This week’s language is from Europe: Friulian (Furlan in Friulian). It’s a Romance language, spoken in North-eastern Italy (the north-easternmost corner). It has about 600,000 speakers according to wikipedia, although who knows where that figure came from.* Romance subgrouping and dialectology is a real mess, in an interesting and complicated way, but Friulian is a mass of different varieties, also related to Rumansch and Ladin. Speaking of Ladin (although maybe I should save this for when we get to l in language of the week), there’s a fantastic online dialect atlas for Ladin here. It’s gorgeous – complete with sound files and maps and everything.
Friulian has been attested for about 900 years now. There’s a Swadesh list here.
Some other resources, in no particular order:
- A site with more links than I could ever come up with. In Friulian.
- Some grammar information, and a firefox localisation.
- Seven good reasons for speaking Friulian, in Friulian and English.
- Some more resources and links to other minority languages in Europe.
Of all the languages of the week so far, Furlan/Friulian is the first with obviously more content in the language than in another language about it. My sampling is biased because I tend to look for sites in English (since they are going to be more useful to my readers, I assume), but even allowing for that it was obvious that the web presence of Furlan is mostly created in Furlan, presumably for Furlan speakers. That’s a healthy sign.
* Probably from language-museum.com, a site I refuse to link to because of its name. I sepdn enough time counteracting the idea that language description is putting languages in museums without encouraging a site of this name.