Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Mirandese language (Lhéngua Mirandesa in Mirandese; Língua Mirandesa or Mirandês in Portuguese) is spoken in northeastern Portugal. The Portuguese Parliament granted it official recognition on 17 September, 1998 with the law 7/99 of 29 January, 1999.
Mirandese has a distinct phonology, morphology and syntax, and has been distinct at least since the formation of Portugal (12th century). It has its roots in the spoken Latin of the north of the Iberian Peninsula (Portuguese developed in the northwest). It a descendant of the ancient Leonese language of northern Iberia, the last remnant of the ancient language of the Kingdom of León. It is related to the Asturian language, which many consider in turn as a dialect of Spanish.
In the 19th century, José Leite de Vasconcelos , described it as "the language of the farms, of work, home, and love between the Mirandese".
Today Mirandese retains fewer than 5,000 speakers in the villages of the Municipality of Miranda do Douro and in some eastern villages (i.e. Vilar Seco & Angueira; in Cacarelhos, it is considered recently extinct) of the Municipality of Vimioso, and some linguisitic influence can be observed at other villages of the municipality of Vimioso and the municipalities of Mogadouro , Macedo de Cavaleiros and Bragança. Three variants of the Mirandese language exist: "Border Mirandese", "Central Mirandese" and "Sendinês Mirandese". Most speakers of Mirandese also speak Portuguese; some of these speak Spanish as well.
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