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“The Valencian language today.

Synthetic study”



by J. Mª. Guinot i Galan [1]

(Translation by Albert Cuadrado)



The theme that we’re going to developed is of a great importance for the Valencian Language. About the solution that we can give depends the same survive of the language, the literary and the spoken, so both are in danger. Here there’s no other alternative: or Valencian or Catalan. Or we proceed with velocity to complete the codification of the Valencian Language, giving an end to the normalisation process begun with so good labour by the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture and seconded by “Lo Rat Penat”[2] and by valencianist entities and persons of the literarian world; or that wave, unstopping as we can see, of catalanism, that today invades all (university, schools, books, radio, and TV), with the help of actual administration, will make disappear in a little time our Valencian Language. This our language, today incorseted by the Conselleria (autonomic authorities), with an orthography that doesn’t correspond to our phonetics; adulterated by a bombardment of strange and twisted words by the introduction of Catalan morphosyntactic peculiarities, if it doesn’t disappears entirely, supplanted by that nearby language, will be in such form corromped and disfigured that, given the efficacy of the modern mass media of culture and mentalization of the masses, not far along, we will meet with this sad reality: that the real Valencian Language will be only spoken in a small circle of old people, condemned, after a slow death, to be erased from the catalogue of the spoken languages. A language so sweet, that we have spoken with our mother, and we have expressed feelings, affections and the most cherished and intimate thoughts of our heart!.

The object of this work is, basically, grammatical: expose, in great traces, the characteristics of the modern Valencian Language, to demonstrate that they are different from the Catalan. But we can’t put, at least, beside this brief exposition, an analysis, also brief, of the actitude of the human element in front of this problem, without deepen in the reasons or causes that make to some Valencian writers to dissert of use of the Valencian Language.

The Valencian Language in the last years has passed by a period of a real decadence. To a long spanization has followed an age that we’re still supporting, of high written catalanization. A lot of Valencians have passed to the Spanish, speaking or writing, because they consider better as an instrument of culture, or for the high quantity of Spanish speakers on a world-wide level, or because this is “more exact”, “more elegant”, “more modern”. More of that we have still speaking Valencian Language, have reserved for the private life, for the friends and family and, in the conversations, depureless, and full of vulgarisms, spanishms and grammatical errors.

At the end of the first third of this century, the writers who wrote in Valencian use different ways to do it, according with the desire of each one. To finish with that anarchy, some entities and some relevant persons of the culture adopted in 1932 the wrong called “Orthographic rules of Castellon”. Is not necessary explain now its origin, nature and results, because they have been exposed correctly by other more authorised voices. Along several conferences has concluded that: the “Orthographical rules of Castellon” were not made in Castellon; that they were purely orthographics and it didn’t suppose the renounce to the Valencian morphology, syntax and vocabulary; that basically were the rules made by the Catalan Studies Institute, with very little modifications (the Valencian nexus –IX for the Catalan –EIX, the Valencian S for the Catalan TZ; invertix, not inverteix; organisacio, not organitzacio); that the rules were accepted with a temporary character “till the new generations perfect them, and make it better”; and, finally, that were adopted as a fact, without deliberations or previous studies, as it gives to think the fact that appears in the rule 13, of the great confusion in use of palatals, because according to this, it must be pronounce equal “mege” [meče], “plaja” [plača], as the sound X of “Xativa” [Šatiba] or “baix” [baiš], or the same in “punxa” [punča] or “conxa” [konča].

That rules, that for the moment resolved the problem of the orthographic unit, had to be by the time the fire of discord and the beginning of all the present and future evils of the Valencian Language, and not by their intrinsic defects, easy to correct, but the bad intention of men. So at 25 years of its proclamation, the transactional pact was broken by the particulars and entities: it began adopting entirely the orthography of Fabra (Catalan rules), and ended writing according with all the Catalan codification as much in morphology as in syntax and, what is the worst, changing the Valencian words by the corresponding Catalan “mots” (words).

Actually there are still people that ingeniously thinks to write with the rules of Castellon, in spite of doesn’t have them in present at the time of write (orthography) and go against their spirit when they adopt all the Catalan codification and, even, the vocabulary.

Now we’re lucky because the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, “Lo Rat Penat”, and great number of entities and figures of our intellectuality defence the independence and personality of Valencian Language, and want to elevate it to the highest literary level that it corresponds; they have change the orthographic rules of 1932; they work in the confection of a vocabulary and, after this they will begin the normative dictionary, followed by the normative Grammar: initiatives all necessaries for the actualisation of the literarian language, according with the real language of the people (that autochthonous and differenced language that has the right to be considered, so it’s the normal evolution of that one that were so high with our classicals). Day by day grows up the people decided to write in real Valencian Language, correcting the mode of writing in Catalan as it were “our language”. We have only need to make understand to the tenacious that we have the right of writing in that language that speaks the people, honouring it and extolling it; and that the Catalan “normalised” is very different to ours at all: phonetics, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. The present work goes to this end: to give a general idea about the characteristics of the Valencian Language (matter that must to be treated deeply in the respective treatises of Phonetic, Morphology and Syntax; and reflected in real Valencian dictionaries.

For a correct exposition of the matter, we will divide in the following parts:

I.                   Denomination of the language.

II.                 Criterions for a normalisation.

III.              The Valencian Language in concrete.

IV.               Defence of the language.




We shouldn’t entertain much time in the question of the name. We all know that we, Valencian people, don’t admit to be given to our language other name different from the Valencian Language. And not for an excessive self-love, but because is the name that always has been given to it, and because we can distinguish perfectly the Valencian language that we speak from the language of Barcelona or Majorca, languages that our people don’t understand (nor spoken nor writing) if they haven’t been instructed in them, over all if it is “normative Catalan”.

Everybody knows that are very similar languages; but actually very differenced. That’s because it is a ridiculous thing to say that we speak the “Catalan of Valencia”, considering our language as a dialect or “patués” of Catalan.

It’s demonstrated by the researchers that, since the XIVth century (when it appeared the names of Catalan and Valencian, applied to the respective languages), to our language it was given, by the authors who wrote it, the name of “Llengua Valenciana” (Valencian Language). Fortunately we have the valorous work of Mn. Josep Almiñana “El crit de la llengua” (the cry of the language), that it shows graphically with testimonies of irrefutable strength.

At the beginning our romance was known as “el nostre llati” -our Latin- or “romanç pla” -plain romance- (King James I Chronicle). But already in 1395 Antoni Canals, in the translation of “Valerium Maximum”, says clearly and specifically that is “tret del llati en nostra volguda llengua valenciana” (translated from Latin to our beloved Valencian language). Bonifacio Ferrer[3] translated the Bible and, at the end of the book says: “de la llengua latina a la nostra valenciana” (from the Latin language to our Valencian). And, afterwards, hundred and hundred of authors still said that they were writing in Valencian Language. Didn’t they know the language in that they were writing?.

Respecting the denomination of “llengua llemosina” (Limousin language) that, in occasions, is given to our language, there is no problem because actually no one use this denomination. The same Dn. Manuel Sanchis Guarner (philologist) says that it’s an “inexact and inappropriate” denomination.

The real thing is that valencians speak Valencian language, a language that come from Latin, and with a lot of influences along the time; language that was cultivated by a great number of lucid writers (our classics); that, along the centuries, was alike to Catalan, meanly the writing, that is due to the common origin in popular Latin, and the influence of our writers over that sister language; but that, in the voice of people began very soon to be different of this (the neutral vocal appeared in Catalan during the XIII century) and still continue its evolution till nowadays, in a different way that the Catalan. That’s because is impossible to confound it with that one, not only for its phonetics (radically different), but even by its lexical treasure that, however has the substratum in the Latin, has taken from the native elements and the people that has crossed our country a great respectable number of thousand of words, that are not important for the normalised Catalan language.

To all this has to be added the morphological particularities, not only in the verbal paradigms, also in all the parts of the sentence, its use, and syntax turns.

And again in the mean theme of this section –Denomination of the language –it won’t be a useless work to dismount the reasons that are given to nod the name of “Valencian” for our language, and be substituted by the word “Catalan”. We will expose briefly the arguments in which are established and we will try to refute them.

These are the arguments:

1.      Historical reason. - “The language was brought here from Catalonia to Valencia by the Christian conquers”, is meant, by the Catalans.

2.      Geographical reason. - “The Princedom of Catalonia is the most extensive, populated and powerful, of all the countries that speak the language”.

3.      Literary reason. - “The Renaixença (Renaissance in the XIX century) of the language had origin in Catalonia, where has been a complete success”.

4.      Scientific reason. - “The scientific denomination, that is known internationally, is Catalan language”.

We will answer in order:

1.      Historical reason. - In first time, supposing the real truth that the Catalan arrived to Valencia on the hands of the Catalan conquerors, this fact it wouldn’t be enough to take the Valencian the name that always has possess and has by right of prescription; is not necessary that the languages take his denomination for reason of the origin: there we have the example of Portuguese that no one denominates “galego”(Galician) and the Italian, that a few know its origin in Tuscan.

In a second way, today is demonstrate that, before enter James I in Valencia, it existed here a Romanic language.

IBN SIDA, Arabian writer and philologist, in the introduction of his book “Kitab al Mayasas” (written before the year 1066, year of his death in Denia), excused the mistakes committed, saying that it was necessary to make them “arounded as I was of persons that speak in romance”. The existence of this romance is demonstrated by the great number of words in Valencian vocabulary that comes from Latin, that it’s not included in the Catalan lexicon, and the words that proceed from Muslims. In other way, today is also demonstrated that the number of Catalan people that stayed here to live in Valencia (in the conquest, or in later repopulations), was very reduced, and is logical and natural that were absorbed by the natural inhabitants. Finally, James I take to Valencia the religion and a wise administration; but hadn’t bring an upper culture –from which the language is an important component –to a population so prominent and developed as in the old Kingdom of Valencia.

2.      Geographical reason. - The reason that Barcelona or Catalonia are actually more important than Valencia is not a reason to change the name of the Valencian language. During the XIII and XIV centuries Valencia was, evidently, more important than Barcelona or Catalonia, basically in the literarian field, that it presents a greater relationship with a linguistic denomination; and according to this lazy criterion about the hegemony, the English it had to be called actually “north-American” and in the same way some day could change the name of “Spanish” for the “Mexican” or “Argentinean”.

3.      Literary reason. - This is not enough reason to change the traditional name of Valencian by the name of Catalan for the exclusive reason that Barcelona have had a brilliant “renaiximent” (renaissance) of the language. If in that place had a renaissance, long time before had it the Valencians, and also have a greater value the real fact that the literary creation made here in Valencia, the medieval classics, were in their great majority Valencians. What’s the most important: renovate or create?.

4.      Scientific reason. - We will begin nodding that a question of denomination must to be “scientific”. The word “scientific” here is wrong applied: there are denominations more or less proper, but why “scientist”?. All that today is recognised by the philologist must be tomorrow refused by all, even for the same people. If the romanists say now that Valencian is a dialect from Catalan, not far ago they were all agree –even the Catalans –that Catalan it was a dialect from Provençal. We can still remember the testimonies of Federico Diez (founder of the Romanic linguistic), Antonio María Alcover, Milá y Fontanals, Bourciez, Meyer-Lubke, etc. Now, by contrary, is recognised like an own language. The same will happen with the Valencian if it is studied better, in its live phonetics and not in the library. The character of “language” has been recognised by the Academy of Spanish Language that it defines as the “language that is spoken in the most part of the Kingdom of Valencia”.

But in this question about the name of the language we can’t to be happy just only refusing lazies arguments: we have to adduce any positive reason to adding it to the valid argument of the prescription. The definitive reason is that: the Valencian and Catalan are actually two languages perfectly differenced or different. For more closer that these languages have been “on the paper (written)” in the past, actually are quite different: they have evolved in different ways, from Latin, and we have reach a point in that without a previous study of the other languages Valencians, Catalans and Majorcans hardly can’t be understood in an oral language or written; and, we have a clear conscience of speak and write in different languages. The vocabulary, the morphology, the syntax, and the most the Phonetics are different. Even the Catalan orthography can’t be accepted for a Valencian phonetic. Catalan intellectuals told that apply to the three languages (Valencian, Balearic and Catalan) the same orthography it went “against nature”.

I’ve said before that the most remarkable difference between Valencian and Catalan it was the Phonetics and, however in the next pages we’ll treat this theme concretely, I want to advance the importance that has this characteristic in the classification of the languages. If we want to classify quickly the Hispanic languages, will be enough looking the vocalic system: the Portuguese has as a difference the nasalization of certain vocals; the Spanish, as different, doesn’t have it but has all the vocals closed; the Valencian doesn’t offer the nasalization of vocals but these can be open or closed; the Catalan has one more vocal than Valencian: the mixed, with an important function and doesn’t dispose more than three vocalic sounds in atonic syllable, when Valencian has five.

Some people will think that this treatment of the vocals is not important; but it does, and great, if we are conscious that atonic syllable fill constantly the phonetic flow.

Do they know what is to convert in every step the O in U and the atons As and Es (a very big quantity) in a mixed vocal or neutral, that is not A or E?. For a Catalan person is the same “teulada” that “teulada”, “fortet” that “furtet”. In Valencian we write “corona”, “poder”, “capelletes”, “pare”, “mare”, “berenar”, etc. And we pronounce as it is written. The Catalan people, in other way, pronounce, approximately, “curone”, “pudé”, “kepelletas”, “para”, “mara”, “baraná”, etc. for the same words.

         Contribute to difference the Valencian and Catalan, apart from a lot of important phonetic divergences, the great quantity of Valencian words that, for not to be Catalan, are not included in the dictionary of Catalan. Germán Colón Doménech, in 1952, had catalogued more than a thousand of these, just only in a few villages of the province of Castello and that was only the beginning (ORBIS, volume I, nº4, 1952). Mr. Miquel Adlert and Mr. García Carpio, after compiling thousand and thousand, have desisted of searching by weariness, because there are a big number of them. Other fact is that in the Catalan dictionaries all that words, spoken in any Catalan village, that are the same than the Valencians, however were used by the classical, are refused in the most cases as dialecticism or vulgarism.

         To finish this point I want to make a brief allusion to the utopian literary language, common in Catalan people, Balearics[4] and Valencians. If we consider that language as the actual normative Catalan, they deceive themselves or we are deceived: in that common are not represented the Valencian or the Balearic, because it has been “normalised” with the Catalan of Barcelona, and has been filled of archaisms and capricious inventions and in this have been out Valencians and Majorcans. They try to do a “standard” language from three supposed dialects, basing it in one of them, leaving out the other two, is an intention of genocide. What would you say if in a family, to get “the Unity” of three sons, were killed two of them?. That’s because Mossén Antonio María Alcover, when he corrected the name of his dictionary, in the prologue of the “Dictionary Catalan-Valencian-Balear”, says that “if in any time has existed (that linguistic unity), today We can’t affirm that question seriously”.



         One thing is the language that is spoken spontaneously (without worrying about nothing) and just another is the language adjusted carefully to the grammar laws and with literary pretensions. The first is not written, is only spoken, unworriedly, and that’s because used to be full of vulgarisms, barbarisms and solecisms, in spite of continue to be fresh and alive by the people. The second, the literary, that has the honour to be written, selects the vocabulary, keep the grammar rules and looks for the propriety in every moment, as the correction and elegance. That one and the other present different degrees of perfection, depending the level of the culture and the good taste of the speakers. Here we’re just only to speak, briefly, about the literarian Valencian language.

         To establish the rules of the literarian Valencian language is, nowadays, a difficult labour, but not impossible. To the same difficulty of the language is added the decadence state of the Valencian Language, till the point of asking themselves, a lot of people, if it really exists this language and others want to be told where is that language concretely. The description of a language, the codification of its rules has always difficulties, because every language is, by nature, something alive and fluctuating, that insensibly changes in every moment; so to put fixed and permanent rules to constrict the language is like trying to put doors to the fields. Nevertheless is necessary that every language –even the Valencian –has that rules, accepted by everybody, because if is not like this the language, left to its future, would sail to the drift and would finish shipwrecked in anarchy and dissolution.

         Before saying what’s the Valencian language in concrete, we will say a few words about the criterions that must to govern the normalisation of the Valencian language.

1.        The first thing that we must to count, for the elaboration of the literary Valencian language, is with the alive language of the people. Contrarily it would be built an artificial language, which the people wouldn’t understand, and wouldn’t accept; as is happening with the style of writing in Catalan here, in our land. Catalan that people don’t interest and donut read, because is not understood.

  The people are the master of the language. The language is theirs and the grammar must be on their service. It doesn’t come the language from the grammar, but the grammar from the language. The grammar, as an empirical science, watches the people way of speaking and, by induction –from down to up –establish the rules that follow the people when they speak; codifies them and puts them on the service of the people who wants to speak or write correctly, not if before it hasn’t been done a depuration of the defects observed in the popular speaking.

2.        The literary Valencian language is not the Catalan, nor the language that is spoken by the Catalan people, nor that one that them or another people according to them, are writing using the rules of the Catalan Studies Institute. The Valencian language is the “Valencian”, that speaks Valencian people, better said, that it’s spoken in the most parts of the provinces of Castello, Valencia and Alacant, transfered honestly and without hoaxes to the literarian level.

  The Catalan language is that is spoken in Catalonia and, written or literarily, is followed by the Catalan Studies Institute. That language, according to the confession of the professor Badía Margarit (at the beginning of his “Catalan Grammar”), practically is the one of Barcelona. Has itself a normative dictionary that doesn’t accept the specific Valencian words. Has a different phonetic than Valencian: the Barcelonian, which has been adopted as normative. A grammar that excludes, as a dialecticism or vulgarisms, the Valencian peculiarities and an ancient and etymologist orthography, that Valencian cannot support because it has a big quantity of useless letters, some of them they don’t pronounce.

3.        The Valencian language must be (to reach the degree of dignity that belongs to it as an instrument of noble expression and social communication, taking as the base the speaking of the people, in other terms, the alive language of the most cult persons) a resume of all the speaking of all the districts of the territory, purified of vulgarisms, Spanish words, and catalanisms, and also unnecessary foreign words, and syntactical and morphological forms that are not the Valencians.

a)       The vulgarisms must be refused, because the literarian language is the newest clothes of the language, with aspirations to be instrument of the beauty; and nothing vulgar or ugly can be artistic or beautiful.

b)       The ancient words must be eliminated. The words that are not used in any place of our territory are death and mustn’t be resurrected, excepting for a really necessity: to fill a hole in the vocabulary. A written text, full of ancient words, moreover to be unintelligible, is like a cemetery of words or a field seeded by fossils.

c)       About the foreign words of the language, meanly Spanish words and Catalan words, must to be followed the same criterion: always that an idea can be expressed with Valencian words never mustn’t be used a Spanish, Catalan or foreign word. If it’s necessary a word because the Valencian don’t have it, must be procured, when is rendered from other language, a previous adaptation to the idiosyncrasy of the language and the laws of the evolution of the own language.

d)       In localisms, however is not recommended the abuse of them, will have a more open criterion, because they are Valencian language too. To respect this right has the double profit of enrich the idiom and give variety to the conversation, permitting, at the same time, the free game of the writers preferences, which surely with the time will give a place to the most honest and common forms.

4.        The language must have a normative General Dictionary[5] and an official Grammar[6], with a basic point in orthography, adequate to the own phonetics.

  The Dictionary must contain all the alive forms of every place of the Kingdom of Valencia, indicating if it’s a vulgar, a Spanish, or a foreign form, or simply a localism, indicating in this case, the village or district where is alive.

  The Morphology and Syntax will recommend the most correct forms and expressions and will mention other alive alternatives in the Kingdom, indicating if they are tolerable or not.

  The Phonetics, between the various forms that exists in the Valencian area, will must choose between them like a normative, the most pure and rich, without nodding nobody the right of speaking in his variety of pronounce (also Valencian) that their parents has taught him.

  The Orthography is one of the main supports of the language because it helps to a correct pronounce and avoid the changes too fast in the language. But the orthography is not over the language, but on its service.

  There are three kind of orthography: etymologist, phonetist, and mixed. The etymologist are, for example, the French, the English, and the Catalan; the phonetist is the Italian, that has arrived to suppress the letter aitch; mixed or moderated are the Spanish and the Valencian, that follows the principle of Valdés “to write as it speaks”. Obviously the orthography the more phonetist is, the more easy and chest of drawers it results. It is clear that always will be any concession to the etymology.

  The orthographical reforms are use to be done by the Academies, that are the institutions that has the greater authority to establish and impose them, they count with specialists to redact them and deserve the biggest acceptation.

  The recent modernisation of the orthographic rules of the Valencian language, done by the section of Language and Literature of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, it was necessary, because the Castellon rules of 1932 are not according to the Valencian phonetics and it needed a reform, for its errors and disadvantages.





         With this chapter we enter in the most interesting theme. What’s the Valencian language? Where it is?. We’re going to answer these questions.

         We can find the Valencian language spoken in the lips of the people; in that conversation that we see sometimes alive, sweet, happy, respectful; and in other occasions sad, rough, melancholic, violent, scoffer, or impudent, depending the persons or the situations in that are spoken. Is not necessary go out from home to find it, so since the tenderest childhood we have taken from the lips of our parents.

         The Valencian Language right written is yet more difficult to find, because the actual mode of writing in Catalan or in a hybrid Valencian (for the high catalanization). Why? ; The explaining –apart from political compromises or economical interests –is very simple: in Catalan all is structured and codified, meanwhile the Valencian is still everything to do. The people go always to the easier, choose nearly always the most comfortable. From here the necessity of doing something, step by step, with patience and tenacity, everything that must be done, beginning with the orthography and following with the grammar and the dictionary, to dispose everything necessary for the authors (to write with security and ease in the own language, till elevate to the highest level, that it corresponds and conceded our classics).



I.                   THE VOCABULARY

Meanwhile is publishing the normative Dictionary[7] of the Valencian language by the corresponding Academy (perhaps this is the most urgent thing, after the orthographic codification), can be used the Catalan-Valencian-Balearic Dictionary of Mossén Alcover, with the several exceptions; the Escrig-Llombart dictionary (the people that posses this one); the Lluis Fullana dictionary, that contains 45000 words, most of them taken from the speaking of the people by the author, and the two vocabularies published recently by the GAV and Valencia 2000, redacted, the first, by a collective of teachers and the second by Mr. Miedes. All these dictionaries, as all the human work, have imperfections; but are Valencians, something that must be wished in other dictionaries that are published with the title of Valencian but are simple copies of the Catalan ones.


II.                THE GRAMMAR

Meanwhile is not published, by the competent authority, the Grammar of the Valencian language[8], must be watching not to accept, as Valencians, grammars that, being published under the name of Valencians, contains all the codification of the Catalan language.

Mr. Sanchis Guarner grammar can be improved in a lot of concepts; but, as sometimes has the Valencian and the Catalan forms, always ends recommending the Catalan word. Mr. Carles Salvador grammar, the same as before, improved in part, is not free of giving excessive concessions to the Catalan. The one published by “Lo Rat Penat” is very short. The one made by Lluis Fullana, the most sure, needs a little retouch in the orthography. Is not necessary to add that the grammars published under the auspices of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture and “Lo Rat Penat” offers all the guaranties.




1.      the definite article

a)       The use has established the neutral article LO, specially when goes before an adjetive substantive (lo bo, lo millor [the good thing, the best thing]). Admitting it the language is richest. Lluis Fullana admitted this one for its popularity.

b)       The articles LO and LOS, as masculine, are used since ancient times (in the Maestrazgo say: lo sinyó retó). Being alive this forms in some places of the Kingdom, must be conserved as normal, beside the actual forms introduced and generalized EL and ELS.

c)       It seems convenient the regularisation (to be clearer) the use of the definite article EL, LA, LO before the relative (el que, la que, lo que). So that could be distinguished better the masculine and the neutral.


2.      the personal pronouns

The nominative form of the first person of the pronouns is, like in classical times, YO.

Beside the forms nosatros and vosatros must be put as correct (however are not so alive), the forms nosatres and vosatres. Otherwise must be considered as vulgarisms the forms mosatros, matros and vatros. The forms nosaltres and vosaltres are archaisms, that can’t be used nor literary because are dead in all the Valencian dominion.

The atonics forms me, te, se, ne, lo, los, nos, vos are extended in all the ambits; but not us. Is considered a vulgarism to use es and se instead of nos. The atonics forms ended in vocal are elided before a verbal form begun in vocal, remaining in m´, t´, s´, n´, l´ . After a verbal form ended in vocal, the atonics forms mentioned (except vos) rest in this and it changes in ´m, ´t, ´s, ´n, ´l, ´ls. Are correct as they are: les, li, ho.

The forms called “reforced” em, et, es, en, el, els, ens, must be considered as geruine.

However the neutral ho is pronounced in several occasions like hu (ya ho veig = ya hu veig, I can see it yet), it seems that the written right form is ho.

The people don’t admit the restoration of the reflexive pronoun hom, in spite of be classical. Is forgotten in all the Valencian area and normally is replaced by u, se, or es (u diria or se diria or es diria, can be told).


3.      the possessive pronouns

The Valencian forms of the possessive pronouns are: (masc.) meu, teu, seu, nostre, vostre; meus, teus, seus; (fem.) meua, teua, seua; meues, teues, seues; (neutral) nostre, vostre; nostres, vostres. Are not admitted in Valencian the forms meva, teva, seva, meves, teves, seves.

         The form llur and llurs doesn’t belong to the spoken language.

          The reduced forms of the possessive are: (masc.) mon, ton, son; mos, tos, sos; (fem.) ma, ta, sa; mes, tes, ses.



4.      demonstratives pronouns

The live forms of the demonstrative pronouns in Valencian language are: est or este, eix or eixe, aquell, with the correspondent feminine and plurals: esta, eixa, aquella; estos, eixos, aquells; estes, eixes, aquelles.

         For the influence of Catalan is been introduced the ancient reinforced forms: aquest, aquesta, aqueix, aqueixa, with their plurals: aquests or aquestos, aquestes; aqueixos, aqueixes. These forms are not alive in the spoken Valencian language and the people don’t accept them; it seems to them an anachronism.


5.      relatives

In some place is still alive the use of qui as subject or complement of person. However today, by the influence of Spanish, is generalised the use of “que” for everything, that use is perfectly legitimate and must working to introduce again, to make it general.


6.      numerals

The system of numerals in Valencian are more similar to Latin than Catalan. Must be eliminated from Valencian the following Catalan expressions:

Cardinals: dugues or dues, vuit, disset, divuit, dinou, seixanta, vuitanta, vuit-cents, milio, bilio, etc.

Ordinal: cinque, sise, sete, huite, etc. (archaisms)

Partitive: meitat (archaism).

The corresponding Valencian forms are the following:

Cardinal: dos, huit, desset, dihuit, deneu, xixanta, huitanta, huitcents, millo, billo, trillo, etc.

Ordinal: it is counselled the forms derived from Latin: quint, sext, septim, octau, nove, decim, undecim, duodecim, vigesim, trigesim, quadragesim etc.

Partitive: mitat.


7.      indefinite

Atre, atra, atres, (another) are the alive forms in all the Kingdom of Valencia and a lot of villages of Catalonia since ancient times. Must be used these forms in the spoken and in written language. The forms altre, altra, altres, (archaic) mustn’t be resurrected because are unnecessary.


8.      the feminine and the plural

There are words that in Valencian has a grammatical gender and another in Catalan, Spanish or in old Valencian. In case of doubt the dictionary must be consulted.

The masculine words ended in U, in Valencian, makes the feminine, generally in UA and not in VA: meu / meua (mine), teu / teua (your), seu / seua, hereu / hereua, and the plural in UES: meues, teues, seues, hereues (in Catalan: meva, teva, seva, hereva, etc).

A lot of Valencian words that in singular end in E, in plural end in NS, since antiquity. This endings must be conserved in Valencian: jove / jovens (young), verge / vergens, home / homens (man). These forms are according with the Latin etymology (in Catalan the plurals are: joves, verges, homes, etc).

The same must be remarked that in Valencian exists plurals in OS, when in Catalan makes in S and the contrary. For example, in Valencian: gojos, vasts; in Catalan: goigs, vastos.

Like in the classical age, words ended in SC, SP, ST, in singular, have in Valencian its plural with just an S, otherwise the Catalan ends in OS. Examples: Valencian; vascs, cresps, moriscs, suposts, toscs; Catalan: vascos, crespos, moriscos, supostos, toscos.


9.      the verb

This part of the sentence is the most important of the Morphology. For the verbs we have sure models, for the regular and irregular, in grammars and special Valencian opuscules; nevertheless we’ll do some observations[9].

         Can be considered as genuine Valencian the denominations: genero, numero, modo, perfecte, imperfecte, pluscuamperfecte and not the Catalan forms: genere, nombre, mode, perfet, imperfet, pluscuamperfet.

         The verb ser (to be) in Valencian gives in the 2nd person eres and not ets (Catalan); fon (was) and not fou; ser (infinitive) and not esser; sent (being) and not essent; segut or sigut (been) and not estat.

         The Valencian makes a clear distinction between the verbs ser and estar[10], which are used like in Spanish. “Ja hi som aquí” is a Catalan sentence; the correspondence in Valencian is: “Ya estem aci” (We’re here).

         Like a general rule can be said that, in the Kingdom of Valencia, has disappeared the verb ser like auxiliary verb of the composed times, being substituted by the verb haver (have). It conserves like auxiliary of the passive voice of the other verbs.

         We must distinguish, in the verbal paradigms, between the normative, that is the most usual, and the permitted to be alive in some counties of the region. These last forms can be used by the natives; but can’t be imposed like a rule.

a.      Present of Indicative. The normative is: parle (I speak), parles, parla, parlem, parleu, parlen. Yo venç (I win), promet (I promise), sent (I feel). The dialectal forms are: parlo, venço, sento; ella parle, cante, etc.

b.      Imperfect Past. Normative: cantava (sing), vencia, sentia. Dialectal: cantave, vencie, sentie.

c.      Simple Past. Beside the periphrastic past, that is quite generalized in all the Valencian territory (vaig anar, vas vindre, etc.), is the simple past (ani, cantares, tornà, etc.), very usual in the central districts of the Kingdom and in our classics. Both forms are legitimate. It’s a good council to use both forms to give variety to the language, that in this way it gets rich.

d.      Present of Subjunctive. Are Valencian forms:

1st Conjugation: 1 –e, 2 –es, 3 –e; 4 –em, 5 –eu, 6 –en.

2nd Conjugation: 1 –a, 2 –es, 3 –a; 4 –am, 5 –au, 6 –en.

3rd Conj.(pure): 1 –a, 2 –es, 3 –a; 4 –am, 5 –au, 6 –en.

Otherwise the Catalan forms are:

1st. Conjugation: 1 –i, 2 –is, 3 –i; 4 –em, 5 –eu, 6 –in.

2nd Conjugation: 1 –i, 2 –is, 3 –i; 4 –am, 5 –au, 6 –in.

3rd Conj. (pure): 1 –i, 2 –is, 3 –i; 4 –am, 5 –au, 6 –in.

3rd Conj.(inchoative): 1 –eixi, 2 –eixis, 3 –eixi, 6 –eixin.

e.      Imperfect of Subjunctive. Are Valencian the endings:

1st Conjugation: 1 –ara, 2 –ares, 3 –ara; 4 –arem, 5 –areu, 6 –aren.

2nd Conjugation: 1 –era, 2 –eres, 3 –era; 4 –erem, 5 –ereu, 6 –eren.

3rd Conjugation: 1 –ira, 2 –ires, 3 –ira; 4 –irem, 5 –ireu, 6 –iren.

Are archaic forms:

1st Conj.: 1 –as, 2 –asses, 3 –as; 4 –assem, 5 –asseu, 6 –assen.

2nd Conj.: 1 –es, 2 –esses, 3 –es; 4 –essem, 5 –esseu, 6 –essen.

3rd Conj.: 1 –is, 2 –isses, 3 –is; 4 –issem, 5 –isseu, 6 –issen.

Are Catalan the endings:

1st Conj.: 1 –ès, 2 –essis, 3 –es; 4 –èssim, 5 –èssiu, 6 –essin. (portar, to carry)

2nd Conj.: 1 –ès, 2 –essis, 3 –ès; 4 –èssim, 5 –èssiu, 6 –essin.(vencer, to win)

3rd Conj.: 1 –ís, 2 –issis, 3 –ís; 4 –íssim, 5 –íssiu, 6 –issin.(sentir, to feel)


Because there is a deeper study of the verb in the morphology, here we’ll just only appoint a few difference facts between Valencian and Catalan. The Catalan ending EIX, in the inchoative verbs, it changes in Valencian in IX (florix, not floreix; to flower).

The ancient ending ESC or ISC, in modern Valencian is IXC: cobrixc, not cobresc nor cobrisc (to cover).

In Valencian the 2nd person of the plural in the present of subjunctive, and the imperative of the 2nd conjugation end in –am, -au, instead of –em and –en (Valencian: capiam, capiau; in Catalan: capiem, capieu).


10.  adverbs

The analytic study of the adverb is explained in the “Elementary Grammar” by Lluis Fullana, that has more than 400 adverbs, classified in qualificatives (114); of time (82); of place (92); quantity (45); of order (30); and affirmation, negation and doubt (51). All the adverbs are not in the list. In this point we just only want to mention some of the most frequent that, being Catalans, have been introduced incorrectly. These are (in parenthesis the correspondence in Valencian): en lloc (en cap banda), enrera (arrere or atras), dessota or a la dessota (davall), avui (hui), aviat (pronte), dempeus (de peu, dret), gaire or gairebe (a penes), de sobte (de repent), força (molt, a munto), adhuc (encara), tarda (vesprada), aleshores (en aquell moment), abans d´ahir (despusahir), demà passat (despusdema), doncs (per tant, puix), etc.

However “avui” is still alive in some Valencian village near Catalonia, must be used hui, because is the generalised form and was used by our classics.


11.  prepositions and conjunctions

Given its character of being instruments of relation between words or sentences, will be preferable be studied in the Syntax. For its morphological knowledge can be consulted the Elementary Grammar by Fullana, that contains a very interesting list of both parts of the sentence.



Fortunately the Valencian orthography is yet up to date, normalised by the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, with the biggest effect, in a matter so conventional and subdued to new perfections.

1.      The reform has the highest authority for being realised by the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture according with “Lo Rat Penat” and the conformity of the cultural entities and personalities of the Valencian cultural world (we mustn’t forget that the Center of Culture, now Royal Academy, and “Lo Rat Penat” were the most important entities that signed the orthographic bases of 1932). Even were accepted multitudinously in a historical act celebrated in El Puig[11].

2        The reform has been made after a previous conscientious study, that is contained in the opuscule, published by the Academy, with the title of “Documentacio formal de l´Ortografia de la Llengua Valenciana” (Formal Documentation of the Orthography of the Valencian language).

3        The reform has been inspired in a prudent criterion, leaving apart the so etymologist tendence of the anterior rules; but doing determined concessions, I mean, without doing the reform so radical that it could be done.

4        The reform introduce, or better say recover, letters so Valencian as the CH and the Y and eliminates useless letters, simplifying groups, etymological or not, that really doesn’t exist in Valencian, phonetically, as TM, MPT, TN, TLL, TZ, TJ, TG, TX.

5        The reform introduce the idea of simplicity, coherence and universality, avoiding to charge to the users of the system with a long list of exceptions; that makes easier the writing in Valencian for the people that don’t know nothing of Latin (for example, the muffled consonants are written in the finals that has left of being sounded in the language of the people: P, T, C instead of B, D, G).

6        The reform is based in the alive and actual phonetic of the Valencian language. Now is not written: setmana, rotllo, organitzar, espatlla, platja, metge, Betxi, etc. but semana, rollo, organisar, espala, plaja, mege, Bechi, etc. Once in vigour the orthographic reform of our Academy, is a collective duty following it strictly if we don’t want to turn back to the anarchy of past times, or that the Valencian language be corrupted by the influence of the writing expressions over the spoken language[12].



C)     SYNTAX 

A lot of philologists, when they speak about the elements that constitute a language, just only name these three: phonetic, morpho-syntatic, and the lexical, considerating the Syntax as an aspect or a shade of the morphology: the use of the forms. In the same way there is grammars that don’t give excessive importance to the syntax; for example the Grammar by Sanchis Guarner doesn’t have a syntax; but his course of Normative Grammar for use of Valencians contains Valencian particularities in syntax, recommending a clear preference for the Catalan forms. Otherwise we have a good syntax in the Valencian Grammar by Lluis Fullana Mira, that speaks about concordance, regime and construction, and explains the Syntax of the sentences with the best of the criterions. We aren’t going to organize here a treaty, but just only some ideas, around which must be moved the Valencian Syntax, leaving its extension to the corresponding treaties.

The Valencian Syntax is, essentially, the same as the Spanish and the Catalan. All these languages have developed similar morpho-syntactic changes; have left the declination and have built their own modifications in the paradigm of the verb. Respecting to the rules that must be adjusted the relations expressed by the words, that means that in sentences (inside of the change to the analytical development, different to the syntactic of the Latin sentence) all the neo-Latin languages use the Latin syntax, that is applied the own morphology and the neo-Latin lexicon.

All the relations between words, as says Lluis Fullana, are reduced to three kinds: concordance, regimen, and construction.

The CONCORDANCE in Valencian doesn’t have anything in special. It’s like in Spanish and Catalan, inherited from Latin. We just only see now the Syntax of regimen and of construction.

We’ll pass carefully over the articles and the verb, that is (this last one) like the spine of the syntax, and in its use has the Valencian language more peculiarities.


1.      the article

The Valencian use the neutral article LO; while the Catalan reject it.


2.      the adjective possessive

The possessives meu, teu, seu, mon, ton, son, and its plurals are preceded, generally in Valencian, to the thing or things that are related. Valencian: el meu pare (my father), ton pare, ma mare (my mother), la meua mare, ma casa, ta sogra, etc. In Catalan: casa meva, casa teva, etc.


3.      the relative

In Valencian is very common the use of the relative QUI, refered to persons: escric al meu amic, qui ha vengut d´America (I write to my friend that has come from America).


4.      the reflexivE

It’s not used in Valencian the Catalan ancient reflexive HOM. Instead of this is used es or se. In Valencian: es diu or se diu (It is said); Catalan: hom diu.


5.      the adverbial pronoun

In Valencian is used hardly the adverbial pronoun HI (Cfr. Morphology).

In the same way the Valencian don’t abuse of the adverbial pronoun EN. Some examples. Valencian: no anire a viure alli (I won’t go to live there); Catalan: no hi aniré a viure. Valencian: compra un diari i llig tots els fulls (Buy a diary and read all the pages); Catalan: ...i en llig tots els fulls. Valencian: ya estan ells advertits (They’re still advised); Catalan: ja en son advertits. Valencian: Ha vingut, pero se n´ha anat (He has come but he’s gone); Catalan: ...però s´hi ha marxat.


6.      regime of the verb

a)     In Valencian language the Direct Complement have the preposition A in the active verbs if they come refered to a person or personified thing: (Cf. Fullana: Elementary Grammar, page 190)

When the Complement is a strong pronoun: Tu a mi no em vols (you don’t love me).

In the expression l´u a l´atre (each other).

When the Complement is a personal name, not preceded of some determinative: Yo ame a Deu (I love God) ¿Has cridat a Lluis? (Have you called Lewis?).

In the second term of a comparison, when we don’t have the verb: ¿El vols molt? (Do you love him very much?) Si, tant com a mon pare (Yes, as much as my father).

Before the interrogative QUI: ¿A qui busquen? (Who are you looking for?).

And, in general, when is required by the clarity of the sentence: L´acaçava com el llop a la vaca o com la vaca al llop (He was pursued like the wolf to the cow or the cow to the wolf).

In the other cases the Complement direct don’t use to have the preposition A, as in Latin: Jaume I conqueri Valencia (James I conquered Valencia). Visitarem Borriana, Paris i Londres. Han fet vindre el carro. Canteu l´Himne (Sing the Hymn).

b)     In Valencian can be distinguished the Complement of place where you go, and the complement where you are. Valencian: vaig a Valencia (I go to Valencia) i estic en Valencia (I´m in Valencia); es a l´horta i està en l´horta. Catalan: sempre és a València; és a l´horta.

c)     The verbs that indicates company are built in Valencian with the prepositions EN or AB and not with amb. Valencian: estic én mon pare, en ma tia (I’m with my father, with my aunt); Catalan: estic amb mon pare, amb la meva tia. In Valencian the classical preposition ab has only a literary use.

d)     The verbs that indicate relationship of instrument or medium are built with the prepositions EN or AB. Valencian: arruixar én el poal, adornar én flors (adorn with flowers), ferir-se én el ganivet (injure himself with the knife), rodejar én la mà alguna cosa. In Catalan the preposition EN changes in AMB.

e)     Equally in Valencian is used én or ab and not amb in verbs that shows mode or manner: ves én prudencia (go with prudence), fes-ho én bons modos.

f)       In Valencian can be distinguished ser and estar. Valencian: estic aci, he segut nomenat secretari. Catalan: ja hi soc aquí, he estat nomenat secretari.

g)     The Valencian doesn’t admit –as we have said –the impersonal form introduced by the reflexive HOM. Valencian: s´ha de fer correr; Catalan: hom ha de fer correr.

h)     In Valencian is normal the substantivation of the infinitive with the help of the article: el correr massa te perjudica (To run a lot harm you), te l´anar molt boniquet. This construction is forbidden in Catalan.

i)        The perfective value, expressed by an infinitive or a participle, is distinguished in Valencian from the temporal value by the use of verb estar instead of ser: es anunciat (is announced by someone) is not the same that està anunciat (is announced in some place). The Catalan uses in both cases the verb ser: es anunciat.

j)       The Valencian doesn’t use the expression tot, plus a gerund. In Catalan: tot cantant, tot burlant-se. In Valencian: quan cantava or estant cantant or mentres cantava (when I was singing, being singing).


7.      regime of the adverb

The syntax of the adverb more interesting is the adverbial idiom. It could be very difficult to descent to the casuistic of the differences between Valencian and Catalan in the uses of prepositions and adverbs. Badia Margarit has, on his “Catalan Grammar”, more than 120 adverbs and adverbial modes, not much of them are profitable in Valencian, at least on its construction, when are not a recreation of the modern Catalan normative. Some of the literary use are (in parenthesis are the correspondence in Valencian): a betzef or a belquena (en abundancia); a la gatzoneta (ajopits); a tot estrop (continuament); amb pro feines (penosament); de cop sobte (de repent); de sopols (a pols). In the most usual expressions we can appoint: a dretes (a posta), a l´escapça (en blanc), amb un girar d´ulls (en un girar d´ulls), de bursada (sense perseverancia), de debo (de veres), de dret (al dret), de pura pensa (instintivament), de per riure (de mentiretes or de broma), d´un plegat (d´una vegada), mes aviat (mes be), etc.


8.      the regime of the preposition

The Valencian prepositions, as in Spanish or Catalan, comes from Latin. The most remarkable phenomenon is the loosing of the preposition CUM in Valencian and in Catalan. The classical Valencian adopted the word AB; the actual Catalan use in this situation AMB. Actually the Valencian use commonly the preposition EN.

It’s an specific Valencian particularity the use of AD instead of A before vocal to reinforce the preposition: dis-li-ho ad ella (tell it to her).

The Valencian also uses in many occasions PER A instead of the Catalan PERQUE or simply PER, as we’ll see when we talk about the subordinate sentences.

The Valencian is radically different to certain catalanisms, as the following (the Valencian form is in parenthesis): des que (des de); a sabuda de or sense sabuda de (sabent-ho or sense saber-ho, without knowing it); en esguard de (en comparacio de); as certain combinations of adverbs and prepositions like: al davant de (davant de); al darrere de (darrere de), al damunt de (damunt de); al dessota de (baix de); al defora de (fora de).

Finally the Valencian uses in many occasions A where the Spanish put DE and the reverse.


9.      regime of the conjuction

The Valencian is equal to Catalan in some conjunctions, the same as with Spanish; but can’t admit the conjunction QUE with an open E; que not què. And is not admissible the conjunction PERO (but) with an open O and accentuated: pero, not però. In the literary language is admitted some archaisms, as puix (so). But the popular Valencian language don’t admit expressions like no gens menys, amb tot, fins i tot, més aviat, malgrat, etc.

The principal particularities in the use of Valencian conjunctions are the following:

It’s permitted introduce a subordinate sentence using the prepositions A, DE and EN: a que, de que, en que. In other way, in Catalan, the preposition is suppressed. Examples in Valencian: estem acostumats a fer-ho (we’re using to do it); no acabem mai de treballar; empenyat en fugir; gracies a que (thanks to...); s´encabota en que li donen la casa. In Catalan: gracies que; s´entesta què li donin la casa.

In the sentences of time the Valencian constructions “a continuacio” (continuing), “cada volta”(every time) or “mentres”(while) have their equivalence in Catalan in “tot seguit”, “cada pic” or “mentre”.




As we told at the beginning, the syntax of the sentences is basically the Latin in the Romanics peninsular languages, with very little variations. We appoint, nevertheless, some peculiarities of the Valencian.

  1.Sentences of Fear. When there is a sentence of subjunctive in Valencian are used the verbal forms ended in –ara, –era, –ira (anara, vinguera, partira); while the Catalan use the forms in –és, –essis, –és, –éssim, –éssiu, –essin for the first and second conjugation and in –ís, –issis, –ís, –issim, –issiu, –issin, for the third conjugation, etc. Valencian: tenía por de que vinguera (I was afraid him to come). Catalan: tenia por que vingués, que morís.

  2.Negative sentences. The Valencian never uses the idiomatic expression “no pas” that the Catalan uses imitating the French. In Valencian is not admitted this particle in negative sentences, comminative or interrogative.

  3.Sentences of Time. These sentences begin in Valencian by “mentres”, “tan pronte com”(as soon as), “des de que”(since); with a corresponding in Catalan in “mentre”, “tan aviat com”, “des que”.

  4.Concesive sentences. These sentences begin in Valencian by “a pesar de”(in spite of), “no obstant que”(nevertheless). In Catalan begin with “malgrat”, “tot i que”.




The Phonetic is the most important part of the language; so that the most insignificant change in sounds makes a change in the meaning of a spoken message (is not the same a hole that a role). The Phonetic has its influence in Grammar and not the contrary. For more that is used the Catalan grammar normative, it won’t get that Valencians pronounce: curona, puderós, and shuculata.

The Kingdom of Valencia inside of its substantial unit in the phonetics, presents a little variations in pronounce. There’s a way on the north (a zone near Catalan), there’s another in the central zone of Valencia called “apichat” zone[13].

Given the fact of this phonetic plurality, without can speak each one of its modality lawfully, the Valencians philologist are inclinated by the most generalise pronounce and the richest of all, to have it as normative and give the unity to the Valencian language. That phonetic is the used in the Plain of Castellon and the villages of Valencia and Alicante that doesn’t speak “apichat”. These are the reasons:

The prefered phonetical is the closest to our classics and the richest phonetically because conserves the distinction between B and V, this last one so Valencian (bullc, vullc, I want), and the difference between the strong S and the soft or sounded S (casa and caça, house and hunt). In the same way conserves one more sound when it distinguish between the sounds of CH, G, and X (churro and jove and Xativa). This pronounce must be counseled in the cult persons and must be taught in the schools.

We´ll do a comparison between the Valencian phonetic and the Catalan phonetic, to be understood better the characteristics of our language.


1.      the pronounce of vocals

We have insinuated before that Catalan adds to the conjunct of the Valencian vocals (open and close) a neutral or mixed vocal, that invade constantly our language. Moreover the atonics O are pronounced all like U. This fact, having in consideration its frequence, is so important and affects in such way the pronounce, that diversify both systems (Valencian and Catalan), because make difference permanently the language. But also exists differences in the use of consonants. We´ll indicate in first place the differences in the vocalic system.

a.      In strong or accentuated syllabes.

There are more words in Valencian pronounced with open E that in Barcelona. The words: ple, sec, seda, dret, cera, cep, veta, negre, enveja, per, tres, estret, net, vermell, abella ; the diminutives ended in –et (pasturet, netet); the infinitives ended in –er correr, run) and the derivations ended in –esa / ea (vellesa, oldness), are pronounced with a close E. By general, use to be words in which the E derives from a Latin long E or short I. So in valencian we must pronounce: plé (full), séc, cép, envéja, estrét (narrow), abélla (bee), etc.; pastorét, netét, etc., correr, etc.,belléa (oldness), puréa (purity).

b.      In weak or non accentuated syllabes

The A in Barcelona has a totally different sound in the strong syllabes that in the weak ones: is the sound of the neutral or mixed vocal:

Strong A (like in Valencian): cas (case), clar (clear), ma (hand), nau (ship).

Weak A (neutral vocal): casset, claror, poma, dona. Phonetically: kessèt, kleró, pòme, dòne.

The E has the same sound that the weak A (neutral vocal). So, as Mr. Pompeu Fabra shows, it sounds equal the words: teulada and teulada (the first is “roof”, and the second comes from “table”); Pauet and peuet (derived from the name “Pau” and “foot” respectively). It sounds equal regle and regla, negre and negra.

The atonic or weak O is pronounced like U. Examples: the words content(happy), poderos (powerful), frontera (border), that in Valencian are pronounced like are written, in the east of Catalonia sound: cuntent, puderós, fruntére. It has the same sound: podia and pudia, ollada and ullada.

The Catalan normative grammar also advises that the diphthong OU must be pronounced like AU (ploura , will rain; will be pronounced plaura, will please).

If we see the high quantity of atonic vocals that appears in common texts, we´ll see the great difference that exists between the Valencian and Catalan phonetic, without counting other differences.


2.      The pronounce of the consonants.

However the diferences between Valencian and Catalan are not very great in the pronounce of consonants, we´ll appoint some of them.

a.      The consonants C and G, situated between a vocal and an L, are, frequently, geminated in Catalan giving an CC and GG. They are not in Valencian. Examples: tecla, espectacul, regla, segle, juglar, derivate in Catalan tec.cla, espectac.cla, reg.gla, seg.gla, jug.glar.

b.      The consonant B, situated between a vocal and an L, is germinated in Catalan giving a B.B, the contrary case that Valencian. Examples: the Valencian poble derivates in pob.bla, and in occasions pop.pla.

The same we can say about the P, after a vocal and followed by L, that in Catalan derivates in germinated P (p.p). Examples: triple derivates in trip.pla, but not in Valencian.

c.      Generally in Valencian the letters B and V represent the bilavial consonant B and the lip-dental V respectively (herba, grass, and servir, serve). In Catalan both letters, B and V, sound equal (beure and veure, drink and see). We say “generally in Valencian” because this phenomenon is also given in the “apichat” zone.

d.      In Catalan exists the geminate L (l.l). In Valencian has disappeared nearly in all the territory. Examples, in Catalan: al.legar, il.lustre, metal.lic; in valencian: alegar, ilustre, metalic.

The same in Valencian disappear the sound of T in the group TLL. Examples, in Catalan: ratlla, espatlles; in Valencian: ralla, espales.

e.      The Catalan keeps the gemination of the M and N (mm, nn). In Valencian is simplified. Examples, in Catalan: setmana, pronounced semmana, in the same case the Valencian word is semana; cotna, pronounced conna, derivates in cona in Valencian.

f.       The letters C and G sound in Valencian as are written. In catalan there´re occasions that the C sounds like G, and contrary. Examples: dracma, regne, are pronounced in Catalan as dragme and recna.

g.      The final R in general is suppressed in Catalan. In the Valencian only in the zone closer to Catalonia. In Catalan is suppressed in all these cases:

-infinitives of the verbs: parlar (speak), voler, correr, coneixer...

-Derivate words ended in ER: ferrer (smith), galliner, sabater, fuster (carpenter)...

-Derivate words ended in AR: colmenar, pinar (pine forest), bestiar...

-Derivate words ended in DOR: governador, teixidor (weaver), volador (flyer)...

-Verbal names ended in TOR and SOR: inventor, inversor, protector.

-In various words: clar, plaer (pleasure), sancer, diner, ahir (yesterday), flor (flower), plor, por (fear), madur, cantar (catalan: cantir), etc.

h.      The Catalan grammar recommends pronounce various consonantic groups, that have been simplified in Valencian like: MPT, PT, NT, TM. For example: redemptor, escriptor, assumpcio, premsa, etc. That in Valencian are: redentor, assuncio, prensa, etc.

i.        In common Catalan the consonantic group DV, derivates in VV or BB. Example: advent sounds evven or ebbent.

j.        The consonant palatal afriqued CH at the beginning of word or syllable, it turns fricative weak in Catalan, fact that is not given in Valencian. Exemples: charrar (chat), puncha, chocar, sound in Catalan with the “s” (the sh of show): šera, punše, šocà.

k.      It´s very strange in the Kingdom of Valencia the suppression of the semivocal I before the fricative weak S (the I of the group IX). In the eastern Catalan that I doesn´t sound. Examples: aixina, caixa, baix, in Catalan sound: ašine, caše, baš.

l.        The endings –ada, -ades, -ador, -adora, -adors, -adores, in Catalan are pronounced as are written. In Valencian the D of the endings is lost. Examples, in Catalan: vesprada, menjades, comprador, ventiladors; in Valencian: vesprà, menjaes, compraor, ventilaors, etc.

m.    Equally in Valencian and according to classics, the intervocalic S of the endings in –esa dissapears, and in Catalan it conserves. Catalan: fortalesa, riquesa, vellesa. Valencian: fortalea (strength), riquea (richness), vellea.

n.      The Valencian keeps the final S of certain cult words like sintaxis (syntax), dieresis, diocesis, tesis, tisis, etc. The Catalan suppress it.

o.      The Valencian avoids of words ended in US, like Augustus, tipus, etc. who are admitted by Catalan.

p.      Finally we have to say that between Catalan and Valencian there are many differences in the vocalism of the same words, even in written (apart from the pronounce of the vocals in atonic syllable). Examples, in Catalan: efeminat,ametista, assemblea, ebenista, empar, estendart, sergent, assassi, avaria, sanefa, rancor, rodó, xerrar, bufetada, furoncul, robí, sufocar, suportar, diumenge, nèixer, treure, gener, etc. In Valencian: afeminat, amatista, assamblea, ebaniste, ampar, estandart, sargent, assessi, averia, cenefa, rencor, redo, charrar, bofetada, foruncul, rubi, sofocar, soportar, dumenge, naixer, traure, atraure, giner, etc.

As is logical we don’t count the differences that are in the vulgarisms of each region.

Extracting: The Valencian has its own phonetic system differentiated from catalan. It isn´t enough to say that Catalan and Valencian have the same sounds to admit that, in a phonic level, are the same language. The sounds are the same, refered to consonants; but the vocalic system is different, and the consonants are used and combinated in a different way.


[1] The author was born in Artana (Castellon, Valencian Community); was licensed in Romanic Philology by the University of Barcelona; since 1939 was a teacher of Latin in the High School of Castellon. At 21 he had the Doctory. He’s a good translator of Plauto and Terencius. In 1954 obtained the Cross of Alfonso X by his long work in Philology; is also one of the members of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, in the section of Philology and Literature.

[2] “Lo Rat Penat” is a centennial cultural society created in 1882. Its name “rat penat” (bat) is one of the symbols of the valencian flag.

[3] Bonifacio was the brother of Saint Vincent Ferrer.

[4] Balearic is the generical language of the islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza...)

[5] This dictionary was published –in the case of the Valencian Language –by Del Cenia al Segura and the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, in two volumes, in 1993.

[6] The Grammar was published by “Lo Rat Penat”, today there is a 2nd. Edition co-published with the Townhall of Valencia.

[7] In 1988 the dictionary it wasn’t still published.

[8] This was published in the 1st. Edition by the cultural society “Lo Rat Penat” in 1987 (the 2nd edition corrected was published in 1996) as a material of the courses.

[9] Note of the author: Cf. Mn. Ricart Puig: “La conjugació verbal valenciana”. Antoni Fontelles: “La flexio verbal en la Llengua Valenciana”

[10] This distinction is not possible in English where “to be” includes both meanings.

[11] El Puig is a little village in the closer north of the city of Valencia.

[12] Note of the author: The rules of the Royal Academy were studied and lightly retouched in a assembly that had the associations and the most representative valencianist cultural entities, convoked by the Conselleria de Educacion of the Generalitat Valenciana, and published after by the Secretaria Tecnica of the same Conselleria. The actual Conselleria has returned to the Catalan rules under the disguise of “Castellon rules” that nobody follow, and with this title gets up the flag to introduce totally the catalan linguistic rules, operation in which the mean instruments are the IEC and the University.

[13] Note of the author: The “apichat” zone goes from the Sego Valley (near Sagunto) on the north, till Albufera and the left margin of the Jucar River; containing the districts of Bajo Palancia, Campo de Turia, Huerta de Valencia, Llano de Quart, part of the Ribera Alta, the city of Gandia, and in Castellon: Onda, Sueras and Tales.


Title: "The Valencian language today, syntetic study" ("La llengua valenciana hui").
Josep Maria Guinot i Galan
Editor: Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, Collection “Serie Filologica” number 3, (1986).
ISSN: 0213-9723
Albert Cuadrado