Occitan language

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occitan, lenga d'òc, provençal
Native to France, Spain, Italy, Monaco
Ethnicity Occitans
Native speakers
estimates range from 100,000 to 800,000 total speakers (2007–2012), [1] [2] with 68,000 in Italy (2005 survey), [3] 4,000 in Spain (Val d'Aran) [4]
Early forms
Latin alphabet (Occitan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in

Italy (Occitan Valleys) (Law number 482 of 15 December 1999) [5]


Regulated by Conselh de la Lenga Occitana; [6] Congrès Permanent de la Lenga Occitana; [7] Institut d'Estudis Aranesi [8]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 oc
ISO 639-2 oci
ISO 639-3 oci – inclusive code
Individual code:
sdt    Judeo-Occitan
Glottolog occi1239
Linguasphere 51-AAA-g & 51-AAA-f
Occitania blanck map.PNG
Idioma occitano dialectos.png
Various dialects of Occitan

ll-). There are also significant lexical differences, where some dialects have words cognate with French, and others have Catalan and Spanish cognates. Nonetheless, there is a significant amount of mutual intelligibility.

Occitan words and their French, Catalan and Spanish Cognates
EnglishCognate of FrenchCognate of Catalan and Spanish
to buyachaptarachetercromparcomprarcomprar
to hearentendreentendreausir / audirescoltaroír
to be quietse tairese tairecalarcallarcallar
to falltombartombercairecaurecaer

Gascon is the most divergent, and descriptions of the main features of Occitan often consider Gascon separately. Max Wheeler notes that "probably only its copresence within the French cultural sphere has kept [Gascon] from being regarded as a separate language", and compares it to Franco-Provençal, which is considered a separate language from Occitan but is "probably not more divergent from Occitan overall than Gascon is". [53]

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

Max Wheeler divides the dialects into two groups: [53]

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

Pierre Bec divides the dialects into three groups: [54]

  • Gascon, standing alone
  • Southern Occitan (Languedocien and Provençal)
  • Northern Occitan (Limousin, Auvergnat, Vivaro-Alpine)

Bec also notes that some linguists prefer a "supradialectal" classification that groups Occitan with Catalan as a part of a wider Occitano-Romanic group. One such classification posits three groups:

  • "Arverno-Mediterranean" (arvèrnomediterranèu), same as Wheeler's northeastern group, i.e. Limousin, Auvergnat, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine
  • "Central Occitan" (occitan centrau), Languedocien, excepting the Southern Languedocien subdialect
  • "Aquitano-Pyrenean" (aquitanopirenenc), Southern Languedocien, Gascon and Catalan

According to this view, Catalan is an ausbau language that became independent from Occitan during the 13th century, but originates from the Aquitano-Pyrenean group.

Domergue Sumien proposes a slightly different supradialectal grouping. [55]

  • Arverno-Mediterranean (arvèrnomediterranèu), same as in Bec and Wheeler, divided further:
    • Niçard-Alpine (niçardoaupenc), Vivaro-Alpine along with the Niçard subdialect of Provençal
    • Trans-Occitan (transoccitan), the remainder of Provençal along with Limousin and Auvergnat
  • Pre-Iberian (preïberic)
    • Central Occitan (occitan centrau), same as in Bec
    • Aquitano-Pyrenean (aquitanopirenenc), same as in Bec

IETF dialect tags

  • pro: Old Occitan (until the 14th century).
  • sdt: Judeo-Occitan

Several IETF language variant tags have been registered: [56]

  • oc-aranese: Aranese.
  • oc-auvern: Auvergnat.
  • oc-cisaup: Cisalpine, northwestern Italy.
  • oc-creiss: Croissant
  • oc-gascon: Gascon.
  • oc-lemosin: Leimousin.
  • oc-lengadoc: Languedocien.
  • oc-nicard: Niçard.
  • oc-provenc: Provençal.
  • oc-vivaraup: Vivaro-Alpine.



All regional varieties of the Occitan language have a written form; thus, Occitan can be considered as a pluricentric language. Standard Occitan, also called occitan larg (i.e., 'wide Occitan') is a synthesis that respects and admits soft regional adaptations (which are based on the convergence of previous regional koinés). [55] The standardization process began with the publication of Gramatica occitana segon los parlars lengadocians ("Grammar of the Languedocien Dialect") by Louis Alibert (1935), followed by the Dictionnaire occitan-français selon les parlers languedociens ("French-Occitan dictionary according to Languedocien") by the same author (1966), completed during the 1970s with the works of Pierre Bec (Gascon), Robèrt Lafont (Provençal), and others. However, the process has not yet been completed as of the present.[ clarification needed ]. Standardization is mostly supported by users of the classical norm. Due to the strong situation of diglossia, some users[ who? ] thusly reject the standardization process, and do not conceive Occitan as a language that can be standardized as per other standardized languages[ citation needed ].

Writing system

There are two main linguistic norms currently used for Occitan, one (known as "classical"), which is based on that of Medieval Occitan, and one (sometimes known as "Mistralian", due to its use by Frédéric Mistral), which is based on modern French orthography. Sometimes, there is conflict between users of each system.

  • The classical norm (or less exactly classical orthography) has the advantage of maintaining a link with earlier stages of the language, and reflects the fact that Occitan is not a variety of French. It is used in all Occitan dialects. It also allows speakers of one dialect of Occitan to write intelligibly for speakers of other dialects (e.g. the Occitan for day is written jorn in the classical norm, but could be jour, joun, journ, or even yourn, depending on the writer's origin, in Mistralian orthography). The Occitan classical orthography and the Catalan 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, presumably by Gerald of Braga, a monk from Moissac, who became bishop of Braga in Portugal in 1047, playing a major role in modernizing written Portuguese using classical Occitan norms. [57]
  • The Mistralian norm (or less exactly Mistralian orthography) has the advantage of being similar to that of French, in which most Occitan speakers are literate. Now, it is used mostly in the Provençal/Niçard dialect, besides the classical norm. It has also been used by a number of eminent writers, particularly in Provençal. However, it is somewhat impractical, because it is based mainly on the Provençal dialect and also uses many digraphs for simple sounds, the most notable one being ou for the [u] sound, as it is in French, written as o under the classical orthography.

There are also two other norms but they have a lesser audience. The Escòla dau Pò norm (or Escolo dóu Po norm) is a simplified version of the Mistralian norm and is used only in the Occitan Valleys (Italy), besides the classical norm. The Bonnaudian norm (or écriture auvergnate unifiée, EAU) was created by Pierre Bonnaud and is used only in the Auvergnat dialect, besides the classical norm.

Comparison between the four existing norms in Occitan: extract from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Classical normMistralian normBonnaudian normEscòla 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 six neighboring Romance languages and English for comparison
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. [58]
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. [58]
Totes les persones neixen/naixen lliures i iguals en dignitat i en drets. Són dotades de raó i de consciència, i han de comportar-se fraternalment les unes amb les altres. [58]
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. [58]
Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e direitos. Eles são dotados de razão e consciência, e devem comportar-se fraternalmente uns com os outros. [58]
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. [58]
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. [59]

Note that Catalan version was translated from the Spanish, while the Occitan versions were translated from the French. The second part of the Catalan version may also be rendered as "Són dotades de raó i de consciència, i els cal actuar entre si amb un esperit de fraternitat", showing the similarities between Occitan and Catalan.

Orthography IETF subtags

Several IETF language subtags have been registered for the different orthographies: [56]

  • oc-grclass: Classical Occitan orthography.
  • oc-grital: Italian-inspired Occitan orthography.
  • oc-grmistr: Mistralian-inspired Occitan orthography.

Debates concerning linguistic classification and orthography

The majority of scholars think that Occitan constitutes a single language. [60] Some authors, [61] constituting a minority, [60] reject this opinion and even the name Occitan, thinking that there is a family of distinct lengas d'òc rather than dialects of a single language.

Many Occitan linguists and writers, [62] particularly those involved with the pan-Occitan movement centered on the Institut d'Estudis Occitans, disagree with the view that Occitan is a family of languages; instead they believe Limousin, Auvergnat, Languedocien, Gascon, Provençal and Vivaro-Alpine are dialects of a single language. Although there are indeed noticeable differences between these varieties, there is a very high degree of mutual intelligibility between them [63] partly because they share a common literary history; furthermore, academic and literary circles have identified them as a collective linguistic entity—the lenga d'òc—for centuries.[ citation needed ]

Some Provençal authors continue to support the view that Provençal is a separate language. [64] Nevertheless, the vast majority of Provençal authors and associations think that Provençal is a part of Occitan. [65]

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 thus more pan-Occitan. It can be used for (and adapted to) all Occitan dialects and regions, including Provençal. Its supporters think that Provençal is a part of Occitan.
  • The Mistralian orthography of Provençal is more or less phonemic but not diasystemic and is closer to the French spelling and therefore more specific to Provençal; its users are divided between the ones who think that Provençal is a part of Occitan and the ones who think that Provençal is a separate language.

For example, the classical system writes Polonha, whereas the Mistralian spelling system has Poulougno, for [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. [66] In addition, Gascon's being included in Occitan despite its particular differences can be justified because there is a common elaboration ( Ausbau ) process between Gascon and the rest of Occitan. [60] The vast majority of the Gascon cultural movement considers itself as a part of the Occitan cultural movement. [67] [68] 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. [69]

The exclusion of Catalan from the Occitan sphere, even though Catalan is closely related, is justified because there has been a consciousness of its being different from Occitan since the later Middle Ages and because the elaboration (Ausbau) processes of Catalan and Occitan (including Gascon) have been quite distinct since the 20th century. Nevertheless, other scholars point out that the process that led to the affirmation of Catalan as a distinct language from Occitan started during the period when the pressure to include Catalan-speaking areas in a mainstream Spanish culture was at its greatest. [70]

The answer to the question of whether Gascon or Catalan should be considered dialects of Occitan or separate languages has long been a matter of opinion or convention, rather than based on scientific ground. However, two recent studies support Gascon's being considered a distinct language. For the very first time, a quantifiable, statistics-based approach was applied by Stephan Koppelberg in attempt to solve this issue. [71] Based on the results he obtained, he concludes that Catalan, Occitan, and Gascon should all be considered three distinct languages. More recently, Y. Greub and J.P. Chambon (Sorbonne University, Paris) demonstrated that the formation of Proto-Gascon was already complete at the eve of the 7th century, whereas Proto-Occitan was not yet formed at that time. [72] These results induced linguists to do away with the conventional classification of Gascon, favoring the "distinct language" alternative.[ citation needed ] Both studies supported the early intuition of the late Kurt Baldinger, a specialist of both medieval Occitan and medieval Gascon, who recommended that Occitan and Gascon be classified as separate languages. [73] [74]

Linguistic characterization

Jules Ronjat has sought to characterize Occitan with 19 principal, generalizable criteria. Of those, 11 are phonetic, five morphologic, one syntactic, and two lexical. For example, close rounded vowels are rare or absent in Occitan. This characteristic often carries through to an Occitan speaker's French, leading to a distinctive méridional accent. Unlike French, it is a pro-drop language, allowing the omission of the subject (canti: I sing; cantas you sing)—though, at least in Gascon, the verb must be preceded by an "enunciative" in place of the pronoun, e for questions, be for observations, que for other occasions: e.g., que soi (I am), E qu'ei? (He/she is?), Be qu'èm. (We are.) [75] . 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 [uː] (Vulgar Latin /u/) changed to /y/, as in French (Lat. dv̄rvm> Oc. dur).
  • Vulgar Latin /o/ changed to /u/, first in unstressed syllables, as in Catalan (Lat. romānvs > Oc. roman [ruˈma]), then in stressed syllables (Lat. flōrem > Oc. flor [fluɾ]).

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 [ɥɛ], [ɥɔ], [jɔ], [œ], [ɛ], [ɥe], [we], etc.). Diphthongization also occurred before palatals, as in French and Catalan.
  • Various assimilations in consonant clusters (e.g. 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 Spanish and some Catalan dialects; except for Balearic, Valencian and Algherese Catalan, where /v/ is preserved).
  • Intervocalic voiced stops /b d ɡ/ (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 to /f/ (before a consonant). The Gascon h has retained its aspiration.
  • Loss of /n/ between vowels. This also happened in Portuguese and Galician (and moreover also in Basque).
  • 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 and of certain Aragonese dialects.

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 and English

Common words in Romance languages, with English (a Germanic language) for reference
(all nouns in the ablative case)
(including main regional varieties)
CatalanFrenchNormanLadin (Gherdëina)LombardItalianSpanishPortugueseSardinianRomanianEnglish
cantarec(h)antarcantarchantercanter, chanterciantécantàcantarecantarcantarcantarecânta(re)'(to) sing'
ecclesia, basilica(e)glèisaesglésiaégliseéglisedliejagiesachiesaiglesiaigrejagresia/creiabiserică'church'
formatico (Vulgar Latin), caseoformatge (fromatge, hormatge)formatgefromagefroumage, fourmageciajuelfurmai/furmaggformaggioquesoqueijocasucaș'cheese'
lingvaleng(u)a (linga)llengualanguelanguelenga, rujenedalengualingualengualíngualimbalimbă'tongue, language'
noctenuèch (nuèit)nitnuitnîtnuetnoccnottenochenoitenothenoapte'night'
plateaplaçaplaçaplaceplacheplazapiassapiazzaplazapraçapratzapiață [76] 'square, plaza'
pontepont (pònt)pontpontpontpuentpuntpontepuentepontepontepunte (small bridge)'bridge'


A comparison of terms and word counts between languages is not easy, as it is impossible to count the number of words in a language. (See Lexicon, Lexeme, Lexicography for more information.)

Some have claimed around 450,000 words exist in the Occitan language, [77] 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 (as in World Wide Web) is oèb , for example.

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 differs from the one that has become standard Occitan in a number of ways. Here 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); that is precisely the reverse of the development that took place in Western Catalan dialects and the rest of the Romance languages, including Occitan. Thus Standard Catalan ésser[ˈesə] corresponds to Occitan èsser/èstre[ˈɛse/ˈɛstre] 'to be;' Catalan carrer[kəˈre] corresponds to Occitan carrièra [karˈjɛɾo̞] 'street', but it is also carriera [karˈjeɾo̞] , in Provençal.
    • The distinctly Occitan development of word-final -a, pronounced [o̞] in standard Occitan (chifra 'figure' [ˈtʃifro̞]), did not occur in general Catalan (which has xifra[ˈʃifrə]). However, some Occitan varieties also lack that feature, and some Catalan (Valencian) varieties have the [ɔ] pronunciation, mostly by vowel harmony.
    • When in Catalan word stress falls in the antepenultimate syllable, in Occitan the stress is moved to the penultimate syllable: for example, Occitan pagina[paˈdʒino̞] vs. Catalan pàgina[ˈpaʒinə], "page". However, there are exceptions. For example, some varieties of Occitan (such as that of Nice) keep the stress on the antepenultimate syllable (pàgina), and some varieties of Catalan (in Northern Catalonia) put the stress on the penultimate syllable (pagina).
    • Diphthongization has evolved in different ways: Occitan paire vs. Catalan pare 'father;' Occitan carrièra (carrèra, carrèira) vs. Catalan carrera.
    • Although some Occitan dialects lack the voiceless postalveolar fricative phoneme /ʃ/, others such as southwestern Occitan have it: general Occitan caissa[ˈkajso̞] vs. Catalan caixa[ˈkaʃə] and southwestern Occitan caissa, caisha[ˈka(j)ʃo̞], 'box.' Nevertheless, some Valencian dialects like Northern Valencian lack that phoneme too and generally substitute /jsʲ/: 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/: Occitan musica[myˈziko̞] vs. Catalan música[ˈmuzikə].
    • The distribution of palatal consonants /ʎ/ and /ɲ/ differs in Catalan and part of Occitan: while Catalan permits them in word-final position, in central Occitan they are neutralized to [l] and [n] (Central Occitan filh[fil] vs. Catalan fill[fiʎ], 'son'). Similarly, Algherese Catalan neutralizes palatal consonants in word-final position as well. Non-central varieties of Occitan, however, may have a palatal realization (e.g. filh, hilh[fiʎ, fij, hiʎ]).
    • Furthermore, many words that start with /l/ in Occitan start with /ʎ/ in Catalan: Occitan libre[ˈliβɾe] vs. Catalan llibre[ˈʎiβɾə], 'book.' That feature is perhaps one of the most distinctive characteristics of Catalan amongst the Romance languages, shared only with Asturian, Leonese and Mirandese. However, some transitional varieties of Occitan, near 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 (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, that does not apply to Western Catalan dialects, whose vowel system usually retains the a/e distinction in unstressed position, or to Northern Catalan dialects, whose vowel system does not retain the o/u distinction in stressed position, much like Occitan.
  • Morphology
    • Verb conjugation is slightly different, but there is a great variety amongst dialects. Medieval conjugations were much closer. A characteristic difference is the ending of the second person plural, which is -u in Catalan but -tz in Occitan.
    • 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' followed by the infinitive of the verb: donar 'to give,' va donar 'he gave.' That has the same value as the 'normal' preterite shared by most Romance languages, deriving from the Latin perfect tense: Catalan donà 'he gave.' The periphrastic preterite, in Occitan, is an archaic or a very local tense.
  • Orthography
    • The writing systems of the two languages differ slightly. The modern Occitan spelling recommended by the Institut d'Estudis Occitans and the Conselh de la Lenga Occitana is designed to be a pan-Occitan system, and the Catalan system recommended by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans and Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua is specific to Catalan and Valencian. For example, in Catalan, word-final -n is omitted, as it is not pronounced in any dialect of Catalan (Català, Occità); central Occitan also drops word-final -n, but it is retained in the spelling, as some eastern and western dialects of Occitan still have it (Catalan, Occitan). Some digraphs are also written in a different way such as the sound /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, although this is mainly a consequence of using the classical (orthographical) norm of the Occitan, which is precisely focused in showing the similarities between the Occitan dialects with Catalan. Occitan and Catalan form a common diasystem (or a common Abstandsprache), which is called Occitano-Romance, according to the linguist Pierre Bec. [78] Speakers of both languages share early historical and cultural heritage.

The combined Occitano-Romance area is 259,000 km2, with a population of 23 million. However, the regions are not equal in terms of language speakers. According to Bec 1969 (pp. 120–121), in France, no more than a quarter of the population in counted regions could speak Occitan well, though around half understood it; it is thought that the number of Occitan users has decreased dramatically since then. By contrast, in the Catalonia administered by the Government of Catalonia, nearly three-quarters of the population speak Catalan and 95% understand it. [79]


In the modern era, Occitan has become a rare and highly threatened language. Its users are clustered almost exclusively in Southern France, and it is unlikely that any monolingual speakers remain. In the early 1900s, the French government attempted to restrict the use and teaching of many minority languages, including Occitan, in public schools. While the laws have since changed, with bilingual education returning for regions with unique languages in 1993, this movement caused serious decline in the number of Occitan speakers. The majority of living speakers are older adults. [80] [81] [82]


According to the testimony of Bernadette Soubirous, the Virgin Mary spoke to her (Lourdes, 25 March 1858) in Gascon saying: Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou ("I am the Immaculate Conception", the phrase is reproduced under this statue in the Lourdes grotto with a Mistralian/Febusian spelling), confirming the proclamation of this Catholic dogma four years earlier. VirgendeLourdes.JPG
According to the testimony of Bernadette Soubirous, the Virgin Mary spoke to her (Lourdes, 25 March 1858) in Gascon saying: Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou ("I am the Immaculate Conception", the phrase is reproduced under this statue in the Lourdes grotto with a Mistralian/Febusian spelling), confirming the proclamation of this Catholic dogma four years earlier.
Inscription in Occitan in the Abbey of Saint-Jean de Sorde, Sorde-l'Abbaye: "Blessed are those who die in the Lord." Abbaye de Sorde-Deploration-20110616.jpg
Inscription in Occitan in the Abbey of Saint-Jean de Sorde, Sorde-l'Abbaye: "Blessed are those who die in the Lord."

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. [83]

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. 1 2 3 Bernissan, Fabrice (2012). "Combien l'occitan compte de locuteurs en 2012?". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 76: 467–512.
  2. 1 2 Martel, Philippe (December 2007). "Qui parle occitan ?". Langues et cité (in French). No. 10. Observation des pratiques linguistiques. p. 3. 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")
  3. Enrico Allasino; Consuelo Ferrier; Sergio Scamuzzi; Tullio Telmon (2005). "Le Lingue del Piemonte" (PDF). IRES. 113: 71 via Gioventura Piemontèisa.
  4. Enquesta d'usos lingüístics de la població 2008 [Survey of Language Use of the Population 2008] (in Catalan), Statistical Institute of Catalonia, 2009
  5. Norme in materia di tutela delle minoranze linguistiche storiche, Italian parliament
  6. CLO's statements in Lingüistica Occitana (online review of Occitan linguistics). Lingüistica Occitana: Preconizacions del Conselh de la Lenga Occitana (PDF), 2007
  7. "Page d'accueil". Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  8. "Reconeishença der Institut d'Estudis Aranesi coma academia e autoritat lingüistica der occitan, aranés en Aran" [Recognition of the Institute of Aranese Studies as an academy and linguistic authority of Occitan, Aranese in Aran]. Conselh Generau d'Aran (in Occitan). 2 April 2014.
  9. "Occitan" . Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  10. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (7th ed.). 2005.{{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Friend, Julius W. (2012). Stateless Nations: Western European Regional Nationalisms and the Old Nations. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 80. ISBN   978-0-230-36179-9 . Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  12. Smith & Bergin 1984 , p. 9
  13. As stated in its Statute of Autonomy approved. See Article 6.5 in the Parlament-cat.net Archived 26 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine , text of the 2006 Statute of Catalonia (PDF)
  14. Dalby, Andrew (1998). "Occitan". Dictionary of Languages (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing plc. p. 468. ISBN   0-7475-3117-X . Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  15. "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". www.unesco.org.
  16. Badia i Margarit, Antoni M. (1995). Gramàtica de la llengua catalana: Descriptiva, normativa, diatòpica, diastràtica. Barcelona: Proa., 253.1 (in Catalan)
  17. Smith & Bergin 1984 , p. 2
  18. Lapobladelduc.org Archived 6 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine , "El nom de la llengua". The name of the language, in Catalan
  19. Anglade 1921 , 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.
  20. Anglade 1921, p.  7.
  21. 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.
  22. Anglade 1921 , p.  7: Ce terme fut surtout employé en Italie.
  23. Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1817). Choix des poésies originales des troubadours (Volume 2) (in French). Paris: F. Didot. p. 40.
  24. Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1816). Choix des poésies originales des troubadours (Volume 1) (in French). Paris: F. Didot. p. vij.
  25. Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1817). Choix des poésies originales des troubadours (Volume 2) (in French). Paris: F. Didot. p. cxxxvij.: "Ben ha mil e cent (1100) ancs complí entierament / Que fo scripta l'ora car sen al derier temps."
  26. 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."
  27. 1 2 Bec 1963.
  28. 1 2 3 Bec 1963, pp. 20–21.
  29. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat (20): 247. ISSN   0214-8188.
  30. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1998). "Notas gráfico-fonéticas sobre la documentación medieval navarra". Príncipe de Viana (in Spanish). 59 (214): 524. ISSN   0032-8472.
  31. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat (20): 247–249. ISSN   0214-8188.
  32. Jurio, Jimeno (1997). Navarra: Historia del Euskera. Tafalla: Txalaparta. pp. 59–60. ISBN   978-84-8136-062-2.
  33. "Licenciado Andrés de Poza y Yarza". EuskoMedia Fundazioa. Retrieved 17 February 2010. Poza quotes the Basques inhabiting lands as far east as the River Gallego in the 16th century.
  34. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat (20): 249. ISSN   0214-8188.
  35. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat (20): 248. ISSN   0214-8188.
  36. @NatGeoUK (15 January 2013). "Toulouse: Occitan". National Geographic. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  37. Field, Thomas T. (1980). "The Sociolinguistic Situation of Modern Occitan". The French Review. 54 (1): 37–46. ISSN   0016-111X. JSTOR   391694.
  38. Desparicion del Euskara por el norte y el este Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish): En San Sebastián [...] se habla gascón desde el siglo XIV hasta el 1919
  39. Ghigo, F. (1980). The Provençal speech of the Waldensian colonists of Valdese, North Carolina. Valdese: Historic Valdese Foundation.
  40. Holmes, U. T. (1934). "Waldensian speech in North Carolina". Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie. 54: 500–513.
  41. Expatries-france.com, Selection Villes
  42. Siller, Javier Pérez. "De mitos y realidades: la emigracíon barcelonette a México 1845–1891" (PDF) (in Spanish). México–Francia. Retrieved 31 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. "Toulouse. On va parler occitan dans le métro dès la rentrée". ladepeche.fr.
  44. Pierre, Bec. (1995) La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? n° 1059, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
  45. Arveiller, Raymond. (1967) Étude sur le parler de Monaco, Monaco: Comité National des Traditions Monégasques, p. ix.
  46. 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."
  47. 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."
  48. 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.'"
  49. Anglade 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").
  50. Backer 1860 , pp.  52, 54: parlée dans le Midi de la France par quatorze millions d'habitants ("spoken in the South of France by fourteen million inhabitants").
  51. Gaussen 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")
  52. "Alliance des langues d'Oc". Institut Béarnais & Gascon. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  53. 1 2 Wheeler, Max (1988), "Occitan", in Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (eds.), The Romance Languages, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 246–278
  54. Bec 1973.
  55. 1 2 Domergue Sumien (2006), La standardisation pluricentrique de l'occitan: nouvel enjeu sociolinguistique, développement du lexique et de la morphologie, Publications de l'Association Internationale d'Études Occitanes, Turnhout: Brepols
  56. 1 2 "Language subtag registry". IANA. 5 March 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  57. Jean-Pierre Juge (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 25
  58. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  59. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  60. 1 2 3 Kremnitz 2002, pp. 109–111.
  61. Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle, Pierre Bonnaud and Jean Lafitte
  62. Kremnitz, 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
  63. For traditional Romance philology see:
    • Ronjat, Jules (1913), Essai de syntaxe des parlers provençaux modernes (in French), Macon: Protat, 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. (But phonetic, 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).
    • Ronjat, Jules (1930), Grammaire historique des parlers provençaux modernes (in French), Montpellier: Société des langues romanes (Volume 1), pp. 1–32.
    For a discussion of the unity of the Occitan diasystem in structural linguistics see Bec 1973 , pp. 24–25.
  64. Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle
  65. The most emblematic and productive ones, Frédéric Mistral, Robert Lafont, and their followers (Théodore Aubanel, René Merle Archived 27 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine , Claude Barsotti, Philippe Gardy, Florian Vernet, Bernard Giély, Pierre Pessemesse...), and also the most important and historic Provençal cultural associations as CREO Provença [ dead link ], Felibrige Archived 15 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine and Parlaren (Assiso de la Lengo Nostro en Prouvènço, 2003) Archived 28 February 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  66. Bec 1963 , p. 46: The close ties between Gascon and others Occitan dialects have been demonstrated through a common diasystem.
  67. "Per Noste edicions". www.pernoste.com.
  68. Perso.orange.fr, Aranaram Au Patac
  69. Carrera 2007.
  70. Lluis Fornés, see his thesis. Fornés, Lluis (2004). El pensament panoccitanista (1904–2004) en les revistes Occitania, Oc, L'Amic de les Ats, Taula de Lletres Valencianes, Revista Occitana i Paraula d'Oc [The pan-occitanista thought (1904–2004) in the magazines Occitania, Oc, L'Amic de les Ats, Taula de Lletres Valencianes, Revista Occitana and Paraula d'Oc](PDF) (Thesis) (in Valencian). University of Valencia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2008 via www.oc-valencia.org.
  71. Stephan Koppelberg, El lèxic hereditari caracteristic de l'occità i del gascó i la seva relació amb el del català (conclusions d'un analisi estadística), Actes del vuitè Col·loqui Internacional de Llengua i Literatura Catalana, Volume 1 (1988). Antoni M. Badia Margarit & Michel Camprubi ed. (in Catalan)
  72. Chambon, Jean-Pierre; Greub, Yan (2002). "Note sur l'âge du (proto)gascon". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 66: 473–495.
  73. Baldinger, Kurt (1962). "La langue des documents en ancien gascon". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 26: 331–347.
  74. Baldinger, Kurt (1962). "Textes anciens gascons". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 26: 348–362.
  75. Lo gascon lèu e plan, p.14
  76. Modern loanword from Italian or Greek (Iordan, Dift., 145)
  77. Avner Gerard Levy & Jacques Ajenstat: The Kodaxil Semantic Manifesto [ permanent dead link ] (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."
  78. Bec, Pierre. (1995). La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? nr. 1059. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France [1st ed. 1963]
  79. Gencat.net Archived 9 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  80. Bahrami, Beebe. "The language the French forbade". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  81. "Global Voices - The decline of Occitan: A failure of cultural initiatives, or abandonment by the state?". Global Voices. 13 August 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  82. "Occitan's fight to stay away from the cliff of extinction". The Economist. 19 April 2018. ISSN   0013-0613 . Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  83. Registro de Representantes Archived 28 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine by Lope de Rueda, in Spanish. Peirutón speaks a mix of Gascon and Catalan.

Explanatory footnotes

  1. Regional pronunciations: [u(t)siˈtɔ] , [ukʃiˈtɔ] , [uksiˈta] .


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The Occitano-Romance or Gallo-Narbonnese, or rarely East Iberian, is a branch of the Romance language group that encompasses the Catalan/Valencian and Occitan languages spoken in parts of southern France and northeastern Spain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vivaro-Alpine dialect</span> Variety of the Occitan language

Vivaro-Alpine is a variety of Occitan spoken in southeastern France and northwestern Italy. There is also a small Vivaro-Alpine enclave in the Guardia Piemontese, Calabria, where the language is known as gardiòl. It belongs to the Northern Occitan dialect bloc, along with Auvergnat and Limousin. The name “vivaro-alpine” was coined by Pierre Bec in the 1970s. The Vivaro-Alpine dialects are traditionally called "gavot" from the Maritime Alps to the Hautes-Alpes.

Language secessionism is an attitude supporting the separation of a language variety from the language to which it has hitherto been considered to belong, in order to make this variety be considered as a distinct language. This phenomenon was first analyzed in Catalan sociolinguistics but it is attested in other parts of the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western Romance languages</span> Subdivision of the Romance languages

Western Romance languages are one of the two subdivisions of a proposed subdivision of the Romance languages based on the La Spezia–Rimini Line. They include the Gallo-Romance and Iberian Romance branches. Gallo-Italic may also be included. The subdivision is based mainly on the use of the "s" for pluralization, the weakening of some consonants and the pronunciation of “Soft C” as /t͡s/ rather than /t͡ʃ/ as in Italian and Romanian.

Old Occitan, also called Old Provençal, was the earliest form of the Occitano-Romance languages, as attested in writings dating from the eighth through the fourteenth centuries. Old Occitan generally includes Early and Old Occitan. Middle Occitan is sometimes included in Old Occitan, sometimes in Modern Occitan. As the term occitanus appeared around the year 1300, Old Occitan is referred to as "Romance" or "Provençal" in medieval texts.

This article describes the phonology of the Occitan language.