Native toItaly, France
Native speakers
(undated figure of approximately 3,000[citation needed])
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Royasc is a dialect bridging the gap between the Ligurian language and the Occitan language. It is spoken in Italy and France.

Area of use

Area of Royasc in France (blue) and Italy (orange and green)

The Royasc dialect is spoken in the Upper Roya valley, at the boundary of France and Italy. In France, it is spoken in the communes of Breil-sur-Roya, La Brigue, Fontan, Saorge, Tende (Alpes Maritimes). In Italy, it is spoken in the province of Imperia, Liguria - communes of Olivetta San Michele and Triora (only in the villages of Realdo and Verdeggia) and in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont - communes of Briga Alta and the village of Viozene in the commune of Ormea.

The dialect of La Brigue, Briga Alta, Realdo, Viozene, and Verdeggia is also named Brigasc.

History and position

Royasc is the mountainous adaptation of the western Ligurian dialect. It received influence from the Occitan language as the Upper Roya valley was partly ruled by the County of Nice.

Its structure is Ligurian, but its position is discussed: some include it in the Ventimiglia dialect (intemelian)[1] but others consider it a member of a very distinct group of Alpine Ligurian dialects, along with Pignasc and Triorasc.[2]

Tende is one of the alpine areas where Royasc is still spoken

Italian Royasc-speaking communes put themselves under the State Law for the protection of minorities, using the Occitan name to do so.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Werner Forner, "À propos du Ligurien Intémélien. La côte, l'arrière-pays", in Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Nice, 7-8 (1985-1986), pp. 29-61; Werner Forner, "Areallinguistik I: Ligurien", in Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL), IV, Tübingen 1988, pp. 453-469 ; Werner Forner, "Géographie linguistique et reconstruction, à l'exemple du ligurien intémélien", in Actes du I Colloque International sur l'ancien provençal, l'ancien français et l'ancien ligurien, Nice sept. 1986 ("Bulletin du Centre de Romanistique et de Latinité Tardive"), Nice 1989, pp. 125-140
  2. ^ Jean-Philippe DALBERA, "Le royasque: un ensemble dialectal aux confins de la langue d'oc et du ligurien", in Le site du Mont Bego de la protohistoire à nos jours. Actes du colloque de Nice (15-16 mars 2001) par J. Magail e J.P. Jaume, Nice, Serre Éditeur 2005, p. 135-144. See the online map
  3. ^ Servizio Beni e attività culturali della Provincia di Torino, Atlante delle minoranze linguistiche storiche del Piemonte e della Provincia di Imperia, (Download link on the Chambra d'Oc website)