Brigasc dialect

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Native to Italy, France
Native speakers
approximately 1,000  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguasphere 51-AAA-og

Brigasc is a dialect of the Ligurian language. It is spoken in Italy and France.

Area of use[edit]

The Brigasc dialects are Roya, Tanaro, and Argentina, named respectively after the rivers Roya, Tanaro and Argentina. Roya is spoken in the French department of Alpes-Maritimes. Tanaro is spoken in the Italian province of Cuneo. Argentina is spoken in the Italian province of Imperia.


During the Renaissance the Ligurian language was spoken in all the territories of the Republic of Genoa: in the western area of this republic one of its groups (spoken mainly in the area between the Principality of Monaco and Sanremo) was called Intemelio.

The Intemelio spoken in the mountains around Briga was called Brigasc and received some influence from the Occitan language of Savoy.

Tenda is one of the alpine areas where Brigasc is still spoken

In 1947, when France obtained Briga and Tenda from Italy, some French scholars wanted to catalogue Brigasc as an Occitan dialect.[1] However, more recent scholars identify it as a Ligurian dialect, because of lexical and phonetical characteristics.[2][3][4]

Some words in Brigasc[edit]

Italian Brigasc English
più ciü more
piano cian slow
fiore sciu(u) flower
chiave ciau key
occhio ögl eye
ponte pont bridge
porco porc pig
muro muru wall

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Werner Forner, "La fumée et le feu. À propos des tentatives de délimitation de l’aire occitane sud-orientale. Première partie: De 1850 à 1950", in P. Fabre (a cura di), Mélanges dédiés à la mémoire du Prof. Paul Roux, La Farlède (Association Varoise pour l’enseignement du provençal), 1995, pp. 155-180.
  2. ^ Werner Forner, "À propos du Ligurien Intémélien. La côte, l’arrière-pays", in Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Nice, 7-8 (1985-1986), pp. 29-61; Werner Forner, "Areallinguistik I: Ligurien", in Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL), IV, Tübingen 1988, pp. 453-469 ; Werner Forner, "Géographie linguistique et reconstruction, à l’exemple du ligurien intémélien", in Actes du I Colloque International sur l’ancien provençal, l’ancien français et l’ancien ligurien, Nice sept. 1986 ("Bulletin du Centre de Romanistique et de Latinité Tardive"), Nice 1989, pp. 125-140; Werner Forner, "Fra Costa Azurra e Riviera: tre lingue in contatto", in V. Orioles, Fiorenzo Toso (a cura di), Circolazioni linguistiche e culturali nello spazio mediterraneo. Miscellanea di studi, Recco 2008, pp. 65-90.
  3. ^ Jean-Philippe Dalbera, Les parlers des Alpes-Maritimes. Étude comparative. Essai de reconstruction. London 1994, Pubblicazione dell’Association Internationale d’Études Occitanes.
  4. ^ Giulia Petracco Sicardi, E. Azaretti, "Studi linguistici sull’anfizona Liguria-Provenza", in Dizionario Etimologico Storico Ligure, Alessandria 1989, a pp. 11-62, di Giulia Petracco Sicardi, "Contributo alla definizione dell’anfizona Liguria-Provenza".


  • Fiorenzo Toso, Il brigasco e l'olivettese tra classificazione scientifica e manipolazioni politico-amministrative, in Intemelion. Cultura e territorio – Quaderno annuale di studi storici dell'Accademia di cultura intemelia, n. 14, anno 2008; website online (in Italian)

External links[edit]