Leonese language

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Leonese
llionés
Native to Spain, Portugal
Region Provinces of Asturias, León (north and west), Zamora (north-west) in Spain,[1][2][3] and the towns of Rionor and Guadramil in northeastern Portugal;[4][5] Mirandese dialect in Portugal.
Native speakers 20,000–50,000  (2008)[6][7]
Language family
Official status
Official language in As of 2010, has special status in the Spanish autonomous community of Castile and León
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguasphere 51-AAA-cc

Leonese language (Llionés in Leonese) is the language of León in Spain and the Bragança District of Portugal, and it is one of the Romance languages. Leonese was the language of the Kingdom of León in the Middle Ages.

Sociolinguistics[change | edit source]

Leonese is spoken by 25,000 people[8] in the Spanish provinces of León, Zamora and the Portuguese district of Bragança. Leonese is recognised by the UN as "Seriously Endangered" and officially recognised by the Autonomous Government.

Education[change | edit source]

Leonese is taught in sixteen schools in León city and there are lessons for adults in several villages in the provinces of León and Zamora.[9]

Leonese grammar[change | edit source]

Vocalism[change | edit source]

The language has a system with five vowels in a stressed position, represented by a, e, i, o, and u and three (two archiphonemes /I/, /U/ and one phoneme /a/) in non-stressed position, represented by e, u, and a at the end of word.[10]

Promotion of the language[change | edit source]

For approximately fifteen years some cultural associations have offered courses in Leonese, sometimes with the support or collaboration of local administrations in the provinces of Leon and Zamora. The autonomous community of Castile and León has never collaborated in these courses, which in most cases have taken place in precarious conditions, without continuity or by unqualified teachers and, very often, far from the area where Leonese is spoken.

Endangered language[change | edit source]

The UNESCO in its Atlas of Languages in Danger in the World,[11] places Leonese among languages in danger.

Leonese is classified in the worst of the possible situations whose characteristics are:

  • Non-official language.
  • No presence in the means of communication.
  • Low level of knowledge and use.
  • Low social consideration of the language.
  • Absence of the language in the school.
  • Toponymy without normalizing.

Leonese and other Romance languages[change | edit source]

Leonese Portuguese French Italian Venetian Spanish Latin English
facere fazer faire fare fare hacer facere make
fiyu filho fille figlio fiolo hijo filius son
fame fome faim fame fame hambre fames hunger
gochu porco cochon maiale porselo cerdo sus pig
vieyu velho vieux vecchio vecio viejo vetus old
chovere chover pleuvoir piovere piòvare llover pluere rain

English and Leonese words[change | edit source]

English Leonese
Numbers Númberos
one unu
two dous (m), duas (f)
three tres
four cuatru
five cincu
six seis
seven siete
eight ochu
nine nueve
ten diez

Literature[change | edit source]

Literature written in the Leonese dialect started in the Middle Ages and is still written today. The first written text in Leonese is the Nodicia of Kesos (959 or 974), found in Ardón. Other works in Leonese language include the Fueru de Llión, Fueru de Salamanca, Fueru Xulgu, Códice d'Alfonsu XI, Disputa d'Elena y María and Llibru d'Alixandre.

Important writers are Torres Naharro, Juan del Encina, and Lucas Fernández. Some writers like Caitano Bardón (Cuentos en Dialecto Leonés), Luis Maldonado or Aragón Escacena (Entre brumas) restarted the Leonese literature in the early 20th century. Today, important writers include Eva González in the last 20th century or Abel Pardo, Xuasús González, Adrianu Martín or Félix Llópez.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Herrero Ingelmo, J.L. "El Leonés en Salamanca cien años después"
  2. Llorente Maldonado, Antonio: "Las hablas vivas de Zamora y Salamanca en la actualidad"
  3. Borrego Nieto, Julio: "Leonés"
  4. Menéndez Pidal, R. El Dialecto Leonés. Madrid. 1906
  5. Cruz, Luísa Segura da; Saramago, João and Vitorino, Gabriela: "Os dialectos leoneses em território português: coesão e diversidade". In "Variação Linguística no Espaço, no Tempo e na Sociedade". Associação Portuguesa de Linguística. Lisbon: Edições Colibri, p. 281-293. 1994.
  6. González Riaño, Xosé Antón; García Arias, Xosé Lluis. II Estudiu Sociollingüísticu De Lleón: Identidá, conciencia d'usu y actitúes llingüístiques de la población lleonesa. Academia de la Llingua Asturiana, 2008. ISBN 978-84-8168-448-3
  7. Sánchez Prieto, R. (2008): "La elaboración y aceptación de una norma lingüística en comunidades dialectalmente divididas: el caso del leonés y del frisio del norte". In: Sánchez Prieto, R./ Veith, D./ Martínez Areta, M. (ed.): Mikroglottika Yearbook 2008. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
  8. Facendera pola Llengua
  9. Leonoticias.com
  10. «Normes ortográfiques». Academy of the Asturian Language 2005. ISBN 978-84-8168-394-3.
  11. Atlas of Languages in Danger in the World

Sources[change | edit source]

  • Menéndez Pidal, R.: "El dialecto Leonés". Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos, 14. 1906.
  • Linguasphere Register. 1999/2000 Edition. pp. 392. 1999.
  • García Gil, Hector (2010). «El asturiano-leonés: aspectos lingüísticos, sociolingüísticos y legislación». Working Papers Collection. Mercator Legislation, Dret i legislació lingüístics. (25). ISSN 2013-102X.
  • Academia de la Lengua Asturiana«Normes ortográfiques». 2005. ISBN 978-84-8168-394-3.
  • García Arias, Xosé Lluis (2003). Gramática histórica de la lengua asturiana: Fonética, fonología e introducción a la morfosintaxis histórica. Academia de la Llingua Asturiana. ISBN 978-84-8168-341-7.
  • González Riaño, Xosé Antón; García Arias, Xosé Lluis (2008). II Estudiu sociollingüísticu de Lleón (Identidá, conciencia d'usu y actitúes llingüístiques de la población lleonesa). Academia de la Llingua Asturiana. ISBN 978-84-8168-448-3.
  • Galmés de Fuentes, Álvaro; Catalán, Diego (1960). Trabajos sobre el dominio románico leonés. Editorial Gredos. ISBN 978-84-249-3436-1.
  • Linguasphere Register. 1999/2000 Edition. pp. 392. 1999.
  • López-Morales, H.: “Elementos leoneses en la lengua del teatro pastoril de los siglos XV y XVI”. Actas del II Congreso Internacional de Hispanistas. Instituto Español de la Universidad de Nimega. Holanda. 1967.
  • Staff, E. : "Étude sur l'ancien dialecte léonnais d'après les chartes du XIIIÈ siècle", Uppsala. 1907.
  • Gessner, Emil. «Das Altleonesische: Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis des Altspanischen».
  • Hanssen, Friedrich Ludwig Christian (1896). Estudios sobre la conjugación Leonesa. Impr. Cervantes.
  • Hanssen, Friedrich Ludwig Christian (1910). «Los infinitivos leoneses del Poema de Alexandre». Bulletin Hispanique (12).
  • Krüger, Fritz. El dialecto de San Ciprián de Sanabria. Anejo IV de la RFE. Madrid.
  • Morala Rodríguez, Jose Ramón; González-Quevedo, Roberto; Herreras, José Carlos; Borrego, Julio; Egido, María Cristina (2009). El Leonés en el Siglo XXI (Un Romance Milenario ante el Reto de su Normalización). Instituto De La Lengua Castellano Y Leones. ISBN 978-84-936383-8-2.

Other websites in Leonese language[change | edit source]