Astur-Leonese language

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In Spain: Given special protection (as Leonese) in Castile and Leon, and (as Asturian) in Asturias

Astur-Leonese is the generic name for a group of closely related linguistic varieties included in the West Iberian branch of the Romance languages. The linguistic varieties or languages in the group are assigned different names: Asturian, asturianu, or bable, in the Spanish province of Asturias; Leonese language, llionés, in western parts of the provinces of León, Zamora and Salamanca, and until recent times in the towns of Rio de Onor (Rionor) and Guadramil, in the District of Bragança (Portugal) [2]; and Mirandese in villages around the town of Miranda do Douro (Portugal). Astur-Leonese dialects closer to Spanish are spoken in Cantabria, where they are called Cantabrian or montañés. There are different positions about whether these speech forms are to be considered dialects of the Spanish language, varieties of Astur-Leonese or independent languages on their own right. The Extremaduran language spoken in northwestern Extremadura is more distantly related to the group.

Leonese language (as a denomination for the whole linguistic group) was once 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.[3][4][5]

In Portugal, the related Mirandese language is officially recognized.

Contents

History

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.

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