By Sumeet Khosa
catalan_language.png
The extent of its history is not so certain, but during the 15th century Catalan made its way to becoming the second most popular language in Spain. Spoken on the northeastern shores of Spain and Southwest France, the language was barred from the public spectrum when General Franco took control. The use of propaganda was tried to stop the use of the language, but publication and theater use was never stopped, and the people in Catalan continued to use it in informal forum. Although it was barred in Spain, the language was never shunned by the French government and maintained some popularity in Southwest France. By 1978, a new constitution was place in place, restoring power to autonomous regions of Spain to make independent decision for themselves. This allowed Catalan to become the co-official language with Castellano in Cataluna. Residents of Cataluna as well as the Balearic Islands and Valencia started to use the language as a strong badge of identity.

Although it has similar characteristics to Castellano, it is a lot closer to Latin compared to Castellano. Some of the difference can be seen in these simple examples.

Latin
Spanish (Castellano)
nos (alterum)
nosotros
fratrem germānum (acc.) (lit. "true brother", i.e. not a cousin)
hermano
dies Martis (Classical)
feria tertia (Ecclesiastical)
martes
cantiō (nem, acc.), canticum
canción
magis or plus
más
(archaically also plus)
manum sinistram (acc.)
mano izquierda
(also mano siniestra)
nihil or nullam rem natam (acc.)
(lit. "no thing born")
nada

Catalan
nosaltres
germà
dimarts
cançó
més
(archaically also pus)
mà esquerra
res
Some other common features shown in Catalan are the constants and how they vary from Spanish constants.


Catalan Constants

Bilabial
Labio-dental
Dental/
Alveolar
Palatal
Velar
Nasal
m

n
ɲ
ŋ
Affricate
voiceless


(ts)


voiced


(dz)


Fricative
voiceless

f
s
ɕ

voiced

(v)
z
ʑ

Approximant



j
w
Lateral


l
ʎ


Spanish consonants


Bilabial
Labio-dental
Dental
Alveolar
Palatal
Velar
Nasal
m


n
ɲ

Stop
p b

t̪ d̪

k ɡ
Fricative
(β̞)
f (v)
*θ (ð̞)
s (z)

x (ɣ˕)
Lateral



l




Bibliography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castellano
Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259
Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1999), "Catalan", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 61–65

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_phonology
The Resurgence of Catalan Earl W. Thomas Hispania, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Mar., 1962), pp. 43–48

Photo Source
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Mapa_dialectal_del_catal%C3%A0-valenci%C3%A0.png