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Corsican (Corsu or Lingua Corsa) is a Romance language spoken on the island of Corsica (France), alongside French, which is the official language. Corsican is also spoken to some extent in the Gallura and Sassari areas of Sardinia (Italy). It has similarities to Italian and in particular the Tuscany dialects of Italian.
The language has several dialects including Northern Corsican, spoken in the Bastia (Bastia), Corte (Corti) area, and Southern Corsican, spoken in Sartene (Sartè), Porto-Vecchio (Porti-Vechju). The dialect of Ajaccio (Aiacciu) has been described as in transition. The dialects spoken at Calvi and Bonifacio (Bunifaziu) are closer to Genoa dialect, also known as Ligurian.
In the Sardinian region of Gallura (Gaddura), including the town of Tempio Pausania (Tempiu), and on the island of La Maddalena (A Maddalena) "Gallurese" is spoken. This is a transitional dialect with many similarities with Southern Corsican. Another Corsican dialect is spoken around Sassari (North of Sardinia).
The Corsican language is a key vehicle for Corsican culture, which is notably rich in proverbs. Corsica also has a tradition of polyphonic singing that dates back to the 16th century and is thought to have evolved from similar traditions on the Italian mainland.
In recent years, greater protection for the language has been discussed as part of proposals for increased autonomy of the region of Corsica from France.
See also: Languages of France
- Marcel Peres, Le Chant religieux corse
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