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Title: Gallurese  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Corsican language, Sardinia, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Sassari, Sartène, Palatal approximant, Voiceless palatal stop, Languages of Italy, Corsican people, Southern Romance languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Native to Italy
Region Gallura, northeastern Sardinia
Native speakers 100,000  (1993)
Language family
Official status
Official language in  Sardinia
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sdn
Linguist List
Linguasphere 51-AAA-pd
Languages and dialects of Sardinia

Gallurese (gadduresu) is an Italo-Dalmatian Romance language spoken in the northeastern part of Sardinia. It is often considered as a variety of Corsican, or a transitional language between Corsican and Sardinian. The language takes its name from the region of Gallura.

Grammatical structure, pronunciation and many terms reflect a certain closeness to Corsican, showing many similarities with the southern Corsican dialects of Sartene and Porto-Vecchio, with which it shared some mutual influences. A substantial part of its vocabulary comes from the Logudorese variety of Sardinian, which was probably spoken in this area in the Middle Ages.

The Sassarese language, spoken in the area of Sassari, also has similar characteristics, even if it is more linked to Logudorese and has a different, both geographical and historical, origin.

Typical constitutional elements of Gallurese

  • the plural form of nouns in -i (ghjanni or polti 'doors') like in Corsican and Italian, and not in -s like in Sardinian (jannas, portas), French, Spanish, Catalan, etc.
  • Latin 'll' has become -dd- (like casteddu, beddu 'castle', 'beautiful'), the same as in Sardinian, southern Corsican and Sicilian (but castellu, bellu in northern Corsican);
  • -r- modified to -l- (poltu 'port', while portu in Corsican and Sardinian);
  • -chj- and -ghj- sounds (ghjesgia 'church', occhji 'eyes'), like in Corsican, while Sardinian is cresia, ogros.
  • articles lu, la, li, like in former Corsican dialects (u, a, i in modern Corsican, su, sa, sos, sas in Sardinian);

Relation to Corsican language

Gallurese is classified by some linguists as a dialect of Corsican, and by others as a dialect of Sardinian. A great deal of similarity exists between Southern Corsican dialects and Gallurese, while there is relatively more distance from the neighbouring Sardinian varieties.

The Regional Government of Sardinia has recognized Gallurese, along with Sassarese as separate languages, distinct from Sardinian.[1]

Sample of text

An excerpt from a hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary.[2]

Gallurese Corsican Logudorese Sardinian Standard Italian English translation

Tu sei nata par incantu
diliziosa elmosùra
la meddu di Locusantu
la più bedda di Gaddura.

Sei bedda chi dugna cori
s’innammurigghja di te
pa l’occhj mei un fiori
ed è la meddu chi c’è.

E socu vecchju canutu
e socu a tempu passendi
parò sempri burrulendi
comu m’eti cunnisciutu

Cantu campu decu fà
sempri onori a Locusantu
ch’è la tarra di l’incantu
di ca' veni a istragnà.

La Patrona di Gaddura
l’emu noi in Locusantu
incurunata da lu cantu
cussì bedda criatura.

Tu sè nata par incantu
diliziosa biddezza
a meddu di Locusantu
a più bedda di Gaddura.

Sè bedda chi ugna cori
s’innamurighja di te
pa' l’occhj mei un fiori
ed è a meddu chi c’è.

E socu vecchju canutu
e socu a tempu passendu
parò sempri burlendu
comu m’eti cunisciutu

Quantu campu devu fà
sempri onori a Locusantu
ch’è a tarra di l’incantu
di qua' veni a sughjurnà.

A' Patrona di Gaddura
l’emu noi in Locusantu
incurunata da u cantu
cusì bedda criatura.

Tue ses naschida pro incantu
delitziosa ermosura
sa menzus de Logusantu
sa prus bella de Gallura.

Ses bella gai chi donzi coro
s'innamorat de a tie
pro sos ogros meos unu frore
e ses sa menzus chi b'est.

E seo betzu e canu
e su tempus meu est colande
però seo semper brullande
comente m'azis connottu.

Pro cantu bivo appo a depper fàghere
semper onore a Logusantu
chi est sa terra 'e s'incantu
de chie benit a l'abbisitare.

Sa patrona de Gallura
la tenimus nois in Logusantu
coronada de su cantu
gai bella creadura.

Tu sei nata per incanto
deliziosa bellezza
la migliore di Locosanto
la più bella di Gallura.

Sei tanto bella che ogni cuore
s'innamora di te
per gli occhi miei una fiore
ed è la migliore chi c’è.

Io sono vecchio e canuto
e sarò a tempo passando
però sempre burlando
come m'avevi conosciuto.

Quanto campi devo fare
sempre onore a Locosanto
chi è la terra dell'incanto
per chiunque chi viene a visitarla.

La patrona di Gallura
abbiamo noi in Locusanto
incoronata di canti
così bella creatura.

You were born from bliss
Delightful beauty
The best one in Locusant
The prettiest of Gallura.

You are so pretty that each heart
Falls in love with you
A flower to my eyes
The best one that ever existed.

I am old and bald
And my time is passing by
But I am always cheering up the same way
Just like when you met me.

No matter how long should I walk
I shall always pay tribute to Locusantu
For it is the land of bliss
To whomever comes to visit it.

The Patron of Gallura
Is here for us in Locusantu
Crowned by hymns
Such a splendid creature.

Hypothesis on the development of Gallurese

The split between Gallurese and Sardinian varieties could perhaps stem from the age of Giudicati, and possibly from the different (direct rather indirect) political control of the Republic of Pisa over Sardinia.

It could be interesting to investigate if the Tuscan ingredients of Gallurese effectively came from this domination, because in this case, a Tuscan influence would have presumedly affected a Sardinian version, resulting in a modified Sardinian version (then it still could be a Sardinian version). It would consequently be classified as a Sardinian language for a genetical reason.

In this hypothesis we were considering Sardinian as if Corsican could modify it, but the contrary could be possible, as well, and there could also be a possible Sardinian influence on Corsican. It could also be that Corsican had been influenced by Sardinian. Or it could eventually be that they both were influenced by the same factors, received in their own territories separately and with different actions, finally producing not so distant results. External influences could consent this hypothesis: Sardinia had a wider population, and in its history has been more subject to foreign influences than Corsica.[dubious ] Invasions and taxes would probably have caused an eventual movement in the direction of the minor island, less probably the other way, even if the establishment of a few groups of Corsicans in Sardinia is known. Also, the little distance between Corsica and Tyrrhenic islands would let suppose more frequent practical contacts, while in Sardinia these contacts were more decisive on a point of local administration.

Similarities do exist also with Maremma, in southern Tuscany-northern Lazio, with which there were no relationships. All this would tend to suggest that a common evolution had interested the areas. Some authors like Maxia believe that, in analogy among themselves, all the coastal areas of Tyrrhenian Sea should have lived an evolutive moment perhaps at the same time. But the point is not obviously the similarity, because it would not be sufficient to a classification. Current central logudorese Sardinian is not similar, in phonetics, to medieval logudorese Sardinian,[3] although no one would ever deny that it is the same languages.

See also


External links

  • Walther von WARTBURG "La fragmentation linguistique de la Romania", Paris, Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1967.
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