Friulian or Friulan ( furlan (help·info) or,
affectionately, marilenghe in Friulian, friulano in Italian,
Furlanisch in German, furlanščina in Slovene; also Friulian) is a
Romance language belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance family, spoken in the
1.1 The "Ladin Question"
2.1 Italy 2.2 World
3 Literature 4 Phonology
4.1 Consonants 4.2 Vowels 4.3 Orthography 4.4 Long vowels and their origin
5.1.1 Feminine 5.1.2 Masculine
5.2 Articles 5.3 Adjectives 5.4 Plurals
5.5 Clitic subject pronouns 5.6 Verbs 5.7 Adverbs
6 Vocabulary 7 Present condition
8.1 Criticism 8.2 Variants of Friulian
9 Writing systems
9.1 Other systems
10 Examples 11 References
11.1 Notations 11.2 Footnotes
12 External links
Historical flag of Friûl
A question which causes many debates is the influence of the Latin
Graziadio Isaia Ascoli
The idea of unity among Ladin, Romansh and Friulian comes from the
Italian historical linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli, who was born in
Gorizia. In 1871, he presented his theory that these three languages
are part of one family, which in the past stretched from Switzerland
Spread of the
Today, Friulian is spoken in the province of Udine, including the area
Original text Version in modern Friulian
Piruç myò doç inculurit quant yò chi viot, dut stoi ardit
Piruç gno dolç inculurît cuant che jo cj viôt, dut o stoi ardît
There are few differences in the first two rows, which demonstrates that there has not been a great evolution in the language except for several words which are no longer used (for example, dum(n) lo, a word which means "child", which was used to be more frequently). A modern Friulian speaker can understand these texts with only a little difficulty. The second important period for Friulian literature is the 16th century. The main author of this period was Ermes di Colorêt, who composed over 200 poems.
Notable poets and writers
Ermes di Colorêt 16th
Pietro Zorutti 19th
Pier Paolo Pasolini 20th
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2012)
Consonant phonemes in Central Friulian
Labial Dental/ Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ (ŋ)
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Fricative voiceless f s (ʃ)
voiced v z (ʒ)
Approximant w l j
/m, p, b/ are bilabial, whereas /f, v/ are labiodental and /w/ is
Note that, in the standard language, a phonemic distinction exists
between true palatal stops [c ɟ] and palatoalveolar affricates [tʃ
dʒ]. The former (written ⟨cj gj⟩) originate from
Friulian vowel chart. The long vowels are slightly diphthongal, and the blue vowels occur when unstressed.
Front Central Back
Close i iː
Close mid e eː
Open mid ɛ
Orthography Some notes on orthography (from the perspective of the standard, i.e. Central, dialect):
Long vowels are indicated with a circumflex: ⟨â ê î ô û⟩. ⟨e⟩ is used for both /ɛ/ (which only occurs in stressed syllables) and /e/; similarly, ⟨o⟩ is used for both /ɔ/ and /o/. /j/ is spelled ⟨j⟩ word-initially, and ⟨i⟩ elsewhere. /w/ occurs primarily in diphthongs, and is spelled ⟨u⟩. /s/ is normally spelled ⟨s⟩, but is spelled ⟨ss⟩ between vowels (in this context, a single ⟨s⟩ is pronounced /z/). /ɲ/ is spelled ⟨gn⟩, which can also occur word-finally. [ŋ] is an allophone of /n/, found word-finally, before word-final -s, and often in the prefix in-. Both sounds are spelled ⟨n⟩. /k/ is normally spelled ⟨c⟩, but ⟨ch⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩, as in Italian. /ɡ/ is normally spelled ⟨g⟩, but ⟨gh⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩, again as in Italian. The palatal stops /c ɟ/ are spelled ⟨cj gj⟩. Note that in some dialects, these sounds are pronounced [tʃ dʒ], as described above. /tʃ/ is spelled ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩, ⟨ç⟩ elsewhere. Note that in some dialects, this sound is pronounced [s]. /dʒ/ is spelled ⟨z⟩. Note that in some dialects, this sound is pronounced [z]. ⟨z⟩ can also represent /ts/ or /dz/ in certain words (e.g. nazion "nation", lezion "lesson"). ⟨h⟩ is silent. ⟨q⟩ is no longer used except in the traditional spelling of certain proper names; similarly for ⟨g⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩.
Long vowels and their origin
Long vowels are typical of the
lat (milk) lât (gone) fis (fixed, dense) fîs (sons) lus (luxury) lûs (light n.)
Friulian dialects differ in their treatment of long vowels. In certain dialects, some of the long vowels are actually diphthongs. The following chart shows how six words (sêt thirst, pît foot, fîl "wire", pôc (a) little, fûc fire, mûr "wall") are pronounced in four dialects. Each dialect uses a unique pattern of diphthongs (yellow) and monophthongs (blue) for the long vowels:
sêt "thirst" SITIM [seit] [seːt] [seit] [seːt]
pît "foot" PEDEM [peit] [peit] [piːt] [piːt]
fîl "wire" FĪLUM [fiːl] [fiːl] [fiːl] [fiːl]
pôc "a little" PAUCUM [pouk] [poːk] [pouk] [poːk]
fûc "fire" FOCUM [fouk] [fouk] [fuːk] [fuːk]
mûr "wall" MŪRUM [muːr] [muːr] [muːr] [muːr]
Note that the vowels î and û in the standard language (based on the
Central dialects) correspond to two different sounds in the Western
dialects (including Codroipo). These sounds are not distributed
randomly but correspond to different origins:
before final -e <
It is quite possible that vowel lengthening occurred originally in all
stressed open syllables, and was later lost in non-final
syllables. Evidence of this is found, for example, in the
divergent outcome of
Central Friulian has lengthening before /r/ even in originally closed
syllables, cf. cjâr /caːr/ "cart" <
Synchronic analyses of vowel length in Friulian often claim that it occurs predictably in final syllables before an underlying voiced obstruent, which is then devoiced. Analyses of this sort have difficulty with long-vowel contrasts that occur non-finally (e.g. pâri "father" mentioned above) or not in front of obstruents (e.g. fi "fig" vs. fî "son", val "valley" vs. vâl "it is worth"). Morphology Friulian is quite different from Italian in its morphology; it is, in many respects, closer to French. Nouns In Friulian as in other Romance languages, nouns are either masculine or feminine (for example, "il mûr" ("the wall", masculine), "la cjadree" ("the chair", feminine). Feminine Most feminine nouns end in -e, which is pronounced, unlike in Standard French:
Some feminine nouns, however, end in a consonant, including those ending in -zion, which are from Latin.
Masculine Most masculine nouns end either in a consonant or in -i.
cjan = dog gjat = cat fradi = brother libri = book
A few masculine nouns end in -e, including sisteme (system) and
probleme (problem). They are usually words coming from Ancient Greek.
However, because most masculine nouns end in a consonant, it is common
to find the forms sistem and problem instead, more often in print than
There are also a number of masculine nouns borrowed intact from
Italian, with a final -o, like treno (train). Many of the words have
been fully absorbed into the language and even form their plurals with
the regular Friulian -s rather than the Italian desinence changing.
Still, there are some purists, including those influential in Friulian
publishing, who frown on such words and insist that the "proper"
Friulian terms should be without the final -o. Despite the fact that
one almost always hears treno, it is almost always written tren.
The Friulian definite article (which corresponds to "the" in English)
is derived from the
Number Masculine Feminine
Singular il la
Plural i lis
Before a vowel, both il and la can be abbreviated to l'[example
needed] in the standard forms. In the spoken language, various other
articles are used.
The indefinite article in Friulian (which corresponds to "a" and an in
English) derives from the
A partitive article also exists: des for feminine and dai for masculine: des vacjis – some cows and dai libris - some books Adjectives A Friulian adjective must agree in gender and number with the noun it qualifies. Most adjectives have four forms for singular (masculine and feminine) and plural (masculine and feminine):
Number Masculine Feminine
Singular brut brute
Plural bruts brutis
Note that in some areas, the feminine is pronounced with different vowels: plural brutes, brutas, or singular bruta, bruto. To form the plural, the normal rules are followed, but in the feminine is formed in severe ways from the masculine:
in most cases, all that is needed is -e (curt, curte) if the final letter is a -c, the feminine can end with -cje, -gje, -che, -ghe if the final letter is a -f, the feminine can end with -ve if the final letter is a -p, the feminine can end with -be if the final letter is a -t, the feminine can end with -de
Plurals To form the plural of masculine and feminine nouns ending in -e, the -e is changed to -is.
taule, taulis = table, tables cjase, cjasis = house, houses lune, lunis = moon, moons scuele, scuelis = school, schools sisteme, sistemis = system, systems manece, manecis = glove, gloves gnece, gnecis = niece, nieces
The plural of almost all other nouns is just -s. It is always pronounced as voiceless [s], as in English cats, never as voiced [z], as in dogs.
man, mans = hand, hands
lezion, lezions = lesson, lessons
cjan, cjans = dog, dogs
gjat, gjats = cat, cats
fradi, fradis = brother, brothers
libri, libris = book, books
tren, trens = train, trains
braç, braçs = arm, arms (from
In some Friulian dialects, there are many words whose final consonant
becomes silent when the -s is added. The words include just about all
those whose singular form ends in -t. The plural of gjat, for example,
is written as gjats but is pronounced in much of
cjaval, cjavai = horse, horses (from
Notice how these very often correspond to French nouns that form an irregular plural in -x: cheval-chevaux, chapeau-chapeaux, cheveu-cheveux, oeil-yeux, genou-genoux. Feminine nouns ending in -l have regular plurals.
piel, piels = skin, skins val, vals (in northern Friulian also "tal", "tals") = valley, valleys
Masculine nouns ending in -st form their plurals by palatalising the final -t to -cj
cavalarist, cavalariscj = military horseman, military horsemen test, tescj = text, texts
Some masculine nouns ending in -t form their plurals by palatalising the final -t to -cj:
dint, dincj = tooth, teeth (from
Nouns ending in "s" do not change spelling in the plural, but some speakers may pronounce the plural -s differently from the singular -s.
The plural of an (year) has several forms depending on dialect, including ain, ains, agn and agns. Regardless of pronunciation, the written form is agns. The same happens for the adjective bon (good), as its plural is bogns. Clitic subject pronouns A feature of Friulian are the clitic subject pronouns. Known in Friulian as pleonastics, are never stressed; they are used together with the verbs to express the subject and can be found before the verb in declarative sentences or immediately after it in case of interrogative or vocative (optative) sentences.
Declaration Question Invocation
I o -io -io
You tu -tu -tu
He al -ial -ial
She e ie ie
We o -o -o
You o -o -o
They -a -o -o
An example: jo o lavori means "I work"; jo lavorio? means "Do I work?", while lavorassio means "I wish I worked". Verbs
Friulian verbal infinitives have one of four endings, -â, -ê, -i, -î; removing the ending gives the root, used to form the other forms (fevel – â, to speak), but in the case of irregular verbs, the root changes They are common (jessi, to be, vê, to have, podê, to be able to). Frequently people use verbs in combination with adverbs to restrict the meaning.
Verbs, present, declarative form
Person fevelâ (to speak) lâ (to go) jessi (to be)
Jo o fevel-i o v-oi o soi
Tu tu fevel-is tu v-âs tu sês
Lui al fevel-e al v-a al è
Nô o fevel-ìn o l-in o sin
Vô o fevel-ais o v-ais (l-ais) o sês
Lôr a fevel-in a v-an a son
Adverbs An adjective can be made into an adverb by adding -mentri to the ending of the feminine singular form of the adjective (lente becomes lentementri, slowly), but it can sometimes lose the -e of the adjective (facile becomes facilmentri, easily). It is more common in the written language; in the spoken language people frequently use other forms or locutions (a planc for slowly). Vocabulary Most vocabulary is derived from Latin, with substantial phonological and morphological changes throughout its history. Therefore, many words are shared with the Romance languages, but other languages have contributed:
Celtic words are many, because the substrate of the Vulgar Latin
spoken in Friuli, was the Karn-Celtic language. ("bâr", wood;
"clap/crap", stone;"cjâr", plow; "crot", frog)
German words were introduced in particular in the Middle Ages, during
the Patrie dal Friûl, when the influence from this culture was quite
strong (bearç, backyard).
Slavic words were brought by Slavic (mostly Alpine Slavic) immigrants
called several times to
Nowadays, Friulian is officially recognized in Italy, supported by law
482/1999, which protects linguistic minorities. Therefore, optional
teaching of Friulian has been introduced in many primary schools. An
online newspaper is active, and there are also a number of musical
groups singing in Friulian and some theatrical companies. Recently,
two movies have been made in Friulian (Tierç lion, Lidrîs cuadrade
di trê), with positive reviews in Italian newspapers. In about 40% of
the communities in the Province of Udine, road signs are in both
Friulian and Italian. There is also an official translation of the
Bible. In 2005, a notable brand of beer used Friulian for one of its
The main association to foster the use and development of Friulian is
the Societât filologjiche furlane, founded in
Road sign in Italian and Friulian.
Every city and village in
the diphthong ie replaces ia: fier (iron) instead of fiar, tiere (soil, earth) instead of tiare. the use of vu instead of u at the beginning of word: vueli (oil) instead of ueli , vueit (empty) instead of ueit. the use of i between vocals: ploie (rain) instead of ploe.
Standard Friulian is called in Friulian furlan standard, furlan normalizât or from Greek, coinè. Criticism There have been several critics of the standardisation of Friulian, mainly from speakers of local variants that differ substantially from the proposed standard; they also argue that the standard could eventually kill local variants. The supporters of standardisation refer to the various advantages that a unique form can bring to the language. Above all, it can help to stop the influence of Italian language in the neologisms, which pose a serious threat to Friulian's future development. They also point out that it is a written standard without affecting pronunciation, which can follow local variants. Opponents of the standardisation, on the other hand, insist that the standard language, being artificially created, is totally inadequate to represent the local variations, particularly from differences in the phonetic pronunciation of the words in each variant that may, in some cases, even require special and different diacritics for writing a single variant. Variants of Friulian Four dialects of Friulian can be at least distinguished, all mutually intelligible. They are usually distinguished by the last vowel of many parts of speech (including nouns, adjectives, adverbs), following this scheme:
Central Friulian, spoken around
The word for home is cjase in Central Friulian and cjasa or cjaso in
Pier Paolo Pasolini
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2012)
Sign of the Universitât dâl Friûl in Udine
In the official writing system, approved by the
Province of Udine
Aa Bb Cc Çç Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Zz
There are also grave accents (à, è, ì, ò and ù) and circumflex
accents (â, ê, î, ô, and û), which are put above the vowels to
distinguish between homophonic words or to show stress (the former)
and show long vowels (the latter).
An alternative system is called
Faggin-Nazzi from the names of the
scholars who proposed it. It is less common, probably also because it
is more difficult for a beginner for its use of letters, such as č,
that are typical of
Hello; my name is Jack! Mandi; jo mi clami Jack!
Today the weather is really hot! Vuê al è propite cjalt!
I really have to go now; see you. O scugni propite lâ cumò; ariviodisi.
I can’t go out with you tonight; I have to study. No pues vignî fûr cun te usgnot; o ai di studiâ.
Paola Benincà & Laura Vanelli. Linguistica friulana. Padova: Unipress, 2005. Paola Benincà & Laura Vanelli. “Friulian”, in The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages, eds. Adam Ledgeway & Martin Maiden. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 139–53. Franc Fari, ed. Manuâl di lenghistiche furlane. Udine: Forum, 2005. Giuseppe Francescato. Dialettologia friulana. Udine: Società Filologica Friulana, 1966. Giovanni Frau. I dialetti del Friuli. Udine: Società Filologica Friulana, 1984. Sabine Heinemann. Studi di linguistica friulana. Udine: Società Filologica Friulana, 2007. Carla Marcato. Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Rome–Bari: Laterza, 2001. Nazzi, Gianni & Deborah Saidero, eds. Friulan Dictionary: English-Friulan / Friulan-English. Udine: Ent. Friul tal Mond, 2000. Piera Rizzolati. Elementi di linguistica friulana. Udine: Società Filologica Friulana, 1981. Paolo Roseano. La pronuncia del friulano standard: proposte, problemi, prospettive, Ce Fastu? LXXXVI, vol. 1 (2010), p. 7–34. Paolo Roseano. Suddivisione dialettale del friulano, in Manuale di linguistica friulana, eds. S. Heinemann & L. Melchior. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2015, pp. 155–186. Federico Vicario, ed. Lezioni di lingua e cultura friulana. Udine: Società Filologica Friulana, 2005. Federico Vicario. Lezioni di linguistica friulana. Udine: Forum, 2005.
The grammar section is based on An introduction to Friulan by R.
Pontisso. Some parts are also based loosely on Gramatiche furlane by
Fausto Zof, Edizioni Leonardo,
- Study made by Arlef, Association of Region for the Friulian Language
^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Friulian language.
Friulian edition of, the free encyclopedia
Short video showing bilingual Italian/Friulian road signs
Radio Onde Furlane. Radio in Friulian language.
Grafie uficiâl de lenghe furlane — Agjenzie regjonal pe lenghe
furlane (different other language resources)
Dante in furlan: 
Provincie di Udin-Provincia di Udine: La lingua friulana
La Patrie dal Friûl; Magazine and News in
v t e
Languages of Italy
Italian Sign Language Regional Italian
Marchigiano Sabino Romanesco
Barese Irpinian Molisan Cosentino Tarantino
Salentino Southern Calabrese
Dalmatian Castelmezzano[a] Manduriano Judaeo-Italian Vastese
Valdôtain Faetar Savoyard
Brigasc Genoese Intemelio Monégasque Royasc
Bustocco and Legnanese Comasco-Lecchese dialects
Comasco Laghée Vallassinese Lecchese
Varesino Southwestern Lombard
Pavese Novarese Cremunés
Gallo-Italic of Basilicata Gallo-Italic of Sicily
Fornes Friulian Ladin
Arbëresh Vaccarizzo Albanian
Brda Gail Valley Inner Carniolan Istrian Karst Natisone Valley Resian Torre Valley
Calabrian Greek Griko
Cimbrian Mòcheno Southern Bavarian
Austrian German Walser Yiddish
^ Castelmezzano may also be defined as an Eastern Romance language,
though the Italo-Dalmation group may itself be defined as a
subdivision of Eastern
v t e
varieties: Central Friulian Northern Friulian South-eastern Friulian Western Friulian constructed language: Furlan standard
varieties: Maréo/Badiot Gherdëina Fascian (cazet, moenat, brach) Ampezan Fodom constructed language: Ladin Dolomitan
standard language: Rumantsch Grischun written varieties: Sursilvan Surmiran Sutsilvan Putèr Vallader non-written varieties: Bargunsegner Jauer Tuatschin
v t e
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Languedocien Limousin Provençal
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Fiuman Talian Triestine
Mediterranean Lingua Franca
Friulian Ladin Romansh
Central, Sardinian and Eastern
Aromanian Istro-Romanian Megleno-Romanian
Italics indicate extinct languages Bold indicates languages with more than 5 million speakers Languages between parentheses are varieties of the language on their left.