Galician language

Galician (/ɡəˈlɪʃən/,[3] /ɡəˈlɪsiən/;[4] galego) is an Indo-European language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch. It is spoken by some 2.4 million people, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Spanish. The language is also spoken in some border zones of the neighbouring Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León, as well as by Galician migrant communities in the rest of Spain, in Latin America including Puerto Rico, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.

Galician
galego
Pronunciation[ɡaˈleɣʊ]
RegionGalicia and adjacent areas in Asturias and Castile and León
EthnicityGalician
Native speakers
2.4 million (2012)[1]
58% of the population of Galicia (c. 1.56 million) are L1 speakers (2007)[2]
Early form
Latin (Galician alphabet)
Galician Braille
Official status
Official language in
 Galicia (Spain)
Regulated byRoyal Galician Academy
Language codes
ISO 639-1gl
ISO 639-2glg
ISO 639-3glg
Glottologgali1258
Linguasphere51-AAA-ab
Distribution of the various dialects of Galician in Spain and the extreme north of Portugal
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Modern Galician is part of the West Iberian languages group, a family of Romance languages that includes the Portuguese language. Galician evolved locally from Vulgar Latin and developed, by the 13th century, into what modern scholars have called Galician-Portuguese. Dialectal divergences are observable between the northern and southern forms of Galician-Portuguese in 13th-century texts but the two dialects were similar enough to maintain a high level of cultural unity until the middle of the 14th century, producing the medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric. The divergence has continued to this day, producing the modern variants of Galician and Portuguese.[5]

The lexicon of Galician is predominantly of Latin extraction, although it also contains a moderate number of words of Germanic and Celtic origin, among other substrates and adstrates, having also received, mainly via Spanish, a number of nouns from Andalusian Arabic.

The language is officially regulated in Galicia by the Royal Galician Academy. Other organizations without institutional support, such as the Galician Association of Language and the Galician Academy of the Portuguese Language, include Galician as part of the Portuguese language.


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