Ligurian (Romance language)
|Native to||Italy (Liguria, Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia)
France (Alpes Maritimes and Corsica)
Monaco, Argentina (in the neighborhood of La Boca in Buenos Aires).
|Native speakers||500,000  (2002)|
|Official language in||Officially recognized in Italy (Law 482/1999) and Monaco.|
|Linguasphere||51-AAA-oh & 51-AAA-og|
- This article is about the modern Ligurian language. For the distantly related ancient language, see Ligurian language (ancient).
Ligurian is a Gallo-Romance language spoken in Liguria in Northern Italy, parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, Monaco and in the villages of Carloforte and Calasetta in Sardinia. Genoese (Zenéize), spoken in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is its most important dialect. It belongs to the Gallo-Italic group of Romance languages.
Ligurian has almost 500,000 speakers, and is still widely spoken by many in Genoa and in many of the small towns and villages in the region. There are also many groups dedicated to the preservation of the language such as Associazione Culturale O Castello in Chiavari, which offers Ligurian (Genovese) language courses. Notable native speakers of Ligurian include Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Christopher Columbus, Eugenio Montale, Giulio Natta, Italo Calvino, and Fabrizio De André. There is also a popular musical group, Buio Pesto, who compose songs entirely in the sub-dialect, Genoese.
There is, however, an uninterrupted literary tradition of Ligurian poets and writers that goes from the 13th century to the present, such as Luchetto (the Genoese Anonym), Martin Piaggio and Gian Giacomo Cavalli.
Geographic extent 
Besides Liguria (Ligurian Ligùria), the language is traditionally spoken in coastal, northern Tuscany, southern Piedmont (part of the province of Alessandria), western extremes of Emilia-Romagna (some areas in the province of Piacenza), in northern and southern west parts of Sardinia (Italy), the Alpes-Maritimes of France (mostly the Côte d'Azur from the Italian border to and including Monaco), and parts of Corsica (France). It has been adopted formally in Monaco as the Monegasque language; or locally, Munegascu.
The Mentonasc dialect, spoken in the East of the County of Nice, is considered to be a transitional Occitan dialect to Ligurian; conversely, the Roiasc and Pignasc spoken further North in the Eastern margin of the County are Ligurian dialects showing Occitan influences.
Linguistic structure 
Ligurian exhibits distinct Italian features, while also having features of other Romance languages. No link between Romance Ligurian and the Ligurian language of the ancient Ligurian populations, in the form of a substrate or otherwise, can be demonstrated by linguistic evidence. There are, however, toponomastic derivations from ancient Ligurian.
Variants of the Ligurian language are:
- Zeneize (meaning Genoese, main Ligurian variant, spoken in Genoa)
- Spezzino (in La Spezia)
- Monegasque (in Monaco)
- Mentonasque (in Menton (France))
- Intemelio (in Sanremo and Ventimiglia)
- Brigasc (in La Brigue and Briga Alta)
- Roiasc (in Upper Roya Valley)
- Tabarchino (in Calasetta and Carloforte)
- Bonifacino (in Bonifacio)
The Ligurian alphabet has:
- 7 vowels: a, e, i, ò (IPA: [ɔ]), o [u], u [y], æ [ɛ], plus the group eu [ø].
- 18 consonants: b, c, ç, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z.
- It uses the umlaut (¨), circumflex (^), acute (´), and accent (`) on most vowels when the full pronunciation key is given in the official spelling. It also uses the c-cedilla (ç).
- a péia: pear (It. and Sp. pera, Pt. pêra)
- o méi: apple (It. mela)
- o belìn or belàn (used as an exclamation, lit. 'penis')
- o çetrón: orange (cf. Fr. citron 'lemon'; replacing Gen. limón—cf. It. limone)
- o fîgo: fig (It. fico Fr. figue, Gl. and Pt. figo)
- o pèrsego: peach (It. pesca, Fr. pêche, Cat. préssec, Gl. pexego, Pt. pêssego)
- a franboâza: raspberry (Fr. framboise, Pt. framboesa)
- a çêxa: cherry (It. ciliegia, Fr. cerise, Pt. cereja)
- o meréllo: strawberry
- a nôxe: hazelnut (It. nocciola, Fr. noisette, Pt. noz)
- o bricòcalo: apricot (It. albicocca, Cat. albercoc, Pt. abricó)
- l'ûga: grape (It., Sp. and Pt. uva)
- o pigneu: pine nut (It. pinolo, Pt. pinho)
- arvî: to open (It. aprire, Fr. ouvrir, Sp. and Pt. abrir)
- serâ: to close (It. chiudere, Sp. cerrar)
- ciæo: light (cf. It. chiaro)
- a cà: home, house (It., Sp. and Pt. casa; Cat. and Ven: 'Ca(sa))
- l'êuvo: egg (It. uovo, Gl. and Pt. ovo)
- l'éuggio: eye (It. occhio, Fr. l'œil, Cat. ull, Gl. ollo, Pt. olho)
- a bócca: mouth (It. bocca, Sp. and Pt. boca)
- a tésta: head (It. testa)
- a schénn-a: back (It. schiena, Cat. esquena)
- o cû: arse (It., Sp. culo, Fr. and Cat. cul, Gal. and Pt. cu)
- o bràsso: arm (It. braccio, Fr. bras, Pt. braço)
- a gànba: leg (It. gamba, Fr. jambe, Cat. cama)
- o cheu: heart (It. cuore, Fr. cœur)
See also 
- Jean-Philippe Dalbera, Les parlers des Alpes Maritimes : étude comparative, essai de reconstruction [thèse], Toulouse: Université de Toulouse 2, 1984 [éd. 1994, Londres: Association Internationale d’Études Occitanes]
- Werner Forner, “Le mentonnais entre toutes les chaises ? Regards comparatifs sur quelques mécanismes morphologiques” [Caserio & al. 2001: 11-23]
- Intemelion (revue), n° 1, Sanremo, 1995.
|Ligurian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- Associazione O Castello (in Italian/ Ligurian)
- ACADÉMIA LIGÙSTICA DO BRÉNNO (in Ligurian)
- Official Orthography and Alphabet (in Ligurian)
- Ethnologue report
- A Compagna (Italian)
- Audio samples of several Italian dialects
- GENOVÉS.com.ar (English version) - Ligurian language & culture, literature, photos and resources to learn Ligurian (English)
- GENOVÉS.com.ar (Homepage in Ligurian and Spanish) (Spanish)
- Ligurian poetry and prose
- Ligurian dictionaries in Spanish and English to download for free
- Firefox, a web browser in Ligurian
- Opera, a web browser in Ligurian
- Skype in Ligurian