Ethnologue: Areas: Europe

Spain

40,060,000 (1995); 1,170,224 Canary Islands, a possession (1978 Hammond World Atlas). España. Literacy rate 93% to 97%. Also includes Arabic 200,000, Chinese 20,000, from Latin America 150,000. Data accuracy estimate: B. Christian, secular. Blind population 30,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 120,000. Deaf institutions: 129. The number of languages listed for Spain is 16. Of those, 14 are living languages and 2 are extinct.

ARAGONESE (ALTOARAGONÉS, ARAGONÉS, FABLA ARAGONESA, PATUÉS, HIGH ARAGONESE) [AXX] 11,000 or more active speakers, including 500 elderly monolinguals. An additional 20,000 people use it as second language (1993 Counsel of the Aragonese Language). The majority speak Eastern Aragonese. 2,000,000 in the ethnic group. Zaragoza, Uesca Province. The northern limit is the Pyrenean border, separating Aragon from Occitania; the western limit is the border of Navarra; the eastern limit is north of Montsó. Western Aragonese includes the towns of Ansó, Echo, Chasa, Berdún, and Chaca; Central Aragonese the towns of Panticosa, Biescas, Torla, Broto, Bielsa, Yebra, and L'Ainsa; Eastern Aragonese the towns of Benás (Benasque, Benasc, Patués), Plan, Bisagorri, Campo, Perarruga, Graus, Estadilla; Southern Aragonese the towns of Agüero, Ayerbe, Rasal, Bolea, Lierta, Uesca, Almudébar, Nozito, Labata, Alguezra, Angüés, Pertusa, Balbastro, Nabal. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Dialects: WESTERN ARAGONESE (ANSOTANO, CHESO), CENTRAL ARAGONESE (BELSETÁN, CHISTABINO, TENSINO, PANDICUTO, BERGOTÉS), EASTERN ARAGONESE (BENASQUÉS, GRAUSINO, RIBAGORZANO, FOBANO, CHISTABINO), SOUTHERN ARAGONESE (AYERBENSE, SEMONTANÉS). There are local varieties. Different from the local variety of Spanish (also called 'Aragonese', which is influenced by High Aragonese). Eastern Aragonese is transitional to Catalan. Similarities to Catalan, Occitan, and Gascón. There is an Aragonese Speakers' League (Ligallo de Fablans de l'Aragonés) in Zaragoza, and a Council of the Aragonese Language (Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa) in Uesca. There are 5 magazines in Aragonese, and at least 6 organizations of mother tongue speakers working in the language. The written language is based on Central and Eastern Aragonese. Speakers use Spanish (Castilian) in varying degrees, depending on their education; generally they use it well. Used with outsiders.Nearly 100% literate. Christian. Work in progress.

ASTURIAN (BABLE) [AUB] 100,000 first language speakers, plus 450,000 second language speakers able to speak or understand it (1994 F. F. Botas). 50,000 in Central Asturian, 30,000 in Western Asturian, 20,000 in Eastern Asturian. 550,000 in the ethnic group. Princedom of Asturias except for the most western section where Galician is spoken, the western part of Cantabria, and northern Castilla-Leon. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Dialects: WESTERN ASTURIAN, CENTRAL ASTURIAN (BABLE), EASTERN ASTURIAN. As different from Spanish as Galician or Catalan; more different than Murcian and Andalusian. Close to Leonese. About 80% intelligibility with Spanish (R.A. Hall, Jr. 1989); enough to cause disruption of communicative ability (T. Erickson SIL 1992). They use Spanish in formal situations and with outsiders. Children ages 6 to 16 are obliged to study Asturian in school; it is voluntary for those 16-19. There is literature, both popular and literary, since the 17th century; poetry, and traditional ballads and chivalric novels of oral tradition. The Academy of the Asturian Language was formed in 1981, to revive the academy of the 18th century. The Vaqueros ethnic group speaks Western Asturian. Intelligibility among the three dialects is adequate, but Western Asturian may need orthography adaptation. Central Asturian is considered the model, and has the most speakers. Bible portions 1871-1991. Work in progress.

BASQUE [BSQ] 580,000 in Spain (1991 L. Trask U. of Sussex); 8,108 in USA (1970 census); 588,000 or more in all countries. French-Spanish border, 3 Basque provinces: Araba, Biscay, and Gipuzkoa of the Autonomous Basque Community (CAV); in the northern area of the Autonomous Region of Navarra of north central Spain. Also in Latin America (especially Costa Rica, Mexico), Philippines, and Australia. Basque. Dialects: GUIPUZCOAN (GUIPUZCOANO, GIPUZKOAN), ALTO NAVARRO SEPTENTRIONAL (HIGH NAVARRESE, UPPER NAVARRAN), ALTO NAVARRO MERIDIONAL, BISCAYAN (VIZCAINO), AVALAN. In the Basque-speaking regions, all ages speak Basque as first or second language. Batua is a created variety using a unified orthography, used as the literary standard. It is based on Guipuzcoan, the central and most widely known dialect. A fair amount of inherent intelligibility among all regional varieties except Souletin. Regional varieties are sometimes preferred for oral use, but in Spain there is also a fairly strong desire for the Batua unified standard. Official regional language. Castillian (Spanish), or sometimes Catalan, are used as second language. 'Euzkadi' is the name of the Basque region, not for the language. Dictionaries. Grammars. Typology: SOV. Christian. Bible 1855-1994. NT 1571-1988. Bible portions 1715-1982.

CALÓ (GITANO, IBERIAN ROMANI, HISPANOROMANI) [RMR] 40,000 to 140,000 in Spain; 10,000 to 20,000 in France; 5,000 in Portugal; 10,000 in Latin America; 65,000 to 175,000 in all countries. Some estimate up to 300,000 Gypsies in Spain. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Dialects: SPANISH CALO, PORTUGUESE CALÃO (CALÃO, LUSITANO-ROMANI), CATALONIAN CALO, BASQUE CALO, BRAZILIAN CALÃO. A cryptological variety of Spanish (I. Hancock 1995). McLane found 300 to 400 words based on Romani, but no individual was acquainted with more than 100. The Iberian base for Calo is regional dialects, where the overlap is not distinct between Spanish and Portuguese. There is a movement to revive the defunct inflected Spanish Romani, and a book has been printed in it (I. Hancock 1990). Christian. Bible portions 1837-1872.

CATALAN-VALENCIAN-BALEAR (CATALÀ, CATALÁN, BACAVÈS, CATALONIAN) [CLN] 4,000,000 mother tongue speakers plus 5,000,000 second or third language speakers in Spain (1994 La Generalitat de Catalunya); 260,000 in France; 31,000 in Andorra (1990); 40,000 in USA (1961); 22,000 in Italy; 4,353,000 or more in all countries. 6,000,000 in the ethnic group in Spain (1994). Northeastern Spain, around Barcelona; Catalonia, Valencia Provinces, Balearic Islands, region of Carche, Murcia Province. Menorquin is on Menorca. Pallarese, a subdialect of Northwestern Catalan, is in Pallars. Ribagorçan, another subdialect extends from the Valley of Aran to the south of Tamarit, and from the Noguera Ribagorçana to the border with Aragonese. Speakers of the language also in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Algeria. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Eastern. Dialects: CATALAN-ROUSILLONESE (NORTHERN CATALÁN), VALENCIAN (VALENCIANO, VALENCIÀ), BALEARIC (BALEAR, INSULAR CATALAN, MALLORQUI, MENORQUI, EIVISSENC), CENTRAL CATALAN, ALGHERESE, NORTHWESTERN CATALAN (PALLARESE, RIBAGORÇAN, LLEIDATÀ, AIGUAVIVAN). The high literacy in Catalan (60%) is recent. The standard dialect is a literary composite which no one speaks, based on several dialects. Pallarese and Ribogorçan dialects are less similar to standard Catalan, speakers have less education, less contact with the standard, and live in high valleys of the Pyrenees. Benasquese and Aiguavivan people live in isolated valleys and have a distinct phonology from their neighbors. Tortosin may be closer to Valencian. Catalan has 87% lexical similarity with Italian, 85% with Portuguese and Spanish, 76% with Rheto-Romance, 75% with Sardinian, 73% with Rumanian. Catalan has about 90% to 95% inherent intelligibility to speakers of Valencian (R.A. Hall, Jr., 1989). Some Valencian speakers desire separate literatue. Catalan is an official regional language. Literacy in some language 96%. Speakers use Spanish, French, Italian, Sard, or Occitan as second languages. Dictionary. Christian, secular. Bible 1478-1993. NT 1832-1988. Bible portions 1928-1985.

CATALONIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [CSC] Catalonia. Deaf sign language. An indigenous sign language, quite distinct from Spanish Sign Language. About 50% intelligibility by users of Spanish Sign Language. Survey needed.

EXTREMADURAN (EXTREMEÑO, EHTREMEÑU, CAHTÚO, CAHTÚÖ) [EXT] 200,000 active speakers, plus 500,000 able to use it, including some monolinguals (1994 T. Erickson). Most speakers are in the northern dialect. Most are over 30 years old. 1,100,000 in the ethnic group. Autonomous region of Extremadura (except the Fala-speaking valley in the northwest, Portuguese dialect-speaking strips in the west, and Spanish-speaking strip in the east), and a few neighboring aread. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Dialects: NORTHERN EXTREMADURAN (ARTU EHTREMEÑU), CENTRAL EXTREMADURAN (MEYU EHTREMEÑU), SOUTHERN EXTREMADURAN (BAHU EHTREMEÑU). Related to the eastern dialect of Tur-Leonese. 2 orthographies, one Castilian-like, developed around the turn of the century by the famous poet José María Gabriel y Galán, the other more recent and more phonetic. Dialects are inherently intelligible to each others' speakers. They use Extremaduran in all contexts. Those who have gone to school speak Spanish in formal situations and to outsiders. 90% literate. Typology: SVO.

FALA (A FALA DE XÁLIMA, GALAICO-EXTREMADURAN, "CHAPURREÁU") [FAX] 10,500 including 5,500 active speakers in the language area; 5,000 outside, many of whom return each summer (1994 T. Erickson). Northwest Spain, Galicia Province, northwest corner of the autonomous region of Extremadura, isolated valley on the Portuguese border called Val de Xálima or Val du riu Ellas, towns of Valverdi du Fresnu, As Ellas and Sa Martín de Trebellu. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Western. Dialects: VALVIDEIRU, MAÑEGU, LAGARTEIRU. Dialects are inherently intelligible with each others' speakers. Not easily intelligible with the surrounding language varieties. Intelligible with Galician, but the speakers do not identify with the Galicians, and do not want their orthography to be like Galician. Language vitality is high. Spoken by all ages in all contexts except school, church, and contacts with outsiders, where they speak Spanish. Nearly 100% literate.

GALICIAN (GALEGO, GALLEGO) [GLN] 3,173,400 in Spain, 8.2% of the population (1986); 4,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Northwest Spain, Galicia Province. Also in Portugal. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Western. Galician is intermediate between Portuguese and Spanish, but closer to Portuguese. Portuguese has about 85% intelligibility to speakers of Galician (R.A. Hall, Jr., 1989). There is an Academy of the Galician Language. It has had many decades of development as a language of serious literature, including poetry, essays on novel, ideological, philosophical, and sociological topics, and for all levels of education, including higher education. A growing sense of ethnic identity and of the Galician language. Official regional language. Many dialects. Bible 1989-1992. NT 1974-1980. Bible portions 1861-1967.

GASCON, ARANESE (ARANÉS, ARANESE, ARANAIS, GASCON, ARANESE OCCITAN) [GSC] 3,814 speakers, plus 1,283 who understand it in Spain (1991 linguistic census) out of 5,922 in the valley (1991 census); 250,000 in all countries including Gascon in France. Speakers in Spain: 532 ages 2-14, 775 15-29, 733 30-44, 750 45-64, 609 over 65, 19 without age indicated. Aran Valley, headwaters of the Garona River in the northwest corner of the autonomous region of Catalonia, Pyrenees Mts. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Eastern. Dialects: BAISH ARANÉS, MIJARANÉS ARANÉS, NAUT ARANÉS. Officially recognized with its own orthography in Spain. Taught regularly in school since 1984. The Aranese magazine 'Toti' is published monthly. The Center of Linguistic Normalization is dedicated to the promotion of its use. Some regional variation. Inherently intelligible with Commingese Gascon of France, and called 'Aranese' in France. Aranese is influenced by Catalan and Spanish more than French. Not as close to Limousin, Auvergnat, Languedocien, or Provençal; related languages of France. Over half the speakers are fluent in French, Spanish, Catalan, or Occitan. Catalan and Spanish are taught in school. About half of those in Spain also speak French because of commercial traffic both ways across the border. Nearly 100% literate in Spanish; 1,899 literate in Catalan, 1,232 literate in Aranese. Literacy in France is much lower. Bible portions 1583-1983. Work in progress.

GUANCHE [GNC] Canary Islands. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Guanche. Extinct in the 16th century. Its relation to Berber has been questioned.

MOZARABIC [MXI] Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, South. It is still used liturgically in a few places. Regular broadcasts from Radio Israel. A Romance language with Arabic influences. Used by Christians during the Moorish occupation of Spain in the Middle Ages. Christian. Extinct.

QUINQUI [QUQ] Unclassified. A blend language of certain urban nomadic groups. Not Gypsies. Survey needed.

ROMANI, VLACH [RMY] 500 to 1,000 Kalderash in Spain; 1,500,000 in all countries Vlach (1986 estimate). Also in Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Greece, Albania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax. Dialect: KALDERASH. A Gypsy language. Christian. NT 1984-1986. Bible portions 1930-1986.

SPANISH (ESPAÑOL, CASTILIAN, CASTELLANO) [SPN] 28,173,600 in Spain, 72.8% of the population (1986); 81,174,760 in Mexico and Central America; 18,154,926 in the Caribbean; 89,569,500 in South America; 22,400,000 in USA (1990 census); 50,000 to 60,000 in Israel; 134,000 in Germany; 23,815 in Canada (1971 census); 6,500 in Norway; 8,000 in Jamaica; 4,444 in U.S. Virgin Islands (1970); 500,000 in Philippines (nearly all second language); 100,000 in Africa; 266,000,000 in all countries first language speakers (1987 Time); 352,000,000 including second language users (1991 WA). Central and southern Spain and the Canary Islands. Also in Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, Gibraltar, France, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Dialects: ANDALUSIAN, MURCIAN, ARAGONESE, NAVARRESE, CASTILIAN, LEONESE, CANARY ISLANDS SPANISH, AMERICAN SPANISH. 89% lexical similarity with Portuguese, 85% with Catalan, 82% with Italian, 76% with Sardinian, 75% with French, 74% with Rheto-Romance, 71% with Rumanian. The Aragonese dialect of Spanish is different from the Aragonese language. Leonese may have limited inherent intelligibility with Spanish, and may be extinct. Leonese has similarities to Asturian. National language. Typology: SVO. Christian. Braille Bible. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1994. Bible portions 1514-1985.

SPANISH SIGN LANGUAGE (MÍMICA) [SSP] 120,000 (1994); 20,000 members of deaf associations (1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Small differences throughout Spain with no difficulties in intercommunication, except in Catalonia. Origin unknown, but it is reported that there are influences from American, French, and Mexican sign languages. Some signed interpretation used in court, at important public events. There is sign language instruction for parents of deaf children. Many sign language classes for hearing people. Some use on TV. There is a committee on national sign language. There is a manual system for spelling. Dictionary. Films, video. 20% to 30% literate in Spanish. Work in progress.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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