The Full Wiki

Nissart: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Niçard article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pronunciation [niˈsaʀt]
Spoken in  France
Region County of Nice, Monaco
Total speakers
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Latin alphabet
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by Conselh de la Lenga Occitana (norme classique) / Félibrige (norme mistralienne)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 oc
ISO 639-2 oci
ISO 639-3 oci

Niçard (Classical orthography), Nissart/Niçart (Mistralian orthography), Niçois (French), or Nizzardo (Italian) is a distinct subdialect of the Occitan language (Provençal dialect) spoken in the city of Nice (Niçard: Niça/Nissa) and in the historical County of Nice (the main part of the current French département of Alpes-Maritimes). In addition to Monégasque, Niçard is also spoken by some in Monaco. Some authors believe Niçard was more closely related to the Gallo-Italian languages (Ligurian) until it ceased to be part of Italy in the 1860s.

Most residents of Nice and its region no longer speak Niçard, and those who do are bilingual in French. Nonetheless, today there is a developing revival of the use of "Nissart". Some local television news is presented in Niçard (with French subtitles) and street signs in the old town of Nice are written in the dialect. The Niçard song Nissa La Bella is often regarded as the "national anthem" of Nice.


Writing system

Niçard is written using two different forms:

  • Classical orthography. Preferring the native traditions of the language, this form was developed by Robert Lafont (Phonétique et graphie du provençal, 1951; L'ortografia occitana, lo provençau, 1972) and Jean-Pierre Baquié (Empari lo niçard, 1984). It is regulated by the Conselh de la Lenga Occitana.
  • Mistralian orthography. Closer to written French, this form owes its existence to the historic joining of the County of Nice to France in 1860. It is codified by Félibrige (although there also exists an Acadèmia Nissarda).
  • An Italian orthography also existed but was abandoned when Nice joined the French empire in 1861 (but was reinstated briefly in 1942/3 when Italy occupied and administered the city).
Orthography Comparison (from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
English Classical Mistralian
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Toti li personas naisson liuri e egali en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadi de rason e de consciéncia e li cau agir entre eli emb un esperit de frairesa. Touti li persouna naisson libri e egali en dignità e en drech. Soun doutadi de rasoun e de counsciència e li cau agì entre eli em' un esperit de frairessa.

Occitan and Ligurian influences

Standard Occitan recognises regional differences. It has been written that Niçard has kept some of the oldest forms of Occitan, other dialects (such as Provençal) having been more "frenchified" by their history.

The original dialect of "Nissa la Bella" (as Nice was called) had strong ties with Monégasque language (Ligurian), due to the geographical proximity of the two languages, and showed strong similarities to the Ligurian language until the middle of the XIX century.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, born in Nice, defined his "Nizzardo" as an Italian dialect with very strong influences from Occitan and French, and - even for this reason - promoted the union of Nice to the Kingdom of Italy. Italian Giulio Vignoli wrote in his book about the "Nizzardo Italian" minority that, after Garibaldi's failed attempt, 11,000 of his supporters (nearly 1/3 of the population of Nice in the 1860s) were forced to move to Italy from Nice and were substituted by the French government with people from nearby Occitan areas: this changed the characteristic of Nissart that started to have many loanwords from Occitan (a language that now it is predominant in the Nissart dialect).[1]

Even today some scholars (like the German Werner Forner, the French Jean-Philippe Dalbera and the Italian Giulia Petracco Sicardi) agree that Niçard has some characteristics (phonetical, lexical and morphological) that are typical of the western Ligurian language.

The French scholar Jean-Philippe Dalbera (in Bernard Cerquiglini's report) pinpoints in his Les langues de France[2] the actual existence of a Ligurian dialect, called Royasque, in the Roya Valley (near Tende), in the westernmost part of the County of Nice. Royasque, which is a Ligurian variety, should not be confused with Niçard.

Most specialists of Romance linguistics see Niçard as a variety of Occitan. Some statements saying that Niçard would be a Ligurian or Italian dialect[3] are not supported by most specialists (see especially Dalbera 1984).[4] Indeed, French scholar Bernard Cerquiglini wrote in his book on the languages of France about the actual existence of a Ligurian minority in Tende, Roquebrune and Menton, a remnant of a bigger medieval "Ligurian" area that included Nice and most of the coastal County of Nice.


  1. ^ Vignoli, Giulio Gli Italiani Dimenticati. Minoranze Italiane In Europa. p. 85-98
  2. ^ DALBERA Jean-Philippe (2003) “Les îlots liguriens de France” [in: CERQUIGLINI Bernard (2003) (dir.) Les langues de France, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France / Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication-DGLFLF, p. 125-136]
  3. ^ Beyond Boundaries: Language and Identity in Contemporary Europe, Chapter Seven
  4. ^ DALBERA Jean-Philippe (1984) Les parlers des Alpes Maritimes: étude comparative, essai de reconstruction [PhD thesis], Toulouse: Université de Toulouse 2 [ed. 1994, London: Association Internationale d’Études Occitanes]


  • ANDREWS James Bruyn (1875) Essai de grammaire du dialecte mentonnais avec quelques contes, chansons et musique du pays, Nice: no name [re-ed. 1978, 1981, Menton: Société d’Art et d’Histoire du Mentonnais]
  • ANDREWS James Bruyn (1877) Vocabulaire français-mentonnais, Nice: no name [re-ed. 1977, Marseilles: Lafitte Reprints]
  • BAQUIÉ Joan-Pèire (1987) (collab. Andrieu SAISSI) Empari lo niçard / Apreni lo provençau, Nice: CRDP Nice / CDDP Alpes Maritimes
  • BEC Pierre (1970-71) (collab. Octave NANDRIS, Žarko MULJAČIĆ), Manuel pratique de philologie romane, Paris: Picard, 2 vol.
  • BLAQUIÈRA J. (no date, 1990's) Dictionnaire français-nissart, langue d'oc, dialecte niçois, self-edited
  • CALVINO Jean-Baptiste (1905) Nouveau dictionnaire niçois-français, Nice: Imprimerie des Alpes Maritimes [re-ed. 1993 with the following title: Dictionnaire niçois-français, français-niçois, Nimes: Lacour]
  • CARLES (Père) Pietro (1866) Piccolo vocabolario nizzardo-italiano, Nice
  • CARLES (Père) Pietro (1868) Piccolo vocabolario italiano-nizzardo, Nice
  • CASTELLANA Georges (1947) Dictionnaire niçois-français [re-ed. 2001, Nice: Serre]
  • CASTELLANA Georges (1952) Dictionnaire français-niçois [re-ed. 2001, Nice: Serre]
  • CERQUIGLINI Bernard (2003) (dir.) Les langues de France, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France / Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication-DGLFLF: 125-136]
  • CERQUIGLINI Bernard (2000) Histoire de la langue française 1945-2000. Co-edited with Gérald Antoine. Paris: CNRS Editions, 2000.
  • CLAPIÉ Jaume, & BAQUIÉ Joan Pèire (2003) Pichin lèxico ilustrat, petit lexique illustré, niçard-françés, français-niçois, Nice: Serre
  • COMPAN André (1965) Grammaire niçoise [re-ed. 1981, Nice: Serre]
  • COMPAN André (1971) Anthologie de la littérature niçoise, coll. Biblioutèco d’istòri literàri e de critico, Toulon: L’Astrado
  • DALBERA Jean-Philippe (1984) Les parlers des Alpes Maritimes: étude comparative, essai de reconstruction [PhD thesis], Toulouse: Université de Toulouse 2 [ed. 1994, London: Association Internationale d’Études Occitanes]
  • DALBERA Jean-Philippe (2003) “Les îlots liguriens de France” [CERQUIGLINI Bernard (2003) (dir.) Les langues de France, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France / Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication-DGLFLF: 125-136]
  • ESCOLA DE BELLANDA (2002) Diciounari nissart-francés, Nice: Fédération des Associations du Comté de Nice / Serre
  • EYNAUDI Jules, & CAPPATI Louis (1931-1938) Dictionnaire de la langue niçoise, Niça: sn.
  • FORNER Werner A propos du ligur intemelien - La cote, l'arrier-pays Traveaux du cercle linguistique de Nice 1996
  • FORNER Werner La dialettologia ligure. Problemi e prospettive in La dialettologia italiana oggi in G. Holtus, Tubingen 1985-1990
  • GASIGLIA Rémy (1984) Grammaire du nissart, sl.: Institut d’Études Niçoises
  • GAUBERTI Pierre (1994) Dictionnaire encyclopédique de la langue de Peille [Pays Niçois], Nice: Serre
  • GIOFFREDO Pietro Storia dele Alpi marittime libri XXIV, in HPM 1839, Torino (originally published in 1662)
  • GIORDAN Joseph (1968) Dictionnaire français-niçois: lexique complémentaire du parler de la ville de Nice et des pays environnants, sl.: sn.
  • GOURDON Marie-Louise (1997) Contribution à l’histoire de la langue occitane. Étude des systèmes graphiques pour écrire l’occitan (niçois, provençal, languedocien) de 1881 à 1919: itinéraires et travaux de A.L. Sardou, J.B. Calvino, L. Funel, A. Perbosc, P. Estieu [PdD thesis], Nice
  • LIAUTAUD René (1985) Essai de lexique français-entraunois avec correspondences en niçois, Nice: CRDP
  • MICEU Giausep (1840) Grammatica nissarda: per emparà en pòou de temp lo patouas dòou paìs, Nice: Imprimarìa de la Sossietà tipografica [re-ed. Marie-Louise GOURDON (1975) La Grammatica nissarda de Joseph Micèu: biographie, étude sur les dialectes, commentaires philologiques, Nice: imprimerie Pierotti]
  • PELLEGRINI (Abbé) (1894) Lexique niçois-français, Nice: no name
  • PETRACCO SICCARDI, Giulia L'amfizona Liguria Provenza Alessandria 1989
  • PETRACCO SICCARDI, Giulia e CAPRINI, Rita Toponomastica storica della Liguria, Genova, SAGEP, 1981
  • PETRACCO SICCARDI, Giulia Ligurien Lexicon der Romanistischen Linguistik II, 2, Tubingen, 1995
  • SARDOU Antoine Léandre, & CALVINO Jean-Baptiste (1881) Grammaire de l’idiome niçois, Nice: Visconti [re-ed. 1978, Marseilles: Laffitte Reprints]
  • SCALIERO Giuseppe (1830) Vocabolario nizzardo, Nice: no name
  • TOSCANO Reinat (1998) Gramàtica niçarda, no place: Princi Néguer
  • VIGNOLI Giulio (2000) Gli Italiani Dimenticati. Minoranze Italiane In Europa. Milano: Editore Giuffrè ISBN 9788814081453

See also



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address