Gascon language

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Gascon ([ɡasˈku]; French: [ɡaskɔ̃]) is usually considered as a dialect of Occitan, even though some specialists regularly consider it a separate language. Gascon is mostly spoken in Gascony and Béarn at south of France (in parts of the following French départements: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Landes, Gers, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Haute-Garonne, and Ariège) and in the Aran Valley of Spain). It has about 250,000 speakers worldwide.[citation needed]

Only Aranese, a southern Gascon variety, is spoken in Spain. Aranese has been greatly influenced recently by Catalan and Spanish. Both these influences tend to differentiate it more and more from the dialects of Gascon spoken in France. Since the 2006 adoption of the new statute of Catalonia, Aranese is co-official with Catalan and Spanish in Catalonia (before, this status was valid for the Aran Valley only).

Contents

Linguistic classification

See Occitan: Debates concerning linguistic classification.

Basque substrate

The language spoken in Gascony before Roman rule was part of the Basque dialectal continuum (see Aquitanian language); the fact that the word 'Gascon' comes from the Latin root vasco/vasconem, which is the same root that gives us 'Basque', implies that the speakers identified themselves at some moment as Basque. There is a proven Basque substrate in the development of Gascon. This explains some of the major differences that exist between Gascon and other Occitan languages.

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