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asturianu, bable
Spoken in  Spain
Region Autonomous Community of Asturias
Total speakers 150,000–400,000[1]
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Latin alphabet
Official status
Official language in None
Regulated by Academy of the Asturian Language (Asturian)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 ast
ISO 639-3 ast

Asturian (Asturianu, or bable,[2]) is a Romance language of the West Iberian group, Astur-Leonese Subgroup, spoken in the Spanish province of Asturias by the Asturian people. In Asturias, even though it is not an official language,[3] it is protected under the Autonomous Statute legislation and is an optional language at schools[4]. As part of the Astur-leonese group, Asturian was formerly considered an informal dialect (basilect) of Spanish. In 1906, however, Ramón Menéndez Pidal showed that the language was a result of Latin evolution[5] in the northern part of the Kingdom of León (9101301) (successor to the former Kingdom of Asturias 718925). Nowadays it is considered a separate language.



The language developed from Vulgar Latin with contributions from the pre-Roman languages, which were spoken in the territory of the Astures, an ancient tribe of the Iberian peninsula. Castilian Spanish came to the area later, in the 14th century, when the central administration sent emissaries and functionaries to occupy political and ecclesiastical offices. Nowadays, Asturian codification of Astur-Leonese spoken in the Asturian Autonomous Community has become a modern language, after the birth of "Academy of the Asturian Language" in 1980. Mirandese is very close to Asturian.


Much effort has been made since 1974 to protect and promote Asturian[6]. In 1994, there were 100,000 first language speakers, and 450,000 second language speakers able to speak or understand Asturian[7]. However, the situation of Asturian is critical, with a large decline in the number of speakers in the last 100 years.

At the end of the 20th century, the Academia de la Llingua Asturiana made efforts to provide the language with most of the tools needed by a language to ensure its survival: a grammar, a dictionary, and periodicals. A new generation of Asturian writers have also championed the language. These developments give the Asturian language a greater hope of survival.

Linguistic areas of Asturias, attending only to scientific criteria.


Many internet pages use the Asturian language; the councils pages, the music groups pages and more. In this area, Ubuntu has the Asturian language as a normal language in their programs for computers. [8]


Although Spanish (Castellano) is the official language used in all schools in Asturias, children are offered optional classes in the Asturian Language from the age of 6. Also, with the new Bologna process people will be able to study Asturian Philology in the same way as Spanish Philology, and school-teachers will be able to do a speciality in the Asturian language. But these two possibilities can only be studied in the University of Oviedo (Asturias).


The grammar of Asturian resembles that of other Romance languages. Nouns have two genders (masculine and feminine), two numbers (singular and plural), and no cases. Adjectives can have a third gender (neuter), a grammatical phenomenon widely studied in the Asturian continuum and known as "matter-neutrality"[9]. Verbs agree with their subjects in person (first, second, or third) and number, and additionally are conjugated to indicate mood (indicative, subjunctive, conditional, or imperative), tense (often present or past; different moods allow different possible tenses), and aspect (perfective or imperfective)[10].


Letter Name Phoneme
A, a a /a/
B, b be /b/
C, c ce /θ/, /k/
D, d de /d/
E, e e /e/
F, f efe /f/
G, g gue /g/
H, h hache --
I, i i /i/
L, l ele /l/
M, m eme /m/
N, n ene /n/
Ñ, ñ eñe /ɲ/
O, o o /o/
P, p pe /p/
R, r erre /r/
S, s ese /s/
T, t te /t/
U, u u /u/
V uve /b/
X xe /ʃ/
Y ye, y griega /i/
Z zeta, zeda, ceda /θ/

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ley 1/1998, de 23 de marzo, de uso y promoción del bable/asturiano.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ See: Euromosaic report
  5. ^ Menéndez Pidal, Ramón (1906): El dialecto leonés. Reedición de 2006. León: El Búho Viajero.
  6. ^ Bauske 1995
  7. ^ Llera Ramo 1994
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Academia de la Llingua Asturiana, Gramática de la Llingua Asturiana, tercera edición, Oviedo: Academia de la Llingua Asturiana (2001), ISBN 84-8168-310-8,
  10. ^ Academia de la Llingua Asturiana, Gramática de la Llingua Asturiana, tercera edición, Oviedo: Academia de la Llingua Asturiana (2001), ISBN 84-8168-310-8, (Asturian language has three genres (femenine, masculine and neutrum used mainly for uncountable substances). The genre is shown in the pronouns and the adjetives, and because of that there is no apparent agreement with neutrum substantives such as la ñeve blanco)


  • (Spanish) Llera Ramo, F. (1994) Los Asturianos y la Lengua Asturiana: Estudio Sociolingüístico para Asturias-1991. Oviedo: Consejería de Educación y Cultura del Principado de Asturias ISBN 84-7847-297-5.
  • Wurm, Stephen A. (ed) (2001) Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing. Unesco ISBN 92-3-103798-6.

External links

Asturian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Simple English

The Asturian language is the native language of Asturias. About 150,000 people speak it in Asturias. This language is very similar to Leonese Language, spoken in other territories that once made up the Kindgom of León (León, Western Zamora, Salamanca and Northwestern Cáceres where is called extremaduran), and to Mirandes Language, spoken in Miranda do Douro in Portugal. In Asturias, primary and secondary students can choose to study it.

This language has its own Wikipedia Project.


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