Linguistic mapping of the Iberian peninsula

Cool post by Carlos Ferrero on linguistic maps of Spain and Portugal that appear arbitrary or ideologically driven. Power, preference and politics in the linguistic mapping of the Romania: representations of reality or the reality of geolinguistic representation?, Erin M Halm’s UPenn dissertation, looks like a really interesting followup. Unfortunately the download is USD37.

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  1. I checked on Wikipedia the other day, apparently the consensus view of the Spanish-(sorry, Castillian, yes i know it’s not the word we use in English but apparently only fascists say Spanish)speaking world was that Spain has 16 different autochtonous languages. How many would Italy have under the same criteria?

    Perhaps the meaning of “dialect continuum” could be taught in Spanish schools, along with more a more general grounding in linguistics. These classes could also help remedy the excessive focus on Castillian language and literature, which are taught for as much as 3 HOURS A WEEK in some Catalan schools.

  2. Ages back a choir I conducted decided it wanted to sing some Gesualdo and Monteverdi. For my private amusement (and to retrospectively piss off Manzoni), I got this lovely old gastarbeider from Sardinia to give them language coaching. We did the concert, and afterwards some woman came over and said, “Very nice, but why did you translate the madrigals into Catalan?”

  3. Was old Giussep from Alguer, or did your woman really not have a clue?

    It would seem that Sardinian doesn’t fit into a dialect continuum, but I wonder whether there were intermediate forms between the Genoese, Sardinian and Catalan dialects spoken there.

    Conversation in work the other day:

    “Em vaig tornar de Sardenya hier.”


    “Si, com savies?”

    Went to the toilet and wept for two hours.

  4. I think he was from Cagliari, and that she made a bold guess. Alguer isn’t on my destination wishlist, but I’m sure there are folk there demonising linguistic heterodoxy with the same energy they display in other parts.

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