Occitan language

Occitan language
occitan, lenga d'òc
Spoken in France
Native speakers 800,000  (1999)[1]
Language family
Official status
Official language in Spain (also the preferred language for use in the
Val d'Aran, Catalonia)
Regulated by Conselh de la Lenga Occitana (in progress)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 oc
ISO 639-2 oci
ISO 639-3 oci
Linguasphere 51-AAA-g & 51-AAA-f
Occitania blanck map.PNG

Occitan (English pronunciation: /ˈɒksɨtən/,[2] Occitan: [uksiˈta] or [utsiˈta]),[3] known also as Lenga d'òc (Occitan: [ˈleŋgɔ ˈðɔ(k)]; French: Langue d'oc), is a collection of related Romance-language dialects spoken in southern France, Italy's Occitan Valleys, Monaco, and Spain's Val d'Aran: the regions sometimes known informally as Occitania. It is also spoken in the linguistic enclave of Guardia Piemontese (Calabria, Italy). It is an official language in Catalonia, Spain (known as Aranese in Val d'Aran).[4] Modern Occitan is the closest relative of Catalan.[5] Since September 2010, the Parliament of Catalonia has considered Aranese Occitan to be the officially preferred language for use in the Val d'Aran. The languages, as spoken in early mediaeval times, might be considered variant forms of the same language. The term Provençal (Occitan: provençau or prouvençau, IPA: [pɾuvenˈsaw]) may be used as a traditional synonym for Occitan but, nowadays, Provençal is mainly understood as an Occitan dialect spoken in Provence.[6]

The long-term survival of Occitan is in grave doubt. According to the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages,[7] four of the six major dialects of Occitan (Provençal, Auvergnat, Limousin and Languedocien) are considered "severely endangered", while the remaining two (Gascon and Vivaro-Alpine) are considered "definitely endangered" ("severely endangered" essentially means that only elderly people still speak the language fluently, while "definitely endangered" means that adults speak the language but are not passing it on to their children).



History of the modern term

The name Occitan comes from lenga d'òc (i.e., òc language), which comes from òc, the Occitan word for yes. The Italian medieval poet Dante was the first to have recorded the term lingua d'oc. In his De vulgari eloquentia he wrote in Latin: "nam alii oc, alii si, alii vero dicunt oil" ("some say òc, others say ; others, in truth, say oïl"), thereby highlighting three major Romance literary languages that were well-known in Italy, based on each language's word for "yes", the òc language (Occitan), the oïl language (French), and the sì language (Italian). This was not, of course, the only defining character of each group.

The word òc came from Vulgar Latin hoc ("this"), while oïl originated from Latin hoc illud ("this [is] it"). Old Catalan and nowadays the Catalan of Northern Catalonia (France, Catalunya Nord) also have hoc (òc). Other Romance languages derive their word for yes from the Latin sic, "thus [it is], [it was done], etc.", such as Spanish , Eastern Lombard , Italian , or Portuguese sim. In Modern Catalan, as in modern Spanish, is usually used as a response, although the language retains the word oi, akin to òc, which is sometimes used at the end of yes-no questions and in higher register also as a positive response.[8] French uses si in response to questions where a negative answer is expected: e.g., "Vous ne restez pas ici?" ("You aren't staying here?").

Other names for Occitan

For many centuries, the Occitan dialects (together with Catalan)[9] were referred to as Limousin or Provençal, the names of two regions lying within modern "Occitania". After Mistral's Félibrige movement in the 19th century, Provençal achieved the greatest literary recognition and so became the most popular term for the Occitan language.

According to Joseph Anglade, a philologist and specialist of medieval literature who helped impose the then archaic term Occitan as the sole correct name,[10][11] the word Lemosin was first used to designate the language at the beginning of the 13th century by Catalan troubadour Raimon Vidal de Besalú in his Razós de trobar[12]

La parladura Francesca val mais et [es] plus avinenz a far romanz e pasturellas; mas cella de Lemozin val mais per far vers et cansons et serventés; et per totas las terras de nostre lengage son de major autoritat li cantar de la lenga Lemosina que de negun'autra parladura, per qu'ieu vos en parlarai primeramen.
The French language is worthier and better suited for romances and pastourelles; but the one from Limousin 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 but Occitania as a whole, as, "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 and even Aquitaine".[13] The term first came into fashion in Italy.[14]

Nowadays, linguists use the terms Provençal and Limousin strictly to refer to specific varieties within Occitania, whereas Occitan is used for the language as a whole. Many non-specialists, however, continue to refer to the language as Provençal, causing some confusion.


One of the oldest written fragments of the language ever found dates back to the year 960, in an official text that was mixed with Latin:[15]

De ista hora in antea non DECEBRÀ Ermengaus filius Eldiarda Froterio episcopo filio Girberga NE Raimundo filio Bernardo vicecomite de castello de Cornone... NO·L LI TOLRÀ NO·L LI DEVEDARÀ NI NO L'EN DECEBRÀ... nec societatem non AURÀ, si per castellum recuperare NON O FA, et si recuperare potuerit in potestate Froterio et Raimundo LO TORNARÀ, per ipsas horas quæ Froterius et Raimundus L'EN COMONRÀ. [...]

It is interesting to note that Carolinian litanies (ca 780), both written and sung in Latin, were answered to in Old Occitan by the audience (Ora pro nos; Tu lo juva).[16]

Other famous pieces include the Boecis, a 258-line-long poem written entirely in the Limousin dialect of Occitan between the year 1000 and 1030 and inspired by Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy; the Waldensian La Nobla Leyczon (dated 1100[17]), la Cançó de Santa Fe (ca 1054–1076), the Romance of Flamenca (13th c.), the Song of the Albigensian Crusade (1213–1219?), Daurel et Beton (12th or 13th c.), Las, qu'i non sun sparvir, astur (11th c.) and Tomida femina (9th or 10th c.).

Occitan was the vehicle for the influential poetry of the medieval troubadours and trobairises: At that time, the language was understood and celebrated throughout most of educated Europe.[18] With the gradual imposition of French royal power over its territory, Occitan declined in status from the 14th century on. By the Edict of Villers-Cotterets (1539) it was decreed that the langue d'oïl (Northern French) should be used for all French administration. Occitan's greatest decline was during the French Revolution, during which diversity of language was considered a threat. The literary renaissance of the late 19th century (which included a Nobel Prize for Frédéric Mistral) was attenuated by the First World War, when Occitan speakers spent extended periods of time alongside French-speaking comrades.


Because the geographical territory in which Occitan is spoken is surrounded by regions in which other Romance languages are used, external influences could have influenced its origin and development. Many factors favoured its development as a language of its own.

  • Mountains and seas: The range of Occitan is bounded naturally by the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, and the Alps.
  • Buffer zones: Arid land, marshes, and areas otherwise impractical for farming and resistant of colonization provide further separation (territory between Loire and Garonne, the Aragon desert plateau).
  • Constant populations: Some Occitan-speaking peoples are descended from people living in the region since prehistory (Bec, 1963).
  • Little Celtic influence (Bec, 1963)
  • Ancient and long-term Roman influence: Julius Caesar once said that the people of Aquitaine could teach the Romans themselves to speak Latin more correctly. According to Müller, "France's linguistic separation began with Roman influence" (Bec, 1963, pp. 20, 21)
  • A separate lexicon: Although Occitan is mid-way between Gallo-Romance and Ibero-Romance language groups, it has "around 550 words inherited from Latin that do not exist in the langue d'oïl or in franco-provençal" (Bec, 1963, 20, 21).
  • Little germanization: "The Frankish lexicon and its phonetic influence often end above the oc/oïl line" (Bec, 1963, 20, 21)

Occitan in Spain

Occitan is closely related to Catalan, with which it shares many linguistic features and even a common origin (see Occitano-Romance languages). 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 Ways of St. James via Somport and Roncesvalles, settling on various spots of the Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon enticed by the privileges granted them by the Navarrese kings. They established themselves in ethnic boroughs where Occitan was used for everyday life, e.g. Pamplona, Sangüesa, Estella, etc.[19] 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.[20] These boroughs in Navarre may have been close-knit communities with little mingling, in a context where the natural milieu was predominantly Basque-speaking. The variant chosen for written administrative records was a koiné based on Languedocien from Toulouse with fairly archaic linguistic features. Evidence of a written account in Occitan from Pamplona revolving around the burning of borough San Nicolas has reached up to our days (1258), while the History of the War of Navarre by Guilhem Anelier (1276) albeit written in Pamplona shows a linguistic variant from Toulouse.[21]

Things turned out slightly otherwise in Aragon, where the sociolinguistic situation was different, with a clearer Basque-Romance bilingual situation (cf. Basques from the Val d'Aran cited circa 1000),[22] but a receding Basque language (Basque banned in the marketplace of Huesca, 1349).[23][24] 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 Saragossa, Huesca and Tudela between 1118 and 1134. It resulted that a second Occitan immigration of this period was assimilated by the similar Navarro-Aragonese language, which at the same time was fostered and chosen by the kings of 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 later in the 15th century, after their exclusive boroughs broke up (1423, Pamplona's boroughs unified).[25]

Gascon-speaking communities were called in for trading purposes by Navarrese kings in the early 12th century to the coastal fringe extending from Donostia to the Bidasoa, where they settled down. The language variant used was different from the ones used in Navarre, i.e. a Béarnese Gascon,[26] with Gascon being in use far longer than in Navarre and Aragon till the 19th century, thanks mainly to the close ties held by Donostia and Pasaia with Bayonne.

Geographic distribution

Usage in France

"Speak French, Be Proper" written across the wall of a Southern French school
This bilingual street sign in Tolosa (Toulouse), like many such signs found in historical parts of the city, is maintained primarily for its antique charm; it is typical of what little remains of the lenga d'òc in southern French cities.[citation needed]

Though it was still an everyday language for most of the rural population of southern France well into the 20th century, it has been all but replaced by the systematic imposition of the French language. According to the 1999 census, there are 610,000 native speakers (almost all of whom are also native French speakers) and perhaps another million persons 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. Nonetheless, the number of proficient speakers of Occitan appears 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. Occitans, as a result of more than 200 years of conditioned suppression and humiliation (see Vergonha), seldom speak their own language in the presence of foreigners, whether they're 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.

Occitan's decline is somewhat less pronounced in Bearn 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 is notable for having elected to post street signs in the local language.

Usage outside France

  • In Val d'Aran, in the north-west corner of Catalonia, Spain, Aranese (a variety of Gascon, in turn a variety of Occitan) is spoken. It is an official language of Catalonia together with Catalan and Spanish.
  • In Italy, Occitan is also spoken in the Occitan Valleys (Alps) in Piedmont and Liguria. An Occitan-speaking enclave also has existed at Guardia Piemontese (Calabria) since the 14th century. Italy adopted in 1999 a Linguistic Minorities Protection Law, or "Law 482", which includes Occitan; however, Italian is the dominant language. It should be noted that the Piedmontese dialect is extremely close to Occitan.
  • In Monaco, some Occitan speakers coexist with remaining native Monegasque (Ligurian) speakers. French is the dominant language.
  • Scattered Occitan-speaking communities exist in different countries:
    • There were Occitan-speaking colonies in Württemberg (Germany) since the 18th century, the latter as a consequence of the Camisard war. The last Occitan speakers were heard in the 1930s.
    • In the Spanish Basque country, Gascon was spoken in the centre of Donostia-San Sebastián, perhaps until the beginning of the 20th century.[27]
    • In the Americas, Occitan speakers exist:
      • in the United States, in Valdese, North Carolina[28]
      • in Canada, in Quebec where there are Occitan associations such as Association Occitane du Québec and Association des Occitans.[29]
      • Pigüé, Argentina – Community settled by 165 Occitans from the Rodez-Aveyron area of Cantal in the late 19th century.
      • Guanajuato – A sparse number of Occitan settlers are known to have settled in that state in the 19th century.[1]

Traditionally Occitan-speaking areas

  • Aquitaine — excluding the Basque-speaking part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the western part of the department and a small part of Gironde where Saintongeais is spoken. The towns of Biarritz, Anglet, and Bayonne are originally Occitan-speaking, with Basque-speaking groups, but their Basque populations grew sharply during the industrial revolution.
  • 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 Metro announcements are bilingual French-Occitan,[30] 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 (Fenolhedés 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 Brigasc). There were former and now extinct isolated towns that spoke Ligurian in the department of Alpes-Maritimes. Mentonasque, that is spoken in Menton, is an Occitan transition dialect with a strong Ligurian influence.
  • In Monaco, Occitan coexists with Ligurian Monegasque. French is the dominant (and imposed) 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. But moreover the natural & historical languages of most of the region are the Poitevin and Saintongeais.
  • Limousin — A rural region (about 710,000 inhabitants) where Occitan (Lemosin dialect, Nord-Occitan family) is still spoken among the oldest residents.
  • Auvergne — The language's use has declined in some urban areas. The department of Allier is divided between a southern Occitan-speaking area and a northern French-speaking area.
  • Centre region — 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.
  • Occitan Valleys (Piedmont, Liguria) — Italian regions where Occitan is spoken only in the southern and central Alpine valleys.
  • Val d'Aran — part of Catalonia that speaks a mountain dialect of Gascon Occitan.

Number of speakers

The area where Occitan was historically dominant is home to some 15 million inhabitants. It may be spoken as a first language by as many as 1 million people[1] in France, Italy, Spain and Monaco. In Monaco, Occitan coexists with Monégasque Ligurian, which is the other native language.[31][32] Some researchers state that up to seven million people in France understand the language,[33][34][35] while twelve to fourteen million fully spoke it in 1921.[36] In 1860, Occitan speakers represented more than 39%[37] of the whole French population (52% for francophones proper); they were still 26% to 36% in the 1920s[38] and less than 7% in 1993.


Occitan dialects according to Pierre Bec
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to P. Bec
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to D. Sumien

Occitan is fundamentally defined by its dialects, rather than being a unitary language. Like other languages that fundamentally exist at a spoken, rather than written, level (e.g. Rhaeto-Romance, Franco-Provençal, Astur-Leonese, and 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 (sub-)dialect and Aranese (spoken in Spain).
  • Languedocien (lengadocian)
  • Limousin (lemosin)
  • Auvergnat (auvernhat)
  • Provençal (provençau or prouvençau), including the Niçard subdialect.
  • Vivaro-Alpine (vivaroaupenc), also known as "Alpine" or "Alpine Provençal", and sometimes considered a subdialect of Provençal

Gascon is generally considered 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."[39]

There is no general agreement about larger groupings of these dialects.

Max Wheeler[39] divides the dialects into two groups:

  • Southwestern (Gascon and Languedocien), more conservative
  • Northeastern (Limousin, Auvergnat, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine), more innovative

Pierre Bec[40] divides the dialects into three groups:

Bec also notes that some linguists prefer a "supradialectal" classification that groups Occitan with Catalan as a part of a wider Occitano-Romanic diasystem. 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[41] proposes a slightly different supradialectal grouping.

  • 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



All these regional varieties of the Occitan language are written and valid. 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 koines). So Occitan can be considered as a pluricentric language.[42] The standardization process began during the 1970s with the works of Pèire Bèc, Robèrt Lafont, Rogièr Teulat, Jacme Taupiac, and Patric Sauzet. But it has not been achieved yet. It is mostly supported by users of the classical norm. Due to the strong situation of diglossia, some users still reject the standardization process and do not conceive Occitan as a language that could work just as other standardized languages.

Writing system

There are two main linguistic norms currently used for Occitan, one (known as "classical"), which is based on that of Mediaeval Occitan, and one (sometimes known as "Mistralian", due to its use by Frédéric Mistral), which is based on modern French orthography. Sometimes, there is some conflict between some 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 or journ, depending on the writer's origin, in Mistralian orthography). The Occitan classical orthography and the Catalan 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 orthography of Portuguese, it is presumed after Friar Gerald, a monk from Moissac, became bishop of Braga in Portugal in 1047 and played a major role in modernizing written Portuguese using classical Occitan norms.[43]
  • The Mistralian norm (or less exactly Mistralian orthography) has the advantage of not forcing Occitan speakers already literate in French (as is usually the case) to learn an entirely new system. Nowadays, it is mostly used in the Provençal/Niçard dialect, besides the classical norm. It has also been used by a number of eminent writers, in particular in Provençal. However, it is somewhat impractical, since it is based mainly on the Provençal dialect and also uses many digraphs for simple sounds, the most notable one being ou for the [u] sound, 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.

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
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.
Tóuti li persouno naisson liéuro e egalo en dignita e en dre. 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. Soun doutadi de rasoun e de counsciència e li cau agì entre eli em' un esperit de frairessa.
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.
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. Soun doutada de razou e de cousiensà e lour chau ajî entre ela am en esprî de freiressà.)
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.
Toutes les persounes naisoun liures e egales en dignità e en drech. Soun douta de razoun e de counsiensio e lour chal agir entre eels amb (/bou) un esperit de freireso.
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 soun doutades de rasoû e de counscienci e qu'ous cau ayi entre eres dap û esperit de hrayresse.
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.
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.
The same extract in five neighboring Romance languages and English for comparison
Tots els éssers humans neixen/naixen lliures i iguals en dignitat i en drets. Són dotats de raó i de consciència, i han de comportar-se fraternalment els uns amb els altres.[44]
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.[44]
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.[44]
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.[44]
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.[44]
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.[45]

Debates concerning linguistic classification and orthography

The majority of scholars believe that Occitan constitutes a single language.[46] Some authors,[47] constituting a tiny minority,[48] reject this opinion and even the name Occitan: they think that there is a family of distinct languages (called langues d'oc / lengas d'oc in plural) rather than dialects.

Many Occitan linguists and writers,[49] particularly those involved with the pan-Occitan movement centred on the Institut d'Estudis Occitans, disagree with the view that Occitan is a family of languages and think that Limousin, Auvergnat, Languedocien, Gascon, Provençal and Alpine Provençal are dialects of a single language. Though there are some noticeable differences between these varieties, there is a very high degree of mutual intelligibility between them;[50] they also share a common literary history, and in academic and literary circles, have been identified as a collective linguistic entity—the langue d'oc—for centuries.

Some Provençal authors [51] 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.[52]

This debate about the status of Provençal should not be confused with the debate concerning the spelling of Provençal.

  • The classical orthography is phonemic and diasystemic, and so more pan-Occitan. It is used in (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 spelling, and therefore more specific to Provençal; its users are divided between the ones that think that Provençal is a part of Occitan and the ones that think that Provençal is a separate language.

For example, the classical (pan-Occitan) spelling writes Polonha where the Mistralian spelling system has Poulougno, for [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.[53] In addition, the fact that Gascon is included within Occitan despite its particular differences, can be also justified [54] because there is a common elaboration (Ausbau) process between Gascon and the rest of Occitan. The vast majority of the Gascon cultural movement [55][56][57] considers itself as a part of the Occitan cultural movement. And the official status of Val d'Aran (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.

The exclusion of Catalan from the Occitan sphere, although Catalan is a language closely related to Occitan, is justified because there has been a consciousness of its being different from Occitan since the later Middle Ages and the elaboration (Ausbau) processes of Catalan and Occitan (including Gascon) have been quite distinct since the 20th century. Nevertheless, some other scholars[58] point that the process that lead to the affirmation of Catalan as a distinct language from Occitan was started during the period when the pressure to include Catalan-speaking areas to a mainstream Spanish culture was at its most.

Linguistic characterisation

Jules Ronjat has sought to characterize Occitan by 19 principal criteria, as generalized as possible. Of those, 11 are phonetic, five morphologic, one syntactic, and two lexical. Close rounded vowels (French: rose, yeux) are rare or absent in Occitan. This characteristic often carries through to an Occitan speaker's French, leading to a distinctive méridional accent. Unlike French, it is a pro-drop language, allowing the omission of the subject (canti: I sing; cantas you sing). 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 or Catalan, or both.

Features of Occitan as a whole

Examples of pan-Occitan features shared with French, but not Catalan:

  • Latin ū (Vulgar Latin /uː/) changed to /y/, as in French (Lat. dūrvm > Oc. dur).
  • Vulgar Latin /o/ changed to /u/, first in unstressed syllables, as in Catalan (Lat. romānvs > Oc. roman), then in stressed syllables (Lat. flōrem > Oc. flor).

Examples of pan-Occitan features shared with Catalan, but not French:

  • Stressed Latin a was preserved (Lat. mare > Oc. mar, Fr. mer).
  • Intervocalic -t- was lenited to /d/ rather than lost (Lat. vitam > Oc. vida, Fr. vie).

Examples of pan-Occitan features not shared with Catalan or French:

  • Original /aw/ preserved.
  • Final /a/ becomes /ɔ/ (note in Valencian (Catalan), /ɔ/ may appear in word-final unstressed position, in a process of vowel harmony).
  • Low-mid /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ diphthongized before velars. /ɛ/ generally becomes /jɛ/; /ɔ/ originally became /wɔ/ or /wɛ/, but has since usually undergone further fronting (e.g. to [wœ], [œ], [ɛ], etc.). Diphthongization also occurred before palatals, as in French and Catalan.
  • Various assimilations in consonant clusters (e.g. ⟨cc⟩ in Occitan, pronounced /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 ca-, ga- to /tʃa, dʒa/.
  • Vocalization of syllable-final /l/ to /w/.
  • Loss of final consonants.
  • Vocalization of syllable-final nasals to nasal vowels.
  • Uvularization of some or all ⟨r⟩ sounds.

Examples of dialect-specific features of the southerly dialects (or some of them) shared with Catalan, but not French:

  • Latin -mb-,-nd- become /m, n/.
  • Betacism: /b/ and /v/ merge (feature shared with some Catalan dialects; except for Balearic, Valencian and Alguerese Catalan, where /v/ is preserved).
  • Intervocalic voiced stops /b d g/ (from Latin -p-, -t, -c-) become voiced fricatives [β ð ɣ].
  • Loss of word-final single /n/ (but not /nn/, e.g. an "year" < ānnvm).

Examples of Gascon-specific features not shared with French or Catalan:

  • Latin initial /f/ changed into /h/ (Lat. filivm > Gasc. hilh). This also happened in medieval Spanish, although the /h/ was eventually lost, or reverted back to /f/ (before a consonant). The Gascon ⟨h⟩ has retained its aspiration.
  • Loss of /n/ between vowels. This also happened in Portuguese and Galician.
  • Change of -ll- to ⟨r⟩ /ɾ/, or ⟨th⟩ word-finally (originally the voiceless palatal stop /c/, but now generally either /t/ or /tʃ/, depending on the word). This is a unique characteristic of Gascon.

Examples of other dialect-specific features not shared with French or Catalan:

  • Merging of syllable-final nasals to /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 /ð/ (from Latin -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 /w/.
  • Palatalization of /jt/ (from Latin ct) to /tʃ/ in most dialects or /(j)t/: lach vs lait (Gascon lèit) 'milk', lucha vs luta (Gascon luta) 'fight'.
  • Weakening of /l/ to /r/ in the Vivaro-Alpine dialect.

Comparison with other Romance languages

Common words in Romance languages, with English (a Germanic language) for reference
Latin Occitan
(including main regional varieties)
Catalan French Ladin (Nones) Lombard Italian Spanish Portuguese Sardinian Romanian English
cantare cantar (chantar) cantar chanter ciantar cantà cantare cantar cantar cantare cânta '(to) sing'
capram cabra (chabra, craba) cabra chèvre ciaura cavra capra cabra cabra craba capră 'goat'
clavem clau clau clé clau ciav chiave llave chave crae cheie 'key'
ecclesiam, basilicam glèisa església église glesia giesa chiesa iglesia igreja gresia biserică 'church'
formaticvm (Vulgar Latin), casevm formatge (hormatge) formatge fromage formai furmai/furmagg formaggio/cacio queso queijo casu caş 'cheese'
lingvam lenga (lengua) llengua langue lenga lengua lingua lengua língua limba limbă 'tongue, language'
noctem nuèch (nuèit) nit nuit not nocc notte noche noite nothe noapte 'night'
plateam plaça plaça place plaza piasa piazza/platea plaza praça pratza piaţă[59] 'square, plaza'
pontem pont (pònt) pont pont pònt punt ponte puente ponte ponte punte 'bridge'

Rich lexicon

A comparison of terms and word counts between languages is not easy, as it is impossible to precisely 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,[60] 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 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 is oèb, for example.

One interesting and useful feature of the Occitan language is its virtually infinite ability to create new words through a number of interchangeable and imbeddable suffixes, giving the original terms a whole array of semantic nuances. Take as an example this excerpt from La covisada (1923) by Henri Gilbert:[61]

Diablassas, diablàs, diablassonassas, diablassonàs, diablassons, diablassonetas, diablassonetassons, diablassonets, diablassonetons, diables, diablonassas, diablonàs, diablonassonas, diablonassons, diablonassonets, diabletassas, diabletàs, diabletassonas, diabletassons, diabletassonets, diablons, diablets, diablonetassas, diablonetàs, diabletonassas, diabletonàs, diablonetassons, diabletonassons, diablonetassonets, diabletonassonets, diabletons, diablonets e diabletonets, totes correguèron darrèr la pòrta e se i ranquèron.
Big she-devils, big devils, big little big she-devils, big little big devils, little big devils, tiny little big she-devils, little big tiny little devils, tiny little big devils, little tiny little big devils, devils, big little she-devils, big little devils, little big little she-devils, little big little devils, tiny little big little devils, big she-devils, big devils, little big she-devils, little big devils, tiny little big devils, little devils, tiny devils, big tiny little she-devils, big tiny little devils, big little tiny she-devils, big little tiny devils, little big tiny little devils, little big little tiny devils, tiny little big tiny little devils, tiny little big little tiny devils, little tiny devils, tiny little devils and tiny little tiny devils, all ran to the back of the door and kept it shut.

The 120 words that are needed for a correct English translation of all types of devils, Occitan expresses with just thirty-four. But this is not the only way to determine the size of things or people. The feminine form is also of great avail. Not to mention that suffixes slightly or greatly affect how things or people are perceived. See for instance the word prat for meadow:

  • pradèl, pradet, pradòt and pradon all refer to a small meadow;
  • prada, pradàs and pradal mean a large one (note that the feminine makes it bigger);
  • pradariá and pradièra are even larger ones (both are feminine);
  • pradeta, pradèla and pradèra are smaller than a prat but larger than a pradet (this small meadow is quite large: its being small is not seen as a problem in itself);
  • pradelàs is larger than a pradèl but smaller than a prat (this meadow is rather large for a small one: it's not so small in fact);
  • pradelet, pradelon, praderon and praderòt are quite smaller than a small meadow;
  • pradesca is a meadow near a river or a pond;
  • pradal is a natural meadow;
  • pradatge, pradariá and pratlin refer to a group of meadows or all meadows in general;
  • pradeta, the diminutive and feminine form of prat, also means a nice little meadow;
  • pradelet, with two diminutive suffixes, is a nice little meadow as well;
  • pradèla, though similar to pradeta in theory, is actually the opposite: a bad little meadow (note that -èl is more negative that -et);
  • pradàs, pradinàs and pradelàs imply that the meadow and the smaller meadows, respectively, are not so good.

Of course, all the aforementioned words may in turn be further precised by other suffixes. These suffixes can be added to nouns (peispeissonpeissonet), adjectives (bravebravilhbravilhon), verbs (petarpetejarpetonejar) and adverbs (doçamentdocetament = doçamenet). Even proper nouns would be altered in a familiar context. In most cases, they're family names: the wife of Mr Mistral (sénher Mistral, monsur Mistral or lo Mistral) will accordingly be called la Mistrala (madama Mistral); their son will be lo Mistralet and their daughter la Mistraleta. Their younger son's nickname will be lo Mistraleton and so forth, without running the risk of being misunderstood. Shall Mr Mistral be tall, old, fat or disliked, he will as easily become lo Mistralàs and lo Mistralon in the opposite case.

Differences between Occitan and Catalan

The separation of Catalan from Occitan is seen by some[citation needed] as largely politically (rather than linguistically) motivated. However, the variety that has become standard Catalan does differ from that which has become standard Occitan in a number of ways. The following are just a few examples:

  • Phonology
    • Standard Catalan (based on Central Eastern Catalan) is unique in that Latin short e developed into a close vowel /e/ (é) and Latin long e developed into an open vowel /ɛ/ (è); this 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 [ˈesə] corresponds to Occitan èsser/èstre [ˈɛse/ˈɛstre] 'to be;' Catalan carrer [kəˈre] corresponds to Occitan carrièra [karˈjɛɾo̞] 'street.'
    • The distinctly Occitan development of word-final -a, pronounced [o̞] in standard Occitan (e.g. chifra 'figure' [ˈtʃifro̞]), did not occur in general Catalan (which has xifra [ˈʃifrə]). However, some Occitan varieties also lack this feature and some Catalan (Valencian) varieties have the [ɔ] pronunciation mostly happening during a vowel harmony process.
    • When in Catalan word stress falls in the antepenultimate syllable, in Occitan the stress is moved to the penultimate syllable: for example, Occitan pagina [paˈdʒino̞] vs. Catalan pàgina [ˈpaʒinə], "page". However, some varieties of Occitan (e.g., around Nice) keep the stress on the antepenultimate syllable (pàgina) while some varieties of Catalan (in Northern Catalonia) put the stress on the penultimate syllable (pagina).
    • Diphthongisation has evolved in different ways, e.g. Occitan paire vs. Catalan pare 'father;' Occitan carrièra (carrèra, carrèira) vs. Catalan carrera.
    • Some Occitan dialects lack the voiceless postalveolar fricative phoneme /ʃ/ but south-western Occitan presents it, e.g. general Occitan caissa [ˈkajso̞] vs. Catalan caixa [ˈkaʃə] and south-western Occitan caissa, caisha [ˈka(j)ʃo̞], 'box.' Nevertheless, some Valencian dialects like Northern Valencian lack that phoneme too, generally substituted for /jsʲ/; e.g. caixa [ˈkajʃa] (Standard Valencian) → [ˈkajsʲa] (Northern Valencian).
    • Occitan has developed the close front rounded vowel /y/ as a phoneme, often (but not always) corresponding to Catalan /u/, e.g. Occitan musica [myˈziko̞] vs. Catalan música [ˈmuzikə].
    • The distribution of palatal consonants /ʎ/ and /ɲ/ differs in Catalan and a part of Occitan: while Catalan permits these sounds in word-final position, in central Occitan they are neutralised to [l] and [n] (e.g. central Occitan filh [fil] vs. Catalan fill [fiʎ], 'son'). Non-central varieties of Occitan, however, can have a palatal realization (e.g. filh, hilh [fiʎ, fij, hiʎ]). However, Alguerese Catalan neutralizes those palatal consonants in word-final position as well.
    • Also, many words that start with /l/ in Occitan start with /ʎ/ in Catalan, e.g. Occitan libre [ˈliβɾe] vs. Catalan llibre [ˈʎiβɾə], 'book.' This is perhaps one of the most distinctive characteristics of Catalan amongst the Romance languages, only shared with Asturian, Leonese and Mirandese. However, some transitional varieties of Occitan, near to the Catalan area, also have initial /ʎ/.
    • While /l/ is always clear in Occitan, in Catalan it tends to be velarized [ɫ] ("dark l"). In coda position, /l/ has tended to be vocalized to [w] in Occitan, while remained dark in Catalan.
    • Standard Eastern Catalan has a neutral vowel [ə] whenever a or e occur in unstressed position (e.g. passar [pəˈsa], 'to happen,' but passa [ˈpasə], 'it happens'), and also [u] whenever o or u occur in unstressed position, e.g. obrir [uˈβɾi], 'to open', but obre [ˈɔβɾə], 'you open'. However, this does not apply to Western Catalan dialects, whose vowel system usually retains the a/e distinction in unstressed position, nor to Northern Catalan dialects, whose vowel system does not retain the o/u distinction in stressed position, much like Occitan.
  • Morphology
    • Verb conjugation is slightly different, although there is a great variety amongst dialects. Medieval conjugations were much closer.
    • Occitan tends to add an analogical -a to the 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' plus the infinitive of the verb: donar 'to give,' va donar 'he gave.' This has the same value as the 'normal' preterite shared by most Romance languages, deriving from the Latin perfect tense: in Catalan, donà 'he gave.' The periphrastic preterite only exists in Occitan as an archaic or as 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, whereas 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 this is not pronounced in any dialect of Catalan (so we have Català, Occità); central Occitan also drops word-final -n, but it is retained in the spelling, as some eastern and western dialects of Occitan do retain the final consonant (so we have Catalan, Occitan). Some digraphs are also written in a different way such as the sound /ʎ/, which is –ll– in Catalan (similar to Spanish) and –lh– in Occitan (similar to Portuguese) or the sound /ɲ/ written –ny– in Catalan and –nh– in Occitan.

Occitano-Romance linguistic group

Despite these differences, Occitan and Catalan remain more or less mutually comprehensible, especially when written — more so than either is with Spanish or French, for example. Occitan and Catalan form a common diasystem (or a common Abstandsprache), which is called Occitano-Romance, according to the linguist Pèire Bèc.[62] 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 speak Occitan well, though around half can understand it; it is thought that the number of Occitan users has decreased dramatically since then. By contrast, in the Spanish Catalonia, nearly three quarters of the population speak Catalan and 95% understand it.[63]

Occitan quotes

According to the testimony of Bernadette Soubirous, the Virgin Mary spoke to her (Lourdes, 25 March 1858) in Gascon saying: Que sòi era Immaculada Concepcion ("I am the Immaculate Conception", the phrase is reproduced under this statue in the Lourdes grotto with a non-standard spelling), confirming the proclamation of this Catholic dogma four years earlier.

One of the most notable passages of Occitan in Western literature occurs in the 26th canto of 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.


"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 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."


"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.[64]

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 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.

See also


  1. ^ a b « De fait, le nombre des locuteurs de l’occitan a pu être estimé par l’INED dans un premier temps à 526 000 personnes, puis à 789 000, » ("In fact, the number of occitan speakers was estimated by the French Demographics Institute at 526,000 people, then 789,000") Philippe Martel, "Qui parle occitan ?" in Langues et cité n°10, décembre 2007.
  2. ^ Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 7th edition, 2005.
  3. ^ Regional pronunciations: occitan = [u(k)siˈtaⁿ, u(k)siˈtɔ, ukʃiˈtɔ].
  4. ^ As stated in its Statute of Autonomy approved. See Article 6.5 in the Parlament-cat.net, text of the 2006 Statute of Catalonia (PDF)
  5. ^ Smith and Bergin. Old Provençal Primer, p. 9.
  6. ^ Dalby, Andrew (1998). "Occitan". Dictionary of Languages (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing plc. p. 468. ISBN 0-7475-3117-X. http://www.bloomsbury.com/. Retrieved 2006-11-08. 
  7. ^ Languages Atlas, UNESCO
  8. ^ Badia i Margarit, Antoni M. (1995). Gramàtica de la llengua catalana: Descriptiva, normativa, diatòpica, diastràtica. Barcelona: Proa. , 253.1 (Catalan)
  9. ^ Lapobladelduc.org, "El nom de la llengua". The name of the language, in Catalan
  10. ^ Joseph Anglade, Histoire sommaire de la littérature méridionale au Moyen-Âge, 1921.
  11. ^ Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921, Part I, Chapter 1, p. 10: Sur Occitania ont été formés les adjectifs latins occitanus, occitanicus et les adjectifs français occitanique, occitanien, occitan (ce dernier terme plus récent), qui seraient excellents et qui ne prêteraient pas à la même confusion que provençal.
  12. ^ Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921, Part I, Chapter 1, p. 7.
  13. ^ Camille Chabaneau et al, Histoire générale de Languedoc, 1872, p. 170: Au onzième, douzième et encore parfois au XIIIe siècle, on comprenait sous le nom de Provence tout le territoire de l'ancienne Provincia Romana et même de l'Aquitaine.
  14. ^ Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921, Part I, Chapter 1, p. 7: Ce terme fut surtout employé en Italie.
  15. ^ François Juste Marie Raynouard, Choix des poésies originales des troubadours, Tome II, 1817, p. 40
  16. ^ François Juste Marie Raynouard, Choix des poésies originales des troubadours, Tome I, 1816, p. vij
  17. ^ François Juste Marie Raynouard, Choix des poésies originales des troubadours, Tome II, 1817, p. cxxxvij: "Ben ha mil e cent (1100) ancs complí entierament / Que fo scripta l'ora car sen al derier temps."
  18. ^ Charles Knight, Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. XXV, 1843, p. 308: "At one time the language and poetry of the troubadours were in fashion in most of the courts of Europe."
  19. ^ Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana ; Abadia de Montserrat) (20): 247. ISSN 0214-8188. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2274080. 
  20. ^ Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1998). "Notas gráfico-fonéticas sobre la documentación medieval navarra". Príncipe de Viana (214): 524. ISSN 0032-8472. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=16134. 
  21. ^ Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana ; Abadia de Montserrat) (20): 247–249. ISSN 0214-8188. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2274080. 
  22. ^ Morvan, Michel (1997). Les origines linguistiques du Basque. Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux (PUB). p. 26. ISBN 978-2867811821. 
  23. ^ Jurio, Jimeno (1997). Navarra: Historia del Euskera. Tafalla: Txalaparta. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-8-481-36062-2. 
  24. ^ "Licenciado Andrés de Poza y Yarza". EuskoMedia Fundazioa. http://www.euskomedia.org/aunamendi/118353. Retrieved 2010-02-17.  Poza quotes the Basques inhabiting lands as far east as the River Gallego in the 16th century
  25. ^ Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana ; Abadia de Montserrat) (20): 249. ISSN 0214-8188. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2274080. 
  26. ^ Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana ; Abadia de Montserrat) (20): 248. ISSN 0214-8188. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2274080. 
  27. ^ DESAPARICION DEL EUSKARA POR EL NORTE Y EL ESTE (in Spanish): En San Sebastián [...] se habla gascón desde el siglo XIV hasta el 1919
  28. ^ Ghigo F. (1980) The Provençal speech of the Waldensian colonists of Valdese, North Carolina, Valdese: Historic Valdese Foundation; Holmes U. T. (1934) "Waldensian speech in North Carolina", Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 54: 500–513
  29. ^ Expatries-france.com, Selection Villes
  30. ^ LaDepeche.fr
  31. ^ Pierre, Bec. (1995) La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? n° 1059, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
  32. ^ Arveiller Raymond. (1967) Étude sur le parler de Monaco, Monaco: Comité National des Traditions Monégasques, p. ix.
  33. ^ Klinkenberg, Jean-Marie. Des langues romanes, Duculot, 1994, 1999, p. 228: "The amount of speakers is an estimated 10 to 12 millions... in any case never less than 6 millions."
  34. ^ Baker, Colin; and Sylvia Prys Jones. Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education, 1997, p. 402: "Of the 13 million inhabitants of the area where Occitan is spoken (comprising 31 départements) it is estimated that about half have a knowledge of one of the Occitan varieties."
  35. ^ Barbour, Stephen; and Cathie Carmichael. Language and nationalism in Europe, 2000, p. 62: "Occitan is spoken in 31 départements, but even the EBLUL (1993: 15-16) is wary of statistics: 'There are no official data on the number of speakers. Of some 12 to 13 million inhabitants in the area, it is estimated 48 per cent understand Occitan, 28 per cent can speak it, about 9 per cent of the population use it on a daily basis, 13 per cent can read and 6 per cent can write the language.'"
  36. ^ Anglade, Joseph. Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921: La Langue d'Oc est parlée actuellement par douze ou quatorze millions de Français ("Occitan is now spoken by twelve or fourteen million French citizens").
  37. ^ parlée dans le Midi de la France par quatorze millions d'habitants ("spoken in the South of France by fourteen million inhabitants"). Louis de Baecker (1860). "Grammaire comparée des langues de la France, par Louis de Baecker. Flamand, allemand, celto-breton, basque, provençal, espagnol, italien, français, comparés au sanscrit". p. 52. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5846989r.f61.pagination.langEN.hl. Retrieved 3 September 2010.  and "Grammaire comparée des langues de la France, par Louis de Baecker. Flamand, allemand, celto-breton, basque, provençal, espagnol, italien, français, comparés au sanscrit". pp. 54. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5846989r.f63.langEN. Retrieved 3 September 2010.  54
  38. ^ Yann Gaussen, Du fédéralisme de Proudhon au Félibrige de Mistral, 1927, p. 4: [...] défendre une langue, qui est aujourd'hui la mère de la nôtre, parlée encore par plus de dix millions d'individus [...] ("protect a language, which is today the mother of ours, still spoken by more than ten million individuals"); Yvan Gaussen. "Du fédéralisme de Proudhon au Félibrige de Mistral". http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k57104841.image.langEN.f6.pagination. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  39. ^ a b Wheeler, Max (1988), "Occitan", in Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel, The Romance Languages, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 246–278 
  40. ^ Bec, Pierre (1973), Manuel pratique d'occitan moderne, Paris:Picard.
  41. ^ Domergue SUMIEN (2006), La standardisation pluricentrique de l'occitan: nouvel enjeu sociolinguistique, développement du lexique et de la morphologie, coll. Publications de l'Association Internationale d'Études Occitanes, Turnhout: Brepols
  42. ^ Domergue Sumien (2006) La standardisation pluricentrique de l'occitan: nouvel enjeu sociolinguistique, développement du lexique et de la morphologie, Turnhout: Brepols.
  43. ^ Jean-Pierre Juge (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 25
  44. ^ a b c d e "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. http://www.omniglot.com/udhr/italic.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  45. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. http://www.omniglot.com/udhr/germanic.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  46. ^ Georg Kremnitz, "Une approche sociolinguistique", in F. Peter Kirsch, & Georg Kremnitz, & Brigitte Schlieben-Lange (2002) Petite histoire sociale de la langue occitane: usages, images, littérature, grammaires et dictionnaires, coll. Cap al Sud, F-66140 Canet: Trabucaire, p. 109-111 [updated version and partial translation from: Günter Holtus, & Michael Metzeltin, & Christian Schmitt (1991) (dir.) Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik. Vol. V-2: Okzitanisch, Katalanisch, Tübingen: Niemeyer]
  47. ^ Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle, Pierre Bonnaud and Jean Lafitte
  48. ^ As indicated by: Georg Kremnitz, "Une approche sociolinguistique", in F. Peter Kirsch, & Georg Kremnitz, & Brigitte Schlieben-Lange (2002) Petite histoire sociale de la langue occitane: usages, images, littérature, grammaires et dictionnaires, coll. Cap al Sud, F-66140 Canet: Trabucaire, pp. 109–111 [updated version and partial translation from: Günter Holtus, & Michael Metzeltin, & Christian Schmitt (1991) (dir.) Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik. Vol. V-2: Okzitanisch, Katalanisch, Tübingen: Niemeyer]
  49. ^ Kremintz Georg (2003) "Un regard sociolinguistique sur les changements de la situation de l’occitan depuis 1968" in: Castano R., & Guida S., & Latella F. (2003) (dir.) Scènes, évolutions, sort de la langue et de la littérature d’oc. Actes du VIIe congrès de l’Association Internationale d’Études Occitanes, Reggio di Calabria/Messina, 7-13 juillet 2002, Rome: Viella
  50. ^ See especially:
    • From traditional Romance philology: Jules Ronjat (1930–1941), Grammaire istorique des parlers provençaux modernes, 1930 & Essai de syntaxe des parlers provençaux modernes, p. 12: Mais les différences de phonétique, de morphologie, de syntaxe et de vocabulaire ne sont pas telles qu'une personne connaissant pratiquement à fond un de nos dialectes ne puisse converser dans ce dialecte avec une autre personne parlant un autre dialecte qu'elle possède pratiquement à fond. "Essai de syntaxe des parlers provençaux modernes". p. 12. http://www.archive.org/stream/essaidesyntaxede00ronjuoft#page/12/mode/2up. Retrieved 3 September 2010.  (But phonetical, morphological, syntactical and lexical differences are not such that a person quite perfectly fluent in one of our dialects would not be able to have a conversation with another person speaking another dialect with an equally perfect fluency) [see esp. "Introduction" in Grammaire... (vol. 1, p. 1–32)].
    • About the unity of the Occitan diasystem in structural linguistics: Pierre Bec (1973), Manuel pratique d’occitan moderne, coll. Connaissance des langues, Paris: Picard, p. 24–25
  51. ^ Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle
  52. ^ The most emblematic and productive ones, Frédéric Mistral, Robert Lafont, and their followers (Théodore Aubanel, René Merle, Claude Barsotti, Philippe Gardy, Florian Vernet, Bernard Giély, Pierre Pessemesse...), and also the most important and historic Provençal cultural associations as CREO Provença, Felibrige and Parlaren (Assiso de la Lengo Nostro en Prouvènço, 2003)
  53. ^ The close ties between Gascon and others Occitan dialects have been demonstrated through a common diasystem: Bec, Pierre (1963). La Langue Occitane. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. p. 46. 
  54. ^ Georg Kremnitz, "Une approche sociolinguistique", in F. Peter Kirsch, & Georg Kremnitz, & Brigitte Schlieben-Lange (2002) Petite histoire sociale de la langue occitane: usages, images, littérature, grammaires et dictionnaires, coll. Cap al Sud, F-66140 Canet: Trabucaire, p. 109–111 [updated version and partial translation from: Günter Holtus, & Michael Metzeltin, & Christian Schmitt (1991) (dir.) Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik. Vol. V-2: Okzitanisch, Katalanisch, Tübingen: Niemeyer]
  55. ^ PerNoste.com
  56. ^ Reclams.no-ip.org, Reclams/Escòla Gaston Fèbus
  57. ^ Perso.orange.fr, Aranaram Au Patac
  58. ^ Lluis Fornés, see his thesis El Pensament Panoccitanista on the Oc-València site.
  59. ^ Modern loanword from Italian or Greek (Iordan, Dift., 145)
  60. ^ Avner Gerard Levy & Jacques Ajenstat: The Kodaxil Semantic Manifesto (2006), Section 10 – Modified Base64 / Kodaxil word length, representation, p. 9: "the English language, as claimed by Merriam-Webster, as well as the Occitan language – are estimated to comprise over 450,000 words in their basic form."
  61. ^ "La covisada; en dialecte brivadois, avec une traduction française et des notes". http://www.archive.org/stream/lacovisadaendial00gilbuoft#page/166/mode/2up. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  62. ^ Pierre Bec (1995) La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? nr. 1059, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France [1st ed. 1963]
  63. ^ Gencat.net
  64. ^ Registro de Representantes by Lope de Rueda, in Spanish. Peirutón speaks a mix of Gascon and Catalan.


  • Smith, Nathaniel B.; Bergin, Thomas Goddard (1984). An Old Provençal Primer. Garland. ISBN 0824090306. 
  • Carrera, Aitor (2007) (in Aranese). Gramatica Aranesa. Lleida: Pagès Editors. ISBN 9788497794848. 

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