Spain Dialects

Spain Dialects

From the previous observations it appears that the speakers of the Iberian Peninsula are made up either of languages ​​derived directly from Latin or from more modern dialects, which owe their existence to transformations of Castilian. Of course, the Basque language does not fit into this category.

Going from west to east we find first of all the Galician, which is now spoken in the four provinces to the NW: La Coruña, Lugo, Orense and Pontevedra, and which, as we have said, extends a little beyond the current administrative limits, penetrating a part of Asturias, León and Zamora. This dialect can be defined by saying that it reflects the archaic form of the dialects that later gave rise to literary Portuguese and were paralyzed in their development almost until the century. XIII and subjected to strong influences from the literary and vulgar Castilian. The study of Galician is therefore especially concerned with Portugal; nevertheless this speech presents a multiple interest for Spanish linguistics and literature, because that region is inextricably linked with Spain. For Spain 1999, please check

Due to the importance of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostella, Galicia acquired an international significance with its art and literature; there was a time when his language was spoken in parts of the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca, that is, far beyond its natural limits. On the other hand, the Galician language was used as a means of lyric expression by many Castilian poets until the end of the century. XIV. In the modern age there was an awakening in Galicia in favor of the literary use of the traditional dialect, and Galician speaking has returned to excel today with characters similar to those that were its own in the Middle Ages, that is to say with a lyricism melancholy and a fine perception of nature.

For Catalan, a language of intense literary culture, see Catalonia: Language and dialects.

There are two dialects, Leonese and Aragonese, which are difficult to characterize briefly. The Leonese in the Middle Ages embraced a vast area which included, from N. to Spain, the current provinces of Asturias, León, Zamora, Salamanca, Cáceres and a part of that of Badajoz. This dialect never came to imagine a unity of culture reflected in artistic works, and now it continues to be spoken by the people in Asturias, where it is designated by the name of bable, but as it advances towards the Spain it gets lost, until it is completely absorbed by the Castilian. The features of this dialect are today essentially the same as those found in Leonese documents of the 12th and 13th centuries. It is much closer to Castilian than Galician or Catalan, and it can be said that Leonese and Castilians using their respective languages ​​have never ceased to understand each other. And this great similarity has precisely meant that Leonese could not resist the political and cultural supremacy represented by Castilian: the oldest Leonese texts are strongly imbued with Castilianism, although it would be more accurate to say that this Castilianism often represents the common element of the two. idioms. The most curious peculiarity in phonetics is the diphthongization of the oLatin followed by yod in cases where Castilian is not diphthonga: leonese nueche, cast. noche, lat. nocte ; leonese, fuella, cast. hoja, lat. folia.

Similar observations should be made on the Aragonese, whose remains still exist today in some villages of the Pyrenees (province of Huesca). Not even it had a definite character and a literary physiognomy. The fact that the constitutive features of Aragonese phonetics are essentially the same as those of Leonese gives rise to a curious linguistic problem: these two parlors, today absolutely separated from Castilian, formed an uninterrupted area in the prehistoric era of the novel in the peninsula. Castilian began to form in the N. of Burgos region and from there it descended to the center of the peninsula, splitting into two parts and pushing the primitive dialect to both sides, which in the region coincided with the common fund today indicated by Leonese and Aragonese.

The Andalusian language also deserves a brief mention. It represents a modern evolution of Castilian, which in Andalusia has undergone a transformation, similar to the one that was to undergo a little later in Spanish America. The Andalusian is characterized by the reduction of some Castilian sounds, especially the s final syllable, and it retains a somewhat archaic vocabulary in comparison with the presently spoken in Castile.

T he Spanish language outside the S pagna. – The Spanish of America. – It is worthwhile here to keep in mind the difference between the written or literary language and the spoken, vulgar language. In the first, the Americans do not differ significantly from the residents of the peninsula; the particularities that could be observed in it come above all from the different conditions of local life, in the same way that in Spain the Andalusian periodicals differ from those of Galicia or Catalonia. The most educated Hispano-American writers, even in cosmopolitan countries such as Argentina, are increasingly striving to remain within the circle of the general literary language common to nations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In this regard, apart from the language of the newspapers of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, we can mention the work of writers such as Lugones, Rojas, Gálvez, Ibarburu, Larreta, Borges, among many others. In other American nations, the lesser pressure from non-American elements can be said to maintain the literary language in its rigid purity. But as for the spoken language, the situation is somewhat different.

The phonetic and lexical particularities in America do not have precise limits, but are found confused and confused in the midst of the languages ​​of the different regions.

The most general characteristics of the vulgar Spanish of America are in the phonetics: the so-called seseo and that is the pronunciation of ϑ (in the Spanish spelling c, z) as s, for example, ka ??? besa “cabeza” (the seseo is general of all Spanish America; in a more restricted area there is also, at the initial formula and in certain positions within the word, the passage s > h which is not unknown even to some dialects of Spain; for example, in New Mexico nohotroh “nosotros”); the passage of l ′ (= ll)> y, e.g.,ca ??? bayo “caballo”, sporadically instead of y we have ž, for example, ka ??? ba ž o (the passage of l ′ [ ll ]> y is also found in the Judeo-Spanish and in the Portuguese of Brazil); and unstressed in hiatus> i, for example, linia “linea” and conversely i in the same conditions> e, for example, copear “copiar”; the passage of i and o protons into e and u respectively, e.g., henojo”hinojo”; the passage of ct to it, for example, aspeito “aspecto”. In morphology a very striking phenomenon, but which has its roots in pre-classical Spanish, is the so-called voseo, that is the use of the pronoun vos in place of tu (which in some regions, in the vernacular, has completely disappeared). The vos is generally used with the second person plural, but accompanied by the personal unstressed te (of 2nd pers. Sing.) And by the possessive tu, eg, vos tenés tu libro ; no te vayais, etc. Noteworthy is the presence of several verbal forms of ancient Spanish, such as trujo, quijo, etc. and the 2 and plur people. of the present indicative and subjunctive in – és, – ĭ s, – ás, – ós (tenés, tengás, sos).

In the lexicon we note the presence of numerous elements taken from the indigenous American languages, particularly numerous to designate the American flora and fauna. The presence of other European populations in the South American states has also contributed to welcoming foreign elements; for example, the Italian elements in the Spanish of the Argentine Republic are quite numerous.

A completely different evolution had Spanish in the Philippine Islands, and in Curaçao where it formed the basis of Creole dialects; for these see creoles, languages, XI, 833-35 and curaçao, XII, 154.

Spanish is also spoken by several thousand Sephardi Jews in Eastern Europe (Constantinople, Thessaloniki, etc.). The date of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) coincides with that of the discovery of America. Both American Spanish and Judeo-Spanish have the preclassical Spanish of the 10th century as their starting point. XV-XVI. While, however, the Judeo-Spanish had no more than accidental contacts with the Castilian language and took place in a completely independent way, assimilating, it is true, alien elements, but preserving precious archaic phenomena; American Spanish always remained in contact with the native language even when political dependence ceased. The main characteristics of the Judeo-Spanish are: 1. maintenance of fthe ancient Spanish in several cases in which Spanish has modern h, eg., ferir “herir”; 2. maintaining the distinction between voiceless s (= ss) and voiced s (= z) and between c (voiceless) and z (voiced), as in ancient Spanish eg difísil, ma ermozo ; 3. Maintaining the distinction between the two prepalatal fricatives: x (voiceless = è) and j, g (voiced = ž) And utter lack of passage to the voiceless ξ veil, generally the modern Spanish of Spain and America, eg., Ba is or “bajo” against mu ž er “mujer”. In the lexicon we note: arri ??? bar, sp. mod. llegar ; k0 is 0, sp. ancient cocho, sp. mod. cocido, etc.

Spain Dialects