Breton

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A language of France

Alternate Names
Berton
Autonym
Brezhoneg
Population

206,000 (2013 R. Milin), decreasing.

Location

Brittany region: Finistere, western Cotes-d’Armor, and western Morbihan departments; elsewhere dispersed.

Language Maps
Language Status

8a (Moribund). Recognized language (2013, No. 595), Education.

Dialects

Leoneg (Leonais), Tregerieg (Tregorrois), Gwenedeg (Vannetais), Kerneveg (Cornouaillais).

Typology

SVO, OVS, or, less frequently, VSO, depending on focus; prepositions; genitives, adjectives, relatives after noun heads; articles, numerals before noun heads; question word initial; topic or focus first, verb second; gender (masculine/feminine); definite and indefinite articles; verb affixes mark person, number; passives; tense; causatives and comparatives shown lexically; 24 consonants, 11 vowels; non-tonal; free stress; 4 kinds of mutation.

Language Use

Strong nationalistic movement demanding recognition, a place in the schools, media, and public life. Older adults only. Also use French [fra].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 25%. An average of 15,000 students in Breton language and bilingual schools. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1866–1985.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

In 1914 reportedly 90% (about 1 million) of the population of the western half of Brittany spoke Breton. In 1945 it was about 75%, and today, in all of Brittany the most optimistic estimate would be that 20% of Bretons can speak Breton. Brittany has a population of roughly 4 million, including the department of Loire-Atlantique separated from official Brittany in 1941.

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