Western Romance languages

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Western Romance
France, Iberia, Northern Italy, and Switzerland
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
Glottolog: west2813[1]
Classification of Romance languages
The Romance language family (simplified)

The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the Gallo-Romance group, and the Iberian-Romance group.


The Gallo-Romance group includes:

The Iberian-Romance group includes:

Based on mutual intelligibility, Dalby counts a dozen languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Asturian-Leonese, Aragonese, Catalan, Gascon, Provençal, Gallo-Wallon, French, Franco-Provençal, Romansh, and Ladin.[2]

Some classifications include central and southern Italian; the resulting clade is generally called Italo-Western Romance. Other classifications place an Italo-Dalmatian clade in with Eastern Romance. Sardinian does not fit into either Western or Eastern Romance, and may have split off before either.[citation needed]

Today the four most-widely spoken standardized Western Romance languages are Spanish (c. 410 million native), Portuguese (c. 220 million native, another 45 million or so second-language speakers, mainly in Lusophone Africa), French (c. 75 million native speakers, another 70 million or so second-language speakers, mostly in Francophone Africa), and Catalan (c. 7.2 million native). Many of these languages have large numbers of non-native speakers; this is especially the case for French, in widespread use throughout West Africa as a lingua franca.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Western Romance". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ David Dalby, 1999/2000, The Linguasphere register of the world’s languages and speech communities. Observatoire Linguistique, Linguasphere Press. Volume 2. Oxford.[1]