|Spoken in|| Spain|
|Region||León, Zamora and Salamanca (Spain), and northeast Portugal|
|Total speakers||50.000 |
|Official language in||special protection status in Castile and Leon, Spain|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.|
The Leonese language (Llingua Llïonesa) developed from Vulgar Latin with contributions from the pre-Roman languages which were spoken in the territory of the Spanish provinces of León, Zamora, and Salamanca and in some villages in the District of Bragança, Portugal. Close to Mirandese and Asturian or Bable, it belongs to Leonese or Astur-Leonese subgroup of Iberian languages. Most authors speak of a Leonese language or historical dialect from Latin, and of Asturian and Mirandese as co-dialects of Leonese .
language and took shape in the early Middle Ages. At that time, Leonese was the official language of the Leonese Kingdom and achieved a high codification grade . Leonese developed a proper codification in the territories of the actual provinces of León, Zamora and Salamanca and in the Leonese territories in the actual Portugal, especially in the District of Braganza.Template:Fact So, the local laws called "Fueros" are mainly written in Leonese, and the documentation from the monasteries in this land is also in Leonese.
The first written text in Leonese is the Nodicia de Kesos (959 or 974); other works in the language include Fueru de Llión, Fueru de Salamanca, Fueru Xulgu, Códice d'Alfonsu XI, ou Disputa d'Elena y María or Llibru d'Alixandre.
The Modern Era signifies a new opportunity for Leonese to show that big writers could also use it for writing important pieces. Writers like Torres Naharro, Juan del Encina, Lucas Fernández or Torres Villarroel in the Modern Era cultivated Leonese, which however came on the verge of disappearance during the XIXth century.
International philologues of the XIXth century, like Gessner, Hanssen, Staaff or Menéndez Pidal, in Europe and America, started to describe Leonese. Some writers like Caitano Bardón (Cuentos en Dialecto Leonés), Luis Maldonado or Aragón Escacena (Entre brumas) restarted the Leonese literature in the early XXth century.
[[File:|right|thumb|Cuentos del Sil cover]]There is a new generation of writers in Leonese, especially in urban areas, that are developing new creations. One of the best examples is "Cuentos del Sil", a Leonese language book promoted by Leonese language associations El Fueyu and El Toralín who had the support of Leonese Provincial Government. There are nine writers, from teenagers to old people, but most of them under their forties, that developed stories in Leonese. All the writers had a relationship with the lands where the Sil river runs.
The situation of Leonese as a minority language has driven Leonese to near extinction and is considered a seriously endangered language by the UNESCO . There are some efforts to gain acceptance among the urban population, (the Leonese Council and other municipalities such as Zamora, Coyanza, Mansilla de las Mulas or La Bañeza made campaigns in and for teaching Leonese). Leonese language associations and some administrations are now promoting its knowledge and use, especially León City Council where it is widely used in their internet communications.
Internet was a new field for promoting and developing Leonese, where Leonese grammar is being fixed. The main reason is that Leonese has seen more publications in Internet in the last year than books were edited. In this sense, Leonese has seen great progress in being permitted the creation of associations like puntuLLI, for requesting a Top Level Domain for the Leonese language and culture.
At the end of the 1990s, several associations unofficially promoted Leonese language courses. In 2001, the Universidad de León (University of León) created a course for teachers of Leonese , and local and provincial governments developed Leonese language courses for adults. Nowadays, Leonese can be studied in the most important villages of Leon, Zamora and Salamanca provinces in El Fueyu Courses, after the signing of an agreement between the Leonese Provincial Government and this organization. Leonese Language Teachers and Monitors Association (Asociación de Profesores y Monitores de Llingua Llïonesa) was created in 2008 for the promotion of Leonese language activities.
Leonese language lessons started in 2008 with two schools, and are currently taught in sixteen schools in León city in 2008-2009, promoted by the Leonese Local Government's Department for Education. This Leonese language course is for pupils in their 5th and 6th year of Primary School (children 11 and 12 years old), where Leonese is taught along with Leonese culture.
In the course 2008-2009 107 persons are studying Leonese in the Municipality of León. There are five levels for adults in the official courses organized by the Department for Leonese Culture of the Leonese City Council .
Leonese had official status, along with English, in the XXIX World Armwrestling Championship that was celebrated in León in 2009
The I Festival Internacional Reinu de Llión had its name in Leonese language, and was, with Spanish and English, the official language of the event.
The Linguasphere code for Leonese is 51-AAA-cc.
"Leonese language will be a subject of specific protection by the institutions, due to its particular value in the Community's linguistic patrimony. Its protection, use and promotion will be subject of regulamentation".
The Province of León government supports the knowledge of this language through courses, by celebrating "Leonese Language Days" and by sponsoring literary efforts in Leonese, such as "Cuentos del Sil", where nine writers from teen-agers to people in their eighties develop several stories in Leonese.
Leonese Local Government uses Leonese langage in its Official Web Site. Leonese language is also present in some of its bureaus like Education, Leonese Culture and New Technologies, and organizes courses for adults; in 2007 they organized the Leonese Language Day. Activities as "I Ciclu de Conferencias Reinu de Llión", "I Xornadas Cultura Llïonesa y Deporte", "II Xornadas de Cultura Llïonesa y Deporte", "Reinu de Llión: Descubri un país", "I Campionatu de Bandas de Gaitas del País Llïonés, "I Ciclu de Jazz Feichu en Llión", "Escultura nel Patiu'l Palaciu or "II Ciclu de Conferencias Reinu de Llión" were officially advertised in Leonese language the activities.
Leonese language has a system with 5 vowels in a stressed position, represented a,e,i,o,u and three (two archiphonemes /I/, /U/ and one phoneme /a/) in non-stressed position, represented with e,u,a at the end of word
Leonese language has evolved from Latin, keeping some linguistic structures different from other Romance languages. The mostly of Leonese vocabulary came from Latin. Other languages, like the Celtic languages and Germanic languages had an influence on Leonese, too.
The main desinences are "u" for masculine singular and "os" for masculine plural. For the feminine, the desinences are "a" for the singular and "as" for the plural.
Leonese language has two genders (masculine and feminine) and two numbers (singular and plural) The main desinences are "u" for masculine singular and "os" for masculine plural. For the feminine, the desinences are "a" for the singular and "as" for the plural. For both are "e" for singluar and "es" for the plural.
Adjectives have a concordance in gender and number with the name.
There are three conjugations in Leonese language vebs, depending on the desinence of the infinitives:
There are two divisions in Leonese language gerunds depending on the desinence:
There are three kinds of participes in Leonese language:
Posesives in Leonese language, like in other Romance languages, must have the article before the possesive. These are:
Leonese language uses apostrophe with some prepositions like "en", "de", or "pa" (n', d', p') when afeter comes a vowel (sometimes just an "a" like "pa").
Leonese Language Day (Día de la Llingua Llïonesa, in Leonese), is a celebration for promoting the Leonese language and the advances in its field and was the result of a protocol signed between Leonese Provincial Government and the Cultural Association for Leonese Language El Fueyu .
Leonese Language Day started on June 10, 2006 and was organised by the Asociación Cultural de la Llingua Llïonesa El Fueyu with the collaboration of other linguistic and cultural organizations and the support of the Provincial and Local governments of León with a recital where personalities from the cultural, universaitary, associative and political world of León recited peoems and stories in Leonese language.
Since 2007, it is officially organised by the León City Council with the collaboration of Leonese language associations. Activities developed on this day mix traditional Leonese music with the exhibition of new works about Leonese, mainly books and films, and representation of theater plays, poetry recitals and conferences. Also, 2008 edition, gave an important role to the new technologies.
In 2009 edition, the Government of León gave their official diploms to the students of Leonese language, the schools that taught Leonese and the adult people that attended the courses of "Llingua Llïonesa". It counted with 300 hundred people.
On February 21, International Mother Language Day, a common press comunicate was made by the most important Leonese language associations: Asociación puntuLLI, Asociación Cultural de la Llingua Llïonesa El Fueyu, Asociación Berciana en Defensa de la Llingua Llïonesa El Toralín, Asociación de la Llingua Llïonesa La Barda de Salamanca, Mesa Divulgativa Llïonesa de Salamanca y Asociación de Profesores y Monitores de Llingua Llïonesa, in which they supported the development of Leonese, particulary in public administration.
[[File:|align=right|thumb| Asociación puntuLLI]]PuntuLLI Association develops the fight for reaching a Top Level Domain for the Leonese language and culture. There are more than 800 signers and 44 organisations collaborating with it. In addition to the Leon City Council, which uses Leonese in its web site, so other associations, organisations or enterprises use the language in their web sites too.
Leonese is present on the Internet in many on-line dictionaries, some of them, like Logos Dictionary can be consulted in hundreds of languages.
"La comunidá cultural y llinguística llïonesa amuesa un esporpolle curiosu nos cabeiros años. L'emburrie a la creyación, espublización y usu del de la llingua llïonesa al traviés de las TICs, ha cuntare cun un espaciu propiu bien nidiu, cun una marca que nos identifique na comunidá internauta cumu lu que somos, cumu llïoneses. N'esi sen ñaz puntuLLI, un espaciu común pa que tolas asociaciones, coleutivos, istituciones y particulares encalcen la propuesta de creyar un domiñu propiu pa la nuesa cultura y el nuesu idioma: el .LLI"
"Over the last few years, there has been an important development in the Leonese cultural and linguistic community . The drive behind the creation, publication and use of Leonese through the EITs calls for its own well defined niche with a label that would define us in the Internet as Leonese people. The result is puntuLLI, a common niche through which all associations, groups, institutions and private individuals may channel the proposal to create a domain for our culture and language: the .LLI"
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