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Italic
Endangered Languages

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Seriously Endangered Languages

Istriot (Istrioto)

Istriot is described as "an archaic Romance language, often confused with Istro-Rumanian. Perhaps closer to Friulian or Dalmatian than to Istro-Rumanian."

Native speakers: 1,000 or fewer (1994 Tapani Salminen) in Western coast of Istrian Peninsula, now only in the towns of Rovinj (Rovigno) and Vodnjan (Dignano). Few children speakers.

  1. Variant(s): Istro-Romance
  2. Geographical location: Croatia: western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, now only in towns of Rovinj (Rovigno) and Vodnjan (Dignano)
  3. Relationships: /Romance/Indo-European
  4. Present state of the language: Seriously endangered
      (a) children speakers: probably none
      (b) mean age of youngest speakers: not known
      (c) distribution by sex:
      (d) total number of speakers, members of the ethnic group: probably less than 1,000
      (e) degree of speakers' competence: all idiolects are likely to be heavily contaminated by Italian
  5. Sources:
      (i) information (about the language): Flavia Ursini: Istro-Romanisch. Lexicon der Romanistische Linguistik. III. Tübingen 1989. 537--548.
      (ii) published and unpublished material (of the language): little published
      (iii) competent scholar(s) and institution(s): Flavia Ursini (Padova)
  6. Remarks: the genetic classification of Istriot is not settled: it is often regarded as an early, i.e. pre-Venetian, off-shot from Italy, but others held that it is a separate branch of Romance or see connections with Friulian or Dalmatian
  7. Compiler: Tapani Salminen, Helsinki, 31 Dec 1993

Istro-Romanian (Istrorumeno)

Istro-Romanian is further described as "structurally a separate language from Romanian (F.B. Agard). Split from the other 3 Romanian languages between 500 and 1000 A.D. Not the same as the Istriot language."

Native speakers: 555 to 1,500 (1994 T. Salminen) in Northeast Istrian Peninsula, Zejane village and a few villages to the south. Few children speakers.

  1. Variant(s): Istrio-Romanian
  2. Geographical location: Croatia: one village, ^Zejane, in the northeast of the Istrian Peninsula, and a few villages south of it
  3. Relationships: / Eastern / Romance / Indo-European
  4. Present state of the language: seriously endangered
      (a) children speakers: probably few
      (b) mean age of youngest speakers:
      (c) distribution by sex:
      (d) total number of speakers, members of the ethnic group: one report gives 1,250 to 1,500 speakers (450 to 500 in Žejane, 800 to 1,000 in the southern villages), another only 555
      (e) degree of speakers' competence: not known, but all speakers are bilingual in Croatian, which certainly has a strong influence on the language
  5. Sources:
      (i) information (about the language): Wolfgang Dahmen: Istrorumänisch. Lexicon der Romanistische Linguistik. III. Tübingen 1989. 448--460.
      (ii) published and unpublished material (of the language): quite little
      (iii) competent scholar(s) and institution(s): Wolfgang Dahmen, Pavao Tekavčić.
  6. Remarks: The high number of speakers assigned to Istro-Romanian in the Ethnologue and, consequently, International Encyclopedia of Linguistics actually refers to Italian (Venetian) speakers in the former Yugoslavia. The third Romance idiom on the Istrian Peninsula, Istriot, is also often confused with Istro-Romania whereas both of these languages are oftentimes also association with the extinguished (?) Dalmatian language and Friulan (Furlan).
  7. Compiler: Tapani Salminen, Helsinki, 31 Dec 1993

Istro-Venetian (Istrian)

Istrian (Istro-Venetian) is a dialect of Venetian, along with Trentine, and Venetian proper. Local variations are identified by location: Polesan, Piranese, Albonese, Fiuman, etc. While the Ethnologue does not report the status of the Istro-Venetian dialect[s], and despite the given numbers of speakers in the Istrian Peninsula, these may also be be endangered.

Per the Ethnologue:

Venetian speakers (of unspecified dialects): 100,000 in Croatia and Slovenia (1994 Tapani Salminen), more specifically in Croatian Istria and Dalmatia, and in Slovenian Istria.

General books and articles:

Sources:

  • http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/endangered.html
  • http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/europe_report.html
  • http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Croatia
  • http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Slovenia
  • http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Italy

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Created: Tuesday, September 09, 2003; Last Updated: Saturday, March 12, 2016
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