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Occitan language

Romance language of Western Europe / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Occitan (English: /ˈɒksɪtən, -tæn, -tɑːn/;[10][11] Occitan: occitan [utsiˈta, uksiˈta][lower-alpha 1]), also known as lenga d'òc (Occitan: [ˈleŋɡɔ ˈðɔ(k)] (Loudspeaker.svglisten); French: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, and sometimes also referred to as Provençal, is a Romance language spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Valleys, as well as Vath d'Aran in Catalonia; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitània. 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]

Quick facts: Occitan, Native to, Region, Ethnicity, N...
occitan, lenga d'òc, provençal / provençau
Native toFrance, Spain, Italy
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
Latin alphabet (Occitan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byConselh de la Lenga Occitana;[7] Congrès Permanent de la Lenga Occitana;[8] Institut d'Estudis Aranesi[9]
Language codes
ISO 639-1oc
ISO 639-2oci
ISO 639-3oci – inclusive code
Individual code:
sdt  Judeo-Occitan
Linguasphere51-AAA-g & 51-AAA-f
Geographic range of the Occitan language around 1900
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Occitan is an official language of Catalonia, 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, and later Provençal (Provençal, Provençau or Prouvençau) have been used as synonyms for the whole of Occitan; nowadays, "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, and does not 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.