[aka Asturiano, Leonese, Leonés]

Classification: Indo-European


at risk


Asturian: resurgence and impeding demise of a minority language in the Iberian Peninsula

Asturian is a Romance language spoken in the territory of the Principality of Asturias (Spain), nowadays in decline due to the strong pressure of Castilian. Although in the last few years some protective and linguistic planning measures have been taken, the Asturian language does not yet enjoy the o‰cial status of other Spanish languages such as Catalan, Basque, or Galician since the advent of democracy and the autonomous system in Spain. The Asturian situation is, in fact, paradoxical, since, in spite of sociological studies evincing a general support in society for o‰cial status and linguistic normalization this demand is thwarted by the averse attitude of certain political, social, and academic local e´lites who block, by means of their in- fluence, any advancement in this direction. This article analyzes the historical and sociological keys of linguistic shift in Asturias exemplified by the peculiar situation of Asturian Language Teaching at the University of Oviedo, which has recently been in danger of becoming banned.

Nicole Gomes