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Languages of Spain

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Kingdom of Spain, España. 43,397,000. National or official languages: Spanish, regional languages: Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Galician, Aranese Gascon, Catalan. Literacy rate: 93%–97%. Immigrant languages: Fa D’ambu (600), Judeo-Tunisian Arabic, Kabuverdianu (10,000), Portuguese, Tarifit, Vlax Romani (1,000), Western Farsi (25,000). Also includes Arabic (200,000), Chinese (20,000), and languages of Latin America (150,000). Information mainly from P. Blanchet 1986; B. Comrie 1987; J. Fishman 1991; M. Stephens 1976. Blind population: 30,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 120,000 to 2,383,940. Deaf institutions: 129. The number of individual languages listed for Spain is 14. Of those, all are living languages.

[arg] 11,000. Ethnic population: 2,000,000 (1994). Zaragoza, Uesca Province; Pyrenea (north border), Navarra (west border); north of Montsó (east). Western Aragonese in Ansó, Echo, Chasa, Berdún, and Chaca towns; Central Aragonese in Panticosa, Biescas, Torla, Broto, Bielsa, Yebra, and L’Ainsa; Eastern Aragonese in Benás (Benasque, Benasc, Patués), Plan, Bisagorri, Campo, Perarruga, Graus, Estadilla; Southern Aragonese in Agüero, Ayerbe, Rasal, Bolea, Lierta, Uesca, Almudébar, Nozito, Labata, Alguezra, Angüés, Pertusa, Balbastro, Nabal. Alternate names: Altoaragonés, Aragoieraz, Aragonés, Fabla Aragonesa, High Aragonese, Patués.  Dialects: Western Aragonese (Ansotano, Cheso), Central Aragonese (Belsetán, Tensino, Pandicuto, Bergotés), Eastern Aragonese (Benasqués, Grausino, Ribagorzano, Fobano, Chistabino), Southern Aragonese (Ayerbense, Semontanés). Different from the local variety of Spanish (also called ‘Aragonese’ influenced by High Aragonese). Eastern Aragonese transitional to Catalan [cat]. Similarities to Catalan and Occitan [oci].  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Pyrenean-Mozarabic, Pyrenean 
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[ast] 100,000 in Spain (1994). 50,000 in Central Asturian, 30,000 in Western Asturian, 20,000 in Eastern Asturian. Population total all countries: 125,000. Ethnic population: 550,000 (1996). Asturias Princedom, west Cantabria and Leon, north Castilla-Leon. Montañes in Cantabria and Las Peñamelleras, a Spanish dialect with Asturian influence. Also in Portugal. Alternate names: Astur-Leonese, Asturian-Leonese, Asturianu.  Dialects: Leonese (Lleones), Western Asturian, Central Asturian (Bable), Eastern Asturian, Montañes. As different from Spanish as Galician [glg] or Catalan [cat]; more different than Murcian and Andalusian dialects. About 80% intelligibility with Spanish (R. Hall, Jr. 1989) enough to cause disruption of communicative ability (1992 T. Erickson). The Vaqueiros ethnic group speaks Western Asturian [ast]. Intelligibility among the 3 dialects is functional. Similar to Mirandés [mwl] in Portugal. Leonese may be a separate language. Central Asturian is considered the model, and has the most speakers.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Asturo-Leonese 
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[eus] 580,000 in Spain (1991 L. Trask). 2,000,000 residents of 3 provinces of Basque territory; 25% born outside territory, 40% in territory born to Basque parents. 4,400,000 in Spain have Basque surname; 19% live in Basque country. Population total all countries: 658,960. France-Spain border, 3 Basque provinces: Alava (Araba), Bizkaia (Biskay), and Gipuzkoa of Autonomous Basque Community (CAV); north central Spain, Autonomous Region of Navarra (Nafarroa), north area. Also in Australia, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Philippines, United States. Alternate names: Euskara, Euskera, Vascuense.  Dialects: Gipuzkera (Guipuzcoan, Guipuzcoano, Gipuzkoan), Alto Navarro Septentrional (High Navarrese, Upper Navarran), Alto Navarro Meridional, Biscayan (Vizcaino), Roncalese, Alavan. Some inherent intelligibility among regional varieties except Souletin. Regional varieties sometimes preferred for oral use, but strong desire for Batua unified standard.  Classification: Basque 
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[rmr] 40,000 in Spain. Population total all countries: 70,000. Also in Brazil, France, Portugal. Alternate names: Gitano, Hispanoromani, Iberian Romani.  Dialects: Spanish Caló, Portuguese Calão (Calão, Lusitano-Romani), Catalonian Caló, Basque Caló, Brazilian Calão. Gypsy language very different from other Romani. A cryptological variety of Spanish (I. Hancock 1995). McLane found 300 to 400 words based on Romani, but no individual acquainted with more than 100. Regional dialects are Iberian base of Caló, where boundary between Spanish and Portuguese not distinct.  Classification: Mixed language, Iberian-Romani 
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Catalan Sign Language

[csc] 18,000 (1994). Catalonia. Alternate names: Catalana, Catalonian Sign Language, Lengua de Señas Catalana, Llengua de Signes, LSC, Signos Catalana.  Dialects: About 50% intelligibility by users of Spanish Sign Language [ssp].  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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[cat] 11,200,000 in Spain (2006). Population total all countries: 11,530,160. Northeast, around Barcelona; Catalonia, Valencia provinces, Balearic Islands; Carche region, Murcia Province. Menorquin is Menorca. Pallarese, in Pallars. Ribagorçan from Aran Valley to south of Tamarit, and from Noguera Ribagorçana to border with Aragonese. Also in Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela. Alternate names: Bacavès, Català, Catalán, Catalonian.  Dialects: Catalan-Rousillonese (Northern Catalán), Valencian (Valenciano, Valencià), Balearic (Balear, Insular Catalan, Mallorqui, Menorqui, Eivissenc), Central Catalan, Algherese, Northwestern Catalan (Pallarese, Ribagorçan, Lleidatà, Aiguavivan). Standardized variety is literary composite of several dialects and written form is most similar to Barcelona speech. Pallarese and Ribogorçan dialects less similar to standard Catalan. Benasquese and Aiguavivan people live in isolated valleys and have distinct phonology from their neighbors. Tortosin may be more similar to Valencian. Central Catalan has 90% to 95% inherent intelligibility for speakers of Valencian (1989 R. Hall, Jr.). Lexical similarity: 87% with Italian, 85% with Portuguese and Spanish, 76% with Ladin [lld], 75% with Sardinian [src], 73% with Romanian [ron].  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, East Iberian 
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[ext] 200,000 in Spain. 500,000 able to use it, including some monolinguals (1994 T. Erickson). Most use northern dialect. Population total all countries: 201,500. Ethnic population: 1,100,000 (1994). Extremadura Autonomous Region (except the Fala-speaking valley northwest, Portuguese dialect-speaking strips west, and Spanish-speaking strip east); some neighboring areas. Also in Portugal. Alternate names: Barranquian, Cahtúo, Cahtúö, Ehtremeñu, Extremeño.  Dialects: Northern Extremaduran (Artu Ehtremeñu), Central Extremaduran (Meyu Ehtremeñu), Southern Extremaduran (Bahu Ehtremeñu). Related to the eastern dialect of Tur-Leonese.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
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[fax] 10,500 (1994 T. Erickson). 5,500 in the language area; 5,000 outside, many of whom return each summer. Extremadura Autonomous Region, northwest corner, an isolated valley on Portugugal border, Val de Xalima or Val du riu Ellas, Valverdi du Fresnu, As Ellas and Sa Martín de Trebellu towns. Alternate names: A Fala de Xálima, A Fala do Xãlima, “Chapurreáu” , Galaico-Extremaduran.  Dialects: Valvideiru, Mañegu, Lagarteiru. Not easily intelligible with surrounding language varieties. Intelligible to speakers of Galician [glg].  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Portuguese-Galician 
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[glg] 3,170,000 in Spain (1986). Population total all countries: 3,185,000. Northwest Spain, Galicia Autonomous Region. Also in Portugal. Alternate names: Galego, Gallego.  Dialects: Galician is between Portuguese and Spanish; more similar to Portuguese, which has about 85% intelligibility (1989 R. Hall, Jr.). Many dialects.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Portuguese-Galician 
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Gascon, Aranese

[oci] 3,810 in Spain (1991 census). Ethnic population: 5,552 (1991). Pyrenees Mountains, Catalonia Autonomous region, Aran Valley, northwest corner, Garona River headwaters. Alternate names: Aranés, Aranese, Aranese Occitán, Arnais, Gascón.  Dialects: Baish Aranés, Mijaranés Aranés, Naut Aranés.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, Oc 
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[quq]  On the edge of towns. Classification: Unclassified 
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[spa] 28,200,000 in Spain (1986). Population total all countries: 328,518,810. Central, south; Canary Islands. Also in Andorra, Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela. Alternate names: Castellano, Castilian, Español.  Dialects: Andalusian (Andalú, Andaluz, Andalusí), Aragonese, Murcian, Navarrese, Castilian, Canary Islands Spanish (Isleño), American Spanish (Chicano), Silbo Gomero. Leonese has similarities to Asturian, and may be extinct. Lexical similarity: 89% with Portuguese, 85% with Catalan [cat], 82% with Italian, 76% with Sardinian [src], 75% with French, 74% with Ladin [lld], 71% with Romanian [ron].  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
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Spanish Sign Language

[ssp] 102,000 (1994). 20,000 members of deaf associations (Van Cleve 1986).  Alternate names: Mímica.  Dialects: Small differences throughout Spain with no difficulties in intercommunication, except in Catalonia. Origin unknown, but reportedly influences from American [ase], French [ssr], and Mexican [mfs] sign languages.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Valencian Sign Language

[vsv]  Valencian Country. Dialects: Similar to Catalan [ csc] and Spanish Sign Language [ssp].  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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