Sardinian language

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Sardu, Limba / Lingua Sarda
Native to Italy
Region Sardinia
Native speakers
unknown (1 million cited 1993–2007)[1]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by Limba Sarda Comuna code
Language codes
ISO 639-1 sc
ISO 639-2 srd
ISO 639-3 srdinclusive code
Individual codes:
sro – Campidanese
src – Logudorese
Glottolog sard1257[2]
Linguasphere 51-AAA-s +(Corso-Sardinian) 51-AAA-pd & -pe
Idioma sardo.png
Sardinia Language Map.png
Languages and dialects of Sardinia. Sardinian is yellow (Logudorese) and orange (Campidanese).
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Sardinian (sardu, limba sarda, lingua sarda) is a Romance language primarily spoken on three-quarters of the island of Sardinia (Italy). A number of scholars consider it the most conservative Romance language,[3] and its substratum (Paleo-Sardinian or Nuragic) has also been researched. A 1949 study by Italian-American linguist Mario Pei, analyzing the degree of difference from a language's parent (Latin, in the case of Romance languages) by comparing phonology, inflection, syntax, vocabulary, and intonation, indicated the following percentages (the higher the percentage, the greater the distance from Latin):[4] Sardinian 8%, Italian 12%, Spanish 20%, Romanian 23.5%, Occitan 25%, Portuguese 31%, and French 44%.

Several standards, most recently the Limba Sarda Comuna (Common Sardinian Language),[5] have been created in an attempt to unify the two main varieties of the language, Campidanese and Logudorese, which have their own literature and sociolinguistic ancient tradition.[6][7]

Since 1997, all the languages spoken by the island's people (including Sardinian) have been recognized by regional and national laws. Since 1999, Sardinian is also one of the twelve "historical language minorities" of Italy and protected as such by the Law 482.[8]


Now the question arises as to whether Sardinian is to be considered a dialect or a language in its own right. Politically speaking,[9] it is clearly one of the many dialects of Italy, just like the Serbo-Croatian and the Albanian spoken in various villages of Calabria and Sicily. However, from a linguistic point of view, that is a different question. It can be said that Sardinian has no relationship whatsoever with any dialect of mainland Italy; it is an archaic Romance speech with its own distinctive characteristics, showing a very original vocabulary in addition to morphology and syntax rather different from the Italian dialects.[10]

— Max Leopold Wagner, La lingua sarda, 1951 - Ilisso, pp.90-91

Sardinia's relative isolation from mainland Europe encouraged the development of a Romance language preserving traces of its indigenous, pre-Roman language. The language is posited to have substratal influences from Nuragic, Basque,[11] and Etruscan.[12] Adstratal influences include Catalan, Spanish and Italian. The situation of Sardinian language with regard to the politically dominant ones would not change until the 1950s.[13]


The origins of the Paleo-Sardinian language are currently not known. Research has attempted to discover obscure, indigenous, pre-Romance roots; the root sard, present in many place names and denoting the island's people, is reportedly from Sherden (one of the Sea Peoples), although this assertion is quite debated.

In 1984, Massimo Pittau said he found in the Etruscan language the etymology of many Latin words after comparing it with the Nuragic language(s).[12] Etruscan elements, formerly considered originating in Latin, would indicate a connection between the ancient Sardinian culture and the Etruscans. According to Pittau, the Etruscan and Nuragic language(s) are descended from Lydian (and therefore Indo-European) as a consequence of contact with Etruscans and other Tyrrhenians from Sardis described by Herodotus.[12] Although Pittau suggests that the Tirrenii landed in Sardinia and the Etruscans landed in modern Tuscany, his views are not shared by most Etruscologists.

According to Bertoldi and Terracini, Paleo-Sardinian has similarities with the Iberic languages and Siculian; for example, the suffix ara in proparoxytones indicated the plural. Terracini proposed the same for suffixes in -/àna/, -/ànna/, -/énna/, -/ònna/ + /r/ + a paragogic vowel (such as the toponym Bunnànnaru). Rohlfs, Butler and Craddock add the suffix -/ini/ (such as the toponym Barùmini) as a unique element of Paleo-Sardinian. Suffixes in /a, e, o, u/ + -rr- found a correspondence in north Africa (Terracini), in Iberia (Blasco Ferrer) and in southern Italy and Gascony (Rohlfs), with a closer relationship to Basque (Wagner and Hubschmid). However, these early links to a Basque precursor have been questioned by some Basque linguists.[14] According to Terracini, suffixes in -/ài/, -/éi/, -/òi/, and -/ùi/ are common to Paleo-Sardinian and northern African languages. Pittau emphasized that this concerns terms originally ending in an accented vowel, with an attached paragogic vowel; the suffix resisted Latinization in some place names, which show a Latin body and a Nuragic suffix. According to Bertoldi, some toponyms ending in -/ài/ and -/asài/ indicated an Anatolic influence. The suffix -/aiko/, widely used in Iberia and possibly of Celtic origin, and the ethnic suffix in -/itanos/ and -/etanos/ (for example, the Sardinian Sulcitanos) have also been noted as Paleo-Sardinian elements (Terracini, Ribezzo, Wagner, Hubschmid and Faust).

Linguists Blasco Ferrer (2009, 2010) and Morvan (2009) have attempted to revive a theoretical connection with Basque by linking words such as Sardinian ospile ("fresh grazing for cattle") and Basque ozpil; Sardinian arrotzeri ("vagabond") and Basque arrotz ("stranger"); Sardinian arru ("stone, stony") and Basque arri ("stone"), and Gallurese (South Corsican and North Sardinian) zerru ("pig") and Basque zerri. Genetic data on the distribution of HLA antigens have suggested a common origin for the Basques and Sardinians.[15]

Roman period

Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria (not on socio-functional ones). Koryakov (2001) ascribes Sardinian to the separated Island Romance branch of the Romance languages, along with old Corsican.[16]

Although Roman domination, which began in 238 BC, brought Latin to Sardinia, it was unable to completely supplant the pre-Roman Sardinian languages, including Punic, which continued to be spoken until the second century AD. Some obscure Nuragic roots remained unchanged, and in many cases the Latin accepted local roots (like nur, which makes its appearance in nuraghe, Nùgoro and many other toponyms). Barbagia, the mountainous central region of the island, derive from the Latin Barbaria, because its people refused cultural assimilation and continued to resist Roman power. Cicero called the Sardinian rebels latrones mastrucati ("thieves with rough wool cloaks") to emphasise Roman superiority.[17]

This Latin cultural domination makes Sardinian a Romance language (or, more precisely, a neo-Latin language) with phonetic and morphological features resembling Old Latin. Some linguists assert that modern Sardinian, being part of the Island Romance group,[16] was the first language to split off from the others evolving from Latin, called Continental Romance.

Although Sardinia was then influenced (and controlled) by the Byzantine Empire, Greek did not enter its language except for ritual or formal expressions in Latin using Greek structure. Evidence for this is found in the condaghes, the first written documents in Sardinian. Some toponyms, such as Jerzu (thought to derive from the Greek khérsos, "untilled" and the personal names Mikhaleis, Konstantine and Basilis) demonstrate Greek influence.

Giudicati period

Sardinian was the official language of the Giudicati, Byzantine districts that became independent after the Arab expansion in the Mediterranean cut the ties between the island and Byzantium. Sardinian had a greater number of archaisms and Latinisms than the present language does. Dante Alighieri wrote in his 1302–05 essay De vulgari eloquentia that he would except Sardinians; because they were not Italians, they had no vulgar language of their own.[18][19][20]

Dante's view has been dismissed, because Sardinian evolved enough to be unintelligible to non-islanders. A popular 12th-century verse quotes the provençal troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueiras: No t'intend plui d'un Toesco / o Sardo o Barbarì ("I don't understand you any more than I understand a German / or a Sardinian or a Berber").[21][22]

Two pages of an illuminated manuscript
Sardinian-language statutes of Sassari from the 13th–14th centuries

The literature of this period primarily consists of legal documents. The first document containing Sardinian elements is a 1063 donation to the abbey of Montecassino signed by Barisone I of Torres.[23] Other documents are the Carta Volgare (1070–1080) in Campidanese, the 1080 Logudorese Privilege,[24] the 1089 Donation of Torchitorio (in the Marseille archives),[25] the 1190–1206 Marsellaise Chart (in Campidanese)[26] and an 1173 communication between the Bishop Bernardo of Civita and Benedetto, who oversaw the Opera del Duomo in Pisa.[27] Statutes of Sassari are written in Logudorese.[28] The Carta de Logu of the Kingdom of Arborea (1355–1376) would remain in force until 1827.[29][30]

Catalan period

The 1297 feoffment of Sardinia by Pope Boniface VIII led to the Kingdom of Sardinia and a long period of war, ending with a 1409 Catalan victory at Sanluri and the renunciation of the rights of succession signed by William III of Narbonne. During this period the clergy adopted Catalan as their primary language, relegating Sardinian to secondary status. According to attorney Sigismondo Arquer (author of Sardiniae brevis historia et descriptio), although Catalan was spoken in the cities Sardinian prevailed in rural areas.

Despite spoken Catalan's popularity on the island at this time (which had a lasting influence on Sardinian), there are few written records of Sardinian. One is the 15th-century Sa Vitta et sa Morte, et Passione de sanctu Gavinu, Brothu et Ianuariu, written by Antòni Canu (1400–1476) and published in 1557: Tando su rey barbaru su cane renegadu / de custa resposta multu restayt iradu / & issu martiriu fetit apparigiare / itu su quale fesit fortemente ligare / sos sanctos martires cum bonas catenas / qui li segaant sos ossos cum sas veinas / & totu sas carnes cum petenes de linu ... . Rimas Spirituales, by Hieronimu Araolla, "glorif[ied] and enrich[ed] Sardinian, our language" (magnificare et arrichire sa limba nostra sarda) as Spanish, French and Italian poets had done for their languages (la Deffense et illustration de la langue françoyse and il Dialogo delle lingue).[13][31] Antonio Lo Frasso, a poet born in Alghero (a city he remembered fondly)[32] who spent his life in Barcelona, wrote lyric poetry in Sardinian:[33]  ... Non podende sufrire su tormentu / de su fogu ardente innamorosu. / Videndemi foras de sentimentu / et sensa una hora de riposu, / pensende istare liberu e contentu / m'agato pius aflitu e congoixosu, / in essermi de te senora apartadu, / mudende ateru quelu, ateru istadu ... .

Spanish period

In 1624, with the reorganization of the monarchy led by the Count-Duke of Olivares, Sardinia would leave the Aragonese sphere of influence for the Spanish one. However, Spanish was perceived as an elitist language and Sardinian retained its importance.[34] A 1620 proclamation is in the Bosa archives.[35] In "Legendariu de Santas Virgines, et Martires de Iesu Christu", the Orgolese priest Ioan Matheu Garipa called Sardinian the closest living relative of classical Latin: Las apo voltadas in sardu menjus qui non in atera limba pro amore de su vulgu [...] qui non tenjan bisonju de interprete pro bi-las decrarare, et tambene pro esser sa limba sarda tantu bona, quanta participat de sa latina, qui nexuna de quantas limbas si plàtican est tantu parente assa latina formale quantu sa sarda.

Piedmontese period and Kingdom of Italy

The War of the Spanish Succession gave Sardinia to Austria, whose sovereignty was confirmed by the 1713–14 treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt. In 1717 a Spanish fleet reoccupied Cagliari, and the following year Sardinia was ceded to Victor Amadeus II of Savoy in exchange for Sicily.

During the Savoyard period, a number of essays written by philologist Matteo Madau[36][37] and professor (and senator) Giovanni Spano attempted to establish a unified orthography based on Logudorese, just like Florentine would become the basis for Italian.[38] However, the Piedmontese government imposed Italian on Sardinia in July 1760,[39][40][41][42] implementing an island-wide assimilation policy to bind the island to Italy. Until then, Italian was a foreign language to Sardinians.[43]

Carlo Baudi di Vesme (Cuneo, 1809 – Turin, 1877) proposed the suppression of Sardinian in order to make the islanders "civilized" Italians,[44] importing solely Italian-speaking teachers from other regions, and Piedmontese cartographers attempted to replace Sardinian place names with Italian ones. Despite the assimilation policy the anthem of the Piedmontese Kingdom of Sardinia was the Hymnu Sardu (or Cunservet Deus su Re), with Sardinian lyrics.

During the mobilization for World War I, the Italian Army compelled all Sardinians to enlist as Italian subjects and raised the Sassari Infantry Brigade on 1 March 1915 at Tempio Pausania and Sinnai. Unlike other Italian infantry brigades, Sassari's was recruited on Sardinia (including its officers). It is the only Italian unit with an anthem in a regional language: Dimonios ("Devils"), by Luciano Sechi. Its title derives from Rote Teufel (German for "red devils").

Under Fascism every language other than Italian was banned, to the point of forbidding Sardinia's characteristic improvised poetry competitions,[45] and surnames were changed to sound more Italian.[46] During this period, the Sardinian Hymn of the Piedmontese Kingdom was a chance to use a regional language without penalty; as a royal tradition, it could not be forbidden.


Sign with graphic of crossed-out cigarette
No-smoking sign in Sardinian and Italian

The emphasis on monolingual (Italian-only) policies and assimilation has continued after World War II, with historical sites and ordinary objects renamed in Italian.[47] The Ministry of Public Education reportedly requested the monitoring of Sardinian teachers.[48] The rejection of the indigenous language, along with a rigid model of Italian-language education,[49] led to the difficult scholarization of Sardinians. Even now, Sardinia currently has the highest rate of school and university drop-out in Italy.[50]

During the 1990s, Sardinian, Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovenian, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin and Occitan were recognized as minority languages by Law 482-1999.[51] Nevertheless, in many Italian libraries and universities books about the Sardinian language are still classified as Linguistica italiana (Italian linguistics), Dialetti italiani (Italian dialects) or Dialettologia italiana (Italian dialectology),[52][53] because Sardinian is considered an "Italian dialect" by some[54] (even at the institutional level).[55] The language has been stigmatized as indicative of a lack of education,[56][57] and as a result it is associated still by many locals with shame, backwardness and provincialism.

Bilingual sign pointing to a church
Bilingual Italian–Sardinian road sign in Siniscola

Despite campaigns to give Sardinian equal status with Italian as a means to promote cultural identity, a number of factors like immigration from mainland Italy, the interior rural exodus to urban areas[58] and the use of Italian as a prerequisite for jobs and social advancement actually hinder any policy set up to promote the language.[59][60][61] Therefore, UNESCO classifies Sardinian as "definitely endangered", because "many children learn the language, but some of them cease to use it throughout the school years".[62]

At present, language use is far from stable:[13] reports show that, while an estimated 68 percent of the islanders have a good oral command of Sardinian, language ability among the children drops to around 13 percent;[63][64] some linguists cite the low number of Sardinian-speaking children as indicative of language decline.[65] Instead, most of the younger generation, although they do understand some Sardinian, is actually monolingual and speaks a mixture of Italian and Sardinian (considered regional Italian by linguists[13]) that is called italiànu porcheddìnu ("piggy Italian", meaning more or less "broken Italian") by native Sardinian speakers.[66] Today, people who speak Sardinian on an everyday basis mainly live in the sparsely populated interior of the island, like the Barbagia region.[67][68]

A bill proposed by former prime minister Mario Monti's cabinet would have lowered Sardinian's protection level,[69] distinguishing between languages protected by international agreements (German, Slovenian, French and Ladin) and indigenous languages. This bill, which was not implemented (Italy has signed, but not ratified, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages),[70][71] triggered a reaction on the island.[72][73][74][75] Students have expressed an interest in taking all (or part) of their exit examinations in Sardinian.[76][77][78][79][80][81][82]

In response to a 2013 Italian initiative to remove bilingual signs, a group of Sardinians began a virtual campaign on Google Maps to replace Italian place names with the original Sardinian names. After about one month, Google changed the place names back to Italian.[83][84][85] After a signature campaign,[86] it has been made possible to change the language setting on Facebook from any language to Sardinian.[87][88]

In 2015, all the political parties in the Sardinian regional council have reached an agreement involving a series of amendments to the old 1997 law in order to introduce the optional teaching of the language in Sardinia's schools. The law, if approved, will be implemented the same year.[89][90][91] Although there is still not an option to teach Sardinian on the island itself, let alone in Italy, some language courses are instead available in Germany (Universities of Stuttgart, Munich and Tübingen), Spain (University of Girona)[92] and Czech Republic (Brno university).[93][94] Shigeaki Sugeta also taught Sardinian to his students of Romance languages at the Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.[95][96][97]

At the present day, the Sardinian-speaking community, despite being the largest minority language group recognised by Italy,[98] is also the least protected one. In fact the language, which is slowly receding in all domains of use, is still not given access to any field of public life, such as education (the use of Sardinian in schools is still discouraged,[65][99] while the local universities do not provide any support in the language[100][101]), politics (with the exception of some nationalist groups), justice, administrative authorities and public services, media,[102][103][104] and cultural,[105] ecclesiastical,[106] economic and social activities, as well as facilities. A solution to the Sardinian question is unlikely to be found anytime soon.[13]


All dialects of Sardinian have phonetic features that are archaic relative to other Romance languages. The degree of archaism varies, with the dialect spoken in the Province of Nuoro being considered the most conservative. Medieval evidence indicates that the language spoken on Sardinia and Corsica at the time was similar to modern Nuorese Sardinian. The remaining dialects are thought to have innovated as the result of Tuscan (later Italian) and Spanish influences.

The examples listed below are from the Logudorese dialect:

  • The Latin short vowels [i] and [u] have preserved their original sound; in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese they became [e] and [o], respectively (for example, siccus > sicu, "dry" (Italian secco, Spanish seco).
  • Preservation of the plosive sounds [k] and [ɡ] before front vowels [e] and [i] in many words; for example, centum > kentu, "hundred"; decem > dèke, "ten" and gener > gheneru, "son-in-law" (Italian cento, dièci, genero with [tʃ] and [dʒ]).
  • Absence of diphthongizations found in other Romance languages; for example, potest > podet, "he can" (Italian può, Spanish puede); bonus > bónu, "good" (Italian buono, Spanish bueno)

Sardinian contains the following phonetic innovations:

  • Change of the Latin -ll- into a retroflex [ɖɖ], shared with Sicilian; for example, corallus > coraddu, "coral" and villa > bidda, "village, town"
  • Similar changes in the consonant clusters -ld- and -nd-: soldus > [ˈsoɖ.ɖu] (money), abundantia > [ab.buɳ.ˈɖan.tsi.a] (abundance)
  • Evolution of pl-, fl and cl into pr, fr and cr, as in Portuguese and Galician; for example, platea > pratza, "plaza" (Portuguese praça, Galician praza, Italian piazza), fluxus > frúsciu, "flabby" (Portuguese and Galician frouxo) and ecclesia > cresia, "church" (Portuguese igreja, Galician igrexa and Italian chiesa)
  • Rearrangements like abbratzare > abbaltzare (to embrace)
  • Vowel prothesis before an initial r in Campidanese, similar to Basque and Gascon: regem > urrei = re, gurrèi (king); rotam > arroda (wheel) (Gascon arròda); rivum > Sardinian and Gascon arríu (river)
  • Vowel prothesis in Logudorese before an initial s followed by consonant, as in the Western Romance languages: scriptum > iscrítu (Spanish escrito, French écrit), stellam > isteddu, "star" (Spanish estrella, French étoile)
  • Except for the Nuorese dialects, intervocalic Latin single voiceless plosives [p, t, k] became voiced approximant consonants. Single voiced plosives [b, d, ɡ] were lost: [t] > [d] (or its soft counterpart, [ð]): locum > [ˈlo.ɡu] (Italian luògo), caritatem > [ka.ri.ˈ] (It. carità). This also applies across word boundaries: porku (pig), but su borku (the pig); domo (house), but sa omo (the house).

Although the latter two features were acquired during Spanish rule, the others indicate a deeper relationship between ancient Sardinia and the Iberian world; the retroflex d, l and r are found in southern Italy, Tuscany and Asturias, and were probably involved in the palatalization process of the Latin clusters -ll-, pl-, cl- (-ll- > Castilian and Catalan -ll- [ʎ], Gascon -th [c]; cl- > Galician-Portuguese ch- [tʃ], Ital. chi- [kj]).

According to Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, Sardinian has the following phonemes:


The five vowels /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/, without length differentiation.


Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Retroflex Palatal Velar
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ gn /ɲ/
Plosive p /p/ b /b/ t /t/ d /d/ dd /ɖ/ k /k/ g /ɡ/
Affricate tz /ts/ z /dz/ ch, c /tʃ/ g /dʒ/
Fricative b /β/ f /f/ v /v/ (th /θ/) d /ð/ s, ss /s/ s /z/ sc /ʃ/ x /ʒ/ g /ɣ/
Tap r /ɾ/
Trill rr /r/
Lateral l /l/
Approximant j /j/

There are three series of plosives or corresponding approximants:

  • Voiceless stops derive from their Latin counterparts in composition after another stop. They are reinforced (double) in initial position, but this reinforcement is not written because it does not produce a different phoneme.
  • Double voiced stops (after another consonant) derive from their Latin equivalents in composition after another stop.
  • Weak voiced "stops", sometimes transcribed ⟨β, δ, ğ⟩ (approximants [β, ð, ɣ] after vowels, as in Spanish), derive from single Latin stops (voiced or voiceless).

In Cagliari and neighboring dialects, the soft [d] is assimilated to the rhotic consonant [ɾ]: digitus > didu = diru (finger).

Articulation point labio-dental dentoalveolar retroflex palatal velar from Latin
voiceless p t k double voiceless
double voiced bb dd ɖɖ kw > bb, bd > dd, etc.
approximants b [β] d [ð] ɡ [ɣ] single stops

The double-voiced retroflex stop /ɖɖ/ (written dd) derives from the former retroflex lateral approximant /ɭɭ/.


  • The labiodentals /f/ (sometimes pronounced [ff] or [v] in initial position) and /v/
    • Latin initial v becomes b (vipera > bibera, "viper")
      • In central Sardinia the sound /f/ disappears, evoking the /f/ > /h/ transformation in Gascon and Castilian.
  • [θ], written th (as in the English thing, the voiceless dental fricative), is a restricted dialectal variety of the phoneme /ts/.
  • /s/
  • /ss/: For example, ipsa > íssa
  • /ʃ/: Pronounced [ʃ] at the beginning of a word, otherwise [ʃʃ] = [ʃ.ʃ], and is written sc(i/e). The voiced equivalent, [ʒ], is often spelled with the letter x.


  • /ts/ (or [tts]), a denti-alveolar affricate consonant written tz, corresponds to Italian z or ci.
  • /dz/ (or [ddz]), written z, corresponds to Italian gi- or ggi- respectively.
  • /tʃ/, written c(i/e) or ç
  • /ttʃ/
  • /dʒ/, written g(e/i) or j


  • /m/, /mm/
  • /n/, /nn/
  • /ɲɲ/, written nny (the palatal nasal for some speakers or dialects, although for most the pronunciation is [nːj][citation needed])


  • /l/ (or [ll]), double initially
  • /ɾ/, a flap written r
  • /r/, a trill written rr

Some permutations of l and r are seen; in most dialects, a preconsonant l (for example, lt or lc) becomes r: Latin "altum" > artu, marralzu = marrarzu, "rock".

In palatal context, Latin l changed into [dz], [ts], [ldz] [ll] or [dʒ], rather than the [ʎ] of Italian: achizare (Italian accigliare), *volia > bòlla = bòlza = bòza, "wish" (Italian vòglia), folia > fogia = folla = foza, "leaf" (Italian foglia), filia > filla = fidza = fiza, "daughter" (Italian figlia).


Sardinian's distinctive features are:

  • The plural marker is -s (from the Latin accusative plural), as in the Western Romance languages French, Occitan, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and Galician): sardu, sardus, "sardinian"; pudda, puddas, "hen"; margiane, margianes, "fox". In Italo-Dalmatian languages (such as Italian) or Eastern Romance languages (such as Romanian), the plural ends with -i or -e.
  • Sardinian uses a definite article derived from the Latin ipse: su, sa, plural sos, sas (Logudorese) and is (Campidanese). Such articles are common in Balearic Catalan, and were common in Gascon.
  • A periphrastic construction of "to have to" (late Latin habere ad) is used for the future: ap'a istàre < apo a istàre, "I will stay" (as in the Portuguese hei de estar, but here as periphrasis for estarei).
  • For prohibitions, a negative form of the subjunctive is used: no bengias!, "don't come!" (compare Spanish no vengas and Portuguese não venhas, classified as part of the affirmative imperative mood).


Sardinia has historically had a small population scattered across isolated cantons. Its language is divided into two major dialects: Logudorese (su logudoresu), spoken in the north, and Campidanese (su campidanesu), spoken in the south. They differ primarily in phonetics, which does not hamper intelligibility. Logudorese is considered the more conservative dialect, with the Nuorese subdialect the most conservative. It has retained the classical Latin pronunciation of the stop velars (kena versus cena, "supper"), the front middle vowels (compare Campidanese iotacism, probably from Byzantine Greek)[107] and assimilation of close-mid vowels (cane versus cani, "dog" and gattos versus gattus, "cats"). Labio-velars become plain labials (limba versus lingua, "language" and abba versus acua, "water"). I is prosthesized before consonant clusters beginning in s (iscala versus Campidanese scala, "stairway" and iscola versus scola, "school").

An east-west strip of small villages in central Sardinia speaks a transitional dialect (Sardu de mesania) between Logudorese and Campidanese. Examples include is limbas (the languages) and is abbas (the waters). Campidanese is the dialect spoken in the southern half of Sardinia (including Cagliari, the metropolis of the Roman province), influenced by Rome, Carthage, Costantinople and Late Latin. Examples include is fruminis (the rivers) and is domus (the houses).


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    Campidanese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Logudorese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
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  6. "Sardegna Cultura - Lingua sarda - Il sardo". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Sardegna Cultura - Lingua sarda - Letteratura". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Legge 482". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. It is to be noted on that matter that Wagner would conduct academic research in 1951; Sardinian would have waited another forty years to be politically recognized, at least formally, as a minority language in Italy.
  10. Original version (in Italian): Sorge ora la questione se il sardo si deve considerare come un dialetto o come una lingua. È evidente che esso è, politicamente, uno dei tanti dialetti dell’Italia, come lo è anche, p. es., il serbo-croato o l’albanese parlato in vari paesi della Calabria e della Sicilia. Ma dal punto di vista linguistico la questione assume un altro aspetto. Non si può dire che il sardo abbia una stretta parentela con alcun dialetto dell’italiano continentale; è un parlare romanzo arcaico e con proprie spiccate caratteristiche, che si rivelano in un vocabolario molto originale e in una morfologia e sintassi assai differenti da quelle dei dialetti italiani.
  11. Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, ed. 2010. Paleosardo: Le radici linguistiche della Sardegna neolitica (Paleosardo: The Linguistic Roots of Neolithic Sardinian). De Gruyter Mouton
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Massimo Pittau - La lingua dei Sardi Nuragici e degli Etruschi". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Rebecca Posner, John N. Green (Editors), Trends in Romance Linguistics and Philology: Bilingualism and Linguistic Conflict in Romance, pp.271-294
  14. Trask, L. The History of Basque Routledge: 1997 ISBN 0-415-13116-2
  15. Arnaiz-Villena A, Rodriguez de Córdoba S, Vela F, Pascual JC, Cerveró J, Bootello A. – HLA antigens in a sample of the Spanish population: common features among Spaniards, Basques, and Sardinians. – Hum Genet. 1981;58(3):344-8.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Koryakov Y.B. Atlas of Romance languages. Moscow, 2001
  17. "Cicero: Pro Scauro". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Dantis Alagherii De Vulgari Eloquentia Liber Primus, The Latin Library: Sardos etiam, qui non Latii sunt sed Latiis associandi videntur, eiciamus, quoniam soli sine proprio vulgari esse videntur, gramaticam tanquam simie homines imitantes: nam domus nova et dominus meus locuntur. (Lib. I, XI, 7)
  19. De Vulgari Eloquentia 's Italian paraphrase by Sergio Cecchini
  20. Marinella Lőrinczi, La casa del signore. La lingua sarda nel De vulgari eloquentia
  21. Leopold Wagner, Max. La lingua sarda, a cura di Giulio Paulis - Ilisso, pp.78
  22. "Le sarde, une langue normale". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Archivio Cassinense Perg. Caps. XI, n. 11 " e "TOLA P., Codice Diplomatico della Sardegna, I, Sassari, 1984, p. 153"
  24. In nomine Domini amen. Ego iudice Mariano de Lacon fazo ista carta ad onore de omnes homines de Pisas pro xu toloneu ci mi pecterunt: e ego donolislu pro ca lis so ego amicu caru e itsos a mimi; ci nullu imperatore ci lu aet potestare istu locu de non (n)apat comiatu de leuarelis toloneu in placitu: de non occidere pisanu ingratis: e ccausa ipsoro ci lis aem leuare ingratis, de facerlis iustitia inperatore ci nce aet exere intu locu ...
  25. E inper(a)tor(e) ki l ati kastikari ista delegantzia e fagere kantu narat ista carta siat benedittu ...
  26. In nomine de Pater et Filiu et Sanctu Ispiritu. Ego iudigi Salusi de Lacunu cun muiere mea donna (Ad)elasia, uoluntate de Donnu Deu potestando parte de KKaralis, assolbu llu Arresmundu, priori de sanctu Saturru, a fagiri si carta in co bolit. Et ego Arresmundu, l(eba)nd(u) ass(o)ltura daba (su) donnu miu iudegi Salusi de Lacunu, ki mi illu castigit Donnu Deu balaus (a)nnus rt bonus et a issi et a (muiere) sua, fazzu mi carta pro kertu ki fegi cun isus de Maara pro su saltu ubi si ( ... )ari zizimi ( ... ) Maara, ki est de sanctu Saturru. Intrei in kertu cun isus de Maara ca mi machelaa(nt) in issu saltu miu (et canpa)niarunt si megu, c'auea cun istimonius bonus ki furunt armadus a iurari, pro cantu kertàà cun, ca fuit totu de sanctu Sat(ur)ru su saltu. Et derunt mi in issu canpaniu daa petra de mama et filia derectu a ssu runcu terra de Gosantini de Baniu et derectu a bruncu d'argillas e derectu a piskina d'arenas e leuat cabizali derectu a sa bia de carru de su mudeglu et clonpit a su cabizali de uentu dextru de ssa doméstia de donnigellu Cumitayet leuet tuduy su cabizali et essit a ssas zinnigas de moori de silba, lassandu a manca serriu et clonpit deretu a ssu pizariu de sellas, ubi posirus sa dìì su tremini et leuat sa bia maiori de genna (de sa) terra al(ba et) lebat su moori ( ... ) a sa terra de sanctu Saturru, lassandu lla issa a manca et lebat su moori lassandu a (manca) sas cortis d'oriinas de ( ... ) si. Et apirus cummentu in su campaniu, ki fegir(us), d'arari issus sas terras ipsoru ki sunt in su saltu miu et (ll)u castiari s(u) saltu et issus hominis mius de Sinnay arari sas terras mias et issas terras issoru ki sunt in saltu de ssus et issus castiari su saltu(u i)ssoru. Custu fegirus plagendu mi a mimi et a issus homi(nis) mius de Sinnay et de totu billa de Maara. Istimonius ki furunt a ssegari su saltu de pari (et) a poniri sus treminis, donnu Cumita de Lacun, ki fut curatori de Canpitanu, Cumita d'Orrù ( ... ) du, A. Sufreri et Iohanni de Serra, filiu de su curatori, Petru Soriga et Gosantini Toccu Mullina, M( ... ) gi Calcaniu de Pirri, C. de Solanas, C. Pullu de Dergei, Iorgi Cabra de Kerarius, Iorgi Sartoris, Laurenz( ... ) ius, G. Toccu de Kerarius et P. Marzu de Quartu iossu et prebiteru Albuki de Kibullas et P. de Zippari et M. Gregu, M. de Sogus de Palma et G. Corsu de sancta Ilia et A. Carena, G. Artea de Palma et Oliueri de Kkarda ( ... ) pisanu et issu gonpanioni. Et sunt istimonius de logu Arzzoccu de Maroniu et Gonnari de Laco(n) mancosu et Trogotori Dezzori de Dolia. Et est facta custa carta abendu si lla iudegi a manu sua sa curatoria de Canpitanu pro logu salbadori (et) ki ll'(aet) deuertere, apat anathema (daba) Pater et Filiu et Sanctu Ispiritu, daba XII Appostolos et IIII Euangelistas, XVI Prophetas, XXIV Seniores, CCC(XVIII) Sanctus Patris et sorti apat cun Iuda in ifernum inferiori. Siat et F. I. A. T.
  27. Ego Benedictus operaius de Santa Maria de Pisas Ki la fatho custa carta cum voluntate di Domino e de Santa Maria e de Santa Simplichi e de indice Barusone de Gallul e de sa muliere donna Elene de Laccu Reina appit kertu piscupu Bernardu de Kivita, cum Iovanne operariu e mecum e cum Previtero Monte Magno Kercate nocus pro Santa Maria de vignolas ... et pro sa doma de VillaAlba e de Gisalle cum omnia pertinentia is soro .... essende facta custa campania cun sii Piscupu a boluntate de pare torraremus su Piscupu sa domo de Gisalle pro omnia sua e de sos clericos suos, e issa domo de Villa Alba, pro precu Kindoli mandarun sos consolos, e nois demus illi duas ankillas, ki farmi cojuvatas, suna cun servo suo in loco de rnola, e sattera in templo cun servii de malu sennu: a suna naran Maria Trivillo, a sattera jorgia Furchille, suna fuit de sa domo de Villa Alba, e sattera fuit de Santu Petru de Surake ... Testes Judike Barusone, Episcopu Jovanni de Galtellì, e Prite Petru I upu e Gosantine Troppis e prite Marchu e prite Natale e prite Gosantino Gulpio e prite Gomita Gatta e prite Comita Prias e Gerardu de Conettu ... e atteros rneta testes. Anno dom.milles.centes.septuag.tertio
  28. Vois messer N. electu potestate assu regimentu dessa terra de Sassari daue su altu Cumone de Janna azes jurare a sancta dei evangelia, qui fina assu termen a bois ordinatu bene et lejalmente azes facher su offitiu potestaria in sa dicta terra de Sassari ...
  29. A passage outlines the penalties for rape: De chi levarit per forza mygeri coyada. Volemus ed ordinamus chi si alcun homini levarit per forza mugeri coyada, over alcun'attera femina, chi esserit jurada, o isponxellarit alcuna virgini per forza, e dessas dittas causas esserit legittimamenti binchidu, siat iuygadu chi paghit pro sa coyada liras chimbicentas; e si non pagat infra dies bindighi, de chi hat a esser juygadu, siat illi segad'uno pee pro moda ch'illu perdat. E pro sa bagadìa siat juygadu chi paghit liras ducentas, e siat ancu tenudu pro levarilla pro mugeri, si est senza maridu, e placchiat assa femina; e si nolla levat pro mugeri, siat ancu tentu pro coyarilla secundu sa condicioni dessa femina, ed issa qualidadi dess'homini. E si cussas caussas issu non podit fagheri a dies bindighi de chi hat a esser juygadu, seghintilli unu pee per modu ch'illu perdat. E pro sa virgini paghit sa simili pena; e si non hadi dae hui pagari, seghintilli unu pee, ut supra.
  30. "Carta de Logu". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Incipit to "Lettera al Maestro" in "La Sardegna e la Corsica", Ines Loi Corvetto, Torino, UTET Libreria, 1993: Semper happisi desiggiu, Illustrissimu Segnore, de magnificare, & arrichire sa limba nostra Sarda; dessa matessi manera qui sa naturale insoro tottu sas naciones dessu mundu hant magnificadu & arrichidu; comente est de vider per isos curiosos de cuddas.
  32.  ... L'Alguer castillo fuerte bien murado / con frutales por tierra muy divinos / y por la mar coral fino eltremado / es ciudad de mas de mil vezinos...
  33. Los diez libros de fortuna d'Amor (1573)
  34. Storia della lingua sarda, vol. 3, a cura di Giorgia Ingrassia e Eduardo Blasco Ferrer
  35. Jn Dei nomine Amen, noverint comente sende personalmente constituidos in presensia mia notariu et de sos testimongios infrascrittos sa viuda Caterina Casada et Coco mugere fuit de su Nigola Casada jàganu, Franziscu Casada et Joanne Casada Frades, filios de su dittu Nigola et Caterina Casada de sa presente cittade faguinde custas cosas gratis e de certa sciensia insoro, non per forza fraudu, malìssia nen ingannu nen pro nexuna attera sinistra macchinassione cun tottu su megius modu chi de derettu poden et deven, attesu et cunsideradu chi su dittu Nigola Casada esseret siguida dae algunos corpos chi li dein de notte, pro sa quale morte fettin querella et reclamo contra sa persona de Pedru Najtana, pro paura de sa justissia, si ausentait, in sa quale aussensia est dae unu annu pattinde multos dannos, dispesas, traballos e disusios.
  36. Un arxipèlag invisible: la relació impossible de Sardenya i Còrsega sota nacionalismes, segles XVIII-XX - Marcel Farinelli, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Institut Universitari d'Història Jaume Vicens i Vives, pp.285
  37. "Ichnussa - la biblioteca digitale della poesia sarda". Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. [ ...] Ciononostante le due opere dello Spano sono di straordinaria importanza, in quanto aprirono in Sardegna la discussione sul "problema della lingua sarda", quella che sarebbe dovuta essere la lingua unificata ed unificante, che si sarebbe dovuta imporre in tutta l'isola sulle particolarità dei singoli dialetti e suddialetti, la lingua della nazione sarda, con la quale la Sardegna intendeva inserirsi tra le altre nazioni europee, quelle che nell'Ottocento avevano già raggiunto o stavano per raggiungere la loro attuazione politica e culturale, compresa la nazione italiana. E proprio sulla falsariga di quanto era stato teorizzato ed anche attuato a favore della nazione italiana, che nell'Ottocento stava per portare a termine il processo di unificazione linguistica, elevando il dialetto fiorentino e toscano al ruolo di "lingua nazionale", chiamandolo "italiano illustre", anche in Sardegna l'auspicata "lingua nazionale sarda" fu denominata "sardo illustre". Massimo Pittau, Grammatica del sardo illustre, Nuoro, pp. 11–12
  39. The phonology of Campidanian Sardinian : a unitary account of a self-organizing structure, Roberto Bolognesi, The Hague : Holland Academic Graphics
  40. S'italianu in Sardìnnia , Amos Cardia, Iskra
  41. "Limba Sarda 2.0S'italianu in Sardigna? Impostu a òbligu de lege cun Boginu - Limba Sarda 2.0". Limba Sarda 2.0. Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  43. [...]È tanto nativa per me la lingua italiana, come la latina, francese o altre forestiere che solo s’imparano in parte colla grammatica, uso e frequente lezione de’ libri, ma non si possiede appieno[...] said Andrea Manca Dell’Arca, agronomist from Sassari at the end of the 17th century (Ricordi di Santu Lussurgiu di Francesco Maria Porcu In Santu Lussurgiu dalle Origini alla "Grande Guerra" – Grafiche editoriali Solinas – Nuoro, 2005)
  44. Considerazioni politiche ed economiche sulla Sardegna (1848): Una innovazione in materia di incivilimento della Sardegna e d’istruzione pubblica, che sotto vari aspetti sarebbe importantissima, si è quella di proibire severamente in ogni atto pubblico civile non meno che nelle funzioni ecclesiastiche, tranne le prediche, l’uso dei dialetti sardi, prescrivendo l’esclusivo impiego della lingua italiana… È necessario inoltre scemare l’uso del dialetto sardo ed introdurre quello della lingua italiana anche per altri non men forti motivi; ossia per incivilire alquanto quella nazione, sì affinché vi siano più universalmente comprese le istruzioni e gli ordini del Governo ...
  45. Quando a scuola si insegnava la lingua sarda - Il Manifesto Sardo
  46. Lussu became Lusso, and Pilu changed to Pilo; a large number of Sardinian surnames were affected by this policy.
  47. Sardinia and the right to self-determination of peoples, Document to be presented to the European left University of Berlin – Enrico Lobina
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  49. Lavinio, 1975, 2003
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  57. La lingua sarda oggi: bilinguismo, problemi di identità culturale e realtà scolastica, Maurizio Virdis (Università di Cagliari)
  58. Compare Irish Gaeltacht (Edwards 1985)
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  86. Facebook in sardo: è possibile ottenerlo se noi tutti compiliamo la richiesta -
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  106. Niente messa in limba, lettera al vescovo: “Perché in chiesa è vietato parlare in sardo?” - SardiniaPost
  107. et ipso quoque sermo Sardorum adhuc retinetnon pauca verba sermonis graeci atque ipse loquentium sonum graecisanum quendam prae se fert – Roderigo Hunno Baeza, Caralis Panegyricus, about 1516, manuscript preserved in the University Library of Cagliari


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External links