Corsican language

Corsican (corsu [ˈkorsu], [ˈkɔrsu]; full name: lingua corsa [ˈliŋɡwa ˈkorsa], [ˈkɔrsa]) is a Romance language constituted by the complex of the Italo-Romance dialects spoken on the Mediterranean island of Corsica (France) and on the northern end of the island of Sardinia (Italy). Corsican is closely related to the Tuscan varieties from the Italian peninsula, and therefore to the Florentine-based standard Italian.

corsu, lingua corsa
Pronunciation[ˈkorsu], [ˈkɔrsu]
Native to
Native speakers
150,000 in Corsica (2013)[1]
Latin script (Corsican alphabet)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byNo official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1co
ISO 639-2cos
ISO 639-3
cos  Corsican
Glottologcors1241  Corsican
sass1235  Sassarese Sardinian
Linguistic map of Corsica
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Under the longstanding sway of Pisa and Genoa over Corsica, Corsican used to play the role of a vernacular in combination with Italian, which was the island's official language. In 1859, Italian was replaced by French, owing to the French acquisition from the Republic of Genoa in 1768. Over the next two centuries, the use of French in the place of Italian grew to the extent that, by the Liberation in 1945, all the islanders had a working knowledge of French. The 20th century saw a language shift, with the islanders changing their language practices to the extent that there were no monolingual Corsican speakers left by the 1960s. By 1995, an estimated 65 percent of islanders had some degree of proficiency in Corsican,[3] and a minority amounting to around 10 percent used Corsican as a first language.[4]