Native toSpain
RegionAragon; northern and central Huesca and northern Zaragoza
Native speakers
Active speakers: 10,000–12,000 (2017)[1]
Active and passive speakers: 30,000–50,000 (2017)[1]
Early forms
Latin (Aragonese alphabet)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
  • Aragon (Protected language status)
Regulated byAcademia d'a Luenga Aragonesa
Language codes
ISO 639-1an
ISO 639-2arg
ISO 639-3arg
Map of Aragon with the dialects of northern Aragon in grey, blue, and light orange
Aragonese is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Map of the Occitano-Romance languages: Catalan in red, Occitan in purple and Aragonese in yellow.

Aragonese (/ˌærəɡəˈnz/ ARR-ə-gə-NEEZ; aragonés [aɾaɣoˈnes] in Aragonese) is a Romance language spoken in several dialects by about 12,000 people as of 2011, in the Pyrenees valleys of Aragon, Spain, primarily in the comarcas of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza/Ribagorça.[1][2] It is the only modern language which survived from medieval Navarro-Aragonese in a form distinct from Spanish.

Historically, people referred to the language as fabla ('talk' or 'speech'). Native Aragonese people usually refer to it by the names of its local dialects such as cheso (from Valle de Hecho) or patués (from the Benasque Valley).


The gradual retreat of Aragonese under the pressure of Castilian (Spanish).

Aragonese, which developed in portions of the Ebro basin, can be traced back to the High Middle Ages. It spread throughout the Pyrenees to areas where languages similar to modern Basque might have been previously spoken. The Kingdom of Aragon (formed by the counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza) expanded southward from the mountains, pushing the Moors farther south in the Reconquista and spreading the Aragonese language.

The union of the Catalan counties and the Kingdom of Aragon which formed the 12th-century Crown of Aragon did not merge the languages of the two territories; Catalan continued to be spoken in the east and Navarro-Aragonese in the west, with the boundaries blurred by dialectal continuity. The Aragonese Reconquista in the south ended with the cession of Murcia by James I of Aragon to the Kingdom of Castile as dowry for an Aragonese princess.

The best-known proponent of the Aragonese language was Johan Ferrandez d'Heredia, the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller in Rhodes at the end of the 14th century. He wrote an extensive catalog of works in Aragonese and translated several works from Greek into Aragonese (the first in medieval Europe).

The spread of Castilian (Spanish), the Castilian origin of the Trastámara dynasty, and the similarity between Castilian (Spanish) and Aragonese facilitated the recession of the latter. A turning point was the 15th-century coronation of the Castilian Ferdinand I of Aragon, also known as Ferdinand of Antequera.

In the early 18th century, after the defeat of the allies of Aragon in the War of the Spanish Succession, Philip V ordered the prohibition of the Aragonese language in schools and the establishment of Castilian (Spanish) as the only official language in Aragon. This was ordered in the Aragonese Nueva Planta decrees of 1707.

In recent times, Aragonese was mostly regarded as a group of rural dialects of Spanish. Compulsory education undermined its already weak position; for example, pupils were punished for using it. However, the 1978 Spanish transition to democracy heralded literary works and studies of the language.

Modern Aragonese

Multicolored map of Aragon
Aragonese dialect map

Aragonese is the native language of the Aragonese mountain ranges of the Pyrenees, in the comarcas of Somontano, Jacetania, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza. Cities and towns in which Aragonese is spoken are Huesca, Graus, Monzón, Barbastro, Bielsa, Chistén, Fonz, Echo, Estadilla, Benasque, Campo, Sabiñánigo, Jaca, Plan, Ansó, Ayerbe, Broto, and El Grado.

It is spoken as a second language by inhabitants of Zaragoza, Huesca, Ejea de los Caballeros, or Teruel. According to recent polls, there are about 25,500 speakers (2011)[2] including speakers living outside the native area. In 2017, the Dirección General de Política Lingüística de Aragón estimated there were 10,000 to 12,000 active speakers of Aragonese.[1]

In 2009, the Languages Act of Aragon (Law 10/2009) recognized the "native language, original and historic" of Aragon. The language received several linguistic rights, including its use in public administration.[3][4] Some of the legislation was repealed by a new law in 2013 (Law 3/2013).[5] [See Languages Acts of Aragon for more information on the subject]


Main article: Aragonese dialects



Animated territorial map of Spain
Aragonese expanded into the territories of the Kingdom of Aragon from the 12th to the 16th centuries.

Aragonese has many historical traits in common with Catalan. Some are conservative features that are also shared with the Asturleonese languages and Galician–Portuguese, where Spanish innovated in ways that did not spread to nearby languages.

Shared with Catalan

Shared with Catalan and Spanish

Shared with Spanish

Shared with neither


Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a


Consonant phonemes
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive voiceless p t t͡ʃ k
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative f θ s ʃ
Approximant central j w
lateral l ʎ
Flap ɾ
Trill r


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2023)

Before 2023, Aragonese had three orthographic standards:

During the 16th century, Aragonese Moriscos wrote aljamiado texts (Romance texts in Arabic script), possibly because of their inability to write in Arabic. The language in these texts has a mixture of Aragonese and Castilian traits, and they are among the last known written examples of the Aragonese formerly spoken in central and southern Aragon.[12]

Comparison of Aragonese orthographies[13]
Sounds and features Academia de l'Aragonés Grafía de Uesca (1987) Grafía SLA
/a/ a a a
/b/ b, v according to Latin etymology
Ex: bien, servicio, val, activo, cantaba, debant
Ex: bien, serbizio, bal, autibo, cantaba, debán
b, v according to Medieval etymology, as in Catalan and Occitan
Ex: bien, servício, val, activo, cantava, devant
  • c
  • qu before e, i
  • c
  • qu before e, i
  • c
  • qu before e, i
/kw/ If there is an etymological q, as in Catalan and a bit in Occitan:
  • qu before a, o
  • before e, i
    Ex: quan, qüestión
cu as in Spanish
Ex: cuan, cuestión
If there is an etymological q, as in Catalan and a bit in Occitan:
  • qu before a, o
  • before e, i
    Ex: quan, qüestion
/tʃ/ ch
Ex: chaminera, minchar, chusticia, cheografía
Ex: chaminera, minchar, chustizia, cheografía
  • ch
  • j (g before e, i) according to etymology, as in Catalan and Occitan
    Ex: chaminera, minjar, justícia, geografia
/d/ d d d
/e/ e e e
/f/ f f f
  • g
  • gu before e, i
  • g
  • gu before e, i
  • g
  • gu before e, i
  • gu before a, o
  • before e, i
  • gu before a, o
  • before e, i
  • gu before a, o
  • before e, i
Etymological h
(rendered silent after Latin)
Written according to Latin etymology
Ex: historia, hibierno
Not written
Ex: istoria, ibierno
Written as in Medieval Aragonese and Catalan
Ex: história, hivierno
  • i
  • y as a copulative conjunction
  • i
  • y as a copulative conjunction
  • i
  • y as a copulative conjunction
/l/ l l l
/ʎ/ ll ll ll
/m/ m m m
/n/ n n n
/ɲ/ ny as in Medieval Aragonese and Catalan
Ex: anyada
ñ as in Spanish
Ex: añada
ny as in Medieval Aragonese and Catalan
Ex: anyada
/o/ o o o
/p/ p p p
/ɾ/ r r r
  • rr
  • r- (word-initially)
  • rr
  • r- (word-initially)
  • rr
  • r- (word-initially)
/s/ s (also between two vowels, never *ss) s (also between two vowels, never *ss) s (also between two vowels, never *ss)
/t/ t t t
Etymological final -t
(silent in Modern Aragonese)
Written as in Medieval Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan
Ex: sociedat, debant, chent
Not written
Ex: soziedá, debán, chen
Written as in Medieval Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan
Ex: sociedat, devant, gent
/u, w/ u u u
/jʃ/ (Eastern dialects)
/ʃ/ (Western dialects)
ix as unifying grapheme for all dialects
Ex: baixo, x as in xoriguer
Ex: baxo
  • ix (Eastern dialects), x in some words
  • x (Western dialects)
    Ex: baixo (Eastern) = baxo (Western)
  • y initial and between vowels
  • i in other cases
  • y initial and between vowels
  • i in other cases
  • y initial and between vowels
  • i in other cases
  • z before a, o, u
  • c before e, i (except some loanwords that have z in their etyma)
  • z in final position (but tz as a grapheme reflecting the t+s that became ts in Benasquese in various plurals and verb forms)

Ex: zona, Provenza, fetz, centro, servicio, realizar, verdatz

Ex: zona, Probenza, fez, zentro, serbizio, realizar, berdaz
  • z before a, o, u, in initial position
  • ç before a, o, u, in inner position
  • z in final position
  • c before e, i
  • z in international formations (learned Greek words and loans that have z in their etyma)
    Ex: zona, Provença, fez, centro, servício, realizar, verdaz
Learned Greco-Roman words Assimilatory tendencies not written
Ex: dialecto, extension, and lexico
Assimilatory tendencies written
Ex: dialeuto, estensión, but lecsico
Not all assimilatory tendencies written
Ex: dialecto, extension, and lexico
Accent mark for stress
(accented vowel in bold)
Spanish model, but with the possibility for oxytones to not be accented
  • historia, gracia, servicio
  • mitolochía, cheografía, María, río
  • atención
  • choven, cantaban
Spanish model
  • istoria, grazia, serbizio
  • mitolochía, cheografía, María, río
  • atenzión
  • choben, cantaban
Portuguese, Catalan and Occitan model
  • história, grácia, servício
  • mitologia, geografia, Maria, rio
  • atencion
  • joven, cantavan

In 2023, a new orthographic standard has been published by the Academia Aragonesa de la Lengua.[14] This version is close to the Academia de l'Aragonés orthography, but with the following differences: /kw/ is always spelled ⟨cu⟩, e. g. cuan, cuestión (exception is made for some loanwords: quad, quadrívium, quark, quásar, quáter, quórum); /ɲ/ is spelled ⟨ny⟩ or ⟨ñ⟩ by personal preference; final ⟨z⟩ is not written as ⟨tz⟩.

The marginal phoneme /x/ (only in loanwords, e. g. jabugo) is spelled j in the Uesca, Academia de l'Aragonés and Academia Aragonesa de la Lengua standards (not mentioned in the SLA standard). Additionally, the Academia de l'Aragonés and Academia Aragonesa de la Lengua orthographies allow the letter j in some loanwords internationally known with it (e. g. jazz, jacuzzi, which normally have /tʃ/ in the Aragonese pronunciation) and also mention the letters k and w, also used only in loanwords (w may represent /b/ or /w/).


Aragonese grammar has a lot in common with Occitan and Catalan,[15] but also Spanish.


The definite article in Aragonese has undergone dialect-related changes, [clarification needed] with definite articles in Old Aragonese similar to their present Spanish equivalents. There are two main forms:

Masculine Feminine
Singular el la
Plural els/es las/les

These forms are used in the eastern and some central dialects.

Masculine Feminine
Singular lo/ro/o la/ra/a
Plural los/ros/os las/ras/as

These forms are used in the western and some central dialects.[16]


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Neighboring Romance languages have influenced Aragonese. Catalan and Occitan influenced Aragonese for many years. Since the 15th century, Spanish has most influenced Aragonese; it was adopted throughout Aragon as the first language, limiting Aragonese to the northern region surrounding the Pyrenees. French has also influenced Aragonese; Italian loanwords have entered through other languages (such as Catalan), and Portuguese words have entered through Spanish. Germanic words came with the conquest of the region by Germanic peoples during the fifth century, and English has introduced a number of new words into the language.


Words that were part of the Latin second declension—as well as words that joined it later on—are usually masculine:

Words that were part of the Latin first declension are usually feminine:

Some Latin neuter plural nouns joined the first declension as singular feminine nouns:

Words ending in -or are feminine:

The names of fruit trees usually end in -era (a suffix derived from Latin -aria) and are usually feminine:

The genders of river names vary:


Just like most other Occitano-Romance languages, Aragonese has partitive and locative clitic pronouns derived from the Latin inde and ibi: en/ne and bi/i/ie; unlike Ibero-Romance.

Such pronouns are present in most major Romance languages (Catalan en and hi, Occitan ne and i, French en and y, and Italian ne and ci/vi).

En/ne is used for:

Bi/hi/ie is used for:


Main article: Aragonese-language literature

Aragonese was not written until the 12th and 13th centuries; the history Liber Regum [an],[17] Razón feita d'amor,[17] Libre dels tres reys d'orient,[17] and Vida de Santa María Egipcíaca date from this period;[17][18] there is also an Aragonese version of the Chronicle of the Morea, differing also in its content and written in the late 14th century called Libro de los fechos et conquistas del principado de la Morea.

Early modern period

Since 1500, Spanish has been the cultural language of Aragon; many Aragonese wrote in Spanish, and during the 17th century the Argensola brothers went to Castile to teach Spanish.[19] Aragonese became a popular village language.[12] During the 17th century, popular literature in the language began to appear. In a 1650 Huesca literary contest, Aragonese poems were submitted by Matías Pradas, Isabel de Rodas and "Fileno, montañés".[citation needed]

Contemporary literature

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The 19th and 20th centuries have seen a renaissance of Aragonese literature in several dialects. In 1844, Braulio Foz's novel Vida de Pedro Saputo was published in the Almudévar (southern) dialect. The 20th century featured Domingo Miral's costumbrist comedies and Veremundo Méndez Coarasa's poetry, both in Hecho (western) Aragonese; Cleto Torrodellas' poetry and Tonón de Baldomera's popular writings in the Graus (eastern) dialect and Arnal Cavero's costumbrist stories and Juana Coscujuela's novel A Lueca, historia d'una moceta d'o Semontano, also in the southern dialect.

Aragonese in modern education

The 1997 Aragonese law of languages stipulated that Aragonese (and Catalan) speakers had a right to the teaching of and in their own language.[20] Following this, Aragonese lessons started in schools in the 1997–1998 academic year.[20] It was originally taught as an extra-curricular, non-evaluable voluntary subject in four schools.[21] However, whilst legally schools can choose to use Aragonese as the language of instruction, as of the 2013–2014 academic year, there are no recorded instances of this option being taken in primary or secondary education.[21] In fact, the only current scenario in which Aragonese is used as the language of instruction is in the Aragonese philology university course, which is optional, taught over the summer and in which only some of the lectures are in Aragonese.[21]

Pre-school education

In pre-school education, students whose parents wish them to be taught Aragonese receive between thirty minutes to one hour of Aragonese lessons a week.[21] In the 2014–2015 academic year there were 262 students recorded in pre-school Aragonese lessons.[21]

Primary school education

The subject of Aragonese now has a fully developed curriculum in primary education in Aragon.[21] Despite this, in the 2014–2015 academic year there were only seven Aragonese teachers in the region across both pre-primary and primary education and none hold permanent positions, whilst the number of primary education students receiving Aragonese lessons was 320.[21]

As of 2017 there were 1068 reported Aragonese language students and 12 Aragonese language instructors in Aragon.[22]

Secondary school education

There is no officially approved program or teaching materials for the Aragonese language at the secondary level, and though two non-official textbooks are available (Pos ixo... Materials ta aprender aragonés (Benítez, 2007) and Aragonés ta Secundaria (Campos, 2014)) many instructors create their own learning materials. Further, most schools with Aragonese programs that have the possibility of being offered as an examinative subject have elected not to do so.

As of 2007 it is possible to use Aragonese as a language of instruction for multiple courses; however, no program is yet to instruct any curricular or examinative courses in Aragonese. As of the 2014–2015 academic year there were 14 Aragonese language students at the secondary level.[23]

Higher education

Aragonese is not currently a possible field of study for a bachelor's or postgraduate degree in any official capacity, nor is Aragonese used as a medium of instruction. A bachelor's or master's degree may be obtained in Magisterio (teaching) at the University of Zaragoza; however, no specialization in Aragonese language is currently available. As such those who wish to teach Aragonese at the pre-school, primary, or secondary level must already be competent in the language by being a native speaker or by other means. Further, prospective instructors must pass an ad hoc exam curated by the individual schools at which they wish to teach in order to prove their competence, as there are no recognized standard competency exams for the Aragonese language.

Since the 1994–1995 academic year, Aragonese has been an elective subject within the bachelor's degree for primary school education at the University of Zaragoza's Huesca campus.[23]

The University of Zaragoza's Huesca campus also offers a Diploma de Especialización (These are studies that require a previous university degree and have a duration of between 30 and 59 ECTS credits.) in Aragonese Philology with 37 ECTS credits.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d Perez, R. (2017-02-21). "El aragonés: la lengua romance que ya solo hablan el 1% de los aragoneses" [Aragonese: the Romance language that already only 1% of Aragonese speak]. ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Reyes, Anchel; Gimeno, Chabier; Montañés, Miguel; Sorolla, Natxo; Esgluga, Pep; Martínez, Juan Pablo (2017). L'aragonés y lo catalán en l'actualidat. Analisi d'o Censo de Población y Viviendas de 2011 (in Aragonese). Zaragoza. ISBN 978-84-16723-25-6 – via book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. ^ Languages Act of Aragon Archived 2019-07-21 at the Wayback Machine Official Bulletin of Aragon
  4. ^ Ley 10/2009, de 22 de diciembre, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas propias de Aragón. BOE núm. 30, de 4 de febrero de 2010, páginas 9875 a 9887
  5. ^ Ley 3/2013, de 9 de mayo, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas y modalidades lingüísticas propias de Aragón. BOE núm. 138, de 10 de junio de 2013, páginas 43654 a 43662
  6. ^ Aragonese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  7. ^ Estudio de Filología Aragonesa (2017). Gramatica basica de l'Aragonés (Texto Provisional). Zaragoza: Edicions Dichitals de l'Academia de l'Aragonés.
  8. ^ Simón, Javier (2016). Fonética y fonología del aragonés: una asignatura pendiente. Universidad de Zaragoza.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ Rijk, Rudolf P. G. de (2008). Standard Basque : a progressive grammar. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262042420. OCLC 636283146.
  10. ^ Primer Congreso ta ra Normalizazion de l’aragonés (1987). Normas graficas de l'aragonés: Emologatas en o I Congreso ta ra Normalización de l'aragonés (PDF) (in Aragonese). Uesca: Publicazions d’o Consello d’a Fabla Aragonesa. ISBN 84-86036-19-4. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-10-14.((cite book)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ Academia de l'Aragonés (2010), Propuesta ortografica de l'Academia de l'Aragonés (PDF) (in Aragonese), archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-11
  12. ^ a b Vespertino Rodríguez, Antonio (2002–2004). "El aragonés de la literatura aljamiado-morisca" (PDF). Archivo de filología aragonesa (in Spanish). 59–60 (2): 1731–1756. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09.
  13. ^ Some orthographic details related to local dialects are not listed.
  14. ^ Academia Aragonesa de la Lengua - Instituto de l'Aragonés Ortografía de l'aragonés
  15. ^ Tomás Arias, Javier (2016). Elementos de lingüística contrastiva en aragonés: estudio de algunas afinidades con gascón, catalán y otros romances [Elements of Contrastive Linguistics in Aragonese: A Study of Certain Affinities with Gascon, Catalan and Other Romance Languages] (Doctoral thesis) (in Spanish). Universitat de Barcelona. hdl:2445/108282.
  16. ^ Nagore, Francho (1989). Gramática de la Lengua Aragonesa [Grammar of the Aragonese Language] (in Spanish). Zaragoza: Mira Editores.
  17. ^ a b c d Enguita Utrilla, José María (1991). I Curso sobre lengua y literatura en Aragón (Edad Media) [Course I on Language and Literature in Aragon (Middle Ages)] (in Spanish). Zaragoza: Institución Fernando el Católico. ISBN 9788478200917.
  18. ^ see Paul the Deacon (1977). La Vida de Santa María Egipiciaqua (in Spanish). University of Exeter. ISBN 9780859890670., a fourteenth-century translation into Old Castilian from Latin of a work by Paul the Deacon
  19. ^ Carrasquer Launed, Francisco (1993). "Cinco oscenses: Samblancat, Alaiz, Acín, Maurín y Sender, en la punta de lanza de la prerrevolución española" [Five Oscenses: Samblancat, Alaiz, Acín, Maurín and Sender, at the Spearhead of the Spanish Pre-revolution]. Alazet: Revista de filología (in Spanish). 5: 16–17. ... aragoneses eran los hermanos Argensola, que según el dicho clásico subieron a Castilla desde Barbastro a enseñar castellano a los castellanos ...
  20. ^ a b Huguet, Ángel; Lapresta, Cecilio; Madariaga, José M. (2008). "A Study on Language Attitudes Towards Regional and Foreign Languages by School Children in Aragon, Spain". International Journal of Multilingualism. 5 (4): 275–293. doi:10.1080/14790710802152412. S2CID 144326159.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Martínez Cortés, Juan Pablo; Paricio Martín, Santiago J. (2017). The Aragonese Language in Education in Spain (PDF). Leeuwarden: Mercator. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09.
  22. ^ " Torres-Oliva, M., Petreñas, C., Huguet, Á., & Lapresta, C. (2019). The legal rights of Aragonese-speaking schoolchildren: The current state of Aragonese language teaching in Aragon (Spain). Language Problems & Language Planning, 43(3), 262–285.
  23. ^ a b van Dongera, R., Krol-Hage, R. (Ed.), Sterk, R. (Ed.), Terlaak Poot, M. (Ed.), Martínez Cortés, J. P., & Paricio Martín, J. (2016). Aragonese: The Aragonese language in education in Spain. (Regional dossiers series). Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning.
  24. ^ Diploma de Especialización en Filología Aragonesa - Universidad de Zaragoza, accessed on 01 February 2023.

Further reading