Catalan

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A language of Spain

Alternate Names
Català, Catalán, Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Catalonian, Valencian
Population

3,750,000 in Spain (European Commission 2012). L2 users: 5,150,000 in Spain (European Commission 2012). Total users in all countries: 9,229,420 (as L1: 4,079,420; as L2: 5,150,000).

Location

Catalonia, Valenciana,Balearic Islands, and Aragon autonomous communities; Carche region, Murcia autonomous community.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Balearic Islands (1983, Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, No. 2 (1983), Article 3(3)). Statutory provincial language in Balearic Islands (1983, Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, No. 2 (1983), Article 3(3)). Statutory provincial language in Valencia Autonomous Community (1982, Autonomy Act, No. 9, 1982, Article 7), Valencian in local laws. Statutory provincial language in Aragon Autonomous Community (1982, Autonomy Act, No. 8, 1982, Article 7), LAPAO (Eastern Aragonese) in local laws. Statutory provincial language in Catalonia Autonomous Community (1979, Autonomy Act, No. 4, 1979, Article 3(2,5)).

Dialects

Catalan-Rousillonese (Northern Catalan), Valencian (Valencià, Valenciano), Balearic (Balear, Eivissenc, Insular Catalan, Mallorqui, Menorqui, Menorquin), Central Catalan, Algherese, Northwestern Catalan (Aiguavivan, Eastern Aragonese, Lleidatà, Pallarese, Ribagorçan). Standardized variety is a 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 [ita], 85% with Portuguese [por] and Spanish [spa], 76% with Ladin [lld], 75% with Sardinian [src], 73% with Romanian [ron].

Typology

SVO; prepositions; most attributive adjectives come after noun, numbers and possessives before the noun; gender (masculine/feminine); definite and indefinite articles; verb affixes mark person, number; passives; tense; comparatives; 22 consonants, 7 vowels, 4 diphthongs; non-tonal; stress on penultimate syllable.

Language Use

All domains. All ages. Also use French [fra], Italian [ita], Logudorese Sardinian [src], Occitan [oci], Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by Aranese Gascon [oci].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%. Literacy rate in L2: 96%. High literacy in Catalan (60%) is recent. Pallarese and Ribogorçan speakers have less education, less contact with the standard, and live in high valleys of the Pyrenees. Some Valencian desire separate literature. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1478–1993.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian.

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