Catalan

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Catalan is the co-official and most spoken language of the countries of Aragon and Riu de L'Argent. It belongs to the Occitano-Romance family of languages, and is closely related to Narbonosc. The language also has a slightly more distant relationship with Aragonese and to a lesser extent Castilian and Portuguese.

Contents

Pronunciation

Catalan pronunciation resembles that of the neighbouring Romance languages; however, there are several distinct traits. A notable difference from Narbonosc is the lack of nasalised or (in most dialects) front rounded vowels.

Vowels

a: [a] in stressed syllables, [ə] otherwise

à: [a]; only appears in stressed syllables

e: [ɛ] or [e] in stressed syllables, [ə] otherwise; not pronounced at the ends of infinitives

è: [ɛ]; only appears in stressed syllables

é: [e]; only appears in stressed syllables

i, í: [i]

o: [ɔ] or [o] in stressed syllables, [u] otherwise

ò: [ɔ]; only appears in stressed syllables

ó: [o]; only appears in stressed syllables

u, ú; [u] as a vowel, [w] if appearing after another vowel

y: [i] as a vowel, [j] if appearing after another vowel

Consonants

b: [b]

c: [k], [s] before i or e

ç: [s]

cu: [kw], [k] before i or e

ch: [x], [k], or [ʃ], depending on situation; [tʃ] in some loanwords

d: [d]

dj: [dʒ]; mostly used in loanwords

dz: [dz]; mostly used in loanwords

f: [f]

g: [g], [ʒ] before i or e

gu: [gw], [g] before i or e

h: silent

ig: [iʃ]

ix: [iʃ]

j: [ʒ]

k: [k], mostly appears in loanwords

kh: [x] or [k], rare

l: [l]

ll: [ʎ], intervocalically [j] in dialects with iodizacion

l·l: [l:]

m: [m]

n: [n], not produced at the ends of syllables unless under rules of liaison

ny: [ɲ]

p: [p]

qu: [kw], [k] before i or e

r: [r], trilled, not pronounced at the ends of syllables unless under rules of liaison (except for infinitives)

s: [s], [z] between vowels

ss: [s]

t: [t], not pronounced at the ends of syllables unless under rules of liaison

tl: [l:]

tll: [ʎ:] or [j:]

tm: [m:]

tn: [n:]

ts: [ts]; mostly found in loanwords

tx: [tʃ]; mostly found in loanwords

v: [v]

w: [w], only used in loanwords

x: [ʃ]; [ks] or [gz] in loanwords

z: [z]

Double consonants

Double consonants are always pronounced as geminates (lengthened), except for (ll) which is pronounced as [ʎ]. Only liquids can be geminated. Geminate r is quite common, other geminates much less so. Geminates never appear at the beginning of words.

Word-final devoicing

Voiced stops and fricatives are devoiced at the end of words in Catalan, like in the Gallo-Italic languages, or Catalan and Occitan *here*.

Liaison

Like Narbonosc, Catalan has rules of liaison, but these are limited to the consonants [t], [r] and [n]. Normally silent at the ends of words, if followed by a vowel or h they are pronounced as normal. Geminate r and n are always pronounced at the ends of syllables, but do not usually occur.

Stress

Stress follows the same rules as in *here*'s Catalan or in Nissard Occitan: stress can fall on the final, penultimate, or antepenultimate syllable.

Grammar

Catalan grammar is similar to that of Narbonosc, with the most notable differences being in verb tenses.

Articles

Catalan has two classes of articles, the definite and indefinite. These change according to number and gender.

Definite article

Definite article
(elided forms in brackets)
masculine feminine
singular e (s') a (s')
plural es

As in *here*'s Spanish or in Narbonosc, there is also a neuter article, "o", which is used to turn adjectives or verbs into abstract nouns. In Western Catalan, the masculine article "e" is replaced by "o", and there is a distinction in the plural between masculine "os" and feminine "as". The elided form s' points to the article's historical derivation from the Latin demonstrative "ipsum", a feature also found in Sardinian and the Provençal dialect of Narbonosc.

Like in the Gallo-Italic languages or Portuguese, Catalan requires a definite article before names. However, a distinct form is used, shown in this table:

Personal article
(elided forms in brackets)
masculine feminine
en (n') na (n')

Indefinite article

Indefinite article
masculine feminine
singular un [u] una
plural uns unes

Contractions

de + definite article: d'es, desa, des

a + definite article: as, asa, aes

a + indefinite article: an, ana, ans, anes

per + definite article: pes, pesa, peses

per + indefinite article: pen, pena, pens, penes

en, in + definite article: nes, nesa, nes

en, in + indefinite article: nun, nuna, nuns, nunes

con + definite article: cos, cosa, coses

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