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(Central-southern part of the Province of Sassari
Northern part of the Province of Nuoro
Northern part of the Province of Oristano)
Languages and dialects of Sardinia
Logudorese Sardinian (Sardinian: sardu logudoresu, Italian: sardo logudorese) is one of the two written standards of Sardinian, often considered the most conservative of all Romance languages. The orthography is based on the spoken dialects of central northern Sardinia, identified by certain attributes which are not found, or found to a lesser degree, among the Sardinian dialects centered on the other written form, Campidanese. Its ISO 639-3 code is src. Italian-speakers do not understand Logudorese, like any other dialect of the Sardinian language: Sardinian is an autonomous linguistic group rather than a dialect of Italian as it is often noted because of its morphological, synctatic, and lexical differences from Italian.
Latin G and K before /i, e/ are not palatalized in Logudorese, in stark contrast with all other Romance languages. Compare Logudorese kentu with Italian cento /ˈtʃɛnto/, Spanish ciento /ˈθjento/, /ˈsjento/ and French cent /sɑ̃/. Like the other varieties of Sardinian, most subdialects of Logudorese also underwent lenition in the intervocalic plosives of -/p/-, -/t/-, and -/k/-/ (e.g. Lat. focum > fogu "fire", ripa > riba "shore, bank", rota > roda "wheel"). Logudorese also turns medial /nj/ and /lj/ into and /ɲ/ and /ʎ/, respectively (e.g. Lat. Sardinia > Sardigna and folium > fogia "leaf"). Finally, Logudorese shifts the Latin labiovelars /kʷ/ and /gʷ/ into /b/ medially and /k/ word-initially (Lat. lingua > limba "tongue", qualem > cale "what")
Logudorese is intelligible to those from the southern part of Sardinia, where Campidanese Sardinian is spoken, but it is not to those from the extreme north of the island, where Corsican–Sardinian dialects are spoken.
The area of Logudoro (the term originated as a blend of the kingdom's name of Logu de Torres), in which it is spoken, is a northern subregion of the island of Sardinia with close ties to Ozieri (Othieri) and Nuoro (Nùgoro) for culture and language, as well as history, with important particularities in the western area, where the most important town is Ittiri. It is an area of roughly 150 × 100 km with some 500,000–700,000 inhabitants.
The origins of Sardinian have been investigated by Eduardo Blasco Ferrer and others. The language derives from Latin and a pre-Latin, Paleo-Sardinian (Nuragic) substratum, but has been influenced by Catalan and Spanish due to the dominion of the Crown of Aragon and later the Spanish Empire over the island. Logudorese is the northern macro-dialect of the Sardinian language, the southern macro-dialect being Campidanese, spoken in the southern half of the island. The two dialects share a clear common origin and history, but have experienced somewhat different developments.
Though the language is typically Romance, some words are not of Latin origin, and are of uncertain etymology. One such is "nura", found in "nuraghe", the main form of pre-Roman building, hence the term for the pre-Roman era as the Nuragic Period. Various place names similarly have roots that defy analysis.
Logudorese Sardinian changed only very slowly from Vulgar Latin in comparison to other Romance lects, with Linguist Mario Pei reporting an 8% degree of separation from Latin in the Nuorese subdialect, the most conservative compared to other Romance Languages. Because of this reason, as well as the preservation of many works of traditional literature from the 15th century onwards, Logudorese is often considered to be the most prestigious variety of Sardinian.
Logudorese Sardinian has multiple subdialects, some confined to individual villages or valleys. Though such differences can be noticeable, the dialects are mutually intelligible, and share mutual intelligibility with the neighbouring Campidanese dialects as well.
Spoken in the north of Sardinia, this subdialect contains the following features:
/pl/, /fl/, /kl/ changes to /pi/, /fi/, /ki/ (Lat. plovere > piòere "rain", florem > fiore "flower", clavem > ciae "key")
/r/ > /l/ in an intervocalic, pre-consonantal position (Northern Saldigna vs Southern Sardigna)
Spoken in Central Sardinia, this subdialect contains the following features:
/pl/, /fl/, /kl/ changes to /pr/, /fr/, /kr/ (Lat. plovere > pròere "rain", florem > frore "flower", clavem > crae "key")
/l/ > /r/ in an intervocalic, pre-consonantal position (Northern altu vs Southern artu "high")
The Nuorese dialects (spoken in Nuoro and Baronia) have some distinctive features not found anywhere else in Sardinia, many features demonstrating the conservative nature of the dialect:
No lenition of intervocalic plosives (e.g. Lat. focum > focu "fire", ripa > ripa "shore, bank", rota > rota "wheel")
No palatal realisation of /nj/ and /lj/, instead turning into and /nn/ and /ll/, respectively (e.g. Lat. Sardinia > Sardinna and folium > folla "leaf").
Preservation of intervocalic /g/, /d/, and /v/ (Lat. augustus "August" > Log. austu but Nuo. agustu, Lat. credere "to believe" > Log. creere but Nuo. credere, Lat. novem "nine" > Log. noe vs Nuo. nobe < nove)
Betacism of /v/ in Nuoro but not in Baronia.
Latin /t/ before yod to /θ/ in Nuorese (plateam "street, courtyard" > pratha), albeit the sound is in the process of becoming /ts/ (pratza).
A large body of Sardinian poetry, songs and literature is composed in Logudorese.