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Pronunciation [valensiˈa][a 1]
Native to Spain
Region Valencia, Murcia (Carche)
See also geographic distribution of Catalan
Native speakers
2.4 million (2004)[1]
Catalan orthography (Latin script)
Official status
Official language in
In Spain: Valencia
Regulated by Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Extensió del valencià al País Valencià.svg
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Valencian (/vəˈlɛnsiən/ or /vəˈlɛnʃən/; endonym: valencià,[3] llengua valenciana, or idioma valencià) is the variety of Catalan as spoken in the Valencian Community, Spain.[4] In the Valencian Community, Valencian is the traditional language and is co-official with Spanish.[5] It is considered a distinct language from Catalan by a slight majority of the people from the Valencian Community; however, linguists consider it a dialect of Catalan. A standardized form exists, based on the Southern Valencian dialect.

Valencian belongs to the Western group of Catalan dialects.[2] Under the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian Academy of the Language (Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, AVL) has been established as its regulator. The AVL considers Catalan and Valencian to be simply two names for the same language.[6]

Some of the most important works of Valencian literature experienced a golden age during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Important works include Joanot Martorell's chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch, and Ausiàs March's poetry. The first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in the Valencian variety.[7][8]

Official status[edit]

The official status of Valencian is regulated by the Spanish Constitution and the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, together with the Law of Use and Education of Valencian.

Article 6 of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy sets the legal status of Valencian, providing that:[9]

  • The official language of the Valencian Community is Valencian.[10]
  • Valencian is official within the Valencian Community, along with Spanish, which is the official language nationwide. Everyone shall have the right to know it and use it, and receive education in Valencian.
  • No one can be discriminated against by reason of their language.
  • Special protection and respect shall be given to the recuperation of Valencian.
  • The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua shall be the normative institution of the Valencian language.

The Law of Use and Education of Valencian develops this frame work, providing for implementation of a bilingual educational system, and regulating the use of Valencian in the public administration and judiciary system, where citizens can freely use it when acting before both.

Valencian is not one of the recognized languages of the European Union (24 official and 26 minority languages).[citation needed][11]

Distribution and usage[edit]


Valencian is not spoken all over the Valencian Community. Roughly a quarter of its territory, equivalent to 10% of the population (its inland part and areas in the extreme south as well), is traditionally Castilian-speaking only, whereas Valencian is spoken to varying degrees elsewhere.

Additionally, it is also spoken by a reduced number of people in Carche, a rural area in the Region of Murcia adjoining the Valencian Community; nevertheless Valencian does not have any official recognition in this area. Although the Valencian language was an important part of the history of this zone, nowadays only about 600 people are able to speak Valencian in the area of Carche.[12]

Knowledge and usage[edit]

Knowledge of Valencian according to the 2001 census. Note that the light green areas inland and in the southernmost part are not historically Valencian speaking (large).

In 2010 the Generalitat Valenciana published a study, Knowledge and Social use of Valencian,[13] which included a survey sampling more than 6,600 people in the provinces of Castellón, Valencia, and Alicante. The survey simply collects the answers of respondents and did not include any testing or verification. The results were:

Valencian was the language "always, generally, or most commonly used":

  • at home: 31.6%
  • with friends: 28.0%
  • in internal business relations: 24.7%

For ability:

  • 48.5% answered they speak Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" (54.3% in the Valencian-speaking areas and 10% in the Castilian-speaking areas)
  • 26.2% answered they write Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" (29.5% in the Valencian-speaking areas and 5.8% in the Castilian-speaking areas)

The survey shows that, although Valencian is still the common language in many areas in the Valencian Community, where slightly more than half of the Valencian population are able to speak it, most Valencians do not usually speak in Valencian in their social relations. The statistics hide the fact that in the areas where the language is still strong, most people use Valencian in preference to Castilian in all everyday situations.

Moreover, according to a survey in 2008, there is a downward trend in everyday Valencian users. The lowest numbers are in the major cities of Valencia and Alicante, where the percentage of everyday speakers is in single figures. All in all, in the 1993–2006 period, the number of speakers fell by 10 per cent.[14] One of the factors cited is the increase in the numbers of immigrants from other countries, who tend to favour using Spanish over local languages; accordingly, the number of residents who claim no understanding of Valencian sharply increased. One curiosity in the heartlands mentioned above, is that most of the children of immigrants go to public school and are therefore taught in Valencian and are far more comfortable speaking this with their friends. However, some children of Valencian speakers go to private schools run by the church where the curriculum is in Castilian and consequently this becomes their preferred language.

Features of Valencian[edit]

Note that this is a list of features of the main forms of Valencian as a group of dialectal varieties that differ from those of other Catalan dialects, particularly from the Central variety of the language. For more general information on the features of Valencian, see Catalan language. Note also that there is a great deal of variety within the Valencian Community, and by no means do the features below apply to every local version.


Main article: Catalan phonology
For assistance with IPA transcriptions of Valencian for Wikipedia articles, see Help:IPA for Catalan.


Vowels of Valencian, from Saborit Vilar (2009:23)
Vowels of Valencian[15]
 Front   Back 
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Near-open /
ɛ̞ ɔ̞
  • Valencian has a system of seven stressed vowels /a/, /e/, /ɛ/, /i/, /o/, /ɔ/, and /u/
    • The vowels /i/ (i.e. [ɪ̝]) and /u/ ([ʊ̝]) are more open and centralised than in Castilian.
    • The vowel /e/ is retracted and /o/ is advanced both in stressed and unstressed syllables. /e/ and /o/ can be realised as mid vowels in some cases. This occurs more often with /o/.
    • The so-called "open vowels" (vocals obertes), /ɛ/ and /ɔ/, are generally as low as /a/ in most Valencian dialects. The phonetic realisations of /ɛ/ approaches [æ] (as in American English land) and /ɔ/ is as open as [ɒ] (as in traditional RP dog). This feature is also found in Balearic.
      • /ɛ/ is slightly more open and centralised before liquids /l, r/ and in monosyllabics.
      • /ɔ/ is most often a back vowel. In some dialects (including Balearic) /ɔ/ can be unrounded like in American English.
    • The vowel /a/ is slightly more fronted and closed than in Central Catalan (but less fronted and closed than in Majorcan). The precise phonetic realsation of the vowel /a/ in Valencian is [ɐ ~ ä], this vowel is subject to assimilation in many instances.
      • /a/ can be retracted in contact with velar consonants, and fronted in contact with palatals.
      • Final unstressed /a/ may have the following values: [ɜ̞ ~ ɞ̞ ~ ɐ̞], depending on the preceding sounds and/or dialect, e.g. taula [ˈtɑ̟ʊ̯ɫɜ̞] ~ [ˈtɑ̟ʊ̯ɫɞ̞] ~ [ˈtɑ̟ʊ̯ɫɐ̞] 'table'.
    • All vowels are phonetically nasalised between nasal consonants or when preceding a syllable-final nasal.
    • Vowels can be lengthened in some contexts.
  • While unstressed vowels are more stable than in Eastern Catalan dialects, there are many cases where they merge
    • In some Valencian subvarieties, unstressed /o/ and /ɔ/ are realised as /u/ ([ʊ̞]) before labial consonants (e.g. coberts [kʊ̞ˈbæ̠ɾ̥(t)s̠] 'cutlery'), before a stressed syllable with a high vowel (e.g. sospira [s̠ʊ̞s̠ˈpɪ̝ɾɐ̞] or [s̠ʊ̞s̠ˈpɪ̝ɾɛ̞̈] 'he/she sighs'), in contact with palatal consonants (e.g. Josep [dʑʊ̞ˈz̠ɛ̞p] 'Joseph') and in monosyllabic clitics (e.g. mon [mʊ̞n] 'my') (note also in many colloquial speeches initial unstressed /o ~ ɔ/ are often reduced to [ʌ̞̈ʊ̯] or [ɐ̞ʊ̯] (also [ʊ̞] in fewer cases), such as olor [ʌ̞̈ʊ̯ˈɫö̞ɾ̥]) 'smell (n)'). Similarly, unstressed /e/, and /ɛ/ are realised as /a/ ([æ̞]) in contact with palatals, approximants or before certain sounds (e.g. eixam [æ̞̈jˈɕæ̞m] 'swarm', clevill [kɫæ̞̈ˈv̞ɪ̝l̠ʲ] 'crevice', terròs [t̪æ̞̈ˈrɔ̞̈s̠] 'clod',) and ([ʌ̞̈] or [ɐ̞])) in fewer cases near velars (e.g. enclusa [ʌ̞̈ŋˈkɫu̞z̠ʌ̞̈] or [ʌ̞̈ŋˈkɫʊ̝z̠ɛ̞̈] 'anvil'). Likewise, unstressed /e ~ ɛ/ merges with /i/ ([ɪ̞]) in contact with palatal consonants (e.g. genoll [dʑɪ̞ˈnö̞l̠ʲ] 'knee'), and especially in lexical derivation with the suffix -ixement (e.g. coneixement [ko̟ne̠jɕɪ̞ˈme̠n̪t̪] 'knowledge'). In the Standard all these reductions are accepted (/e, ɛ/[ɪ̞] is only accepted in words with the suffix -ixement).
    • Many Valencian subdialects, especially Southern Valencian, feature some sort of vowel harmony (harmonia vocàlica). This process is normally progressive (i.e. preceding vowels affect those pronounced afterwards) over the last unstressed vowel of a word; e.g. hora /ˈɔɾa/ > [ˈɔ̞ɾɔ̞̈] 'hour'. However, there are cases where regressive metaphony occurs over pretonic vowels; e.g. tovallola /tovaˈʎɔla/ > [t̪ɔ̞̈v̞ɔ̞̈ˈl̠ʲɔ̞ɫɔ̞̈] 'towel', afecta /aˈfɛkta/ > [ɛ̞̈ˈfɛ̞kt̪ɛ̞̈] 'affects'. Vowel harmony differs greatly from dialect to dialect, while many subvarieties alternate [ɛ̞̈] and [ɔ̞̈], according to the previous stressed vowel (e.g. terra [ˈt̪ɛ̞rɛ̞̈] 'Earth, land' and dona [ˈd̪ɔ̞nɔ̞̈] 'woman'); others will favor just one realisation (either [ɛ̞̈] in all, or some, instances; or [ɔ̞̈]), thus, terra and dona can be pronounced [ˈt̪ɛ̞rɛ̞̈] and [ˈd̪ɔ̞nɛ̞̈] (by those who favour [ɛ̞̈]) or [ˈt̪ɛ̞rɔ̞̈] and [ˈd̪ɔ̞nɔ̞̈] (by those who favour [ɔ̞̈]).
      • In a wider sense, vowel harmony can occur in further instances, due to different processes involving palatalisation, velarisarion and labialisation
    • An epethentic vowel (usually pronounced [ɐ] or [ɜ], but transcribed here as [ə]) may be inserted in some environments in the coda in some accents:
      • Eh tu! Vine ací [ˈe̠ː ˈt̪u̞ː‿ə̯ | ˈvi̞ne̠ ɐ̞ˈs̠i̞ː‿ə̯] "Hey you! Come here".
Main vocalic allophones[16][17]
Phoneme Phone /
Usage Example
/a/ [ɐ̞] / [ɐ]
[a̝] / [æ̞̈]
[ɑ̝] / [ʌ̞̈]
[ɛ̞̈ ~ ɔ̞̈] / [æ̞̈] / [ʌ̞̈]
- Found in most instances
- Before/after palatals (*)
- Before/after velars
- Final unstressed syllables (vowel harmony) (*)
terra / dona
/ɛ/ [ɛ̞]
- Found in most cases (*)
- Before liquids and in monosyllabic terms
/e/ [e̠] / [e̞]
- Found in most instances
- Found in some unstressed syllables near palatals or approximants (vowel harmony) (*)
- Found in fewer cases in some unstressed syllables near velars (vowel harmony) (*)
- Found in the suffix -ixement, dial. also in contact with palatals (*)
/i/ [i̞] / [ɪ̝]
- Found in most instances
- Unstressed position before/after vowels
/ɔ/ [ɔ̞] - Found in most cases (*) dona
/o/ [o̟]
- Found in most instances
- Found in final stressed syllables, especially in the suffix -dor
- Unstressed position before labials or in contact with palatals (*)
/u/ [u̞] / [ʊ̝]
- Found in most instances
- Unstressed position before/after vowels


Consonants of Valencian[18][19][20]
Bilabial Labio-
Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ (ŋ)
Stop p b t d k ɡ
Affricate ts dz
Fricative f v s z ʃ (ʒ)
Approximant j w
Lateral l ʎ
Flap ɾ
Trill r
  • The voiced stops /d, ɡ/ are lenited to approximants [ð, ɣ] after a continuant, i.e. a vowel or any type of consonant other than a stop or nasal (exceptions include /d/ after lateral consonants). These sounds are realised as voiceless plosives in the coda in standard Valencian.
    • /b/ can also be lenited in betacist dialects.
    • /d/ is often elided between vowels following a stressed syllable (found notably in feminine participles); e.g. fideuà [fɪ̝ð̞e̠ˈwɑ̝̈ː] ( < fideuada) ' fideuà'.
    • Initial and post-nasal[citation needed] /g/ can be lenited in many accents.
    • Dialectally, final devoiced stops can be partially voiced and lenited.[citation needed]
    • Unlike other Catalan dialects, the clusters /bl/ and /ɡl/ never geminate or fortify in intervocalic position (e.g. poble [ˈpɔ̞bɫe̠] 'village').
  • The velar stops /k/, /ɡ/ are fronted to pre-velar position before front vowels.
  • The historical labiodental fricative /v/ survives in most traditional subdialects, including the standard, but merger with /b/ is now dominant in Central and some Northern Valencian subvarieties.[citation needed]
    • /v/ (along with /f/) can be lenited in some accents in the same environments as /d, ɡ/. In emphatic contexts they can be realised as labiodental fricatives and dialectally as labiodental stops.[citation needed]
  • Valencian has preserved in most of its subvarieties the mediaeval voiced alveolo-palatal affricate // (similar to the j in English "jeep") in contexts where other modern dialects have developed fricative consonants /ʒ/ (like the si in English "vision"); this is a feature shared with modern Ribagorçan. The presence of /dʒ/ for /ʒ/ in Valencian reflects the historical change /ʒ/ > /dʒ/[citation needed] and the failure for /dʒ/ to become /ʒ/ (a feature shared with Occitan and standard Italian). Nonetheless, the fricative [ʒ] (or more precisely [ɕ̬]) may appear as a voiced allophone of /ʃ/ before vowels and voiced consonants; e.g. peix al forn [ˈpe̠jɕ̬ ɑ̝̈ɫ ˈfo̞ɾn] 'oven fish' (literally 'fish to the oven').
  • Deaffrication of /dz/ in verbs ending in -itzar; e.g. analitzar [ɑ̝̈nɑ̝̈ɫɪ̝ˈz̠ɑ̝̈ɾ̥] 'to analise'.
  • Most subvarieties of Valencian preserve final stops in clusters (e.g. /mp/, /nt/, /nk/ ([ŋk]), and /lt/): camp [ˈkɑ̝̈mp] (a feature shared with modern Balearic). Dialectally, all final clusters can be simplified.
  • /l/ is normally velarised ([ɫ]), save for some dialects. /l/ is especially dark in stressed syllables or before labial consonants.[21]
    • /l/ is generally dropped in the word altre ([ˈɑ̝̈t̪ɾe̠] 'other'), as well as in derived terms.
  • Valencian is the only modern variant that pronounces etymological final [ɾ] in all contexts, although this cannot be generalised since there are Valencian subvarieties which do not pronounce the final [ɾ] or only pronounce it in some contexts. Despite this, there are some cases of final /ɾ/ elision in Valencian such as diners ([d̪ɪ̝ˈne̠s̠] 'money'). Final /ɾ/ can be assibilated to [ɾ̞] in some variants.[citation needed]


  • The present first-person singular of verbs differs from Central Catalan; e.g. -ar infinitive: parlar 'to speak' gives parle 'I speak' as opposed to parlo, -re infinitive: batre 'to beat' gives bat 'I beat' as opposed to bato, -er infinitive: témer 'to fear' give tem 'I fear' as opposed to temo, and -ir infinitive: sentir 'to feel' gives sent (pronounced [ˈs̠e̠ŋk] in colloquial Valencian) 'I feel' as opposed to sento (all those forms without final -o are more akin to mediaeval Catalan and contemporary Balearic Catalan), and inchoative -ir verbs: patir 'to suffer' gives patisc or patesc ('I suffer') as opposed to pateixo.
  • Present subjunctive is more akin to mediaeval Catalan and Spanish; -ar infinitives end ⟨e⟩, -re, -er and -ir verbs end in ⟨a⟩ (in contemporary Central Catalan present subjunctive ends in ⟨i⟩).
  • An exclusive feature of Valencian is the subjunctive imperfect morpheme -ra: que ell vinguera ('that he might come').
  • Valencian has -i- as theme vowel for inchoative verbs of the third conjugation; e.g. servix ('s/he serves'), like North-Western Catalan. Although, again, this cannot be generalized since there are Valencian subdialects that utilize -ei-, e.g. serveix.
  • In Valencian the simple past tense (e.g. cantà 'he sang') is more frequently used in speech than in Central Catalan, where the periphrastic past (e.g. va cantar 'he sang') is prevailing and the simple past mostly appears in written language. The same, however, may be said of the Balearic dialects.[22]
  • The second-person singular of the present tense of the verb ser ('to be'), ets ('you are'), has been replaced by eres in colloquial speech.
  • In general, use of modern forms of the determinate article (el, els 'the') and the third-person unstressed object pronouns (el, els 'him, them'), though some subdialects (for instance the one spoken in Vinaròs area) preserve etymological forms lo, los as in Lleida. For the other unstressed object pronouns, etymological old forms (me, te, se, ne, mos, vos...) can be found, depending on places, in conjunction with the more modern reinforced ones (em, et, es, en, ens, us...).
    • Several variations for nosaltres, vosaltres ('we, you'): mosatros, moatros, natros; vosatros, voatros, vatros; also for the weak form mos/-mos instead of standard ens/-nos ('us').
  • The adverbial pronoun hi ('there') is almost never used in speech and is replaced by other pronouns. The adverbial pronoun en ('him/her/them/it') is used less than in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.[22]
  • Combined weak clitics with li ('him/her/it') preserve the li, whereas in Central Catalan it is replaced by hi. For example, the combination li + el gives li'l in Valencian (l'hi in Central Catalan).
  • The weak pronoun ho ('it') is pronounced as [ew] more often than in other dialects, especially when coming after another pronoun (e.g. m'ho dóna [mew ˈðona], dóna-m'ho [ˈdonamew] 's/he gives it to me'). However, when preceding a verb on its own it is pronounced as [u]: ho dóna [u ˈðona] 's/he gives it'. Moreover, after a verb ending in a vowel it is pronounced as [w] (e.g. dóna-ho [ˈdonaw] 'you give it'); while, when following a verb ending with a consonant it is pronounced as [o]: donar-ho [doˈnaɾo] 'to give it'.
  • The personal pronoun jo ('I') and the adverb ja ('already') are not pronounced according to the spelling, but to the etymology ([ˈjɔ] and [ˈja], instead of /ˈ(d)ʒɔ/ and /ˈ(d)ʒa/). Similar pronunciations can be heard in North-Western Catalan and Ibizan.
  • The preposition amb ('with') merges with en ('in') in most Valencian subdialects.
  • Valencian preserves the mediaeval system of demonstratives with three different levels of demonstrative precision (este or aquest/açò/ací, eixe or aqueix/això/ahí, aquell/allò/allí or allà, where "aquest" and "aqueix" are almost never used) (feature shared with modern Ribagorçan and Tortosí).


Different spelling of words with the same etymology
  • Cardinal numbers (8, 19, 68, 200, 1 000 000): Huit, dèneu, seixanta-huit (pronounced 'xixanta-huit'), dos-cents, milió (pronounced 'milló') for vuit, dinou, seixanta-vuit, dues-centes, milió, although dos-centes is also found outside Valencian and in many regions of Catalonia seixanta is pronounced [ʃi'ʃanta], as in Valencian.
  • Meua, teua, seua for meva, teva, seva, a feature shared with North-Western Catalan.
  • Hui for avui.
  • Ordinal numbers (5th, 6th, 20th): quint, sext, vigèsim for cinquè, sisè, vintè, although the former are also found outside Valencian: la quinta columna, el vigèsim regiment.
Different choice of words
  • For example, "please" in Catalonia is usually si us plau or sisplau, which is close to the French s'il vous plaît; In Valencian per favor is more common, which is closer to the Spanish por favor, although per favor is used in all the Catalan-speaking areas.[22]

Some other features, such as the use of molt de or the lack of hom or geminate l, are often given as examples of differences between Valencian varieties and other forms of the language. However, these are actually differences between colloquial and literary language and, again, may not apply to specific sub-dialects. Northern and southern variants of Valencian share more features with western Catalan (Lower Ebro river area for instance) than with central Valencian.[citation needed] Thus, some of the features listed previously do not apply to them.

Varieties of Valencian[edit]

Standard Valencian[edit]

The Academy of Valencian Studies (Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, AVL), established by law in 1998 by the Valencian autonomous government and constituted in 2001, is in charge of dictating the official rules governing the use of Valencian.[23] Currently, the majority of people who write in Valencian use this standard.[24]

Standard Valencian is based on the standard of the Institute of Catalan Studies (Institut d'Estudis Catalans, IEC), used in Catalonia, with a few adaptations.[25] This standard roughly follows the Rules of Castelló (Normes de Castelló) from 1932,[26] a set of othographic guidelines regarded as a compromise between the essence and style of Pompeu Fabra's guidelines, but also allowing the use of Valencian idiosyncrasies.

Valencian subdialects[edit]

Subdialects of Valencian
  • Transitional Valencian (valencià de transició or tortosí): spoken only in the northernmost areas of the province of Castellón in towns like Benicarló or Vinaròs, the area of Matarranya in Aragon (province of Teruel), and a southern border area of Catalonia surrounding Tortosa, in the province of Tarragona.
    • Word-initial and postconsonantal /dʒ/ (Catalan /ʒ/ and /dʒ/~/ʒ/) alternates with [(j)ʒ] intervocalically; e.g. joc [ˈdʒɔk] 'game', but pitjor [piˈʒo] 'worse', boja [ˈbɔjʒa] 'crazy' (Standard Valencian /ˈdʒɔk/, /piˈdʒoɾ/; /ˈbɔdʒa/; Standard Catalan /ˈʒɔk/, /piˈdʒo/ and /ˈbɔʒə/).
    • Final ⟨r⟩ [ɾ] isn't pronounced in infinitives; e.g. cantar [kanˈta] (instead of /kanˈtaɾ/) 'to sing'.
    • Archaic articles lo, los ('the') are used instead of el, els; e.g. lo xic 'the boy', los hòmens 'the men'.
  • Northern Valencian (valencià septentrional or castellonenc): spoken in an area surrounding the city of Castellón de la Plana.
    • Use of [e] sound instead of standard ⟨a⟩ /a/ in the third person singular of most verbs; e.g. (ell) cantava [ˈkantave] (instead of /kanˈtava/) 'he sang'. Thus, Northern Valencian dialects contrast forms like (jo) cantava [kanˈtava] 'I sang' with (ell) cantava [kanˈtave] 'he sang', but merges (jo) cante [ˈkante] 'I sing' with (ell) canta [ˈkante] 'he sings'.
    • Palatalization of ⟨ts⟩ /ts/ > [tʃ] and ⟨tz⟩ /dz/ > [dʒ]; e.g. pots /ˈpots/ > [ˈpotʃ] 'cans, jars, you can', dotze /ˈdodze/ > [ˈdodʒe] 'twelve'.
    • Depalatalization of /ʃ/ to [sʲ]; e.g. caixa [ˈkajʃa] > [ˈkajsʲa] 'box'.
  • Central Valencian (valencià central or apitxat), spoken in Valencia city and its area, but not used as standard by the Valencian media.
    • Sibilant merger: all voiced sibilants are devoiced (/dʒ/ > [tʃ], /dz/ > [ts], /z/ > [s]); that is, apitxat pronounces casa [ˈkasa] ('house') and joc [ˈtʃɔk] ('game'), where other Valencians would pronounce /ˈkaza/ and /ˈdʒɔk/ (feature shared with Ribagorçan).
    • Betacism, that is the merge of /v/ into /b/; e.g. viu [ˈbiw] (instead of /ˈviw/) 'he lives'.
    • Fortition (gemination) and vocalisation of final consonants; nit [ˈnitːë] (instead of /ˈnit/) 'night'.
    • It preserves the strong simple past, which has been substituted by an analytic past (periphrastic past) with vadere + infinitive in the rest of modern Catalan and Valencian variants. For example, aní instead of vaig anar 'I went'.
  • Southern Valencian (valencià meridional): spoken in the contiguous comarques located in the southernmost part of the Valencia province and the northernmost part in the province of Alicante. This subdialect is considered as Standard Valencian.
    • Vowel harmony: the final syllable of a disyllabic word adopts a preceding open ⟨e⟩ [ɛ] or ⟨o⟩ [ɔ] if the final vowel is an unstressed -⟨a⟩ or -⟨e⟩; e.g. terra [ˈtɛrɛ] ('earth, land'), dona [ˈdɔnɔ] ('woman').
    • This subdialect retain geminate consonants (⟨tl⟩ /lː/ and ⟨tn⟩ /nː/); e.g. guatla [ˈɡwalːa] 'quail', cotna [ˈkonːa] 'rind'.
    • Weak pronouns are "reinforced" in front of the verb (em, en, et, es, etc.) contrary to other subdialects which maintains "full form" (me, ne, te, se, etc.).
  • Alicante Valencian (valencià alacantí): spoken in the southern half of the province of Alicante, and the area of Carche in Murcia.
    • Intervocalic /d/ elision in most instances; e.g. roda [ˈrɔa] 'wheel', nadal [naˈal] 'Christmas'.
    • Yod is not pronounced in ⟨ix⟩ /jʃ/ > [ʃ]; e.g. caixa [ˈkaʃa] 'box'.
    • Final ⟨r⟩ isn't pronounced in infinitives; e.g. cantar [kanˈta] 'to sing'.
    • There are some archaisms like: ans instead of abans 'before', manco instead of menys 'less', dintre instead of dins 'into' or devers instead of cap a 'towards'.
    • There are more interferences with Spanish than other dialects: assul (from azul) instead of blau (or atzur) 'blue', llimpiar (from limpiar) instead of netejar 'to clean' or sacar (from sacar) instead of traure 'take out'.

Authors and literature[edit]

Middle Ages[edit]


Media in Valencian[edit]

Employees demonstrate in front of the RTVV headquarters in Burjassot the day of its closure

Until its dissolution in November 2013, the public-service Ràdio Televisió Valenciana (RTVV) was the main broadcaster of radio and television in Valencian language. The Generalitat Valenciana constituted it in 1984 in order to guarantee the freedom of information of the Valencian people in their own language.[27]

Prior to its dissolution, the administration of RTVV under the People's Party (PP) had been controversial due to accusations of ideological manipulation and lack of plurality. The news broadcast was accused of giving marginal coverage of the Valencia Metro derailment in 2006 and the indictment of President de la Generalitat Francisco Camps in the Gürtel scandal in 2009.[28] Supervisors appointed by the PP were accused of sexual harassment.[29]

In face of an increasing debt due to excessive expenditure by the PP, RTVV announced in 2012 a plan to shed 70% of its labour. The plan was nullified on 5 November 2013 by the National Court after trade unions appealed against it. On that same day, the President de la Generalitat Alberto Fabra (also from PP) announced RTVV would be closed, claiming that reinstating the employees was untenable.[30] On 27 November, the legislative assembly passed the dissolution of RTVV and employees organized to take control of the broadcast, starting a campaign against the PP. Nou TV's last broadcast ended abruptly when Spanish police pulled the plug at 12:19 on 29 November 2013.[31]

Having lost all revenues from advertisements and facing high costs from the termination of hundreds of contracts, critics question whether the closure of RTVV has improved the financial situation of the Generalitat, and point out to plans to benefit private-owned media.[32] Currently, the availability of media in the Valencian language is extremely limited. All the other autonomous communities in Spain, including the monolingual ones, have public-service broadcasters, with the Valencian Community being the only exception despite being the fourth most populated.

Linguistic controversy[edit]

Linguists, including Valencian scholars, deal with Catalan and Valencian as the same language. The official regulating body of the language of the Valencian Community, the Valencian Academy of Language (Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, AVL) declares linguistic unity between Valencian and Catalan varieties.[33]

[T]he historical patrimonial language of the Valencian people, from a philological standpoint, is the same shared by the autonomous communinites of Catalonia and Balearic islands, and Principality of Andorra. Additionally, it is the patrimonial historical language of other territories of the ancient Crown of Aragon [...] The different varieties of these territories constitute a language, that is, a "linguistic system" [...] From this group of varieties, Valencian has the same hierarchy and dignity as any other dialectal modality of that linguistic system [...]

— Ruling of the Valencian Language Academy of 9 February 2005, extract of point 1.[26][34]
Linguistic map Southwestern Europe.gif

This Academy was relatively fresh made by PP (Spanish right-wing political ruling party and in Valencia at that time) in 2001 with an agreement known as the "Reus Pact" where Eduardo Zaplana (former president of the Valencian Community) and Jordi Pujol (former president of the Catalan Community from another right-wing party) signed a pact to "discretely promote the unity of catalan" and to establish a pro-catalan offical academy, the AVL.[35]

This academy uses the same orthography, grammar and lexicon as the IEC (Catalan Studies Institute) and the official Catalan grammar. However, the Valencian "Estatut" (community's constitution legislated on 1984) was written in the indigenous grammatical rules known as the Normes del Puig, based on previous dictionaries and grammars written by Valencian academics, mostly historians and philologists, like Lluis Fullana, Joan Esteve, Jaume March, Josep Escrig, etc. This grammar however had a short life and was progressively replaced by the Catalan orthography and grammar (also called "Normes de Castelló" and currently also referred to as AVL norms or "official norms") and the right-wing PP accelerated this trend by creating the so-called AVL. Indeed, the Normes del Puig have more in common with the so-called Normes de Castelló than what is nowadays referred as so, that's because the Normes de Castelló were actually called "Bases the Castelló" (Castelló basic grammar rules) and they were an attempt to systematize the Valencian language, being it considered by the authors as a dialect. On the other hand, the Normes del Puig treated the language as an autonomous entity with its own heritage, grammar and literary golden age. Even like this, both share many characteristics non-existent in current AVL's official grammar). However, the current and officialized AVL's grammar or the mistakenly called "Normes de Castelló" are a transparent importation of Catalan orthography and grammar, even lexicon, creating thus a diglossia between "cult valencian" (that in which many valencian words have been replaced or "Catalanized") and the "vulgar/wrongly spoken and written valencian". This assimilation can be observed in the substitution of some words in official and public speech.

Examples in Valencian from RACV and XIX century books-Catalan/AVL Valencian- English: este-aquest-this, eixe-aquell-that, roïn-dolent-bad, homens-homes-men, bonic-maco-beautiful, baix-sota-under, rail-arrel-root, palometa-papallona-butterfly, roses-crispetes-popcorn, creïlla-patata-potato, taquilla-guixeta-box office, rabosa-guineu-fox, fardacho-llangardaix-lizard, llavar-rentar-to clean, en-amb-with, estrela-estel-star, espill-mirall-mirror, chicotet-petit-small, major-gran-old, atre-altre-other, Valéncia-València-Valencia, periodiste-periodista-journalist, una atra volta- un altre cop- again, polp-pop-octopus, carlota-pastanaga-carrot, vehícul-vehicle-vehicle, ensomi-somni- dream, aplegar-arribar-arrive, eixir-sortir-exit, bescoll-nuca-nape, bresquilla-préssec-peach, lletuga-enciam-lettuce, arbre-abre-tree, agarrar-agafar-to catch, llunt-lluny-far, fraula-maduixa-strawberry, meló d'alger- síndria- water melon, adés-abans-before, aixina-així-like this, chinenc-xinès-chinese, mijos-mitjans-media, vore-veure-to see, tindre-tenir-to have, hui-avui-today, huit-vuit-eight, dèneu-dinou-nineteen, ferramenta-eina-tool, gojar-gaudir-to enjoy, abellir-venir de gust- lust for/ want to, etc. The RACV (Royal Academy of Valencian Culture) was the previous de facto official Academy which was finally marginalized by the AVL, however it is the oldest one (from 1915) and it has always opposed to consider Valencian as a dialect (that is, linguistically inferior to Catalan and Galician) and continued to produce intellectual and academical works. Currently it is still a member institution of the Spanish Council for Scientific Investigations (CSIC) and occupied a seat in the RAE (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, the most official institution of the Spanish Language and an important one regarding regional languages during the XX century) representing the Valencian Language amongst those representing Catalan, Galician and Basque.

Valencian is classified as a Western dialect, along with the North-Western varieties spoken in Western Catalonia (Province of Lleida and most of the Province of Tarragona).[36][37] The various forms of Catalan and Valencian are mutually intelligible (ranging from 90% to 95%)[38]

The AVL, created by the Valencian parliament, is in charge of dictating the official rules governing the use of Valencian, and its standard is based on the Rules of Castellón (Normes de Castelló). Currently, everyone who writes in Valencian uses this standard, except the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture (Acadèmia de Cultura Valenciana, RACV), which uses an independent standard for Valencian.

Despite the position of the official organizations, an opinion poll carried out between 2001 and 2004[39] showed that the majority of the Valencian people consider Valencian different from Catalan. This position is promoted by people who do not use Valencian regularly.[40] Furthermore, the data indicates that younger generations educated in Valencian are much less likely to hold these views. A minority of Valencian scholars active in fields other than linguistics defends the position of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture (Acadèmia de Cultura Valenciana, RACV), which uses a standard independent from Catalan for Valencian.[41]

This clash of opinions has sparked a great deal of controversy. For example, during the drafting of the European Constitution in 2004, the Spanish government supplied the European Union with translations of the text into Basque, Galician, Catalan, and Valencian, but the latter two were identical.[42] This unique translation is explained as the grammar and orthography used for Valencian was the AVL's, a replica of the Catalan one, thus even the lexicon is "Catalanized" as shown above. It is similar to compare bokmal with danish, it will seem the same language, or afrikaans with dutch orthography and Dutch, etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Narrow transcription: [vɑ̝̈ɫ̺e̠n̺s̠ɪ̝ˈa̠, v̞ɑ̝̈-]. Pronunciation with betacism (that is, /b/ and /v/ merging): [bɑ̝̈ɫ̺e̠n̺s̠ɪ̝ˈa̠, β̞ɑ̝̈-]).


  1. ^ Míriam Luján; Carlos D. Martínez; Vicente Alabau, Evaluation of several Maximum Likelihood Linear Regression variants for language adaptation (PDF), Proceedings of the sixth international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2008, the total number of people who speak Catalan is 7,200,000, (...). The Valencian dialect is spoken by 27% of all Catalan speakers.  citing Vilajoana, Jordi, and Damià Pons. 2001. Catalan, Language of Europe. Generalitat de Catalunya, Department de Cultura. Govern de les Illes Balears, Conselleria d’Educació i Cultura.
  2. ^ a b Wheeler 2006.
  3. ^ Estatut d'Autonomía de la Comunitat Valenciana
  4. ^ Wheeler 2006, p. 186.
  5. ^ Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, ed. (2005). "Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua Agreement (AVL)" (PDF) (in Catalan). Valencia. 
  6. ^ "Dictamen de l'Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua sobre els principis i criteris per a la defensa de la denominació i l'entitat del valencià". Report from Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua about denomination and identity of Valencian.
  7. ^ Trobes en llaors de la Verge Maria ("Poems of praise of the Virgin Mary") 1474.
  8. ^ a b Costa Carreras & Yates, pp. 6–7.
  9. ^ Estatuto de Autonomía de la Comunitat Valenciana
  10. ^ "La lengua propia de la Comunitat Valenciana es el valenciano."
  11. ^ "Official languages of the EU - European Commission". Retrieved 2016-07-10. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Servei d'Investigació i Estudis Sociolingüístics (Knowledge and Social use of Valencian language)". Servei d’Investigació i Estudis Sociolingüístics. 2010. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. ^ "El uso del valenciano cae siete puntos y ya sólo lo habla la mitad de la población". 26 September 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  15. ^ Saborit Villar (2009:23)
  16. ^ Saborit Villar (2009:?)
  17. ^ Recasens (1996:?)
  18. ^ Saborit Villar (2009:52)
  19. ^ Lacreu i Cuesta, Josep (2002), "Valencian", Manual d'ús de l'estàndard oral (6th ed.), Valencia: Universitat de València, pp. 40–4, ISBN 84-370-5390-0 .
  20. ^ "L'estàndard oral del valencià (2002)" (PDF). Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. 
  21. ^ According to some studies,[weasel words] the Valencian /l/ is less velarised than in Eastern Catalan (Recasens).[full citation needed] However, other studies suggest that the Valencian /l/ found in Northern and Southern Valencia is as velarised as the one in Eastern dialects (Saborit).[full citation needed]
  22. ^ a b c Badia i Margarit, Antoni M. (1995). Gramática de la llengua catalana: Descriptiva, normativa, diatópica, diastrática (in Catalan). Barcelona: Proa. 
  23. ^ Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community, article 6, section 4.
  24. ^ Lledó 2011, p. 339.
  25. ^ Lledó 2011, p. 338.
  26. ^ a b Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua 2005.
  27. ^ "Ley de Creación de la Entidad Pública Radiotelevisión Valenciana" (PDF). UGT RTTV. 1984. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. ^ "Los escándalos de Canal 9". 2013. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. ^ "Sanz, destituït de secretari general de RTVV per assetjament sexual". Vilaweb. 2010. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  30. ^ "El fracaso de Fabra acaba con el PP". El País. 2013. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  31. ^ "Polic evict staff in Spain after closure of station". BBC. 2013. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  32. ^ "El coste del cierre de RTVV asciende a 144,1 millones". Levante-EMV. 2014. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. ^ "Dictamen de l'Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua sobre els principis i criteris per a la defensa de la denominació i l'entitat del valencià". Report from Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua about denomination and identity of Valencian.
  34. ^ Original full text of Dictamen 1: D’acord amb les aportacions més solvents de la romanística acumulades des del segle XIX fins a l’actualitat (estudis de gramàtica històrica, de dialectologia, de sintaxi, de lexicografia…), la llengua pròpia i històrica dels valencians, des del punt de vista de la filologia, és també la que compartixen les comunitats autònomes de Catalunya i de les Illes Balears i el Principat d’Andorra. Així mateix és la llengua històrica i pròpia d’altres territoris de l’antiga Corona d’Aragó (la franja oriental aragonesa, la ciutat sarda de l’Alguer i el departament francés dels Pirineus Orientals). Els diferents parlars de tots estos territoris constituïxen una llengua, és a dir, un mateix "sistema lingüístic", segons la terminologia del primer estructuralisme (annex 1) represa en el Dictamen del Consell Valencià de Cultura, que figura com a preàmbul de la Llei de Creació de l’AVL. Dins d’eixe conjunt de parlars, el valencià té la mateixa jerarquia i dignitat que qualsevol altra modalitat territorial del sistema lingüístic, i presenta unes característiques pròpies que l’AVL preservarà i potenciarà d’acord amb la tradició lexicogràfica i literària pròpia, la realitat lingüística valenciana i la normativització consolidada a partir de les Normes de Castelló.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Feldhausen 2010, p. 5.
  37. ^ Wheeler 2005, pp. 2–3.
  38. ^ Central Catalan has 90% to 95% inherent intelligibility for speakers of Valencian (1989 R. Hall, Jr.), cited on Ethnologue.
  39. ^ Casi el 65% de los valencianos opina que su lengua es distinta al catalán, según una encuesta del CIS
  40. ^ Wheeler 2003, p. 207.
  41. ^ List of RACV academics
  42. ^ Isabel I Vilar, Ferran. "Traducció única de la Constitució europea". I-Zefir. 30 Oct 2004. 29 Apr 2009.


External links[edit]