|Region||Aragon; center and north of the province of Huesca and north of province of Zaragoza|
|54,000, including speakers not living in the native area (2011)
20,000 use it as L2 (1993 Counsel of the Aragonese Language); 500 older adult monolinguals (1993)
|Latin (Aragonese alphabet)|
|Regulated by||Academia d'a Luenga Aragonesa|
Map of Aragón with the Aragonese dialects of Northern Aragón in gray, blue and light orange.
Aragonese (//; aragonés [aɾaɣoˈnes] in Aragonese) is a Romance language spoken by between 10,000 and 30,000 people throughout the valleys of the Pyrenees in Aragon, Spain, mainly in the comarcas of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza. It is the only modern language that developed from medieval Navarro-Aragonese.
While informally known as fabla ("talk" or "speech"), Aragonese is also commonly referred to by the names of its numerous local dialects which arose from fragmentation the language underwent over the centuries.
- 1 History
- 2 Geographic distribution
- 3 Phonology
- 4 Orthography
- 5 Grammar
- 6 Dialects
- 7 Literature
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Aragonese originated in the high Middle Ages, as one of many Latin dialects developed in areas around the Ebro river and further north in certain spots of the Aragon river, as well as urban centres and monasteries. It expanded to the Pyrenees on top of a strong Basque-like substratum. The original Kingdom of Aragon (formed by the counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza) was progressively expanded from the mountain ranges towards the South, pushing the Moors farther south in the Reconquista and spreading the Aragonese language.
The dynastic union of the Catalan Counties and the Kingdom of Aragon—which formed the Aragonese Crown in the twelfth century—did not result in a merging of the language forms of the two territories; Catalan continued to be spoken in the east, and Navarro-Aragonese in the west, although with blurred boundaries because of dialectal continuity. The Aragonese Reconquista to the south ended in the kingdom of Murcia, which was ceded by James I of Aragon to the Kingdom of Castile as a dowry for an Aragonese princess.
The main character of the Aragonese language was undoubtedly Johan Ferrandez d'Heredia, founder of the lineage and Grand Master of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem based in Rhodes. He wrote an extensive catalog of works in Aragonese and also several works translated from Greek into Aragonese, the first in medieval Europe.
The spread of Castilian—now more commonly known as Spanish—the Castilian origin of the Trastámara dynasty, and a strong similarity between Castilian and Aragonese meant that further recession was to follow. One of the key moments in the history of Aragonese was when a king of Castilian origin was appointed in the fifteenth century: Ferdinand I of Aragon, also known as Ferdinand of Antequera.
The mutual union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile and the progressive suspension of all capacity of self-rule from the sixteenth century meant that Aragonese, while still widely spoken, was limited to a rural and colloquial use, as the nobility chose Spanish as their symbol of power.
During the rule of Francisco Franco in the twentieth century and the spreading of compulsory schooling, Aragonese was regarded as a mere dialect of Spanish, and therefore was frowned upon (for example, pupils were punished in schools for using it).
Then, the constitutional democracy voted by the people in 1978 also meant the debut of literary works and studies conducted in and about the Aragonese language.
Today, Aragonese is still spoken natively within its core area, the Aragonese mountain ranges of the Pyrenees, in the comarcas of Somontano, Jacetania, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza.
These are the major cities and towns where Aragonese speakers can still be found: Huesca, Graus, Monzón, Barbastro, Bielsa, Chistén, Fonz, Echo, Estadilla, Benasque, Campo, Sabiñánigo, Jaca, Plan, Ansó, Ayerbe, Broto, and El Grado.
Aragonese is also learnt as a second language by other inhabitants of the country in areas like Huesca, Zaragoza, Ejea de los Caballeros, and Teruel. According to recent polls, altogether they only make up around 10,000 active speakers and about 30,000 passive speakers.
In 2009 the Languages Act of Aragon gives recognition of "native language, original and historic" of Aragon, therefore there are a number of linguistic rights, as the utilisation of Aragonese language in the public administrations of Aragon.
- Western dialect: Ansó, Echo, Chasa, Berdún, Chaca towns
- Central dialect: Panticosa, Biescas, Torla, Broto, Bielsa, Yebra, L’Ainsa
- Eastern dialect: Benás, Plan, Bisagorri, Campo, Perarruga, Graus, Estadilla
- Southern dialect: Agüero, Ayerbe, Rasal, Bolea, Lierta, Uesca, Almudébar, Nozito, Labata, Alguezra, Angüés, Pertusa, Balbastro, Nabal
Aragonese has many historical traits that join it to Catalan rather than Spanish. Some of these are conservative features that are also shared with Astur-Leonese and Portuguese, where Spanish innovated in ways that did not spread to nearby languages.
- Traits shared with Catalan
- Romance initial F- is preserved, e.g. FILIUM > fillo ("son", Sp. hijo, Cat. fill, Pt. filho).
- Romance yod (GE-, GI-, I-) consistently became medieval [dʒ], as in medieval Catalan and Portuguese. This becomes modern ch [tʃ], as a result of the devoicing of sibilants (see below). In Spanish, the medieval result was either [dʒ] (modern [x]), [ʝ] or nothing, depending on the context. E.g. IUVENEM > choven ("young man", Sp. joven /ˈxoβen/, Cat. jove /ˈʒoβǝ/), GELARE > chelar ("to freeze", Sp. helar /eˈlaɾ/, Cat. gelar /ʒǝˈla/).
- Romance groups -LT-, -CT- result in [jt], e.g. FACTUM > feito ("done", Sp. hecho, Cat. fet, Gal./Port. feito), MULTUM > muito ("many"/"much", Sp. mucho, Cat. molt, Gal. moito, Port. muito).
- Romance groups -X-, -PS-, SCj- result in voiceless palatal fricative ix [ʃ], e.g. COXU > coixo ("crippled", Sp. cojo, Cat. coix).
- Romance groups -Lj-, -C'L-, -T'L- result in palatal lateral ll [ʎ], e.g. MULIERE > muller ("woman", Sp. mujer, Cat. muller), ACUT'LA > agulla ("needle", Sp. aguja, Cat. agulla).
- Traits shared partly with Catalan, partly with Spanish
- Open O, E from Romance result systematically in diphthongs [we], [je], e.g. VET'LA > viella ("old woman", Sp. vieja, Cat. vella). This includes before a yod, e.g. octō > ueito ("eight", Sp. ocho, Cat. vuit). Spanish diphthongizes except before yod, while Catalan diphthongizes only before yod.
- Loss of final unstressed -E but not -O, e.g. GRANDE > gran ("big"), FACTUM > feito ("done"). Catalan loses both -O and -E; Spanish preserves -O, and sometimes -E.
- Traits shared with Spanish but not Catalan
- Former voiced sibilants become voiceless ([z] > [s], [dʒ] > [tʃ]).
- Conservative traits not found in either Spanish or Catalan
- Latin -B- is maintained in past imperfect endings of verbs of the second and third conjugations: teneba, teniba ("he had", Sp. tenía, Cat. tenia), dormiba ("he was sleeping", Sp. dormía, Cat. dormia).
- High Aragonese dialects (alto aragonés), along with some dialects of Gascon, have preserved the voicelessness of many intervocalic stop consonants, e.g. CLETAM > cleta ("sheep hurdle", Cat. cleda, Fr. claie), CUCULLIATAM > cocullata ("crested lark", Sp. cogujada, Cat. cogullada).
- A few Aragonese dialects maintain Latin -ll- as geminate /ll/.
In 2010, the Academia de l'Aragonés, formed in 2006, established a single orthographic standard in order to modernize medieval orthography and to make it more etymological. This new orthography is used by the Aragonese Wikipedia.
Previously, Aragonese had two orthographic standards:
- The grafía de Uesca codified in 1987 by the Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa (CFA) at a convention in Huesca is used by a majority of Aragonese writers. It uses a more uniform system when assigning letters to phonemes with less regard to etymology. For example, words traditionally written with ⟨v⟩ and ⟨b⟩ are uniformly written with ⟨b⟩ in the Uesca system. Likewise, ⟨ch⟩, ⟨j⟩, and ⟨g⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩ are all written ⟨ch⟩. In addition, it uses letters more strongly associated with Spanish, such as ⟨ñ⟩.
- The grafía SLA devised in 2004 by the Sociedat de Lingüistica Aragonesa (SLA) is used by a minority of Aragonese writers. It uses more etymological forms that are closer to Catalan, Occitan, and medieval Aragonese sources. In the SLA system, ⟨v⟩ and ⟨b⟩ as well as ⟨ch⟩, ⟨j⟩, and ⟨g⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩ are all distinct. Also, the digraph ⟨ny⟩ is used instead of ⟨ñ⟩.
In the sixteenth century, Aragonese Moriscoes wrote some Romance texts in Arabic writing, probably because of their inability to write in Arabic; the language in these texts shows a mixture of Aragonese and Castilian traits, and they can be considered among the last written examples of the Aragonese formerly spoken in Central and Southern Aragon.
|Sounds and Features||Academia de l'Aragonés||Grafía de Uesca (1987)||Grafía SLA|
|/b/||b, v according to Latin etymology
Ex: bien, servicio, val, activo, cantaba, debant
Ex: bien, serbizio, bal, autibo, cantaba, debán
|b, v according to Romance etymology, as in Catalan and Occitan
Ex: bien, servício, val, activo, cantava, devant
|/kw/||If there is an etymological q, as in Catalan and a bit in Occitan:
||cu as in Spanish
Ex: cuan, cuestión
|If there is an etymological q, as in Catalan and a bit in Occitan:
Ex: chaminera, minchar, chusticia, cheografía
Ex: chaminera, minchar, chustizia, cheografía
(rendered silent after Latin)
|Written according to etymology
Ex: historia, hibierno
Ex: istoria, ibierno
|Written as in Medieval Aragonese and in Catalan
Ex: história, hivierno
|/ɲ/||ny as in Medieval Aragonese and Catalan
|ñ as in Spanish
|ny as in Medieval Aragonese and Catalan
|/s/||s (also between two vowels, never *ss)||s (also between two vowels, never *ss)||s (also between two vowels, never *ss)|
|Etymological final -t
(silent in Modern Aragonese)
|Written as in Medieval Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan
Ex: sociedat, debant, chent
Ex: soziedá, debán, chen
|Written as in Medieval Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan
Ex: sociedat, devant, gent
|/jʃ/ (Eastern dialects)
/ʃ/ (Western dialects)
|ix as unifying grapheme for all dialects
Ex: zona, Probenza, fez, zentro, serbizio, realizar, berdaz
|Learned Greco-Roman words||Assimilatory tendencies not written
Ex: dialecto, extension y lexico
|Assimilatory tendencies written
Ex: dialeuto, estensión pero lecsico
|Not all assimilatory tendencies written
Ex: dialecto, extension y lexico
|Accent mark for stress
(accented vowel in bold)
|Spanish model, but with the possibility for oxytones to not be accented
|Portuguese, Catalan and Occitan model
Aragonese grammar is similar to the grammar of other Iberian Romance languages, such as Spanish and Catalan.
The definite article in Aragonese has undergone certain changes that have become characteristics of dialectal differentiation[clarification needed]. The definite articles in Old Aragonese were similar to their present-day Castilian equivalents. The most widespread articles in Aragonese are similar to those found in Galician and Portuguese, as they lack the initial l:
The second article, auxiliary, after a vowel, is used with an r, whose pronunciation is the soft r.[clarification needed]
Examining the Aragonese lexicon shows the origin of Aragonese words from different languages that have influenced it.
The influence of other Romance languages on Aragonese is evident, especially from neighboring languages. Catalan and Occitan influenced Medieval Aragonese, and the Catalan influence continued, under the Crown of Aragon, in the territory where the languages are in contact (Ribagorça), a fact that explains the main characteristics of Eastern Aragonese. Since the 15th century, the Romance language which has influenced Aragonese the most is Spanish, having been adopted in almost all of Aragon as the first language and reducing Aragonese to the northern region around the Pyrenees.
Another Romance language with certain influence[which?] is French, the only official language in the neighboring country. Italian loans[examples needed] have come in through other languages such as Catalan, while words from Portuguese[examples needed] have come in through Spanish.
Aragonese also has loans from Arabic and Mozarabic due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century, and in turn, Arabic brought words from other languages, such as Persian and Sanskrit.
Words that derive from the second declension or assimilated to the second declension are usually masculine:
- FILIU(M) > fillo (son).
- SCIURU + OLU(M) > esquiruelo (squirrel).
Words derived from the first declension are usually feminine:
- FILIA(M) > filla (daughter).
There are neutral plurals assimilated to the first declension that become feminine-gender singular:
- FOLIA(M) > fuella (leaf).
Words that end in -or are feminine:
- a honor, a calor, a color, and (in Medieval Aragonese) la amor.
The names of fruit trees usually end in -era, a suffix derived from Latin -ARIA and they are usually feminine:
- a perera, a manzanera, a nuquera, a castanyera, a tellera / o tilero, a olivera, a ciresera, l'almendrera
The genders of river names vary according to the river:
- Many of them that end in -a are feminine: a Cinca/a Cinga, a Cinqueta, a Garona, L'Arba, a Noguera, a Isuela, La Uecha, La Uerva, etc. The last one was called in the 16th century río de la Uerba.
- Many that come from the second and the third declension are masculine: L'Ebro, O Galligo, O Flumen, L'Alcanadre.
Aragonese preserves the system of clitic pronouns derived from the Latin forms inde and ibi, as en'/ne and bi/i/ie.
This feature is shared with other Romance languages (cf., Catalan en and hi, Occitan ne and i, French en and y, and Italian ne and ci), thus making Aragonese different from other Ibero-Romance languages, which lack such clitics (e.g., Spanish, Asturian, and Portuguese).
En/ne is used for:
- Partitive objects: No n'he visto como aquello (I haven't seen anything like that, literally Not (of it) I have seen like that).
- Partitive subjects: En fa tanto de mal (it hurts so much, literally (of it) it causes so much of pain)
- Ablatives, places from which movements originate: Se'n va ra memoria (memory goes away, literally It (away from here) memory goes)
Bi/i/ie is used for:
- Locative, place where: N'ibi heba uno (there was one of them), literally (Of them) there was one
- Allative, movement towards a place: Vés-be ((you) go there (imperative))
There are about 25–30 dialectal variants of Aragonese, the majority of which are in the province of Huesca, where natural isoglosses have developed around valley enclaves. Ribagorçan, is one such variant: a transitional eastern Aragonese dialect between Gascon Occitan, Catalan, and Spanish.[clarification needed]
There is a proposal[which?] to classify the language varieties into four main dialects:
For certain linguists[which?], these groups are complex dialects formed by various varieties. For others, these four groups are Aragonese dialects and Hecho Aragonese and Chistau Valley Aragonese are comarcal varieties[clarification needed].
At no point in its history did the Aragonese language acquire the prestige literature developed in other Romance languages from the Iberian Peninsula.
Not until the 12th - 13th centuries did Aragonese begin to be used in written documents. From this period are featured Liber Regum' (a book of general history), Razón feita d'amor, Libre dels tres reys d'orient and Vida de Santa María Egipcíaca.
Early modern period literature
Spanish was from 1500 the first language of culture in Aragon: a lot of Aragonese stood out with writings in the Spanish language, to the point that in the 17th century the Argensola brothers went to Castile to teach Spanish.
Aragonese became a familiar and village language and each day acquired popular traces. The 16th was obscure: there is no document in Aragonese, just in Aljamia.[clarification needed] In the 17th century appeared certain texts that used the language to characterised popular characters.
In a literary contest held in Huesca in 1650, there were three poems submitted in Aragonese, respectively, by Matías Pradas, Isabel de Rodas and "Fileno, montañés".
The first pastoradas come from the 16th and the 17th century.
The 19th and 20th centuries have seen a renaissance of the Aragonese literature; however, due to the lack of a standard language, authors write about local topics, each using his own variety of the language. In 1844, the novel Vida de Pedro Saputo, by Braulio Foz, appeared in Almudévar Aragonese. In the 20th century the costumbrist comedies written by Domingo Miral gained importance, as well as the poetry of Veremundo Méndez Coarasa, both in Hecho Aragonese; in Graus Aragonese, one can highlight Cleto Torrodellas' verses and Tonón de Baldomera's popular writings; in Somontano Aragonese, there are Pedro Arnal Cavero's costumbrist narrations, as well as Juana Coscujuela' novel, A Lueca, historia d'una moceta d'o Semontano.
- People that declared that they can speak aragonese in the 2011 Spanish census.
- Aragonese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Aragonese". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Languages Act of Aragon Official Bulletin of Aragon
- Propuesta Ortografica de l'Academia de l'Aragonés at the Wayback Machine (archived October 11, 2010)
- Normas graficas de l'aragonés at the Wayback Machine (archived September 27, 2007)
- Aragonese in Aljamiado literature
- Certain orthographic details related with local speeches are not listed.
- Francho Nagore "GRAMATICA DE LA LENGUA ARAGONESA". Mira Editores. (1989).
- I Curso sobre lengua y literatura en Aragón: (Edad Media)
- La vida de Santa Maria Egipciaca: a fourteenth-century translation into Old Castilian from Latin of a work by Paul the Deacon
- Alazet: revista de filología, Número 5
- El aragonés de la literatura aljamiado-morisca
|Aragonese edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|For a list of words relating to Aragonese language, see the Aragonese language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aragonese language.|
- , Catalogue of not periodical unitary publications in Aragonese.
- Academia de l'Aragonés, Cultural association.
- Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa, Cultural association and language academy.
- Ligallo de Fablans de l'Aragonés, Cultural association and language academy.
- A.C. Nogará, Cultural association and language academy.
- Sociedat de Lingüistica Aragonesa, Cultural association.
- Aragonese language
- Arredol - Digital journal