Galician language

Galician
galego
Pronunciation[ɡaˈleɣʊ]
RegionGalicia and adjacent areas in Asturias and Castile and León
EthnicityGalician
Native speakers
2.4 million (2012)[1]
58% of the population of Galicia (c. 1.56 million) are L1 speakers (2007)[2]
Early forms
Latin (Galician alphabet)
Galician Braille
Official status
Official language in
Spain
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byRoyal Galician Academy
Language codes
ISO 639-1gl
ISO 639-2glg
ISO 639-3glg
Glottologgali1258
Linguasphere51-AAA-ab
Idioma gallego bloques y áreas lingüísticas.png
Distribution of the various dialects of Galician in Spain and the extreme north of Portugal[image reference needed]
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Galician (/ɡəˈlɪʃən/,[3] /ɡəˈlɪsiən/;[4] galego), also known as Galego and Gallego, is a Western Ibero-Romance language. Around 2.4 million people have at least some degree of competence in the language, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Spanish. The language is also spoken in some border zones of the neighbouring Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León, as well as by Galician migrant communities in the rest of Spain, in Latin America including Puerto Rico, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.

Modern Galician is part of the West Iberian languages group, a family of Romance languages that includes the Portuguese language. Galician evolved locally from Vulgar Latin and developed, by the 13th century, into what modern scholars have called Galician-Portuguese. The earliest document written integrally in the local Galician variety dates back to 1230, although the subjacent Romance permeates most written Latin local charters since the High Middle Ages, being specially noteworthy in personal and place names recorded in those documents, as well as in terms originated in languages other than Latin. The earliest reference to Galician-Portuguese as an international language of culture dates to 1290, in the Regles de Trobar by Catalan author Jofre de Foixà, where it is simply called Galician (gallego).[5]

Dialectal divergences are observable between the northern and southern forms of Galician-Portuguese in 13th-century texts but the two dialects were similar enough to maintain a high level of cultural unity until the middle of the 14th century, producing the medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric. The divergence has continued to this day, most frequently due to innovations in Portuguese,[6] producing the modern languages of Galician and Portuguese.[7] The lexicon of Galician is predominantly of Latin extraction, although it also contains a moderate number of words of Germanic and Celtic origin, among other substrates and adstrates, having also received, mainly via Spanish, a number of nouns from Andalusian Arabic.

The language is officially regulated in Galicia by the Royal Galician Academy. Other organizations without institutional support, such as the Galician Association of Language and the Galician Academy of the Portuguese Language, include Galician as part of the Portuguese language.

  1. ^ Galician at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Observatorio da Lingua Galega". Observatorio da Lingua Galega. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  3. ^ "galicia". Merriam-Webster.
  4. ^ "Galician". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017.
  5. ^ Mariño Paz 1998, p. 142.
  6. ^ Valls Alecha, Esteve; González González, Manuel (2016). "Variación e distancia lingüística na Romania Antiqua: unha contribución dialectométrica ao debate sobre o grao de individuación da lingua galega" [Linguistic variation and distance in the Romania Antiqua: A dialectometric contribution to the debate about the degree of individuality of the Galician language]. Estudos de Lingüística Galega (in Galician). 8: 229–246. doi:10.15304/elg.8.3175.
  7. ^ de Azevedo Maia, Clarinda (1997). História do galego-português: estado linguístico da Galiza e do noroeste de Portugal desde o século XIII ao século XVI [History of Galician-Portuguese: linguistic state of Galicia and northwestern Portugal from the 13th to the 16th centuries] (in Portuguese) (Reprint of the INIC 1986 ed.). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. pp. 883–891. ISBN 9789723107463.

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