The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:
- The Gallo-Romance group includes:
- The Gallo-Italian languages:
- Gallo-Italian proper, including Piedmontese, Ligurian, Lombard, Emiliano-Romagnolo
- The Rhaeto-Romance languages include Romansh of Switzerland, Ladin of Dolomites area, Friulian of Friuli.
- The Oïl languages (including French).
- Arpitan, also known as Franco-Provençal. Formerly thought of as a dialect of either Oïl or Occitan, it is linguistically a language on its own, or rather a separate group of languages, as many of its dialects have little mutual comprehensibility.
- The Occitano-Romance languages of Southern France and neighbouring areas include Occitan and Catalan.
- The Gallo-Italian languages:
- The Iberian-Romance group includes:
- West Iberian languages: Galician-Portuguese (Portuguese, Galician, Fala, Vernacular Brazilian post-creole and Uruguayan Portuñol), Leonese (from east to west Cantabrian, central-eastern Asturian and Leonese proper, and from north to south Leonese proper, Mirandese, Extremaduran and Barranquenho), and Spanish (Judaeo-Spanish, Spanish proper).
- Eastern Iberian, or Catalan (usually classified as Occitano-Romance, see above).
- Pyrenean–Mozarabic (Aragonese, extinct Mozarabic).
Some classifications include central and southern Italian; the resulting clade is generally called Italo-Western Romance. Other classifications place an Italo-Dalmatian clade in with Eastern Romance. Sardinian does not fit into either Western or Eastern Romance, and may have split off before either.
Today the four most-widely spoken standardized Western Romance languages are Spanish (c. 330 million native), Portuguese (c. 215 million native, another 45 million or so second-language speakers, mainly in Lusophone Africa), French (c. 70 million native speakers, another 70 million or so second-language speakers, mostly in Francophone Africa), and Catalan (c. 12 million native). Many of these languages have large numbers of non-native speakers; this is especially the case for French, in widespread use throughout West Africa as a lingua franca.
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Famous quotes containing the words languages, western and/or romance:
“The very natural tendency to use terms derived from traditional grammar like verb, noun, adjective, passive voice, in describing languages outside of Indo-European is fraught with grave possibilities of misunderstanding.”
—Benjamin Lee Whorf (18971934)
“It appeared that he had once represented his tribe at Augusta, and also once at Washington, where he had met some Western chiefs. He had been consulted at Augusta, and gave advice, which he said was followed, respecting the eastern boundary of Maine, as determined by highlands and streams, at the time of the difficulties on that side. He was employed with the surveyors on the line. Also he called on Daniel Webster in Boston, at the time of his Bunker Hill oration.”
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