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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



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.


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