Valencian (Valencià) is the official name of the Catalan language spoken in the Valencian Country, Spain.
Valencian also designs the Catalan variant spoken in the Valencian Country. It is very similar to the Catalan spoken in West Catalonia and Andorra and is quite undistinguisable from the Catalan spoken in Southwest Catalonia. However, some groups in Valencia claim Valencian to be a distinct language. Universities and linguists, nevertheless, always treat Valencian as a variant of the Catalan language or even as merely a different name for the same reality.
Some features of Valencian variant:
- A system of 7 stressed vowels /a,E,e,i,O,o,u/, reduced to 5 in unstressed position (/E,e/ > [e], /O,o/ > [o]) (feature shared with Nord-occidental Catalan and Ribagorçan)
- In general, use of modern forms of the determinate article (el,els) and the 3rd person unstressed object pronouns (el,els). For the other unstressed object pronouns, etymological old forms (me,te,se,ne,mos,vos...) can be found, depending on places, in conjunction with the more modern (or reforced) ones (em,et,es,en)
- Valencian has preserved medieval prepalatal afficates [dZ],[tS] in contexts where other modern dialects have developed fricatives [Z] or [jZ] (feature shared with modern Ribagorçan)
- Valencian preserves the final oclusive in the groups [mp,nt,Nk,lt] (feature shared with modern Balearic)
- Valencian is the only modern Catalan variant that articulates etymological final [r] in all contexts
- Valencian preserves the medieval system of demonstratives with three different deixis (este/açò/ací, eixe/això/aquí, aquell/allò/allí) (feature shared with modern Ribagorçan)
- Valencian has -i- as tematic vowel for incoative verbs of the 3rd conjugation este servix (this one serves) (like Nord-occidental Catalan)
- An exclusive feature of Valencian is the subjunctive imperfect morph /ra/: que ell vinguera (that he come)
It has three main dialects:
- Septentrional: spoken in most of the province of Castellon de la Plana, and the area of Matarraña in the province of Teruel. Septentrional Valencian is very similar to the Catalan of the Tortosa area, in the province of Tarragona.
- Central or apitxat, spoken in Valencia city and its area. Apitxat has two distinct features:
- All voiced sibillants get unvoiced (that is, apitxat pronounces ['tSove] ['kasa] (young man, house), where other Valencians would pronounce ['dZove], ['kaza]) (feature shared with and Ribagorçan)
- It preserves the strong simple perfect, which has been substituted by a analytic perfect with VADERE + infinitive in the rest of modern Catalan variants (simple perfect is still preserved incomplete in Ibiza).
- Meridional: spoken in most of the province of Alicante, and the area of Carxe in the province of Murcia