Ligurian language (Romance) explained

Ligurian is also the name of an extinct language of Italy.

Nativename:Lígustico, Ligure, Zeneize
States: Italy (Liguria, Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia)
France (Alpes Maritimes and Corsica)
Nation:Officially recognized in Italy (Law 482/1999) and Monaco.

Ligurian is a Gallo-Romance language, currently spoken in Liguria, northern Italy, and parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, and Monaco. Genoese (Zeneize or Zeneise) is one of the most well-known dialects, spoken in Genoa, the capital of Liguria.

It belongs to the Northern Italian group within the Romance languages.

The language may be dying out, but is still widely spoken by many, especially the elderly, out of a population of 2,000,000.

The highest artistic expression of this language is probably the album Crêuza de mä by the Genoese singer and songwriter Fabrizio de Andrè. The whole album is written and sung in Ligurian, and is considered one of the best of the World music during the Eighties.

It was also the Christopher Columbus and Giuseppe Garibaldi's mothertongue.

Geographic extent

Besides Liguria, the language is traditionally spoken in coastal, northern Tuscany, southern Piedmont (part of the province of Alessandria), western extremes of Emilia-Romagna (some areas in the province of Piacenza), in northern parts of Sardinia (Italy), the Alpes-Maritimes of France (Mostly the Côte d'Azur from the Italian border to and including Monaco), and parts of Corsica (France). It has been adopted formally in Monaco as the Monegasque language; or locally, Munegascu.

Niçard, of the County of Nice, is considered by some scholars to have been a Ligurian language before the annexation of the region to France in 1860.[1] In any event, it is seen as a transitional Occitan language dialect very similar to Ligurian.

In Italy, the language has given way to Standard Italian and in France to French.

Linguistic structure

Ligurian exhibits distinct Italian features, while also having features of other Romance languages. No link between Romance Ligurian and the Ligurian language of the ancient Ligurian populations, in the form of a substrate or otherwise, can be demonstrated by linguistic evidence. There does exist, however, toponomastic derivations from ancient Ligurian.


Ligurian strains are:


The ligurian alphabet has:



  1.,M1 Beyond Boundaries: Language and Identity in Contemporary Europe Chapter Seven

External links

See also