Ligurian

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A language of Italy

Alternate Names
Ligure, Zenéize
Population

L1 users: 500,000 (2002). Total users in all countries: 505,100.

Location

Liguria region: east and west of Genoa along the Riviera and mountain hinterland; small communities near the Piedmont-Liguria regional border (Ormea, Garessio, Saliceto, Seorle, Spigno, Orba valley, Scrivia valley) into Piedmont region: Cuneo province, and Tuscany region: Massa-Carrara province, very small border areas; possible scattered settlements on and around Sardinia.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Genoese (Genoan, Genovese). Ligurian is reportedly more similar to Piedmontese [pms], Lombard [lmo], and French [fra] than to standard Italian [ita]. Ligurian varieties in Piedmont-Liguria border area are mutually intelligible with Piedmontese varieties. There are over 20 villages in Sicily and Basilicata regions where transitional Piedmontese [pms]-Ligurian varieties are spoken, due to a massive immigration from Piedmont during the Middle Ages (Pfister 1988).

Language Use

Also use Italian [ita].

Language Development
Newspapers. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1860.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Ligurian has had a literature since the 1200s and the Genoese variant was widely used alongside the Mediterranean because of the commercial and nautical importance of the Republic of Genoa. That is why Zenéize (meaning Genoese) is one of its alternate names.

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