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Old 6th December 2009, 07:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ValenciaSon View Post
Not the same language. I carried a conversation with an Italian with myself speaking in Spanish and her in her language. Does that make Spanish and Italian the same language?
Of course not. I've had Valencian-Romanian conversations myself and that doesn't mean both are the same language.
However, what matters here is the percentage of similarity between the languages. You'll (usually) have less trouble when having a Spanish-Portuguese conversation than a Spanish-french one. This is produced by the similarity not only in lexicon but also in phonology and grammar.
Linguists tend to use a similarity percentage around 90% to check if the "linguistic interference" is enough to spawn a different language.
Spanish-Italian is around 80%, Catalan-Italian is around 82% (a little more similar because of phonetics and the en/ne particle). Catalan-Romanian is something like 70~75% and I was able to converse nonetheless.
But the similarity percentage between Central Valencian (actually the one that deviates the most from the eastern dialects) and standard Central Catalan (Barcelona) is 98~99%. The biggest difference you can get is between the "Apitxat" Central Valencian subdialect and "Capcinès" North-Eastern Catalan, and is around 95%. Get outside the Central Valencian area (i.e. the Southern Valencian I speak) and the percentages rise even more since we've had almost no Aragonese influence.
So no, sorry, Catalan/Valencian are a same language.

Valencian predates Catalan so how can Valencian be the same? I'm trying to go on logic here, not regionalism, provincialism or politics.
Wow, what an awesome discovery! So, when did Valencian appear, according to you?
If you're going to tell me that Mozarabic hypothesis, let me tell you it has no scientific validity. There's no proof at all. No expert in romance languages supports this. Actually, you should take your time and read the few Mozarabic texts that remain from that era (there's some nice poetry in there), and you'll see it's not that similar to Valencian (or at least not more than Eastern Catalan). In fact, the most similar language would be... Old Spanish.
Catalan/Valencian was born as a dialect of old Occitan, in the area of Catalunya Nord (nowadays the south of France). This people conquered the eastern coast and the islands and brought their language to the south. After some time, the difficulty of travelling over the Pyrenees made this dialect diverge enough from the others as to be called a different language (Catalan, or Valencian as we prefer to call it here). The small differences between the Catalan dialects appeared because of travelling difficulties and the tendence of the conquered lands to conserve a more archaic language (this is a known phenomenon; check European Spanish vs Central American Spanish, or European French vs Quebecois; there's more difference in both cases than in Catalan/Valencian).
The first mention of "Catalan" as a language appears in a juridic text from the city of València, written by a Valencian and referring to the language the people in the city were speaking. The term "Valencian", referring to language/nationality is found in more modern texts, and mainly noting the differences between both forms of the language. Old Valencian writers used the word "Valencian" when writing to their colleagues and "Catalan" when in other countries.
During the Renaissance, València had a strong economical growth, which increased the number of artists, and hence, the cultural renown. So the writers (both Valencian and from the north, even some Occitans) started referring to the language as Valencian (thus identifying themselves as Valencians and increasing their payroll because of their renown).
Later, the Renaissance died out and most people returned to the old name (Catalan), while in the Kingdom of València they kept calling the whole language Valencian.
Things were like that for centuries, until some dudes in the 60s~80s of the 20th century started promoting the idea of the different languages because of political reasons. This caught well because of the traditional rivalry between the cities of València and Barcelona (most people elsewhere didn't care), and grew because of Terra Lliure. Once Terra Lliure disbanded, support began to fall, and this is nowadays an idea mostly supported by some people around the city of València (remember that rivalry) and Spanish centralist parties (who really don't care about the language but are paranoid about independentism, so they use this to indirectly attack Catalan).

I think it has to be defined in this discussion that a dialect is a version of a language. Since regional langauages of Spain are not versions of Castilian, the Franco tendency to refer to them as dialects is incorrect.
Completely agree, I've tried to define "language" and "dialect" in previous posts.

Last edited by Kralizec; 6th December 2009 at 07:29 PM.
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