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Ibero-Romance languages


Ibero-Romance languages

Iberian Romance
Originally Iberia; now worldwide
Linguistic classification: Indo-European

The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages[1] are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra.

Originating in Iberia, the most widely spoken Iberian Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Galician.[2] These languages also have their own regional and local dialects. Based on mutual intelligibility, Dalby counts Portuguese, Spanish, Asturian-Leonese, Aragonese, Catalan, and Provençal.[3]

Origins and development

Like all Romance languages,[4] the Iberian Romance languages descend from Vulgar Latin. Vulgar Latin was the nonstandard (in contrast to Classical Latin) form of the Latin language spoken by soldiers and merchants throughout the Roman Empire. With the expansion of the empire, Vulgar Latin came to be spoken by inhabitants of the various Roman-controlled territories. Latin and its descendants have been spoken in Iberia since the Punic Wars, when the Romans conquered the territory[5] (see Roman conquest of Hispania).

The modern Iberian Romance languages were formed roughly through the following process:


Politically (not linguistic genetically), there are four major officially recognised Iberian Romance languages:

  • Portuguese, official language in eight countries including Portugal. After Spanish, Portuguese is the second most widely spoken Romance language in the world with over 250 million speakers, currently ranked seventh by number of native speakers.[13] Various Portuguese dialects exist outside of the native standard spoken in Portugal.
  • Galician, co-official in Galicia and also spoken in adjacent western parts of Asturias and Castile and León. Closely related to Portuguese, but also Spanish.[19] It shares origins with Portuguese, from the medieval Galician-Portuguese language. Modern Galician is spoken by around 3.2 million people and is ranked 160th by number of speakers.[20]

Additionally, the Asturian language, while not an official language[21] is recognised by the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias.[22]

Family tree

Main article: Romance languages

The Iberian Romance languages are conventional Romance languages, many authors use the term in a geographical sense, although they are not necessarily phylogenetic . Phylogenetically, there is a disagreement about whether what languages should be considered within the Iberian Romance group; for example, some authors consider that the East Iberian, also called Occitano-Romance, could be more closely related to languages of northern Italy. A common conventional geographical grouping is the following:

  • East Iberian
  • West Iberian

In what follows we will use the conventional sign † for extinct languages.

See also


External links

  • Spanish words of Latin originpl:Języki zachodnioromańskie
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