Baliaru

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Baliaru is a South-Central Romance language spoken in the Balearic Islands and, to lesser extent, also in minority communities of mainland Aragon, France, and outside of Europe especially in Riu d'Archent. First evidence of a language closely resembling contemporary Baliaru comes from the 17th century.

About 56% of the population are native speakers of Baliaru, with the total number of the speakers (of various levels) being about 80% of the population. It has been described as a Sicilian-based creole or a partially creolised language. It has the status of the national language of the Balearic Islands, as opposed to the official languages Aragonese and Catalan.


Contents

Origin

The history of Baliaru is hard to trace due to a lack of written documentation. There are two competing theories about the formation of the language. According to the first one, it was originally a variety of Sicilian that has evolved under strong influence of Mediterranean Lingua Franca as well as other languages. That is the position held today mainly by Sicilian linguists, some of which tend to claim Baliaru is still a variety of Sicilian. Authors like Fara Gangemi or Manuel Buni argue that Baliaru was originally formed with the Sicilian settlers and Moorish and Jewish populations of the Balearic Islands speaking Mediterranean Lingua Franca together, with heavy influences of Sicilian in pronunciation and lexicon.

Current status

The official languages of Balearic Islands are Aragonese and Catalan. Baliaru has the status of national language which is chiefly symbolic, implying a level of governmental protection and support but at the same time not providing any legal guidelines for its usage.

Grammar

Phonology

Vowels

Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p

b

t

d

k

g

Nasal m n ŋ
Trill r
Fricative f

v

s

z

ʃ

ʒ


Affricative

Approximant/Lateral w
l j

-- /ʒ, w/ only appear in loanwords.

Varieties

While Baliaru does not have any significant regional varieties or dialects, there is a mixed language consisting mostly of Baliaru grammar and Aragonese vocabulary, colloquially known as meya luenga, usually spoken in urban areas.

Influences from other languages

Orthography

Baliaru phrases

Sample texts

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