Asturian language

Asturian language

nativename= asturianu, bable
region=autonomous community of Asturias
fam7=West Iberian
script=Latin alphabet
agency=Academy of the Asturian Language (Asturian)
iso2= ast
iso3= ast

Asturian (Asturian: "Asturianu" or "Bable") is a Romance language of the West Iberian group, Astur-Leonese Subgroup, spoken in the Spanish province of Asturias by the Asturian people. In Asturias it is protected under the Autonomous Statute legislation and is an optional language at schools, being widely studied. [See: [ Euromosaic report] .] As part of the Astur-leonese group, Asturian was formerly considered an informal dialect (basilect) of Spanish, but in 1906, Ramón Menéndez Pidal showed it was the result of Latin evolution in the Kingdom of León, and nowadays it is considered a separate language.


The language developed from Vulgar Latin with contributions from the pre-Roman languages, which were spoken in the territory of the Astures, an ancient tribe of the Iberian peninsula. Castilian Spanish came to the area later, in the 14th century, when the central administration sent emissaries and functionaries to occupy political and ecclesiastical offices. Nowadays, Asturian codification of Astur-Leonese spoken in the Asturian Autonomous Community has become a modern language, after the birth of "Academia de la Llingua Asturiana" in 1980. Leonese and Mirandese (the other two Astur-Leonese languages) are very close to Asturian.


Much effort has been made since 1974 to protect and promote Asturian [Bauske 1995] . In 1994 there were 100,000 first language speakers, and 450,000 second language speakers able to speak or understand Asturian [Llera Ramo 1994] . However, the situation of Asturian is critical, with a large decline in the number of speakers in the last 100 years.

At the end of the 20th century, the Academia de la Llingua Asturiana made efforts to provide the language with most of the tools needed by a language to ensure its survival: a grammar, a dictionary, and periodicals. A new generation of Asturian writers both in Asturias have also championed the language. These developments give the Asturian language a greater hope of survival.

Many people from Asturias, especially from the cities like Gijón or Oviedo, think that Asturian is a rude and "village" language. One can find some accent in Asturian persons speaking Spanish; for example, they often change "es" ("is" in Spanish) to "ye" ("is" in Asturian).


The grammar of Asturian resembles that of other Romance languages. Nouns have two genders (masculine and feminine), two numbers (singular and plural), and no cases. Adjectives agree with their subjects in gender and number. Verbs agree with their subjects in person (first, second, or third) and number, and additionally are conjugated to indicate mood (indicative, subjunctive, conditional, or imperative), tense (often present or past; different moods allow different possible tenses), and aspect (perfective or imperfective) [ Academia de la Llingua Asturiana, "Gramática de la Llingua Asturiana", tercera edición, Oviedo: Academia de la Llingua Asturiana (2001), ISBN 84-8168-310-8,] .

ee also

* Astur Leonese
* Leonese language
* List of Asturian language authors
* Cantabrian language
* Extremaduran dialect
* Mirandese language
* Menéndez Pidal
* José Leite de Vasconcelos



*es Llera Ramo, F. (1994) "Los Asturianos y la Lengua Asturiana: Estudio Sociolingüístico para Asturias-1991". Oviedo: Consejería de Educación y Cultura del Principado de Asturias ISBN 84-7847-297-5.
*Wurm, Stephen A. (ed) (2001) "Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing". Unesco ISBN 92-3-103798-6.

External links

* [ Academia de la Llingua Asturiana] — the official Asturian language committee
* [ Oficina de Política Llingüística del Gobiernu del Principáu d'Asturies] — Bureau of Asturian Linguistic Politics (Government of the Principality of Asturias)
* [ Ethnologue report for Asturian]
* [ Asturian grammar in English]
* [ Asturian–English dictionary]
* [ Xunta pola Defensa de la Llingua Asturiana]
* [ Real Instituto de Estudios Asturianos] — Royal Institute of Asturian Studies (RIDEA or IDEA), founded 1945.
* [ A short Asturian-English-Japanese phrasebook] incl. sound file

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