The Info List - Mirandese

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The Mirandese language
Mirandese language
(autonym: mirandés or lhéngua mirandesa; Portuguese: mirandês or língua mirandesa) is an Astur-Leonese language that is sparsely spoken in a small area of northeastern Portugal
in the municipalities of Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro
and Vimioso. The Assembly of the Republic granted it official recognition alongside Portuguese for local matters on 17 September 1998 with the law 7/99 of 29 January 1999. Mirandese has a distinct phonology, morphology and syntax. It has its roots in the local Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
spoken in the northern Iberian Peninsula. Mirandese is a descendant of the Astur-Leonese variety spoken in the Kingdom of León
Kingdom of León
and has both archaisms and innovations that differentiate it from the modern varieties of Astur-Leonese spoken in Spain. In recognition of these differences, and due to its political isolation from the rest of the Astur-Leonese speaking territory, Mirandese has adopted a different written norm to the one used in Spain
for Astur-Leonese. Lexically, it shares a lot of vocabulary with Portuguese.[citation needed]


1 History 2 Variants 3 Phonology 4 Morphology 5 Sample text 6 Recognition 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

History[edit] In the 19th century, José Leite de Vasconcelos
José Leite de Vasconcelos
described it as "the language of the farms, of work, home, and love between the Mirandese". Since 1986–87, it has been taught optionally to students at primary and lower secondary level, and has thus been somewhat recovering.[citation needed] Today Mirandese retains fewer than 5,000 speakers (but the number can be up to 15,000 if counting second-language speakers) in the villages of the Municipality of Miranda do Douro
Miranda do Douro
and in some eastern villages (such as Vilar Seco and Angueira; in Caçarelhos, it is considered recently extinct of the Municipality of Vimioso, and some linguistic influence can be observed at other villages of the municipality of Vimioso
and the municipalities of Mogadouro, Macedo de Cavaleiros and Bragança. Variants[edit] Three variants of the Mirandese language
Mirandese language
exist: Border Mirandese (Mirandés Raiano), Central Mirandese (Mirandés Central) and Sendinese (Sendinés). Most speakers of Mirandese also speak Portuguese. The main differences between Mirandese in Portugal
and the Astur-Leonese languages
Astur-Leonese languages
in Spain
are caused by the dominant languages in each region. Mirandese has been influenced phonetically and in lexicon by Portuguese and the Astur-Leonese languages
Astur-Leonese languages
in Spain
by Spanish (Castilian). All have distinctive orthography that phonetically reflects the respective main national languages. Another difference is that Mirandese and Leonese remain very conservative, while Asturian has undergone a greater amount of change.[citation needed] Phonology[edit] Some historical developments in Mirandese are the following:

Mirandese maintains distinct reflexes of all seven medieval Ibero-Romance

Ibero-Romance Mirandese European Portuguese North/Central Castilian Spanish

/t͡ʃ/ /t͡ʃ/ ⟨ch⟩ /ʃ/ ⟨ch⟩ /t͡ʃ/ ⟨ch⟩

/ʃ/ /ʃ/ ⟨x⟩ /ʃ/ ⟨x⟩ /x/ ⟨j⟩

/ʒ/ /ʒ/ ⟨g⟩ / ⟨j⟩ /ʒ/ ⟨g⟩ / ⟨j⟩ /x/ ⟨g⟩ / ⟨j⟩

/t͡s/ > /s̻/ /s̻/ ⟨c⟩ / ⟨ç⟩ /s̻/ ⟨c⟩ / ⟨ç⟩ /θ/ ⟨c⟩ / ⟨z⟩

/d͡z/ > /z̻/ /z̻/ ⟨z⟩ /z̻/ ⟨z⟩ /θ/ ⟨c⟩ / ⟨z⟩

/s̺/ /s̺/ ⟨s⟩ / ⟨-ss-⟩ /s̻/ ⟨s⟩ / ⟨-ss-⟩ /s̺/ ⟨s⟩

/z̺/ /z̺/ ⟨s⟩ /z̻/ ⟨s⟩ /s̺/ ⟨s⟩

/s̺/ and /z̺/ indicate apico-alveolar sibilants (as in modern Catalan, northern/central peninsular Spanish and coastal northern European Portuguese), while /s̻/ and /z̻/ are dentalized laminal alveolar sibilants (as in most modern Portuguese, French and English). The unrelated Basque language
Basque language
also maintains a distinction between /s̺/ and /s̻/ (Basque has no voiced sibilants), which suggests that the distinction originally was an areal feature across Iberia.

Portuguese spelling still distinguishes all seven and is identical to Mirandese spelling in this respect, but in pronunciation, Portuguese has reduced them to four /s, z, ʃ, ʒ/ except in northern hinterland European Portuguese
European Portuguese
dialects, including those of the area that Mirandese is spoken. Northern/central Peninsular Spanish
Peninsular Spanish
has also reduced them to four but in quite a different way: /t͡ʃ, θ, s̺, x/. Andalusian Spanish
Andalusian Spanish
and Latin American Spanish
Latin American Spanish
have further reduced them to three: /t͡ʃ, s̻, h/.

Retention of the initial /f/ from Latin, like nearly all dialects of Western Romance
Western Romance
(the major maverick being Castilian, where /f/ > /h/ > ∅). As in Portuguese, the Latin
initial consonant clusters /pl/, /kl/, /fl/ evolve into /ʃ/. Proto-Romance
medial clusters -ly- and -cl- became medial /ʎ/. The cluster /-mb-/ is kept. Proto-Romance
-mn- becomes /m/: lūm'nem > lume. Falling diphthongs /ei/, /ou/ preserved. Final -o becomes /u/. Voiced sibilants are still maintained. Retention of intervocalic /l/, /n/. Western Romance
Western Romance
/ɛ/, /ɔ/ diphthongize to /jɛ/, /wo/ (as in Italian, and unlike Spanish /je/, /we/). That happens not only before palatals, as in Aragonese, but also before nasals. /l/ is palatalized word-initially (as in other Astur-Leonese languages and in Catalan).

Morphology[edit] As in Portuguese, Mirandese still uses the following synthetic tenses:

Synthetic pluperfect in -ra. Future subjunctive in -r(e). Personal infinitive in -r(e), which has the same endings as the future subjunctive but often differs because the personal infinitive always uses the infinitive stem, but the future subjunctive uses the past-tense stem.

Sample text[edit] The following is a sample text of the Mirandese language, written by Amadeu Ferreira, and published in the newspaper Público, on 24 July 2007.

Mirandese Portuguese English

Muitas lhénguas ténen proua de ls sous pergaminos antigos, de la lhiteratura screbida hai cientos d'anhos i de scritores hai muito afamados, hoije bandeiras dessas lhénguas. Mas outras hai que nun puoden tener proua de nada desso, cumo ye l causo de la lhéngua mirandesa.

Muitas línguas têm orgulho dos seus pergaminhos antigos, da literatura escrita há centenas de anos e de escritores muito famosos, hoje bandeiras dessas línguas. Mas há outras que não podem ter orgulho de nada disso, como é o caso da língua mirandesa.

Many languages take pride in their ancient scrolls, their centuries-old literature, and in famous writers, today standards of those languages. But there others which can’t boast of any of this, as is the case of Mirandese.

Then a comparison of the previous text in three modern languages of the Asturo-leonese group:

Mirandese Leonese Asturian

Muitas lhénguas ténen proua de ls sous pergaminos antigos, de la lhiteratura screbida hai cientos d'anhos i de scritores hai muito afamados, hoije bandeiras dessas lhénguas. Mas outras hai que nun puoden tener proua de nada desso, cumo ye l causo de la lhéngua mirandesa.

Muitas llinguas tien arguyu de los sous pergaminos antiguos, de la lliteratura escrita van cientos d'annos y d'escritores bien famosos; guei bandeiras d'eisas llinguas. Peru hai outras que nun pueden tener arguyu de nada d'eisu, cumu ye'l casu de la llingua mirandesa.

Munches llingües tienen arguyu de los sos pergaminos antiguos, de la lliteratura escrita hai cientos d'años y d'escritores enforma famosos, güei banderes d'eses llingües. Pero hai otres que nun pueden tener arguyu de nada d'eso, como ye'l casu de la llingua mirandesa.


Public sign with the history of the Cathedral of Miranda do Douro, written in Mirandese.

Mirandese, given its status as second official language in Portugal after Portuguese, has been the subject in recent years of some publicity and attention in other parts of Portugal. A monthly chronicle in Mirandese, by researcher and writer Amadeu Ferreira, appears in the daily Portuguese national newspaper Público. The first volume of the Adventures of Asterix, named Asterix, L Goulés (Asterix the Gaul), was published in a Mirandese translation by Amadeu Ferreira in 2005, and sold throughout Portugal. Amadeu Ferreira also translated into Mirandese the epic poem by Camões, Os Lusíadas
Os Lusíadas
(Ls Lusíadas), under his pseudonym Francisco Niebro and published it in 2009.[5] In 2011, the four Gospels
of the Bible's New Testament
New Testament
were translated into Mirandese, and in 2013 the entire Bible
was translated into the language by Domingos Augusto Ferreira.[6] See also[edit]

Asturian language Extremaduran language Leonese language

Languages portal Portugal


^ Mirandese at Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) ^ "Mirandese". Ethnologue.com. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-04-10.  ^ "Mirandese". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-04-10.  ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mirandese". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "Oito anos para traduzir "Os Lusíadas" em língua mirandesa - Cartaz - DN". Dn.pt. Retrieved 2014-08-21.  ^ Galvan, Virginia. "Exposição "Bíblia Sagrada" traduzida em mirandês em Miranda do Douro". Local.Pt. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 

Further reading[edit]

Ferreira, Manuela Barros e Raposo, Domingos (coord) (1999), Convenção Ortográfica da Língua Mirandesa, Miranda do Douro, Lisbon, ed. Câmara Municipal de Miranda do Douro
Miranda do Douro
/ Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa

External links[edit]

Mirandese edition of, the free encyclopedia

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mirandese language.

(in Portuguese) Orthographic Convention for Mirandese Language (PDF) Excerpt of The Lusiads in Mirandese L Mirandés: Ũa Lhéngua Minoritaira an Pertual Mirandese: A minority language in Portugal
(PDF, in Mirandese) (in Portuguese) Piece of legislation which officially recognizes Mirandese as a language of Portugal Seth Kugel, "In Portugal, Mirandese spoken here—and only here", The New York Times, January 17, 2012

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