Difference between revisions of "Occitan language"

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
(Spelling and pronunciation)
(Spelling and pronunciation)
Line 228: Line 228:
 
! grapheme || letter <br>name || standard default<br>pronunciation <br>([[IPA]]) || standard default<br>pronunciation <br>(English<br>approximate equivalent) || alternative, standard regional<br>pronunciations<br>([[IPA]])   
 
! grapheme || letter <br>name || standard default<br>pronunciation <br>([[IPA]]) || standard default<br>pronunciation <br>(English<br>approximate equivalent) || alternative, standard regional<br>pronunciations<br>([[IPA]])   
 
|-
 
|-
| '''a''' || ''a'' [ˈa] || - [a]<br>- [ɔ] after stress, especially when final || ''- f'''a'''ther<br>- s'''o'''ng'' || only [a]
+
| '''a''' || ''a'' [ˈa] || - [a]<br>- [ɔ] after stress, especially when ''a'' is final || ''- f'''a'''ther<br>- s'''o'''ng'' || only [a]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| '''à''' || - || [a] || ''f'''a'''ther'' ||   
 
| '''à''' || - || [a] || ''f'''a'''ther'' ||   

Revision as of 11:55, 21 January 2009

This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.
Template:Dablink
Location of Occitania, i.e. the Occitan-speaking territory (in green), with state boundaries

Occitan—also called Lenga d'Òc, Langue d'Oc or Provençal—(in its own language: occitan,[1] lenga d'òc[2] and sometimes provençau/provençal[3]) is a Romance language spoken in a territory called Occitania, which comprises southern France, Monaco, part of Italy (the Occitan Valleys) and part of Spain (the Aran Valley).

Status and use

This minority language has the status of an official language in Spain (see Aranese Occitan)[4] and of a protected language in Italy.[5] It has no official status in France, nor in Monaco. Its usage is quite limited compared to dominant state languages such as French, Italian and Spanish.

Nowadays, Occitan enjoys a dynamic movement of cultural defense and modern creativity, especially in literature and music. Occitan literature has been famous and uninterrupted since the 10th century,[6] including the troubadours of the Middle Ages, a baroque period, Frederic Mistral's Nobel prize in 1904 and a constant renewal nowadays.[7]

Dialects

The main Occitan dialects are Provençal (including Niçard), Vivaro-Alpine, Auvernhat, Lemosin, Gascon and Lengadocian.[8] All of them are integrated into and respected in the ongoing standardization process.

Classification

Among the Romance languages, the closest relative of Occitan is Catalan. According to linguist Bierre Bec,[9] Occitan and Catalan form a very compact Romance subgroup, and even a common diasystem, called Occitano-Romance. It is an overlap of (or a bridge between) two larger Romance subgroups: Gallo-Romance (including French, Francoprovençal, Romansh, Ladin, Friulian and Northern Italian) and Ibero-Romance (including Aragonese, Spanish, Asturian-Leonese and Galician-Portuguese). It has to be said that Aragonese itself is more and more viewed as a bridge between Occitano-Romance and Ibero-Romance proper.[10]

The term Lenga d'Òc is misleadingly associated with the term Langue d'Oïl (that is French). Therefore many people believe erroneously that Lenga d'Òc and Langue d'Oïl would be the two faces of a same, common language which would be 'French'. In fact, all specialists agree that Occitan does not belong to French and is very much closer to Catalan. The Òc-Oïl false myth is a late distorsion of Dante's naming for Italian ('language of sì'), Occitan ('language of òc') and French ('language of oïl') (see name).

Phonology

In this section, default forms are typical of general, standard Occitan (based on the central, Lengadocian dialect) but main regional variations are also presented.

Stress

The stress has a limited mobility. It can fall:

  • on the last syllable.
  • on the penult.
  • only in some far eastern varieties (Niçard and Eastern Alpine), on the antepenult.

Vocals

front central back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
close i, í
/i/
u, ú
/y/
o, ó
/u/
close-mid e, é
/e/
open-mid è
/ɛ/
ò, á, final -a
/ɔ/
open a, à
/a/

In some regional varieties, the phonemes /œ/ and /ə/ are also used.

It is worth of mention that there is vocalic alternation. In an unstressed syllable, and before a stressed syllable, some vocals are impossible and switch to closer vocals:

  • Stressed è /ɛ/ switches to unstressed e /e/.
  • Stressed ò /ɔ/ switches to unstressed o /u/.

After a stressed syllable, in a word ending, the unstressed phoneme /a/ has evolved toward /ɔ/ in modern Occitan. For instance taula ('table') is pronounced [ˈtawlɔ] (only a few local varieties keep /a/ in this position, as in Old Occitan: taula [ˈtawla]).

Consonants

labial labial-palatal labial-velar dental or
alveolar
palatal or
postalveolar
velar
voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced
occlusive p
/p/
b, v
/b/
t
/t/
d
/d/
c, qu
/k/
g, gu
/g/
fricative f
/f/
v
(/v/)
s, ss, ç, c
/s/
z, s
/z/
sh
/ʃ/
affricate tz, ts
/ts/
tz
(/dz/)
ch
/tʃ/
j, g
/dʒ/
nasal m
/m/
n
/n/
nh
/ɲ/
lateral l
/l/
lh
/ʎ/
trill rr, r-
/rr/
tap or flap r
/r/[11]
approximant
(glide)
u
/ɥ/
u
/w/
i
/j/

In some regional varieties, the phonemes /ʀ/, /h/ and /ʒ/ are also used.

Distinction between /v/ and /b/ is general in the northern and eastern dialects (Provençal, Vivaro-Alpine, Auvernhat and Lemosin). In the central and southwestern dialects (Lengadocian and Gascon) the phonemes /b/ and /v/ are merged into /b/ (so /v/ has disappeared).

In the central and southwestern dialects (Lengadocian and Gascon), the phonemes /b/, /d/ and /g/ have various phonetic realizations. They are occlusive by default: [b], [d], [g]. They are fricative when they are in contact with [r], [l] or [z] and when they are between two vowels: in those cases /b/ is pronounced [β], /d/ is pronounced [ð] and /g/ is pronounced [ɣ].

Spelling and pronunciation

Occitan uses the following version of the Latin alphabet with twenty-three letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, X, Z. The letters K (ca), W (ve dobla) and Y (i grèga) have their usual place in the alphabet, but are restricted to words of foreign origin. Occitan and Portuguese have exactly the same alphabet.

Some letters bear the following diacritic marks, which are mandatory on uppercases and lowercases:

  • The acute accent (accent agut), on á, é, ó, í, ú, indicates stressed, close vowels.
  • The grave accent (accent grèu), on à, è, ò, indicates stressed, open vowels.
  • The cedilla (cedilha), on ç, indicates that ç is pronounced [s], not [k].
  • The dieresis (trèma), on ï, ü, indicates that ï and ü are pronounced separately from a previous letter.
  • The interpunct (ponch interior, punt interior), on n·h, s·h, indicates a distinction between n·h and nh or s·h and sh.

Pronunciation rules are explained in the following table.

Occitan letters and pronunciation rules
grapheme letter
name
standard default
pronunciation
(IPA)
standard default
pronunciation
(English
approximate equivalent)
alternative, standard regional
pronunciations
(IPA)
a a [ˈa] - [a]
- [ɔ] after stress, especially when a is final
- father
- song
only [a]
à - [a] father
á - [ɔ] song [e]
ai - [aj] fine - [aj] when stressed
- [ej] when unstressed
au - [aw] house - [aw] when stressed
- [ow] when unstressed
b be nauta [ˈbe ˈnawtɔ]
= be [ˈbe]
[b] ([β] in some positions) b only [b]
c ce [ˈse] - [k]
- [s] before e, i
- car
- city
ç - [s] before a, o, u and final ss silent when final
ch - [tʃ] ch - [tʃ], [ts]
- silent when final
d de [ˈde] [d] ([ð] in some positions) d (other) only [d]
e e [ˈe] [e] Close e as in let [ə]
é - [e] Close e as in let [ə]
è - [ɛ] Open e, nearly a as in cat [e]
f èfa [ˈɛfɔ] [f] f
g ge [ˈdʒe] - [g] ([ɣ] in some positions)
- [dʒ] before e, i
- [k] when final
- [tʃ] when final in some words
- gone
- fragile
- k
- ch
- [g]
- [dz], [ʒ]

- silent when final
- silent when final

gu - [g] before e, i ([ɣ] in some positions) guess only [g]
(or gu) - [gw] ([ɣw] in some positions) penguin only [gw]
h acha [ˈatʃɔ] silent silent pronounced [h] in Gascon
i i [ˈi] - [i]
- [j] after vowel
- hit
- boy
í - [i] hit
ï - [i] hit
j ji [ˈdʒi] [dʒ] j [dz], [ʒ]
l èla [ˈɛlɔ] [l] l
lh - - [ʎ]
- [l] when final
- million
- tall
- [ʎ], [j]
- [l], [ʎ], [j] when final
m èma [ˈɛmɔ] - [m]
- [n] when final
- m
- n when final
only [m]
n èna [ˈɛnɔ] - [n]
- often silent when final
- n
- silent
pronounced when final
nh - - [ɲ]
- [n] when final
- onion
- n
- [ɲ]
- [n], [ɲ] when final
n·h - - [n]+[h] as in enhance, only in Gascon
o o [u] [u] look
ó - [u] look
ò - [ɔ] hot [wa]
p pe [ˈpe] [p] p silent when final
q cu [ˈky] always followed by u, see below -
qu - [k] k
(or qu) - [kw] queen
r èrra [ˈɛrrɔ] - [r] (tap or flap)
- [rr] (trill) when initial
- often silent when final
- short, rolled Spanish r
- long, rolled Spanish r
- often silent when final
- [r], [ʀ]
- [rr], [ʀ], [r]
- silent or pronounced when final
rr - - [rr] (trill) between two vowels long, rolled Spanish r [rr], [ʀ], [r]
s èssa [ˈɛsɔ] - [s]
- [z] between two vowels
- s
- z
silent when final
sh - [ʃ] sh In Gascon, ish is pronounced [ʃ]
s·h - - - [s] + [h] as in dishearten, only in Gascon
ss - [s] between two vowels ss
t te [ˈte] [t] t silent when final
th - - - [t], almost exclusively used in Gascon
tg - [tʃ] before e, i ch [dʒ], [dz]
tj - [tʃ] before a, o, u ch [dʒ], [dz]
tl - [ll] will look [l]
tm - [mm] ham meat [m]
tn - [nn] on night [n]
tz - [ts] ts - [dz], [z] between two vocals
- [s] or silent when final
u u [ˈy] - [y]
- [w] after vowel
- French u (resembles few)
- now
ú - [y] French u (resembles few)
ü - [y] French u (resembles few)
uè (ue) - [ɥɛ] ([ɥe]) resembles French insin [œ], [we]
- [ɥɔ] ([jɔ]) York
v ve bassa [ˈbe ˈβasɔ]
= ve [ˈbe]
[b] ([β] in some positions) b only [v]
x ixa [ˈitsɔ] - [ts]
- [s] before consonant
- ts
- s
[ks], [gz], [s], [z]
z izèda [iˈzɛðɔ] [z] z

There are some particular, regional pronunciation rules.

  • In Lemosin Occitan, a vowel followed by s, at the end of a syllable, produces long vowels or diphthongs, in a lot of words: as [aː], es [ej], is [iː], òs [ɔː], os [uː], us [yː].
  • In Auvernhat Occitan, most consonants (except r) are palatalized when placed before i [i] and u [y]: b [b > bj] — qu(i), c(u) [k > kj] — ch [ts > tʃ] — d [d > dj] — f [f > fj] — gu(i), g(u) [g > gj] — g(i), j(u) [dz > dʒ] — tg(i), tj(u) [dz > dʒ] — l [l > lj] — m [m > mj] — n [n > nj] — p [p > pj] — s [s > ʃ] — ss (between vowels) [s > ʃ] — c(i), ç(u) [s > ʃ] — z [z > ʒ] — s (between vowels) [z > ʒ]. This Auvernhat phenomenon also occurs in English, with the palatal pronunciation of consonants in words such as cute [ˈkjuːt], tube [ˈtjuːb], election [ɪˈlekʃn], picture [ˈpɪktʃə(ɹ)], mission [ˈmɪʃn], sure [ˈʃʊə(ɹ)], pleasure [ˈpleʒə(ɹ)].
  • A nasal consonant such as n, m can nasalize more or less a previous vowel, at the end of a syllable, in some dialects (Lemosin, Auvernhat, Vivaro-Alpine, Provençal): dança [ˈdansɔ > ˈdaⁿsɔ > ˈdãsɔ] 'dance'; volèm [vuˈlɛn > vuˈlɛⁿ > vuˈlẽ] 'we want'.
  • In Lengadocian Occitan, [ps], [ts] and [ks] are merged into [ts]: còps [ˈkɔps > ˈkɔts] 'times', sacs [ˈsaks > ˈsats] 'bags', occitan [uksiˈta > utsiˈta], Mexic [mekˈsik > meˈtsik] 'Mexico'.

Name

Occitan is nowadays the most frequently used name for the language. It appeared between 1290 and 1300[12], perhaps as early as 1271[13] in texts written in Latin under forms such as occitanus, lingua occitana, simultaneously with the territory name Occitania (Occitania in Latin and English, Occitània in Occitan). It is thought that Occitania was created from òc (that is lenga d'òc) and the ending of the territory name [Aqu]itania. The terms Occitan and Occitania used to belong to a learned register for a long time but they have gained a wide usage since the second half of the 20th century.

The term Lenga d'Òc means 'language of òc', òc being the way of saying 'yes' (it may be said in English Lenga d'Òc as in Occitan or Langue d'Oc as in French). Lenga d'Òc is known in texts at least from 1291 on[14] and is the likely etymology of Oc[citan]. Notably, Lenga d'Òc was spread from De vulgari eloquentia (1303-1305), the famous essay of Italian writer Dante Alighieri, where three Romance languages were identified by the way of saying 'yes': 'language of òc' (Occitan), 'language of sì' (Italian) and 'language of oïl' (French).

The term Provençal (provençau, provençal in Modern Occitan; proençal, proensal in Old Occitan) appeared around 1240.[15] It referred to the medieval remembrance of the large Roman territory called Provincia Romana which encompassed Provence and Languedoc, that is a large part of Occitania. Italian authors, which were influenced by the high prestige of Medieval Occitan, helped the spread of the name Provençal since Provence is the closest region of Occitania from an Italian perspective. In traditional Romance linguistics, Provençal was the most used term for the whole language before it was replaced by Occitan in the second half of the 20th century. A large part of Occitan-speaking people do not live in Provence and therefore can hardly identify themselves as 'Provençal-speakers', so the spread of the term 'Occitan' has been viewed as a more neutral naming solution which does not favors any particular region. Nowadays, the term Provençal is mostly used to designate the Occitan dialect of Provence rather than the whole Occitan language.

The following terms are no longer in use to designate Occitan as a whole.

  • Some medieval authors, especially of the 13th century, also called the language roman, lenga romana. It was a way of highlighting the rise of Occitan ('Roman') as a prestigious, written language in front of 'Latin'. Roman underlined the clear consciousness of the Romance origin of Occitan at this time, albeit comparative linguistics did not exist yet.
  • The term Lemosin (lemosin in Modern occitan; lemosin, lemosi in Old Occitan) appeared between 1190 and 1213.[16] It was used mostly during the 13th century because some famous troubadours were originary from Limousin. During the 18th and the 19th century, some learned persons took again the name llemosí in order to call the Catalan language in reference to the role of medieval Occitan in the birth of Catalan literature. Nowadays Lemosin only designates the Occitan dialect of Limousin and northern Périgord.
  • The term Gascon used to designate sometimes the whole Occitan language during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.[17] At this time, Gascony was a major center of Occitan literature and Gascon people used to represent more or less Southern France (that is Occitania) in the eyes of northern French people. Nowadays Gascon only designates the Occitan dialect of Gascony and Bearn.

Footnotes

  1. Occitan is pronounced [utsiˈta] or regionally [uksiˈtaⁿ, ukʃiˈtɔ, uksiˈtɔ, uksiˈta].
  2. Lenga d'òc is pronounced [ˈleŋgɔ ˈðɔ(k)] or regionally [ˈleⁿgɔ ˈdɔ, ˈleⁿga ˈdɔk, ˈlɪⁿgɔ ˈdɔ].
  3. Provençau or provençal, according to the regions, is pronounced [pʀuveⁿˈsaw] or [pruveⁿˈsaw, pruβenˈsaw, pruβenˈsal, pruveⁿˈsal, pruvɪⁿˈsal].
  4. Act no. 16 of 1990 (Regim especiau dera Val d'Aran / Special Regime of Aran Valley) and Act no. 1 of 1998 (Lei de politica linguistica / Language Policy Act), both in the autonomous region of Catalonia; see here.
  5. Act no. 482 of 1999 in Italy (Norme in materia di tutela delle minoranze linguistiche storiche / Norms Concerning the Protection of Historical Language Minorities), see here.
  6. LAFONT Robert, & ANATOLE Christian (1970) Nouvelle histoire de la littérature occitane, coll. Publications de l’Institut d’Études Occitanes, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2 vol.
  7. KIRSCH F. Peter, & KREMNITZ Georg, & SCHLIEBEN-LANGE Brigitte (2002) Petite histoire sociale de la langue occitane: usages, images, literature, grammaires et dictionnaires, coll. Cap al Sud, 66140 Canet: Trabucaire.
  8. BEC Pierre (1973) Manuel pratique d’occitan moderne, coll. Connaissance des langues, Paris: Picard.
  9. BEC Pierre (1995) La langue occitane, coll. Que sais-je? n° 1059, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, p. 6.
  10. See Sociedat de Lingüistica Aragonesa: "The main goals of the SLA are to contribute to a better knowledge of the Aragonese area, in a close, historical interaction with the Catalan and Gascon domains." ["Son finalidaz principals de la SLA contribuir a un millor conoiximiento de l'espácio aragonés, en estreita interaccion historica con los ambitos catalan i gascon."]
  11. Note that Occitan linguists usually note /rr/ for the trill and /r/ for the flap. Italian linguists do the same. Another possible notation, especially peferred by Catalan linguists, is /r/ for the trill and /ɾ/ for the flap.
  12. LAFONT Robèrt (1986) “La nominacion indirècta dels païses”, Revue des langues romanes 2, vol. XC: 161-171
  13. LODGE R. A. (1993) French, from dialect to standard, London / New York: Routledge, p. 96 — Quoted in: MULJAČIĆ Žarko (1997) “Perché i glottonimi linguaggio italiano, lingua italiana (e sim.) appaiono per indicare ‘oggetti’ reali e non soltanto auspicati molto più tardi di altri termini analoghi che si riferiscono a varie lingue gallo e ibero-romanze?”, Cuadernos de filología italiana 4: 253-264
  14. LODGE R. A. (1993) French, from dialect to standard, London / New York: Routledge, p. 96 — Quoted in: MULJAČIĆ Žarko (1997) “Perché i glottonimi linguaggio italiano, lingua italiana (e sim.) appaiono per indicare ‘oggetti’ reali e non soltanto auspicati molto più tardi di altri termini analoghi che si riferiscono a varie lingue gallo e ibero-romanze?”, Cuadernos de filología italiana 4: 253-264
  15. SCHLIEBEN-LANGE Brigitte (1991): "Okzitanisch: Grammatikographie und Lexikographie", Lexikon der Romanistichen Linguistik V, 2: 105-126 (p. 111) — Quoted in: MULJAČIĆ Žarko (1997) “Perché i glottonimi linguaggio italiano, lingua italiana (e sim.) appaiono per indicare ‘oggetti’ reali e non soltanto auspicati molto più tardi di altri termini analoghi che si riferiscono a varie lingue gallo e ibero-romanze?”, Cuadernos de filología italiana 4: 253-264
  16. SCHLIEBEN-LANGE Brigitte (1991): "Okzitanisch: Grammatikographie und Lexikographie", Lexikon der Romanistichen Linguistik V, 2: 105-126 (p. 111) — Quoted in: MULJAČIĆ Žarko (1997) “Perché i glottonimi linguaggio italiano, lingua italiana (e sim.) appaiono per indicare ‘oggetti’ reali e non soltanto auspicati molto più tardi di altri termini analoghi che si riferiscono a varie lingue gallo e ibero-romanze?”, Cuadernos de filología italiana 4: 253-264
  17. GARDY Philippe (2001) "Les noms de l'occitan / Nommer l'occitan", in: BOYER Henri, & GARDY Philippe (2001) (dir.) Dix siècles d’usages et d’images de l’occitan: des troubadours à l’Internet, coll. Sociolinguistique, Paris: L’Harmattan, p. 43-60