Auvergnat is spoken in southern and central France, mainly in the départements of Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Allier in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and also in the Corrèze département of Limousin. In 2004 there were about 80,000 speakers of Auvergnat, which is also known as Occitan auvergnat, and is classified as a dialect of Occitan. However, some linguists and academics classify Auvergnat as a Romance language with many influences from Occitan.
There are two main varieties of Auvergnat: Northern or Lower Auvergnat (nord-auvergnat / bas-auvergnat), Southern or Upper Auvergnat (sud-auvergnat / haut-auvergnat). Northern Auvergnat is spoken in Puy-de-Dôme, Allier and Haute-Loire in Auvergne, and in northern Limousin. Southern Auvergnat is spoken in Cantal and Haute-Loire in Auvergne.
Written Auvergnat was used in official documents between about 1340 and 1540, and was an official language of Auvergne from 1380 to 1480. It was replaced by French in formal contexts after that, although rural communities continued to speak Auvergnat.
Today Auvergnat is spoken mainly by older adults, and few parents teach it to their children. It is not taught in schools. There are some programmes in Auvergnat on the local TV station.
There are several ways to write Auvergnat with the Latin alphabet. Two were developed during the 19th century, and another in the 1970s.
Information about the Auvergnat alphabet supplied by Wolfram Siegel (PDF)
Ta la proussouna neisson lieura moé parira pà dïnessà mai dret. Son charjada de razou moé de cousiensà mai lhu fau arjî entremeî lha bei n'eime de freiressà.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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