Occitan language

Last updated

occitan, lenga d'òc, provençal / provençau
Native to France, Spain, Italy, Monaco
Region Occitania
Ethnicity Occitans
Native speakers
(c.200,000 cited 19902012) [1]
Estimates range from 100,000 to 800,000 total speakers (2007–2012), [2] [3] with 68,000 in Italy (2005 survey), [4] 4,000 in Spain (Val d'Aran) [5]
Early forms
Standard forms
Latin alphabet (Occitan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in

Italy (Occitan Valleys) (Law number 482 of 15 December 1999) [6]


Regulated by Conselh de la Lenga Occitana; [7] Congrès Permanent de la Lenga Occitana; [8] Institut d'Estudis Aranesi [9]
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
Occitan language map 1900 (Europe only).svg
Geographic range of the Occitan language around 1900
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Occitan (English: /ˈɒksɪtən,-tæn,-tɑːn/ ; [10] [11] Occitan: occitan [utsiˈta,uksiˈta] ), [lower-alpha 2] also known as lenga d'òc (Occitan: [ˈleŋɡɒˈðɔ(k)] ; French : langue d'oc) by its native speakers, sometimes also referred to as Provençal, is a Romance language spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Valleys, as well as Spain's Val d'Aran in Catalonia; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitania. It is also spoken in Calabria (Southern Italy) in a linguistic enclave of Cosenza area (mostly Guardia Piemontese). Some include Catalan in Occitan, as the distance between this language and some Occitan dialects (such as the Gascon language) is similar to the distance between different Occitan dialects. Catalan was considered a dialect of Occitan until the end of the 19th century [12] and still today remains its closest relative. [13]

Occitan is an official language of Catalonia, Spain, where a subdialect of Gascon known as Aranese is spoken (in the Val d'Aran). [14] Since September 2010, the Parliament of Catalonia has considered Aranese Occitan to be the officially preferred language for use in the Val d'Aran.

Across history, the terms Limousin (Lemosin), Languedocien (Lengadocian), Gascon, in addition to Provençal (Provençal, Provençau or Prouvençau) later have been used as synonyms for the whole of Occitan; nowadays, the term "Provençal" is understood mainly as the Occitan dialect spoken in Provence, in southeast France. [15]

Unlike other Romance languages such as French or Spanish, Occitan does not have a single written standard form, nor does it have official status in France, home to most of its speakers. Instead, there are competing norms for writing Occitan, some of which attempt to be pan-dialectal, whereas others are based on a particular dialect. These efforts are hindered by the rapidly declining use of Occitan as a spoken language in much of southern France, as well as by the significant differences in phonology and vocabulary among different Occitan dialects.

According to the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages, [16] four of the six major dialects of Occitan (Provençal, Auvergnat, Limousin and Languedocien) are considered severely endangered, whereas the remaining two (Gascon and Vivaro-Alpine) are considered definitely endangered.


History of the modern term

The name Occitan comes from the term lenga d'òc ("language of òc"), òc being the Occitan word for yes. While the term would have been in use orally for some time after the decline of Latin, as far as historical records show, the Italian medieval poet Dante was the first to have recorded the term lingua d'oc in writing. In his De vulgari eloquentia , he wrote in Latin, "nam alii oc, alii si, alii vero dicunt oil" ("for some say òc, others , yet others 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 language (Italian).

The word òc came from Vulgar Latin hoc ("this"), while oïl originated from Latin hoc illud ("this [is] it"). Old Catalan and now the Catalan of Northern Catalonia 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 also in higher register as a positive response. [17] French uses si to answer "yes" in response to questions that are asked in the negative sense: for example, "Vous n'avez pas de frères?" "Si, j'en ai sept." ("You have no brothers?" "But yes, I have seven.").

The name "Occitan" was attested around 1300 as occitanus, a crossing of oc and aquitanus (Aquitanian). [18]

Other names for Occitan

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

According to Joseph Anglade, a philologist and specialist of medieval literature who helped impose the then archaic term Occitan as the standard name, [20] the word Lemosin was first used to designate the language at the beginning of the 13th century by Catalan troubadour Raimon Vidal de Besalú(n) in his Razós de trobar:

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. [21]

The French language is worthier and better suited for romances and pastourelles; but [the language] 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.

The term Provençal, though implying a reference to the region of Provence, historically was used for Occitan as a whole, for "in the eleventh, the twelfth, and sometimes also the thirteenth centuries, one would understand under the name of Provence the whole territory of the old Provincia romana Gallia Narbonensis and even Aquitaine". [22] The term first came into fashion in Italy. [23]

Currently, linguists use the terms Provençal and Limousin strictly to refer to specific varieties within Occitan, using the latter term for the language as a whole. Many non-specialists, however, continue to refer to the language as Provençal.


One of the oldest written fragments of the language found dates back to 960, shown here in italics mixed with non-italicized Latin:

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 ni 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. [24]

Carolingian litanies (c.780), though the leader sang in Latin, were answered to in Old Occitan by the people (Ora pro nos; Tu lo juva). [25]

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 The Consolation of Philosophy ; the Waldensian La nobla leyczon (dated 1100), [26] Cançó de Santa Fe (c.1054–1076), the Romance of Flamenca (13th century), the Song of the Albigensian Crusade (1213–1219?), Daurel e Betó (12th or 13th century), Las, qu'i non-sun sparvir, astur (11th century) and Tomida femina (9th or 10th century).

Occitan was the vehicle for the influential poetry of the medieval troubadours (trobadors) and trobairitz : At that time, the language was understood and celebrated throughout most of educated Europe. [27] It was the maternal language of the English queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and kings Richard I (who wrote troubadour poetry) and John.

With the gradual imposition of French royal power over its territory, Occitan declined in status from the 14th century on. The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts (1539) decreed that the langue d'oïl (French – though at the time referring to the Francien language and not the larger collection of dialects grouped under the name langues d'oïl ) should be used for all French administration. Occitan's greatest decline occurred during the French Revolution, in which diversity of language was considered a threat.

In 1903, the four Gospels ("Lis Evangèli", i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were translated into Provençal as spoken in Cannes and Grasse. The translation was given the official Roman Catholic Imprimatur by vicar general A. Estellon.[ citation needed ]

The literary renaissance of the late 19th century (in which the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Frédéric Mistral, among others, was involved) was attenuated by World War I, when (in addition to the disruption caused by any major war) many Occitan speakers spent extended periods of time alongside French-speaking comrades.


Linguistic evolution in southwest Europe from 1000 to 2000 C.E. Linguistic map Southwestern Europe-en.gif
Linguistic evolution in southwest Europe from 1000 to 2000 C.E.

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

Occitan in the Iberian Peninsula

Catalan in Spain's northern and central Mediterranean coastal regions and the Balearic Islands is closely related to Occitan, sharing many linguistic features and 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 in various locations in the Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon enticed by the privileges granted them by the Navarrese kings. They settled in large groups, forming ethnic boroughs where Occitan was used for everyday life, in Pamplona, Sangüesa, and Estella-Lizarra, among others. [30] These boroughs in Navarre may have been close-knit communities that tended not to assimilate with the predominantly Basque-speaking general population. Their language 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 the late 14th century. [31] Written administrative records were in a koiné based on the Languedocien dialect from Toulouse with fairly archaic linguistic features.

Evidence survives of a written account in Occitan from Pamplona centered on the burning of borough San Nicolas from 1258, while the History of the War of Navarre by Guilhem Anelier (1276), albeit written in Pamplona, shows a linguistic variant from Toulouse. [32]

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 c.1000), but a receding Basque language (Basque banned in the marketplace of Huesca, 1349). [33] [34] While the language was chosen as a medium of prestige in records and official statements along with Latin in the early 13th century, Occitan faced competition from the rising local Romance vernacular, the Navarro-Aragonese, both orally and in writing, especially after Aragon's territorial conquests south to Zaragoza, Huesca and Tudela 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. In the 14th century, Occitan across the whole southern Pyrenean area fell into decay 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). [35]

Gascon-speaking communities were called to move in for trading purposes by Navarrese kings in the early 12th century to the coastal fringe extending from San Sebastian to the river Bidasoa, where they settled down. The language variant they used was different from the ones in Navarre, i.e. a Béarnese dialect of Gascon. [36] Gascon remained in use in this area far longer than in Navarre and Aragon, until the 19th century, thanks mainly to the fact that Donostia and Pasaia maintained close ties with Bayonne.

Geographic distribution

Usage in France

This bilingual street sign in Toulouse, like many such signs found in Toulouse's historical districts, is maintained primarily for its antique charm, and is typical of what little remains of the lenga d'oc
in southern French cities. Place Mage (Toulouse) - plaques.jpg
This bilingual street sign in Toulouse, like many such signs found in Toulouse's historical districts, is maintained primarily for its antique charm, and is typical of what little remains of the lenga d'òc in southern French cities.

Though it was still an everyday language for most of the rural population of southern France well into the 20th century, it is now spoken by about 100,000 people in France according to 2012 estimates. [2] There is a movement in regions of France where Occitan was widely spoken to introduce educational programs to encourage young people in these regions to learn the language.[ citation needed ]

According to the 1999 census, there were 610,000 native speakers (almost all of whom were also native French speakers) and perhaps another million people with some exposure to the language. Following the pattern of language shift, most of this remainder is to be found among the eldest populations. Occitan activists (called Occitanists) have attempted, in particular with the advent of Occitan-language preschools (the Calandretas ), to reintroduce the language to the young. [37]

Nonetheless, the number of proficient speakers of Occitan is thought to be dropping precipitously. A tourist in the cities in southern France is unlikely to hear a single Occitan word spoken on the street (or, for that matter, in a home), and is likely to only find the occasional vestige, such as street signs (and, of those, most will have French equivalents more prominently displayed), to remind them of the traditional language of the area. [38]

Occitan speakers, as a result of generations of systematic suppression and humiliation (see Vergonha), seldom use the language in the presence of strangers, whether they are from abroad or from outside Occitania (in this case, often merely and abusively referred to as Parisiens or Nordistes, which means northerners). Occitan is still spoken by many elderly people in rural areas, but they generally switch to French when dealing with outsiders. [39]

Occitan's decline is somewhat less pronounced in Béarn because of the province's history (a late addition to the Kingdom of France), though even there the language is little spoken outside the homes of the rural elderly. The village of Artix is notable for having elected to post street signs in the local language. [40]

Usage outside France

Aranese signage in Bossost, Val d'Aran, Spain Europe2005 bossost-aranes1.jpg
Aranese signage in Bossòst, Val d'Aran, Spain

Traditionally Occitan-speaking areas

Number of speakers

The area where Occitan was historically dominant has approximately 16 million inhabitants. Recent research has shown it may be spoken as a first language by approximately 789,000 people [2] [3] in France, Italy, Spain and Monaco. In Monaco, Occitan coexists with Monégasque Ligurian, which is the other native language. [47] [48] Up to seven million people in France understand the language, [49] [50] [51] whereas twelve to fourteen million fully spoke it in 1921. [52] In 1860, Occitan speakers represented more than 39% [53] of the whole French population (52% for francophones proper); they were still 26% to 36% in the 1920s [54] and fewer than 7% in 1993.


Occitan dialects according to Pierre Bec Dialectes de l'occitan selon Pierre Bec.jpg
Occitan dialects according to Pierre Bec
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to Bec Bec supradialectal.jpg
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to Bec
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to Sumien Sumien supradialectal.jpg
Supradialectal classification of Occitan according to Sumien

Occitan is fundamentally defined by its dialects, rather than being a unitary language. That point is very conflictual in Southern France, as many people do not recognize Occitan as a real language and think that the next defined "dialects" [ clarification needed ] are languages. [55] Like other languages that fundamentally exist at a spoken, rather than written, level (e.g. the Rhaeto-Romance languages, 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:

The northern and easternmost dialects have more morphological and phonetic features in common with the Gallo-Italic and Oïl languages (e.g. nasal vowels; loss of final consonants; initial cha/ja- instead of ca/ga-; uvular r; the front-rounded sound /ø/ instead of a diphthong, /w/ instead of /l/ before a consonant), whereas the southernmost dialects have more features in common with the Ibero-Romance languages (e.g. betacism; voiced fricatives between vowels in place of voiced stops; -ch- in place of -it-), and Gascon has a number of unusual features not seen in other dialects (e.g. /h/ in place of /f/; loss of /n/ between vowels; intervocalic -r- and final -t/ch in place of medieval -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 / audiroiroír
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". [56]

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

Max Wheeler divides the dialects into two groups: [56]

Pierre Bec divides the dialects into three groups: [57]

In order to overcome the pitfalls of the traditional romanistic view, Bec proposed a "supradialectal" classification that groups Occitan with Catalan as a part of a wider Occitano-Romanic group. One such classification posits three groups: [58] [59] [60]

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.

Jewish dialects

Occitan has 3 dialects spoken by Jewish communities that are all now extinct.

Judeo Gascon

A sociolect of the Gascon dialect spoken by Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Gascony. [61] It, like many other Jewish dialects and languages, contained large amounts of Hebrew loanwords. [62] It went extinct after World War 2 with the last speakers being elderly Jews in Bayonne. [63] About 850 unique words and a few morphological and grammatical aspects of the dialect were transmitted to Southern Jewish French. [63]

Judeo Provencal

A dialect of Occitan spoken by Jews in Provence. The dialect declined in usage after Jews were expelled from the area in 1498, and went extinct after the last speaker, Armand Lunel, died in 1977. [64]

Judeo Niçard

The least attested of the Judeo Occitan dialects, Judeo Niçard was spoken by the community of Jews living in Nice, who were descendants of Jewish immigrants from Provence, Piedmont, and other Mediterranean communities. Its existence is attested from a few documents from the 19th century. It contained significant influence in both vocabulary and grammar from Hebrew. [63]

Southern Jewish French

All three of these dialects have some influence in Southern Jewish French, a dialect of French spoken by Jews in southern France. Southern Jewish French is now estimated to only be spoken by about 50-100 people. [63]

Domergue Sumien proposes a slightly different supradialectal grouping. [65]

  • 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

Several IETF language variant tags have been registered: [66]



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). [65] 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") based on that of Medieval Occitan, and one (sometimes known as "Mistralian", due to its use by Frédéric Mistral) based on modern French orthography. Sometimes, there is conflict between users of each system.

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. [68]
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. [68]
Totes les persones neixen/naixen lliures i iguals en dignitat i en drets. Són dotades de raó i de consciència, i cal que es comportin fraternalment les unes amb les altres. [68]
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. [68]
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. [68]
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. [68]
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. [69]

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: [66]

Debates concerning linguistic classification and orthography

The majority of scholars think that Occitan constitutes a single language. [70] Some authors, [71] constituting a minority, [70] 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, [72] 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 [73] 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. [74] Nevertheless, the vast majority of Provençal authors and associations think that Provençal is a part of Occitan. [75]

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

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. [76] 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. [70] The vast majority of the Gascon cultural movement considers itself as a part of the Occitan cultural movement. [77] [78] 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. [79]

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. [80]

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. [81] 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. [82] 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. [83] [84]

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.). [85] 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 /bdɡ/ (from Latin -p-, -t, -c-) become voiced fricatives ðɣ].
  • 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)
CatalanFrenchNormanRomansh (Rumantsch Grischun)Ladin (Gherdëina)LombardItalianSpanishPortugueseSardinianRomanianEnglish
cantarec(h)antarcantarchantercanter, chanterchantarciantécantàcantarecantarcantarcantarecânta(re)'(to) sing'
claveclauclauclé, clefclefclavtleciavchiavellavechavecraecheie'key'
ecclesia, basilica(e)glèisaesglésiaégliseéglisebaselgiadliejagiesachiesaiglesiaigrejagresia/creiabiserică'church'
formatico (Vulgar Latin), caseoformatge (fromatge, hormatge)formatgefromagefroumage, fourmagechaschielciajuelfurmai/furmaggformaggioquesoqueijocasucaș'cheese'
lingvaleng(u)a (linga)llengualanguelanguelingualenga, rujenedalengualingualengualíngualimbalimbă'tongue, language'
noctenuèch (nuèit)nitnuitnîtnotgnuetnoccnottenochenoitenothenoapte'night'
plateaplaçaplaçaplaceplacheplazzaplazapiassapiazzaplazapraçapratzapiață [86] 'square, plaza'
pontepont (pònt)pontpontpontpuntpuentpuntpontepuentepontepontepunte (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, [87] 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 website estimates that the number is somewhere between 250,000 and 1 million words.[ citation needed ]

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.[ citation needed ]

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:

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. [88] 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. [89]


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, the many years of restrictions had already caused serious decline in the number of Occitan speakers. The majority of living speakers are older adults. [90] [91] [92]


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. [93]

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. Occitan at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed Access logo transparent.svg
    Judeo-Occitan at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed Access logo transparent.svg
  2. 1 2 3 Bernissan, Fabrice (2012). "Combien l'occitan compte de locuteurs en 2012?". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 76: 467–512.
  3. 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")
  4. Enrico Allasino; Consuelo Ferrier; Sergio Scamuzzi; Tullio Telmon (2005). "Le Lingue del Piemonte" (PDF). IRES. 113: 71 via Gioventura Piemontèisa.
  5. Enquesta d'usos lingüístics de la població 2008 [Survey of Language Use of the Population 2008] (in Catalan), Statistical Institute of Catalonia, 2009
  6. Norme in materia di tutela delle minoranze linguistiche storiche, Italian parliament
  7. CLO's statements in Lingüistica Occitana (online review of Occitan linguistics). Lingüistica Occitana: Preconizacions del Conselh de la Lenga Occitana (PDF), 2007
  8. "Page d'accueil". Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  9. "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.
  10. "Occitan" . Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press.(Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  11. "Occitan". Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (7th ed.). 2005.
  12. 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.[ permanent dead link ]
  13. Smith & Bergin 1984 , p. 9
  14. 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)
  15. Dalby, Andrew (1998). "Occitan". Dictionary of Languages (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing plc. p. 468. ISBN   0-7475-3117-X . Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  16. "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". www.unesco.org.
  17. Badia i Margarit, Antoni M. (1995). Gramàtica de la llengua catalana: Descriptiva, normativa, diatòpica, diastràtica. Barcelona: Proa., 253.1 (in Catalan)
  18. Smith & Bergin 1984 , p. 2
  19. Lapobladelduc.org Archived 6 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine , "El nom de la llengua". The name of the language, in Catalan
  20. 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.
  21. Anglade 1921, p.  7.
  22. 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.
  23. Anglade 1921 , p.  7: Ce terme fut surtout employé en Italie.
  24. Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1817). Choix des poésies originales des troubadours (Volume 2) (in French). Paris: F. Didot. p. 40.
  25. Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1816). Choix des poésies originales des troubadours (Volume 1) (in French). Paris: F. Didot. p. vij.
  26. 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."
  27. 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."
  28. 1 2 Bec 1963.
  29. 1 2 3 Bec 1963, pp. 20–21.
  30. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish) (20). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat: 247. ISSN   0214-8188.
  31. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1998). "Notas gráfico-fonéticas sobre la documentación medieval navarra". Príncipe de Viana (in Spanish). 59 (214): 524. ISSN   0032-8472.
  32. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish) (20). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat: 247–249. ISSN   0214-8188.
  33. Jurio, Jimeno (1997). Navarra: Historia del Euskera. Tafalla: Txalaparta. pp. 59–60. ISBN   978-84-8136-062-2.
  34. "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.
  35. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish) (20). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat: 249. ISSN   0214-8188.
  36. Cierbide Martinena, Ricardo (1996). "Convivencia histórica de lenguas y culturas en Navarra". Caplletra: Revista Internacional de Filología (in Spanish) (20). València (etc) : Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Valenciana; Abadia de Montserrat: 248. ISSN   0214-8188.
  37. Bahrami. "The language the French forbade". BBC. BBC.
  38. @NatGeoUK (15 January 2013). "Toulouse: Occitan". National Geographic. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  39. Field, Thomas T. (1980). "The Sociolinguistic Situation of Modern Occitan". The French Review. 54 (1): 37–46. ISSN   0016-111X. JSTOR   391694.
  40. Klingebiel, Kathryn (2001). "LANGUAGE". The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies. 63: 208–220. ISSN   0084-4152. JSTOR   25833682.
  41. 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
  42. Ghigo, F. (1980). The Provençal speech of the Waldensian colonists of Valdese, North Carolina. Valdese: Historic Valdese Foundation.
  43. Holmes, U. T. (1934). "Waldensian speech in North Carolina". Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie. 54: 500–513.
  44. Expatries-france.com Archived 14 April 2021 at the Wayback Machine , Selection Villes
  45. Siller, Javier Pérez. "De mitos y realidades: la emigracíon barcelonette a México 1845–1891" (PDF) (in Spanish). México–Francia. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  46. "Toulouse. On va parler occitan dans le métro dès la rentrée". ladepeche.fr.
  47. Pierre, Bec. (1995) La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? n° 1059, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
  48. Arveiller, Raymond. (1967) Étude sur le parler de Monaco, Monaco: Comité National des Traditions Monégasques, p. ix.
  49. 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."
  50. 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."
  51. 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.'"
  52. 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").
  53. 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").
  54. 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")
  55. "Alliance des langues d'Oc". Institut Béarnais & Gascon. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  56. 1 2 Wheeler, Max (1988), "Occitan", in Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (eds.), The Romance Languages, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 246–278
  57. Bec 1973.
  58. Bec 1971, p. 472.
  59. Wendy Ayres-Bennett; Janice Carruthers (2018). De Gruyter (ed.). Manual of Romance Sociolinguistics. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 157. ISBN   9783110365955.
  60. The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016. pp. 63–65. ISBN   978-0--19-967710-8.
  61. "Notes on Contributors". The CLR James Journal. 24 (1): 353–355. 2018. doi:10.5840/clrjames2018241/267. ISSN   2167-4256.
  62. Costandi, Moheb (2015), "Persönlichkeit", 50 Schlüsselideen Hirnforschung, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 68–71, doi:10.1007/978-3-662-44191-6_18, ISBN   978-3-662-44190-9 , retrieved 17 December 2023
  63. 1 2 3 4 "Judeo-Provençal". Jewish Languages. Retrieved 17 December 2023.
  64. "Titelei/Inhaltsverzeichnis". Konfliktdynamik. 12 (3): 177–179. 2023. doi:10.5771/2193-0147-2023-3-177. ISSN   2193-0147.
  65. 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
  66. 1 2 "Language subtag registry". IANA. 5 March 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  67. Jean-Pierre Juge (2001) Petit précis – Chronologie occitane – Histoire & civilisation, p. 25
  68. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  69. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  70. 1 2 3 Kremnitz 2002, pp. 109–111.
  71. Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle, Pierre Bonnaud and Jean Lafitte
  72. 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
  73. 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.
  74. Philippe Blanchet, Louis Bayle
  75. 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
  76. Bec 1963 , p. 46: The close ties between Gascon and others Occitan dialects have been demonstrated through a common diasystem.
  77. "Per Noste edicions". www.pernoste.com.
  78. Perso.orange.fr, Aranaram Au Patac
  79. Carrera 2007.
  80. 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.
  81. 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)
  82. Chambon, Jean-Pierre; Greub, Yan (2002). "Note sur l'âge du (proto)gascon". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 66: 473–495.
  83. Baldinger, Kurt (1962). "La langue des documents en ancien gascon". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 26: 331–347.
  84. Baldinger, Kurt (1962). "Textes anciens gascons". Revue de Linguistique Romane (in French). 26: 348–362.
  85. Lo gascon lèu e plan, p.14
  86. Modern loanword from Italian or Greek (Iordan, Dift., 145)
  87. 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."
  88. Bec, Pierre. (1995). La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? nr. 1059. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France [1st ed. 1963]
  89. Gencat.net Archived 9 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  90. Bahrami, Beebe. "The language the French forbade". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  91. "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.
  92. "Occitan's fight to stay away from the cliff of extinction". The Economist. 19 April 2018. ISSN   0013-0613 . Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  93. 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. 1 2 Some Iberian scholars may alternatively classify Occitan as Iberian Romance.
  2. Regional pronunciations: [uksiˈtã(n),uwsiˈtã(n),ukʃiˈtɔ,uksiˈtɔ] .


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gascon dialect</span> Occitan dialect spoken in France and Spain

Gascon is the vernacular Romance variety spoken mainly in the region of Gascony, France. It is often considered a variety of Occitan, although some authors consider it a different language.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languedocien dialect</span> Occitan dialect

Languedocien, Languedocian, or Lengadocian is an Occitan dialect spoken in rural parts of southern France such as Languedoc, Rouergue, Quercy, Agenais and Southern Périgord. It is sometimes also called Languedocien-Guyennais. Due to its central position among the dialects of Occitan, it is often used as a basis for a Standard Occitan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Provençal dialect</span> Dialect of Occitan

Provençal is a variety of Occitan, spoken by people in Provence and parts of Drôme and Gard. Historically, the term Provençal has been used to refer to the whole of the Occitan language, but today it is considered more technically appropriate to refer only to the variety of Occitan spoken in Provence. However, it can still be found being used to refer to Occitan as a whole, e.g. Merriam-Webster states that it can be used to refer to general Occitan, though this is going out of use.

The Iberian Romance, Ibero-Romance or sometimes Iberian languages are a group of Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra and southern France. They are today more commonly separated into West Iberian and Occitano-Romance language groups.

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

The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages includes in the narrowest sense the langues d'oïl and Franco-Provençal. However, other definitions are far broader and variously encompass the Occitan or Occitano-Romance, Gallo-Italic or Rhaeto-Romance languages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languages of France</span> Overview of the languages spoken in France

Of the languages of France, French is the sole official language according to the second article of the French Constitution. French, a Gallo-Romance language, is spoken by nearly the entire population of France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franco-Provençal</span> Gallo-Romance language spoken in France, Italy and Switzerland

Franco-Provençal is a language within the Gallo-Romance family, originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland and northwestern Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Auvergnat</span> Occitan dialect of central and southern France

Auvergnat or Occitan auvergnat is a northern dialect of Occitan spoken in central and southern France, in particular in the former administrative region of Auvergne.

<i>Langues doïl</i> Dialects including French and its close relatives

The langues d'oïl are a dialect continuum that includes standard French and its closest autochthonous relatives historically spoken in the northern half of France, southern Belgium, and the Channel Islands. They belong to the larger category of Gallo-Romance languages, which also include the historical languages of east-central France and western Switzerland, southern France, portions of northern Italy, the Val d'Aran in Spain, and under certain acceptations those of Catalonia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aranese dialect</span> Occitan dialect near the French-Spanish border

Aranese is a standardized form of the Pyrenean Gascon variety of the Occitan language spoken in the Val d'Aran, in northwestern Catalonia close to the Spanish border with France, where it is one of the three official languages beside Catalan and Spanish. In 2010, it was declared the third official language in Catalonia by the Parliament of Catalonia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Occitania</span> Historical region and nation in southern Europe

Occitania is the historical region in Southern Europe where the Occitan language was historically spoken and where it is occasionally used as a second language. This cultural area roughly encompasses much of the southern third of France as well as part of Spain, Monaco, and parts of Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Niçard dialect</span> Occitan dialect spoken in Nice, France

Niçard, nissart/Niçart, niçois, or nizzardo is the dialect that was historically spoken in the city of Nice, in France, and in a few surrounding communes. Niçard is a subdialect of Provençal, itself a dialect of Occitan. Some Italian irredentists have claimed it as a Ligurian dialect, on false grounds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Italo-Western languages</span> Romance language branch

Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It comprises two of the branches of Romance languages: Italo-Dalmatian and Western Romance. It excludes the Sardinian language and Eastern Romance.

Pierre Bec was a French Occitan-language poet and linguist. Born in Paris, he spent his childhood in Comminges, where he learnt Occitan. He was deported to Germany between 1943 and 1945. After returning, he studied in Paris, where he graduated in 1959. He was one of the founders of the IEO or Institut d'Estudis Occitans as well as its president from 1962 to 1980.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Occitano-Romance languages</span> Branch of the Romance language group

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Croissant (linguistic zone)</span> Crescent-shaped linguistic zone in France

The Croissant is a linguistic transitional zone between the Langue d'oc dialects and the Langue d'oïl dialects, situated in the centre of France where Occitan dialects are spoken that have transitional traits toward French. The name derives from the contours of the zone that resemble a croissant, or crescent.

<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.

This article describes the phonology of the Occitan language.