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a language of Catalonia, quite closely related to Spanish and Provençal, belonging to the Romance group of the Indo-European family
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Catalans, which belongs to the Romance group of languages.

Catalan is spoken by more than 5 million people (1967, estimate) in Spain, Andorra, France, and the Balearic Islands. The dialects of modern Catalan are divided into two groups—oriental (the Central dialect, including the city of Barcelona, as well as the Balearic, Roussillon, and Alghero dialects) and occidental (the Lérida and Valencia dialects). The Central dialect is the basis of the literary language. The founder of the modern literary language and the most prominent writer of the 19th century was J. Verdaguer.

Catalan has much in common with both Spanish and Proven-gal. One of the distinctive features of its grammatical structure is the periphrastic preterite (the verb anar, “to go,” plus infinitive), which replaces the simple past. The pronominal system is characterized by an abundance of adverbal forms which generate groups made up of two or three units.


Shishmarev, V. F. Ocherki po istorii iazykov Ispanii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Vasil’eva-Shvede, O. K. “O meste katalanskogo sredi romanskikh iazykov.” Uch. zap. LGU, 1961, NO. 299, ISSUE 59.
Badia Margaret, A. Gramática catalana, vols. 1–2. Madrid, 1962.
Fabra, P. Diccionari general de la llengua catalana. Barcelona, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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