The Majorcan, language of the Balearic Islands. Cultural heritage
When a youngster comes for the first time to the islands, the first thing to know is that there is a language, a dialect of Catalan recognized at the level of the European Union as an official language.
The Majorcan, derived from Catalan, presents variations from this language, especially regarding the place names of each and every one of dominance that have suffered the islands. In the Balearic Islands has been the presence of Vandals, Byzantines and especially Arab rule, and is from 1229, with the Reconquista, when the influx of Catalans took place. The Catalan-speaking population extends its own lexical forms and gradually they were replacing old names by proper names in Catalan.
These historical circumstances are when the particular variations of the Majorcan dialect will it forming. So were some fundamental characteristics typical of Catalan from the Empordà, so the component of the Majorcan dialect they are linked to historical events that occurred on the islands.
The main morphological features are:
- The usage of the “salat” article instead of the no sigmatic article. In the morphological evolution article, the Balearic variant derived from the demonstrative ipse and not from ille as imposed in other Hispanic languages. This means that prevailed sa porta in Majorcan when in Catalan use la porta.
- The preservation of archaic verb forms disappeared in different Catalan-speaking territories.
- Widespread use of neutral article, which usually appears in the tonic forms, which also differentiates it from continental Catalan.
- Opening mid vowels [e, o] and close front unrounded vowel [i]
The Majorcan dialect has an exquisite wealth due to their insularity and limited outdoor pollution over the years. One of the most important writers in this dialect has been Raymond Lully, son of the junction of the three cultures: Christian, Arabic and Jewish that lived on the island. Thanks to write in Catalan from Majorca treaties sciences, philosophical, but also poetry, he is considered the father of literary Catalan.
For a youngster who comes for the first time and / or want to stay and live, you should know that Catalan is the official language along with Castilian and its Balearic dialect is widely used. You must learn to live with it and why not, dive into immersion to relate in a more fluid way with young islanders.
You can study in all schools of the islands, but we must make special mention of the adult education centers where young and not so young, you can train and obtain official certificates of language skills. The Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics offers courses in Catalan, including the insular variant, for all levels.
You can also go to any of the islands council and ask for the courses offered in different adult school.
Written by Eurodek Qualified Multiplier, CIJ Andratx