|Region||Gallura (northern Sardinia)|
Languages and dialects of Sardinia
Gallurese (gadduresu) is a Romance dialect of the Italo-Dalmatian family spoken in the region of Gallura, northeastern Sardinia. Gallurese is variously described as a distinct southern dialect of Corsican or transitional language of the dialect continuum between Corsican and Sardinian. "Gallurese International Day" (Ciurrata Internaziunali di la Linga Gadduresa) takes place each year in Palau (Sardinia) with the participation of orators from other areas, including Corsica.
Gallurese is generally considered a southern Corsican dialect, sharing close resemblance in morphology and vocabulary with the dialects of Sartene and Porto-Vecchio on Corsica, whereas its phonology and syntax are similar to those of Sardinian. One third of Gallurese vocabulary is also influenced by Logudorese Sardinian, Catalan, and Spanish.
The Sassarese dialect, spoken in the area of Sassari, shares similar transitional traits between Tuscan, Corsican and Sardinian but, in comparison with Gallurese, is definitely closer to the Logudorese dialects of Sardinian.
The most ancient literary sources in Gallurese date back to the early 17th century, mainly as poetry and religious odes. Some late Middle Age fragments suggest that the formation of the language could be dated to the early 15th century. The origin and the development of Gallurese are debated. Max Leopold Wagner and Maurice Le Lannou argued that successive migration waves from Southern Corsica, promoted under the Aragonese rule to repopulate an area devastated by famine and pandemics, were crucial in the formation of a transitional language.
Gallurese is classified by some linguists as a dialect of Corsican, and by others as a dialect of Sardinian. In any case, a great deal of similarity exists between Southern Corsican dialects and Gallurese, while there is relatively more distance from the neighbouring Sardinian varieties.
Concluding the debate speech, the Sardinian linguist Mauro Maxia stated as follows:
From a historical and geographic point of view, Gallurese might be classed either under Corsican or Sardinian, in light of its presence specific to Sardinia for the last six-seven centuries. From a linguistic point of view, Gallurese might be defined as:
- Predominantly Corsican on a phono-morphological level;
- Predominantly Sardinian on a syntactic level;
- Predominantly Corsican on a lexical level, with a lot of Sardinian, Catalan, and Spanish words, making up around 1/3 of the total vocabulary.
Gallurese is less Corsican than many scholars make it out to be. What makes Gallurese a different language from Corsican, rather than a Corsican dialect, are many grammatical features, especially related to syntax, and the significant number of Sardinian, Catalan and Spanish loanwords.
It can be therefore claimed that, from a grammatical and lexical point of view, Gallurese is a transitional language between Corsican and Sardinian.— Mauro Maxia, Seminar on the Gallurese language, Palau 2014
The Regional Government of Sardinia has recognized Gallurese, along with Sassarese as separate languages, distinct from Sardinian.
An excerpt from a hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
|Standard Italian||Southern Corsican||Gallurese||Sassarese||Logudorese Sardinian||English translation|
Tu sei nata per incanto
Tù sè nata par incantu
Tu sei nata par incantu
Tu sei nadda pà incantu
Tue ses naschida pro incantu
You were born of enchantment
Also the dialects of Gallura and Sassari (spoken along the northern coast) can be classified as varieties of Italian, though they show some affinities with Sardinian. Gallurese is a variety of Southern Corsican whereas Sassarese is a hybrid dialect which evolved during the Middle Ages as a result of the close contact between the native Sardinian population of Sassari and the maritime powers of Pisa and Genoa.