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregi ...
(
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
) in Piedmont and Liguria. An Occitan-speaking enclave also has existed at
Guardia Piemontese Guardia Piemontese (Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin lang ...
(
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
) since the 14th century. Italy adopted in 1999 a ''Linguistic Minorities Protection Law'', or "Law 482", which includes Occitan; however, Italian language, Italian is the dominant language. The Piedmontese language is extremely close to Occitan. * In
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
, some Occitan speakers coexist with remaining native speakers of Monégasque dialect, Monégasque (Ligurian (Romance language), Ligurian). French is the dominant language. * Scattered Occitan-speaking communities have existed in different countries: ** There were Occitan-speaking colonies in Württemberg (Germany) since the 18th century, as a consequence of the Camisard war. The last Occitan speakers were heard in the 1930s. ** In the Spanish Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque country, Gascon was spoken in San Sebastián, perhaps as late as the early 20th century. ** In the Americas, Occitan speakers exist: *** in the United States, in Valdese, North Carolina *** in Canada, in Quebec where there are Occitan associations such as ''Association Occitane du Québec'' and ''Association des Occitans''. *** Pigüé, Pigüé, Argentina – Community settled by 165 Occitans from the Rodez-Aveyron area of Cantal in the late 19th century. *** Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico – A sparse number of Occitan settlers are known to have settled in that state in the 19th century.


Traditionally Occitan-speaking areas

*
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais Poitevin-Saintongeais (french: poitevin-saintongeais, link=no, ; autonym: ''poetevin-séntunjhaes''; also called ''Parlanjhe'', ''Aguiain'' or even ''Aguiainais'' in Fren ...

Aquitaine
– excluding the Basque-speaking part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the western part of the department and a small part of Gironde where the ''langue d'oïl'' Saintongeais dialect is spoken. * Midi-Pyrénées – including one of France's largest cities, Toulouse. There are a few street signs in Toulouse in Occitan, and since late 2009 the Toulouse Metro announcements are bilingual French-Occitan, but otherwise the language is almost never heard spoken on the street. * Languedoc-Roussillon (from "Lenga d'òc") – including the areas around the medieval city of Carcassonne, excluding the large part of the Pyrénées-Orientales where Catalan is spoken (Fenolheda is the only Occitan-speaking area of the Pyrénées-Orientales). * Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur – except for the Roya and Bévéra valleys, where there is a transitional dialect between Ligurian and Occitan, (''Roiasc'', including the Brigasc dialect of Ligurian). In the Departments of France, department of Alpes-Maritimes there were once isolated towns that spoke Ligurian (Romance language), Ligurian, but those varieties are now extinct. The Mentonasc dialect of Ligurian, spoken in Menton, is a Ligurian transition dialect with a strong Occitan influence. French is the Dominat Language of the Alpes-Maritimes and French Riviera areas. * In
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
, Occitan, imported by immigrants coexisted in the 19th and 20th centuries with the Monégasque dialect of Ligurian. French language, French is the dominant language. * Poitou-Charentes – Use of Occitan has declined here in the few parts it used to be spoken, replaced by French. Only Charente Limousine, the eastern part of the region, has resisted. The natural and historical languages of most of the region are the ''langues d'oïl'' Poitevin dialect, Poitevin and Saintongeais. * Limousin – A rural region (about 710,000 inhabitants) where Limousin is still spoken among the oldest residents. French is the dominant language. * Auvergne (region), Auvergne – The language's use has declined in some urban areas. French is the dominant language. The department of Allier is divided between a southern, Occitan-speaking area and a northern, French-speaking area. * Centre-Val de Loire – Some villages in the extreme South speak Occitan. * Rhône-Alpes – While the south of the region is clearly Occitan-speaking, the central and northern Lyonnais, Forez and Dauphiné parts belong to the Franco-Provençal language area. French is the dominant language. *
Occitan Valleys The Occitan Valleys ( oc, Valadas Occitanas, it, Valli Occitane, french: Vallées Occitanes) are the part of Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region in southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregi ...
(Piedmont) – Italian region where Occitan is spoken only in the southern and central Alpine valleys. *
Val d'Aran Aran (; ; ) (previously officially called in Occitan Val d'Aran, Catalan: ''Vall d'Aran'', Spanish: ''Valle de Arán'') is an administrative entity (formerly considered a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrati ...

Val d'Aran
– part of Catalonia that speaks a mountain dialect of Gascon.


Number of speakers

The area where Occitan was historically dominant has approximately 16 million inhabitants. Recent research has shown it may be spoken as a first language by approximately 789,000 people in France,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
. In Monaco, Occitan coexists with monégasque language, Monégasque Ligurian (Romance language), Ligurian, which is the other native language. Some researchers state that up to seven million people in France understand the language, whereas twelve to fourteen million fully spoke it in 1921. In Demographics of France#Historical population of metropolitan France, 1860, Occitan speakers represented more than 39% of the whole French population (52% for francophones proper); they were still 26% to 36% in the 1920s and fewer than 7% in 1993.


Dialects

Occitan is fundamentally defined by its dialects, rather than being a unitary language. That point is very conflictual in Southern France, as many people do not recognize Occitan as a real language and think that the next defined "dialects" are languages. Like other languages that fundamentally exist at a spoken, rather than written, level (e.g. the Rhaeto-Romance languages,
Franco-Provençal Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal, Patois, Gaga, Savoyard, Arpitan or Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland and northwestern Italy. Franco ...
, Astur-Leonese languages, Astur-Leonese, and Aragonese language, Aragonese), every settlement technically has its own dialect, with the whole of Occitania forming a classic dialect continuum that changes gradually along any path from one side to the other. Nonetheless, specialists commonly divide Occitan into six main dialects: * Gascon: includes the Béarnese dialect, Béarnese and Aranese (spoken in Spain). * Languedocien (''lengadocian'') *
Limousin Limousin (; oc, Lemosin ) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-pr ...
(''lemosin'') *
Auvergnat Auvergnat or Occitan auvergnat (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...

Auvergnat
(''auvernhat'') * Provençal (''provençau'' or ''prouvençau''), including the Niçois, Niçard subdialect. ** Shuadit language * Vivaro-Alpine (''vivaroaupenc''), also known as "Alpine" or "Alpine Provençal", and sometimes considered a subdialect of Provençal The northern and easternmost dialects have more morphological and phonetic features in common with the Gallo-Italic languages, Gallo-Italic and Oïl languages (e.g. nasal vowels; loss of final consonants; initial ''cha/ja-'' instead of ''ca/ga-''; uvular R, uvular {{angbr, r; the front-rounded sound {{IPA, /ø/ instead of a diphthong, {{IPA, /w/ instead of {{IPA, /l/ before a consonant), whereas the southernmost dialects have more features in common with the Ibero-Romance languages (e.g. betacism; voiced fricatives between vowels in place of voiced stops; -''ch''- in place of -''it''-), and Gascon has a number of unusual features not seen in other dialects (e.g. {{IPA, /h/ in place of {{IPA, /f/; loss of {{IPA, /n/ between vowels; intervocalic ''-r-'' and final ''-t/ch'' in place of medieval -{{sm, ll-). There are also significant lexical differences, where some dialects have words cognate with French, and others have Catalan and Spanish cognates. Nonetheless, there is a significant amount of mutual intelligibility. {, class=wikitable , + Occitan words and their French, Catalan and Spanish Cognates , - ! scope="col" rowspan=2 , English !! scope="col" colspan=2 , Cognate of French !! scope="col" colspan=3 , Cognate of Catalan and Spanish , - ! scope="col" , Occitan !! scope="col" , French !! scope="col" , Occitan !! scope="col" , Catalan !! scope="col" , Spanish , - , house , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, maison , , {{lang, fr, maison , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, casa , , {{lang, ca, casa , , {{lang, es, casa , - , head , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, testa , , {{lang, fr, tête , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, cap , , {{lang, ca, cap , , {{lang, es, cabeza , - , to buy , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, achaptar , , {{lang, fr, acheter , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, crompar , , {{lang, ca, comprar , , {{lang, es, comprar , - , to hear , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, entendre , , {{lang, fr, entendre , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, ausir / {{lang, oc-gascon, audir , , ''escoltar'', , {{lang, es, oír , - , to be quiet , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, se taire , , {{lang, fr, taire , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, calar , , {{lang, ca, callar , , {{lang, es, callar , - , to fall , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, tombar , , {{lang, fr, tomber , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, caire , , {{lang, ca, caure , , {{lang, es, caer , - , more , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, pus , , {{lang, fr, plus , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, mai , , {{lang, ca, més , , {{lang, es, más , - , always , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, totjorn , , {{lang, fr, toujours , , style{{="background: Gainsboro" , {{lang, oc, sempre , , {{lang, ca, sempre , , {{lang, es, siempre Gascon is the most divergent, and descriptions of the main features of Occitan often consider Gascon separately. Max Wheeler notes that "probably only its copresence within the French cultural sphere has kept [Gascon] from being regarded as a separate language", and compares it to Franco-Provençal, which is considered a separate language from Occitan but is "probably not more divergent from Occitan overall than Gascon is".{{citation, contribution=Occitan, first=Max, last=Wheeler, title=The Romance Languages, editor1-first=Martin, editor1-last=Harris, editor2-first=Nigel, editor2-last=Vincent, year=1988, publisher=Oxford University Press, place=New York, pages=246–278 There is no general agreement about larger groupings of these dialects. Max Wheeler divides the dialects into two groups: * Southwestern (Gascon and Languedocien), more conservative * Northeastern (Limousin, Auvergnat, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine), more innovative Pèire Bèc, Pierre Bec divides the dialects into three groups:{{sfn, Bec, 1973 * Gascon, standing alone * Southern Occitan (Languedocien and Provençal) * Northern Occitan (Limousin, Auvergnat, Vivaro-Alpine) Bec also notes that some linguists prefer a "supradialectal" classification that groups Occitan with
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
as a part of a wider Occitano-Romanic group. One such classification posits three groups: * "Arverno-Mediterranean" (''arvèrnomediterranèu''), same as Wheeler's northeastern group, i.e. Limousin, Auvergnat, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine * "Central Occitan" (''occitan centrau''), Languedocien, excepting the Southern Languedocien subdialect * "Aquitano-Pyrenean" (''aquitanopirenenc''), Southern Languedocien, Gascon and Catalan According to this view, Catalan is an ausbau language that became independent from Occitan during the 13th century, but originates from the Aquitano-Pyrenean group. Domergue Sumien proposes a slightly different supradialectal grouping.Domergue Sumien (2006), ''La standardisation pluricentrique de l'occitan: nouvel enjeu sociolinguistique, développement du lexique et de la morphologie'', Publications de l'Association Internationale d'Études Occitanes, Turnhout: Brepols * Arverno-Mediterranean (''arvèrnomediterranèu''), same as in Bec and Wheeler, divided further: ** Niçard-Alpine (''niçardoaupenc''), Vivaro-Alpine along with the Niçard subdialect of Provençal ** Trans-Occitan (''transoccitan''), the remainder of Provençal along with Limousin and Auvergnat * Pre-Iberian (''preïberic'') ** Central Occitan (''occitan centrau''), same as in Bec ** Aquitano-Pyrenean (''aquitanopirenenc''), same as in Bec


IETF dialect tags

*{{code, pro: Old Occitan (until the 14th century). *{{code, sdt: Judeo-Occitan Several IETF language tag, IETF language variant tags have been registered: * {{code, oc-aranese: Aranese. * {{code, oc-auvern: Auvergnat. * {{code, oc-cisaup: Cisalpine, northwestern Italy. * {{code, oc-creiss: Croissant * {{code, oc-gascon: Gascon. * {{code, oc-lemosin: Leimousin. * {{code, oc-lengadoc: Languedocien. * {{code, oc-nicard: Niçard. * {{code, oc-provenc: Provençal. * {{code, oc-vivaraup: Vivaro-Alpine.


Codification


Standardization

All regional varieties of the Occitan language have a written form; thus, Occitan can be considered as a pluricentric language. Standard Occitan, also called ''occitan larg'' (i.e., 'wide Occitan') is a synthesis that respects and admits soft regional adaptations (which are based on the convergence of previous regional Koiné language, koinés). The standardization process began with the publication of ''Gramatica occitana segon los parlars lengadocians'' ("Grammar of the Languedocien Dialect") by Louis Alibert (1935), followed by the ''Dictionnaire occitan-français selon les parlers languedociens'' ("French-Occitan dictionary according to Languedocien") by the same author (1966), completed during the 1970s with the works of Pierre Bec (Gascon), Robèrt Lafont (Provençal), and others. However, the process has not yet been completed as of the present.{{clarify, date=April 2013. Standardization is mostly supported by users of the #Writing system, classical norm. Due to the strong situation of diglossia, some users thusly reject the standardization process, and do not conceive Occitan as a language that can be standardized as per other standardized languages.


Writing system

{{further, Occitan alphabet There are two main linguistic norms currently used for Occitan, one (known as "classical"), which is based on that of Medieval Occitan, and one (sometimes known as "Mistralian", due to its use by
Frédéric Mistral Frederic Mistral (; oc, Josèp Estève Frederic Mistral, 8 September 1830 – 25 March 1914) was a French writer of Occitan literature and lexicographer of the Provençal form of the language. Mistral received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Litera ...

Frédéric Mistral
), which is based on modern French orthography. Sometimes, there is conflict between users of each system. * The ''classical norm'' (or less exactly ''classical orthography'') has the advantage of maintaining a link with earlier stages of the language, and reflects the fact that Occitan is not a variety of French. It is used in all Occitan dialects. It also allows speakers of one dialect of Occitan to write intelligibly for speakers of other dialects (e.g. the Occitan for ''day'' is written ''jorn'' in the classical norm, but could be ''jour'', ''joun'', ''journ'', or even ''yourn'', depending on the writer's origin, in Mistralian orthography). The Occitan classical orthography and the
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
orthography are quite similar: They show the very close ties of both languages. The digraphs ''lh'' and ''nh'', used in the classical orthography, were adopted by the Portuguese alphabet#Basic digraphs, orthography of Portuguese, presumably by Gerald of Braga, a monk from Moissac, who became bishop of Braga in Portugal in 1047, playing a major role in modernizing written Portuguese language, Portuguese using classical Occitan norms. * The ''Mistralian norm'' (or less exactly ''Mistralian orthography'') has the advantage of being similar to that of French, in which most Occitan speakers are literate. Now, it is used mostly in the Provençal (dialect), Provençal/Niçard dialect, besides the classical norm. It has also been used by a number of eminent writers, particularly in Provençal. However, it is somewhat impractical, because it is based mainly on the Provençal dialect and also uses many digraphs for simple sounds, the most notable one being ''ou'' for the {{IPA, [u] sound, as it is in French, written as ''o'' under the classical orthography. There are also two other norms but they have a lesser audience. The ''Escòla dau Pò norm'' (or ''Escolo dóu Po norm'') is a simplified version of the Mistralian norm and is used only in the Occitan Valleys (Italy), besides the classical norm. The ''Bonnaudian norm'' (or ''écriture auvergnate unifiée, EAU'') was created by Pierre Bonnaud and is used only in the Auvergnat dialect, besides the classical norm.
{, class="wikitable" align="center" , + Comparison between the four existing norms in Occitan: extract from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , - ! Classical norm ! Mistralian norm ! Bonnaudian norm ! Escòla dau Pò norm , - , Provençal
Totei lei personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e li cau (/fau/) agir entre elei amb un esperit de frairesa. , Provençal
Tóuti li persouno naisson liéuro e egalo en dignita e en dre. {{not a typo, Soun doutado de rasoun e de counsciènci e li fau agi entre éli em' un esperit de freiresso. , , , - , Niçard Provençal
Toti li personas naisson liuri e egali en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadi de rason e de consciéncia e li cau agir entre eli emb un esperit de frairesa. , Niçard Provençal
Touti li persouna naisson liéuri e egali en dignità e en drech. {{not a typo, Soun doutadi de rasoun e de counsciència e li cau agì entre eli em' un esperit de frairessa. , , , - , Auvergnat
Totas las personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en dreit. Son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e lor chau (/fau/) agir entre elas amb un esperit de frairesa. , , Auvergnat
Ta la proussouna neisson lieura moé parira pà dïnessà mai dret. Son charjada de razou moé de cousiensà mai lhu fau arjî entremeî lha bei n'eime de freiressà. (Touta la persouna naisson lieura e egala en dïnetàt e en dreit. {{not a typo, Soun doutada de razou e de cousiensà e lour chau ajî entre ela am en esprî de freiressà.) , , - , Vivaroalpenc, Vivaro-Alpine
Totas las personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en drech. Son dotaas de rason e de consciéncia e lor chal agir entre elas amb un esperit de fraternitat. , , , Vivaroalpenc, Vivaro-Alpine
Toutes les persounes naisoun liures e egales en dignità e en drech. {{not a typo, Soun douta de razoun e de counsiensio e lour chal agir entre eels amb (/bou) un esperit de freireso. , - , Gascon
Totas las personas que naishen liuras e egaus en dignitat e en dreit. Que son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e que'us cau agir enter eras dab un esperit de hrairessa. , Gascon (Febusian writing)
Toutes las persounes que nachen libres e egaus en dinnitat e en dreyt. Que {{not a typo, soun doutades de rasoû e de counscienci e qu'ous cau ayi entre eres dap û esperit de hrayresse. , , , - ,
Limousin Limousin (; oc, Lemosin ) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-pr ...

Totas las personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e lor chau (/fau/) agir entre elas emb un esperit de frairesa. , , , , - , Languedocien
Totas las personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e lor cal agir entre elas amb un esperit de frairesa. , , , {, class="wikitable" align="center" , + The same extract in six neighboring
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of w ...

Romance languages
and English for comparison , - , French language, French
Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité. ,
Franco-Provençal Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal, Patois, Gaga, Savoyard, Arpitan or Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland and northwestern Italy. Franco ...

Tôs los étres homans nêssont libros et ègals en dignitât et en drêts. Ils ant rêson et conscience et dêvont fâre los uns envèrs los ôtros dedens un èsprit de fraternitât. ,
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...

Totes les persones neixen/naixen lliures i iguals en dignitat i en drets. Són dotades de raó i de consciència, i han de comportar-se fraternalment les unes amb les altres.{{cite web, url=http://www.omniglot.com/udhr/italic.htm, title=Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1), publisher=Omniglot.com, access-date=15 October 2009 ,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish

Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos y, dotados como están de razón y conciencia, deben comportarse fraternalmente los unos con los otros. , Portuguese language, Portuguese
Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e direitos. Eles são dotados de razão e consciência, e devem comportar-se fraternalmente uns com os outros. , Italian language, Italian
Tutti gli esseri umani nascono liberi ed uguali in dignità e in diritti. Sono dotati di ragione e di coscienza e devono comportarsi fraternamente l'uno con l'altro. , English
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Note that Catalan version was translated from the Spanish, while the Occitan versions were translated from the French. The second part of the Catalan version may also be rendered as "Són dotades de raó i de consciència, i els cal actuar entre si amb un esperit de fraternitat", showing the similarities between Occitan and Catalan.


Orthography IETF subtags

Several IETF language tag, IETF language subtags have been registered for the different orthographies:{{cite web , title=Language subtag registry , url=https://www.iana.org/assignments/language-subtag-registry/language-subtag-registry , publisher=IANA , access-date=8 April 2021 , language=en , date=2021-03-05 * {{code, oc-grclass: Classical Occitan orthography. * {{code, oc-grital: Italian-inspired Occitan orthography. * {{code, oc-grmistr: Mistralian-inspired Occitan orthography.


Debates concerning linguistic classification and orthography

The majority of scholars think that Occitan constitutes a single language.{{sfn, Kremnitz, 2002, pp=109–111 Some authors, constituting a minority,{{sfn, Kremnitz, 2002, pp=109–111 reject this opinion and even the name ''Occitan'', thinking that there is a family of distinct {{lang, oc, lengas d'òc rather than dialects of a single language. Many Occitan linguists and writers, particularly those involved with the pan-Occitan movement centered on the Institut d'Estudis Occitans, disagree with the view that Occitan is a family of languages; instead they believe Limousin, Auvergnat, Languedocien, Gascon, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine are dialects of a single language. Although there are indeed noticeable differences between these varieties, there is a very high degree of mutual intelligibility between them partly because they share a common literary history; furthermore, academic and literary circles have identified them as a collective linguistic entity—the {{lang, oc, lenga d'òc—for centuries. Some Provençal authors continue to support the view that Provençal is a separate language. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Provençal authors and associations think that Provençal is a part of Occitan. This debate about the status of Provençal should not be confused with the debate concerning the spelling of Provençal. * The classical orthography is phonemic orthography, phonemic and diasystemic, and thus more pan-Occitan. It can be used for (and adapted to) all Occitan dialects and regions, including Provençal. Its supporters think that Provençal is a part of Occitan. * The Mistralian orthography of Provençal is more or less phonemic but not diasystemic and is closer to the French language, French spelling and therefore more specific to Provençal; its users are divided between the ones who think that Provençal is a part of Occitan and the ones who think that Provençal is a separate language. For example, the classical system writes ''Polonha'', whereas the Mistralian spelling system has ''Poulougno'', for {{IPA, [puˈluɲo], 'Poland'. The question of Gascon is similar. Gascon presents a number of significant differences from the rest of the language; but, despite these differences, Gascon and other Occitan dialects have very important common lexical and grammatical features, so authors such as Pierre Bec argue that they could never be considered as different as, for example, Spanish and Italian. In addition, Gascon's being included in Occitan despite its particular differences can be justified because there is a common elaboration (''Ausbau language, Ausbau'') process between Gascon and the rest of Occitan.{{sfn, Kremnitz, 2002, pp=109–111 The vast majority of the Gascon cultural movement considers itself as a part of the Occitan cultural movement. And the official status of
Val d'Aran Aran (; ; ) (previously officially called in Occitan Val d'Aran, Catalan: ''Vall d'Aran'', Spanish: ''Valle de Arán'') is an administrative entity (formerly considered a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrati ...

Val d'Aran
(
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
, Spain), adopted in 1990, says that Aranese is a part of Gascon and Occitan. A grammar of Aranese by Aitor Carrera, published in 2007 in Lleida, presents the same view.{{sfn, Carrera, 2007 The exclusion of
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
from the Occitan sphere, even though Catalan is closely related, is justified because there has been a consciousness of its being different from Occitan since the later Middle Ages and because the elaboration (''Ausbau'') processes of Catalan and Occitan (including Gascon) have been quite distinct since the 20th century. Nevertheless, other scholars point out that the process that led to the affirmation of Catalan as a distinct language from Occitan started during the period when the pressure to include Catalan-speaking areas in a mainstream Spanish culture was at its greatest. The answer to the question of whether Gascon or
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
should be considered dialects of Occitan or separate languages has long been a matter of opinion or convention, rather than based on scientific ground. However, two recent studies support Gascon's being considered a distinct language. For the very first time, a quantifiable, statistics-based approach was applied by Stephan Koppelberg in attempt to solve this issue. Based on the results he obtained, he concludes that Catalan, Occitan, and Gascon should all be considered three distinct languages. More recently, Y. Greub and J.P. Chambon (Sorbonne University, Paris) demonstrated that the formation of Proto-Gascon was already complete at the eve of the 7th century, whereas Proto-Occitan was not yet formed at that time. These results induced linguists to do away with the conventional classification of Gascon, favoring the "distinct language" alternative.{{citation needed, date=October 2016 Both studies supported the early intuition of the late Kurt Baldinger, a specialist of both medieval Occitan and medieval Gascon, who recommended that Occitan and Gascon be classified as separate languages.


Linguistic characterization

{{further, Occitan phonology {{More footnotes, section, date=July 2011 Jules Ronjat has sought to characterize Occitan with 19 principal, generalizable criteria. Of those, 11 are phonetic, five morphologic, one syntactic, and two lexical. For example, close rounded vowels are rare or absent in Occitan. This characteristic often carries through to an Occitan speaker's French, leading to a distinctive ''Meridional French, méridional'' accent. Unlike French, it is a pro-drop language, allowing the omission of the subject ({{lang, oc, canti: I sing; {{lang, oc, cantas you sing)—though, at least in Gascon, the verb must be preceded by an "enunciative" in place of the pronoun, {{lang, oc, e for questions, {{lang, oc, be for observations, {{lang, oc, que for other occasions: {{abbr, e.g., for example, {{lang, oc, que soi (I am), {{lang, oc, E qu'ei? (He/she is?), {{lang, oc, Be qu'èm. (We are.). Among these 19 discriminating criteria, 7 are different from Spanish, 8 from Italian, 12 from Franco-Provençal, and 16 from French.


Features of Occitan

Most features of Occitan are shared with either French language, French or
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, or both.


Features of Occitan as a whole

Examples of pan-Occitan features shared with French, but not Catalan: * Latin {{smallcaps, ū [uː] (Vulgar Latin {{IPA, /u/) changed to {{IPA, /y/, as in French (Lat. {{smallcaps, dv̄rvm > Oc. ''dur''). * Vulgar Latin {{IPA, /o/ changed to {{IPA, /u/, first in unstressed syllables, as in Catalan (Lat. {{smallcaps, romānvs > Oc. ''roman'' [ruˈma]), then in stressed syllables (Lat. {{smallcaps, flōrem > Oc. ''flor'' [fluɾ]). Examples of pan-Occitan features shared with Catalan, but not French: * Stressed Latin {{smallcaps, a was preserved (Lat. {{smallcaps, mare > Oc. ''mar'', Fr. ''mer''). * Intervocalic -{{smallcaps, t- was lenited to {{IPA, /d/ rather than lost (Lat. {{smallcaps, vitam > Oc. ''vida'', Fr. ''vie''). Examples of pan-Occitan features not shared with Catalan or French: * Original {{IPA, /aw/ preserved. * Final {{IPA, /a/ becomes {{IPA, /ɔ/ (note in Valencian language, Valencian (Catalan), {{IPA, /ɔ/ may appear in word-final unstressed position, in a process of vowel harmony). * Low-mid {{IPA, /ɛ/ and {{IPA, /ɔ/ diphthongized before velars. {{IPA, /ɛ/ generally becomes {{IPA, /jɛ/; {{IPA, /ɔ/ originally became {{IPA, /wɔ/ or {{IPA, /wɛ/, but has since usually undergone further fronting (e.g. to {{IPA, [ɥɛ], [ɥɔ], [jɔ], [œ], [ɛ], [ɥe], [we], etc.). Diphthongization also occurred before palatals, as in French and Catalan. * Various assimilations in consonant clusters (e.g. {{angle bracket, cc in ''Occitan'', pronounced {{IPA, /utsiˈta/ in conservative Languedocien).


Features of some Occitan dialects

Examples of dialect-specific features of the northerly dialects shared with French, but not Catalan: * Palatalization of {{smallcaps, ca-, ga- to {{IPA, /tʃa, dʒa/. * Vocalization of syllable-final {{IPA, /l/ to {{IPA, /w/. * Loss of final consonants. * Vocalization of syllable-final nasals to nasal vowels. * Uvular R, Uvularization of some or all {{angle bracket, r sounds. Examples of dialect-specific features of the southerly dialects (or some of them) shared with Catalan, but not French: * Latin {{smallcaps, -mb-,-nd- become {{IPA, /m, n/. * Betacism: {{IPA, /b/ and {{IPA, /v/ merge (feature shared with Spanish and some Catalan dialects; except for Balearic, Valencian and Algherese Catalan, where {{IPA, /v/ is preserved). * Intervocalic voiced stops {{IPA, /b d ɡ/ (from Latin {{smallcaps, -p-, -t, -c-) become voiced fricatives {{IPA, [β ð ɣ]. * Loss of word-final single {{IPA, /n/ (but not {{IPA, /nn/, e.g. ''an'' "year" < {{smallcaps, ānnvm). Examples of Gascon-specific features not shared with French or Catalan: * Latin initial {{IPA, /f/ changed into {{IPA, /h/ (Lat. {{smallcaps, filivm > Gasc. ''hilh''). This also happened in History of Spanish, medieval Spanish, although the {{IPA, /h/ was eventually lost, or reverted to {{IPA, /f/ (before a consonant). The Gascon {{angle bracket, h has retained its aspiration (phonetics), aspiration. * Loss of {{IPA, /n/ between vowels. This also happened in History of Portuguese, Portuguese and Galician language, Galician (and moreover also in Basque language, Basque). * Change of {{smallcaps, -ll- to {{angle bracket, r {{IPA, /ɾ/, or {{angle bracket, th word-finally (originally the voiceless palatal stop {{IPA, /c/, but now generally either {{IPA, /t/ or {{IPA, /tʃ/, depending on the word). This is a unique characteristic of Gascon and of certain Aragonese language, Aragonese dialects. Examples of other dialect-specific features not shared with French or Catalan: * Merging of syllable-final nasals to {{IPA, /ŋ/. This appears to represent a transitional stage before nasalization, and occurs especially in the southerly dialects other than Gascon (which still maintains different final nasals, as in Catalan). * Former intervocalic {{IPA, /ð/ (from Latin {{smallcaps, -d-) becomes /z/ (most dialects, but not Gascon). This appears to have happened in primitive Catalan as well, but Catalan later deleted this sound or converted it to {{IPA, /w/. * Palatalization of {{IPA, /jt/ (from Latin {{smallcaps, ct) to {{IPA, /tʃ/ in most dialects or {{IPA, /(j)t/: ''lach'' vs ''lait'' (Gascon ''lèit'') 'milk', ''lucha'' vs ''luta'' (Gascon ''luta'') 'fight'. * Weakening of {{IPA, /l/ to {{IPA, /r/ in the Vivaro-Alpine dialect.


Comparison with other Romance languages and English

{, class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:80%" , ----- bgcolor="#eeeeee" , + Common words in Romance languages, with English (a Germanic language) for reference , , Latin
(all nouns in the ablative case), , Occitan
(including main regional varieties), , Catalan, , French , , Norman , , Ladin (Gherdëina) , , Lombard, , Italian, , Spanish , , Portuguese , , Sardinian , , Romanian , , English , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, cantare , , c(h)antar , , cantar , , chanter , , canter, chanter , , cianté , , cantà , , cantare , , cantar , , cantar , , cantare , , cânta(re) , , '(to) sing' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, capra , , c(h)abra (cabra) , , cabra , , chèvre , , quièvre , , cëura , , cavra , , capra , , cabra , , cabra , , craba , , capră , , 'goat' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, clave , , clau , , clau , , clef , , clef , , tle , , ciav , , chiave , , llave , , chave , , crae , , cheie , , 'key' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, ecclesia, {{smallcaps, basilica , , (e)glèisa , , església , , église , , église , , dlieja , , giesa , , chiesa , , iglesia , , igreja , , gresia/creia , , biserică , , 'church' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, formatico (
Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, ...
), {{smallcaps, caseo , , formatge (fromatge, hormatge) , , formatge , , fromage , , froumage, fourmage , , ciajuel , , furmai/furmagg , , formaggio , , queso , , queijo , , casu , , caș , , 'cheese' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, lingva , , leng(u)a (linga) , , llengua , , langue , , langue , , lenga, rujeneda , , lengua , , lingua , , lengua , , língua , , limba , , limbă , , 'tongue, language' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, nocte , , nuèch (nuèit) , , nit , , nuit , , nît , , nuet , , nocc , , notte , , noche , , noite , , nothe , , noapte , , 'night' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, platea , , plaça , , plaça , , place , , plache , , plaza , , piassa , , piazza , , plaza , , praça , , pratza , , piațăModern loanword from Italian or Greek (Iordan, Dift., 145) , , 'square, plaza' , ----- bgcolor="#ffffff" , , {{smallcaps, ponte , , pont (pònt) , , pont , , pont , , pont , , puent , , punt , , ponte , , puente , , ponte , , ponte , , punte (small bridge) , , 'bridge'


Lexicon

A comparison of terms and word counts between languages is not easy, as it is impossible to count the number of words in a language. (See Lexicon, Lexeme, Lexicography for more information.) Some have claimed around 450,000 words exist in the Occitan language, a number comparable to English (the Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged with 1993 addenda reaches 470,000 words, as does the Oxford English Dictionary, Second edition). The Merriam-Webster Web site estimates that the number is somewhere between 250,000 and 1 million words. The magazine GEO (magazine), ''Géo'' (2004, p. 79) claims that American English literature can be more easily translated into Occitan than French, excluding modern technological terms that both languages have integrated. A comparison of the lexical content can find more subtle differences between the languages. For example, Occitan has 128 synonyms related to cultivated land, 62 for wetlands, and 75 for sunshine (''Géo''). The language went through an eclipse during the Industrial Revolution, as the vocabulary of the countryside became less important. At the same time, it was disparaged as a patois. Nevertheless, Occitan has also incorporated new words into its lexicon to describe the modern world. The Occitan word for web (as in World Wide Web) is {{wikt-lang, oc, oèb, for example.


Differences between Occitan and Catalan

The separation of Catalan from Occitan is seen by some{{Citation needed, date=October 2008 as largely politically (rather than linguistically) motivated. However, the variety that has become standard Catalan differs from the one that has become standard Occitan in a number of ways. Here are just a few examples: * Phonology {{Main, Occitan phonology, Catalan phonology ** Standard Catalan (based on Central Eastern Catalan) is unique in that Latin short ''e'' developed into a close vowel {{IPA, /e/ (''é'') and Latin long ''e'' developed into an open vowel {{IPA, /ɛ/ (''è''); that is precisely the reverse of the development that took place in Western Catalan dialects and the rest of the Romance languages, including Occitan. Thus Standard Catalan ''ésser'' {{IPA, [ˈesə] corresponds to Occitan ''èsser/èstre'' {{IPA, [ˈɛse/ˈɛstre] 'to be;' Catalan {{lang, ca, carrer {{IPA, [kəˈre] corresponds to Occitan ''carrièra'' {{IPA-oc, karˈjɛɾo̞} 'street', but it is also ''carriera'' {{IPA-oc, karˈjeɾo̞}, in Provençal. ** The distinctly Occitan development of word-final ''-a'', pronounced {{IPA, [o̞] in standard Occitan (''chifra'' 'figure' {{IPA, [ˈtʃifro̞]), did not occur in general Catalan (which has ''xifra'' {{IPA, [ˈʃifrə]). However, some Occitan varieties also lack that feature, and some Catalan (Valencian language, Valencian) varieties have the {{IPA, [ɔ] pronunciation, mostly by vowel harmony. ** When in Catalan word stress falls in the antepenultimate syllable, in Occitan the stress is moved to the penultimate syllable: for example, Occitan ''pagina'' {{IPA, [paˈdʒino̞] vs. Catalan ''pàgina'' {{IPA, [ˈpaʒinə], "page". However, there are exceptions. For example, some varieties of Occitan (such as that of Nice) keep the stress on the antepenultimate syllable ''(pàgina)'', and some varieties of Catalan (in Northern Catalonia) put the stress on the penultimate syllable ''(pagina)''. ** Diphthongization has evolved in different ways: Occitan ''paire'' vs. Catalan ''pare'' 'father;' Occitan ''carrièra (carrèra, carrèira)'' vs. Catalan ''carrera''. ** Although some Occitan dialects lack the voiceless postalveolar fricative phoneme {{IPA, /ʃ/, others such as southwestern Occitan have it: general Occitan ''caissa'' {{IPA, [ˈkajso̞] vs. Catalan ''caixa'' {{IPA, [ˈkaʃə] and southwestern Occitan ''caissa, caisha'' {{IPA, [ˈka(j)ʃo̞], 'box.' Nevertheless, some Western Catalan, Valencian dialects like Northern Valencian lack that phoneme too and generally substitute {{IPA, /jsʲ/: ''caixa'' {{IPA, [ˈkajʃa] (Standard Valencian) ~ {{IPA, [ˈkajsʲa] (Northern Valencian). ** Occitan has developed the close front rounded vowel {{IPA, /y/ as a phoneme, often (but not always) corresponding to Catalan {{IPA, /u/: Occitan ''musica'' {{IPA, [myˈziko̞] vs. Catalan ''música'' {{IPA, [ˈmuzikə]. ** The distribution of palatal consonants {{IPA, /ʎ/ and {{IPA, /ɲ/ differs in Catalan and part of Occitan: while Catalan permits them in word-final position, in central Occitan they are Phoneme#Neutralization, archiphoneme, underspecification, neutralized to {{IPA, [l] and {{IPA, [n] (Central Occitan ''filh'' {{IPA, [fil] vs. Catalan ''fill'' {{IPA, [fiʎ], 'son'). Similarly, Algherese, Algherese Catalan neutralizes palatal consonants in word-final position as well. Non-central varieties of Occitan, however, may have a palatal realization (e.g. ''filh, hilh'' {{IPA, [fiʎ, fij, hiʎ]). ** Furthermore, many words that start with {{IPA, /l/ in Occitan start with {{IPA, /ʎ/ in Catalan: Occitan ''libre'' {{IPA, [ˈliβɾe] vs. Catalan ''llibre'' {{IPA, [ˈʎiβɾə], 'book.' That feature is perhaps one of the most distinctive characteristics of Catalan amongst the Romance languages, shared only with Asturian language, Asturian, Leonese language, Leonese and Mirandese language, Mirandese. However, some transitional varieties of Occitan, near the Catalan area, also have initial {{IPA, /ʎ/. ** While {{IPA, /l/ is always clear in Occitan, in Catalan it tends to be velarization, velarized {{IPA, [ɫ] ("dark l"). In coda position, {{IPA, /l/ has tended to be vocalized to {{IPA, [w] in Occitan, while remained dark in Catalan. ** Standard Eastern Catalan has a schwa, neutral vowel {{IPA, [ə] whenever ''a'' or ''e'' occur in unstressed position (''passar'' {{IPA, [pəˈsa], 'to happen', but ''passa'' {{IPA, [ˈpasə], 'it happens'), and also {{IPA, [u] whenever ''o'' or ''u'' occur in unstressed position, e.g. ''obrir'' {{IPA, [uˈβɾi], 'to open', but ''obre'' {{IPA, [ˈɔβɾə], 'you open'. However, that does not apply to Western Catalan dialects, whose vowel system usually retains the ''a''/''e'' distinction in unstressed position, or to Northern Catalan dialects, whose vowel system does not retain the ''o''/''u'' distinction in stressed position, much like Occitan. * Morphology (linguistics), Morphology ** Verb grammatical conjugation, conjugation is slightly different, but there is a great variety amongst dialects. Medieval conjugations were much closer. A characteristic difference is the ending of the second person plural, which is ''-u'' in Catalan but ''-tz'' in Occitan. {{further, Occitan conjugation, Catalan conjugation ** Occitan tends to add an analogy, analogical -''a'' to the grammatical gender, feminine forms of adjectives that are invariable in standard Catalan: for example, Occitan ''legal'' / ''legala'' vs. Catalan ''legal'' / ''legal''. ** Catalan has a distinctive past tense formation, known as the 'periphrastic preterite', formed from a variant of the verb 'to go' followed by the infinitive of the verb: ''donar'' 'to give,' ''va donar'' 'he gave.' That has the same value as the 'normal' preterite shared by most Romance languages, deriving from the Latin perfect tense: Catalan ''donà'' 'he gave.' The periphrastic preterite, in Occitan, is an archaic or a very local tense. * Orthography ** The writing systems of the two languages differ slightly. The modern Occitan spelling recommended by the Institut d'Estudis Occitans and the Conselh de la Lenga Occitana is designed to be a pan-Occitan system, and the Catalan system recommended by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans and Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua is specific to Catalan and Valencian. For example, in Catalan, word-final ''-n'' is omitted, as it is not pronounced in any dialect of Catalan (''Català'', ''Occità''); central Occitan also drops word-final ''-n'', but it is retained in the spelling, as some eastern and western dialects of Occitan still have it (''Catalan'', ''Occitan''). Some digraphs are also written in a different way such as the sound {{IPA, /ʎ/, which is ''ll'' in Catalan (similar to Spanish) and ''lh'' in Occitan (similar to Portuguese) or the sound {{IPA, /ɲ/ written ''ny'' in Catalan and ''nh'' in Occitan.


Occitano-Romance linguistic group

Despite these differences, Occitan and Catalan remain more or less mutual intelligibility, mutually comprehensible, especially when written – more so than either is with Spanish or French, for example, although this is mainly a consequence of using the classical (orthographical) norm of the Occitan, which is precisely focused in showing the similarities between the Occitan dialects with Catalan. Occitan and Catalan form a common diasystem (or a common Abstandsprache), which is called Occitano-Romance, according to the linguist Pierre Bec. Speakers of both languages share early historical and cultural heritage. The combined Occitano-Romance area is 259,000 km2 and represents 23 million speakers. However, the regions are not equal in terms of language speakers. According to Bec 1969 (pp. 120–121), in France, no more than a quarter of the population in counted regions could speak Occitan well, though around half understood it; it is thought that the number of Occitan users has decreased dramatically since then. By contrast, in the
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
administered by the Government of Catalonia, nearly three-quarters of the population speak Catalan and 95% understand it.


Preservation

In the modern era, Occitan has become a rare and highly threatened language. Its users are clustered almost exclusively in Southern France, and it is unlikely that any monolingual speakers remain. In the early 1900s, the French government attempted to restrict the use and teaching of many minority languages, including Occitan, in public schools. While the laws have since changed, with bilingual education returning for regions with unique languages in 1993, this movement caused serious decline in the number of Occitan speakers. The majority of living speakers are older adults.{{Cite news, date=2018-04-19, title=Occitan’s fight to stay away from the cliff of extinction, work=The Economist, url=https://www.economist.com/prospero/2018/04/19/occitans-fight-to-stay-away-from-the-cliff-of-extinction, access-date=2021-12-24, issn=0013-0613


Occitan quotes

One of the most notable passages of Occitan in Western literature occurs in the 26th ''canto'' of
Dante Dante Alighieri (), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to Mononymous person, simply as Dante (, also ; – 1321), was an Italian poetry, Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origina ...

Dante
's ''Purgatorio'' in which the troubadour Arnaut Daniel responds to the narrator: :''Tan m'abellís vostre cortés deman, / qu'ieu no me puesc ni voill a vos cobrire. / Ieu sui Arnaut, que plor e vau cantan; / consirós vei la passada folor, / e vei jausen lo joi qu'esper, denan. / Ara vos prec, per aquella valor / que vos guida al som de l'escalina, / sovenha vos a temps de ma dolor.'' :Modern Occitan: ''Tan m'abelís vòstra cortesa demanda, / que ieu non-pòdi ni vòli m'amagar de vos. / Ieu soi Arnaut, que plori e vau cantant; / consirós vesi la foliá passada, / e vesi joiós lo jorn qu'espèri, davant. / Ara vos prègui, per aquela valor / que vos guida al som de l'escalièr, / sovenhatz-vos tot còp de ma dolor.'' The above strophe translates to: :So pleases me your courteous demand, / I cannot and I will not hide me from you. / I am Arnaut, who weep and singing go;/ Contrite I see the folly of the past, / And joyous see the hoped-for day before me. / Therefore do I implore you, by that power/ Which guides you to the summit of the stairs, / Be mindful to assuage my suffering! Another notable Occitan quotation, this time from Arnaut Daniel's own 10th ''Canto'': :''"Ieu sui Arnaut qu'amas l'aura'' :''e chatz le lebre ab lo bou'' :''e nadi contra suberna"'' Modern Occitan: :''"Ieu soi Arnaut qu'aimi l'aura'' :''e caci [chaci] la lèbre amb lo buòu'' :''e nadi contra subèrna.'' Translation: :"I am Arnaut who loves the wind, :and chases the hare with the ox, :and swims against the torrent." French writer Victor Hugo's classic ''Les Misérables'' also contains some Occitan. In Part One, First Book, Chapter IV, "Les œuvres semblables aux paroles", one can read about Bishop Myriel, Monseigneur Bienvenu: :"Né provençal, il s'était facilement familiarisé avec tous les patois du midi. Il disait: — ''E ben, monsur, sètz saget?'' comme dans le bas Languedoc. — ''Ont anaratz passar?'' comme dans les basses Alpes. — ''Pòrti un bon moton amb un bon formatge gras'', comme dans le haut Dauphiné. [...] Parlant toutes les langues, il entrait dans toutes les âmes." Translation: :"Born a Provençal, he easily familiarized himself with the dialect of the south. He would say, ''E ben, monsur, sètz saget?'' as in lower Languedoc; ''Ont anaratz passar?'' as in the Basses-Alpes; ''Pòrti un bon moton amb un bon formatge gras'' as in upper Dauphiné. [...] As he spoke all tongues, he entered into all hearts." :''E ben, monsur, sètz saget?'': So, Mister, everything's fine? :''Ont anaratz passar?'': Which way will you go? :''Pòrti un bon moton amb un bon formatge gras'': I brought some fine mutton with a fine fat cheese The Spanish playwright Lope de Rueda included a Gascon servant for comical effect in one of his short pieces, ''La generosa paliza''.
Registro de Representantes
{{Webarchive, url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070828104958/http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/01159741097810429650035/p0000001.htm , date=28 August 2007 '' by Lope de Rueda, in Spanish. Peirutón speaks a mix of Gascon and Catalan.
John Barnes (author), John Barnes's ''Thousand Cultures'' science fiction series (''A Million Open Doors'', 1992; ''Earth Made of Glass'', 1998; ''The Merchants of Souls'', 2001; and ''The Armies of Memory'', 2006), features Occitan. So does the 2005 best-selling novel ''Labyrinth (book), Labyrinth'' by English author Kate Mosse. It is set in Carcassonne, where she owns a house and spends half of the year. The French composer Joseph Canteloube created five sets of folk songs entitled ''Songs of the Auvergne'', in which the lyrics are in the Auvergne dialect of Occitan. The orchestration strives to conjure vivid pastoral scenes of yesteryear. Michael Crichton features Occitan in his ''Timeline (novel), Timeline'' novel.


See also

{{Portal, France, Italy, Spain, Language * Baìo * History of the Basque language * Languages of France * Languages of Italy * Languages of Spain * Occitan cross * Occitan cuisine


Notes

{{Reflist


Explanatory footnotes

{{notelist


Bibliography

* {{cite book , last=Anglade , first=Joseph , year=1921 , title=Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc: phonétique et morphologie , publisher=C. Klincksieck , place=Paris , url=http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k255748j/f3.image , language=fr * {{cite book , last=Backer , first=Louis de , year=1860 , title= Grammaire comparée des langues de la France, par Louis de Baecker. Flamand, allemand, celto-breton, basque, provençal, espagnol, italien, français, comparés au sanscrit , publisher= C. Blériot , place=Paris , url=http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5846989r.f61 , language=fr * {{cite book , last=Bec , first=Pierre , author-link=Pierre Bec , year=1963 , title= La Langue occitane , series=Que sais-je? 1059 , publisher= Presses Universitaires de France, place=Paris , language=fr * {{cite book , last=Bec , first=Pierre , year=1973 , title= Manuel pratique d'occitan moderne , publisher= A. & J. Picard , place=Paris , language=fr * {{cite book, last=Carrera, first=Aitor, title=Gramatica Aranesa, publisher=Pagès Editors, location=Lleida, year=2007, isbn=978-84-9779-484-8, language=oc * {{cite book , last=Gaussen , first= Yvan , year=1927 , title= Du fédéralisme de Proudhon au Félibrige de Mistral , publisher= A. Chastanier , place= Nîmes , url= http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k57104841.image.langEN.f6.pagination , language=fr * {{cite book , last= Kremnitz , first= Georg , year=2002 , contribution=Une approche sociolinguistique , editor1-last= Kirsch , editor1-first= Fritz Peter , editor2-last= Kremnitz , editor2-first= Georg , editor3-last= Schlieben-Lange , editor3-first= Brigitte , others= Chabrant, Catherine trans , title=Petite histoire sociale de la langue occitane: Usages, images, littérature, grammaires et dictionnaires , publisher= Trabucaire , place= Canet, France , language=fr , isbn=978-2-912966-59-9 * {{Cite book, last1=Smith, first1=Nathaniel B., last2=Bergin , first2=Thomas Goddard , title=An Old Provençal Primer , publisher=Garland , place=New York , year=1984 , isbn=0-8240-9030-6


External links

{{interwiki, code=oc {{OldWikisource, Occitan {{Wiktionary, Occitan language
Orbilat.com
– Overview and grammar of Occitan

– a guide to the language

– Troubadour & Early Occitan Literature
Ostaldoccitania.net
– The house of Occitan associations of Toulouse

– "LexRomEdic", electronic version of Lexique Roman of Rainouard (A provisional version is available).
arrilemosin.fr
– Occitan Limousin group website with maps and vocabulary {{Languages of France {{Romance languages {{Occitano-Romance languages and dialects {{Authority control {{DEFAULTSORT:Occitan Language Occitan language, Languages of Andorra Languages of France Languages of Italy Languages of Piedmont Languages of Catalonia