March 7, 2005


In reference to Teresa's claim of Catalan variants, reading Trevor's recent blogpost helps me remember that variations in language are ubiquitious (a function of a cultural isolation that is perhaps now vanishing in modernity's wake?):

In Barcelona varieties of Catalan and Spanish live side by side, so that it?s not unusual to hear a couple talking, one using urban Catalan and the other Castilianised Andalusian. As you go south along the coast, there?s a large zone of German/English domination, with only the state apparatus and old men using Catalan. Into Valencia community, and there?s virtually no public use of Catalan/Valencian, although old men talk it in bars in some villages, many of them using characteristic Lleida-style hybrids. (A random favourite: the use of the Spanish jabal? instead of the ?standard? Catalan senglar for ?wild boar?, commencing with an English ?jab? instead of a spot of Spanish throat-clearing. No coincidence, surely, that the church built in the Ruzafa barrio of Valencia at the spot where Jaime/Jaume of Aragon accepted the surrender of the Moors in 1238 is dedicated to San Blas, patron saint of throat conditions. Do speakers of sweet gutturalects like northern Castilian and Arabic suffer from a higher rate of throat cancer than Catalans?)

One of my most interesting conversations on The Trip was with the guy with the 270 sheep near model farmworkers? village, San Miguel, as one comes down from the hills along the southern end of Albacete province and head towards Ja?n. The area where he was born and has lived is roughly 300km from the last pockets of Valencian speakers, and I don?t think was subject to Aragonese or western Catalan settlement during the reconquista, but I was struck by the similarities between some aspects of his speech and Catalan. For example, in many areas of Andalusia the final ?s? gets replaced by an aspirant (las vacas => lahbakah), and, slightly less frequently, you lose other final consonants, particularly, I think, the ?n? (like the standard Catalan naci? in relation to the Castilian naci?n), but this guy was using radical $hit like tamb? for the Spanish tambi?n/Catalan tamb?, and ost? for the Spanish usted/Catalan vost?. Another example: inflection of the unstressed ?o", giving curtiju instead of cortijo, a characteristic of eastern Catalan variants. I was going to tie him up and bring him along to enable further study of Murcian-Andalusian hinterland speech, but a bike can only take so much.

Posted by Dennis at March 7, 2005 12:24 PM



where did you send the paintings off to? I think the dark one with the red in the middle and the "C" shape sells first. let me know.



We are about to step off for K?ln, Andr? Buchmann's Gallery. the show opens this Friday!

I'll tell you all about it.

All the best,


"As you go south along the coast, there?s a large zone of German/English domination, with only the state apparatus and old men using Catalan"

Do we live in the same country? German/English *domination*? Perhaps "influence" in the more touristy resorts is appropriate...but domination?

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