Ribagorçan

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Ribagorçan is a Romance dialect spoken in the Aragonese counties of Ribagorça and La Litera, in Huesca, and Alta Ribagorça in Lleida, Catalonia. All three counties reflect their historical geo-linguistic heritage of having belonged to the important and formerly much larger medieval County of Ribagorça. Today, depending on provincial and regional perspectives, Ribagorçan may be described in Aragon as transitional to Catalan, or in Catalonia as transitional to Aragonese.

Historically, the county and its dialect was influenced by its political alliances, conquerors and rulers - ranging from the Romans to the Goths, Navarrese, the Franks, Moors, Castilians and Catalans. As such, the spoken language evolved from an Aragonese variant of Vulgar Latin and was influenced along the way by its geo-linguistic neighbors - Basque, Gascon, medieval Occitan, Castilian, French and modern Catalan.

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Written Language

Being predominantly a spoken language, written documents are scarce, but they do exist - most notably, the "Pastoradas of Benabarre" compiled by Ricardo del Arco as well the writings of Tonón de Baldomera and poetry of Cleto Torrodellas; and more recently works by Ana Tena Puy, Carmen Castán and Bienvenido Mascaray Sin.

With the recognition of Aragonese as a language in 2003, intra-regional identities, among them Ribagorçan, have gained strength and there is renewed interest in preserving, teaching and developing the local dialects commonly referred to as "fabla".

Linguistic Characteristics

In Aragon, the dialect in Ribagorça can be clustered into 2 main groups Upper and Lower Ribagorçan defined by an isogloss line running east-west from the Turbon mountain. However locals prefer to demarcate 3 subdialects:

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