The spread of Castilian (Spanish), the Castilian origin of the Trastámara dynasty, and the similarity between Castilian (Spanish) and Aragonese facilitated the recession of the latter. A turning point was the 15th-century coronation of the Castilian Ferdinand I of Aragon, also known as Ferdinand of Antequera.
In the early 18th century, after the defeat of the allies of Aragon in the Spanish Succession War, Philip V ordered the prohibition of the Aragonese language in the schools and the establishment of Castilian (Spanish) as the only official language in Aragon. This was ordered in the Aragonese Nueva Planta decrees of 1707.
In recent times, Aragonese was mostly regarded as a group of rural dialects of Spanish. Compulsory education undermined its already weak position; for example, pupils were punished for using it. However, the 1978 Spanish transition to democracy heralded literary works and studies of the language.
In 2009, the Languages Act of Aragon (Law 10/2009) recognized the "native language, original and historic" of Aragon. The language received several linguistic rights, including its use in public administration. This legislation was repealed by a new law in 2013 (Law 3/2013).
Aragonese expanded into the territories of the Kingdom of Aragon from the 12th to the 16th centuries.
Aragonese has many historical traits in common with Catalan. Some are conservative features that are also shared with the Astur-Leonese languages and Galician-Portuguese, where Spanish innovated in ways that did not spread to nearby languages.
Shared with Catalan
Romance initial F- is preserved, e.g. FILIUM > fillo ("son", Sp. hijo, Cat. fill, Pt. filho).
Romance palatal approximant (GE-, GI-, I-) consistently became medieval [dʒ], as in medieval Catalan and Portuguese. This becomes modern ch[tʃ], as a result of the devoicing of sibilants (see below). In Spanish, the medieval result was either [dʒ] (modern [x]), [ʝ] or nothing, depending on the context. E.g. IUVENEM > choven ("young man", Sp. joven/ˈxoβen/, Cat. jove/ˈʒoβə/), GELARE > chelar ("to freeze", Sp. helar/eˈlaɾ/, Cat. gelar/ʒəˈla/).
Romance groups -LT-, -CT- result in [jt], e.g. FACTUM > feito ("done", Sp. hecho, Cat. fet, Gal./Port. feito), MULTUM > muito ("many"/"much", Sp. mucho, Cat. molt, Gal. moito, Port. muito).
Romance groups -X-, -PS-, SCj- result in voiceless palatal fricative ix[ʃ], e.g. COXU > coixo ("crippled", Sp. cojo, Cat. coix).
Romance groups -Lj-, -C'L-, -T'L- result in palatal lateral ll[ʎ], e.g. MULIERE > muller ("woman", Sp. mujer, Cat. muller), ACUT'LA > agulla ("needle", Sp. aguja, Cat. agulla).
Shared with Catalan and Spanish
Open O, E from Romance result systematically in diphthongs [we], [je], e.g. VET'LA > viella ("old woman", Sp. vieja, Cat. vella). This includes before a palatal approximant, e.g. octō > ueito ("eight", Sp. ocho, Cat. vuit). Spanish diphthongizes except before yod, whereas Catalan only diphthongizes before yod.
Loss of final unstressed -E but not -O, e.g. GRANDE > gran ("big"), FACTUM > feito ("done"). Catalan loses both -O and -E; Spanish preserves -O and sometimes -E.
Shared with Spanish
Former voiced sibilants become voiceless ([z] > [s], [dʒ] > [tʃ]).
Shared with neither
Latin -B- is maintained in past imperfect endings of verbs of the second and third conjugations: teneba, teniba ("he had", Sp. tenía, Cat. tenia), dormiba ("he was sleeping", Sp. dormía, Cat. dormia).
High Aragonese dialects (alto aragonés) and some dialects of Gascon have preserved the voicelessness of many intervocalic stop consonants, e.g. CLETAM > cleta ("sheep hurdle", Cat. cleda, Fr. claie), CUCULLIATAM > cocullata ("crested lark", Sp. cogujada, Cat. cogullada).
Several Aragonese dialects maintain Latin -ll- as geminate/ll/.
The grafía de Uesca, codified in 1987 by the Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa (CFA) at a convention in Huesca, is used by most Aragonese writers. It has a more uniform system of assigning letters to phonemes, with less regard for etymology; words traditionally written with ⟨v⟩ and ⟨b⟩ are uniformly written with ⟨b⟩ in the Uesca system. Similarly, ⟨ch⟩, ⟨j⟩, and ⟨g⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩ are all written ⟨ch⟩. It uses letters associated with Spanish, such as ⟨ñ⟩.
The grafía SLA, devised in 2004 by the Sociedat de Lingüistica Aragonesa (SLA), is used by some Aragonese writers. It uses etymological forms which are closer to Catalan, Occitan, and medieval Aragonese sources. In the SLA system ⟨v⟩, ⟨b⟩,⟨ch⟩, ⟨j⟩, and ⟨g⟩ before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩ are distinct, and the digraph ⟨ny⟩ replaces ⟨ñ⟩.
During the 16th century, Aragonese Moriscos wrote aljamiado texts (Romance texts in Arabic writing), possibly because of their inability to write in Arabic. The language in these texts has a mixture of Aragonese and Castilian traits, and they are among the last known written examples of the Aragonese formerly spoken in central and southern Aragon.
z Ex: zona, Probenza, fez, zentro, serbizio, realizar, berdaz
z before e a, o, u, in initial position
ç before a, o, u, in inner position
z in final position
c before e, i
z in international formations (learned Greek words and loans that have z in their etyma) Ex: zona, Provença, fez, centro, servício, realizar, verdaz
Learned Greco-Roman words
Assimilatory tendencies not written Ex: dialecto, extension, and lexico
Assimilatory tendencies written Ex: dialeuto, estensión, but lecsico
Not all assimilatory tendencies written Ex: dialecto, extension, and lexico
Accent mark for stress (accented vowel in bold)
Spanish model, but with the possibility for oxytones to not be accented Ex:
historia, gracia, servicio
mitolochía, cheografía, María, río
Spanish model Ex:
istoria, grazia, serbizio
mitolochía, cheografía, María, río
Portuguese, Catalan and Occitan model Ex:
história, grácia, servício
mitologia, geografia, Maria, rio
Aragonese grammar is similar to that of other Iberian Romance languages, such as Spanish and Catalan.
The definite article in Aragonese has undergone dialect-related changes, with definite articles in Old Aragonese similar to their present Spanish equivalents. The most-widespread articles in Aragonese are similar to those in Galician and Portuguese, since they lack the initial l:
The second (auxiliary) article, after a vowel, is used with an r (pronounced [ɾ]).
Neighboring Romance languages have influenced Aragonese. Catalan and Occitan influenced Medieval Aragonese, and the Catalan influence continued under the Crown of Aragon in the Ribagorçan dialect. Since the 15th century, Spanish has most influenced Aragonese; it was adopted throughout Aragon as the first language, limiting Aragonese to the northern region surrounding the Pyrenees. French has also influenced Aragonese; Italian loanwords have entered through other languages (such as Catalan), and Portuguese words have entered through Spanish. Germanic words came with the conquest of the region by Germanic peoples during the fifth century, and English has introduced a number of new words into the language.
Words that were part of the Latin second declension—as well as words that joined it later on—are usually masculine:
Aragonese was not written until the 12th and 13th centuries; the history Liber Regum,Razón feita d'amor,Libre dels tres reys d'orient, and Vida de Santa María Egipcíaca date from this period, there is also an Aragonese version of the Chronicle of Morea, differing also in its content and written in the late 14th century called Libro de los fechos et conquistas del principado de la Morea.
Early modern period
Since 1500, Spanish was the cultural language of Aragon; many Aragonese wrote in Spanish, and during the 17th century the Argensola brothers went to Castile to teach Spanish.Aragonese became a popular village language. During the 17th century, popular literature in the language began to appear. In a 1650 Huesca literary contest, Aragonese poems were submitted by Matías Pradas, Isabel de Rodas and "Fileno, montañés".
The 19th and 20th centuries have seen a renaissance of Aragonese literature in several dialects. In 1844, Braulio Foz' novel Vida de Pedro Saputo was published in the Almudévar (southern) dialect. The 20th century featured Domingo Miral's costumbrist comedies and Veremundo Méndez Coarasa's poetry, both in Hecho (western) Aragonese; Cleto Torrodellas' poetry and Tonón de Baldomera's popular writings in the Graus (eastern) dialect and Arnal Cavero's costumbrist stories and Juana Coscujuela' novel A Lueca, historia d'una moceta d'o Semontano, also in the southern dialect.
Aragonese in Modern Education
The 1997 Aragonese Law of languages stipulated that Aragonese (and Catalan) speakers had a right to the teaching of and in their own language. Following this, Aragonese lessons started in schools in the academic year 1997/98. It was originally taught as an extra-curricular, non-evaluable voluntary subject in four schools. However, whilst legally schools can choose to use Aragonese as the language of instruction, as of the academic year 2013/14, there are no recorded instances of this option being taken in primary or secondary education. In fact, the only current scenario in which Aragonese is used as the language of instruction is in the university course of Aragonese Philology, which is optional, taught over the summer and still only given in Aragonese in some of the lectures.
In pre-school education, students whose parents wish them to be taught Aragonese receive between thirty minutes to one hour of Aragonese lessons a week. In the 2014/15 academic year there were 262 students recorded in pre-school Aragonese lessons.
Primary School Education
The subject of Aragonese now has a fully developed curriculum in primary education in Aragon. Despite this, in academic year 2014/2015 there were only seven Aragonese teachers in the region across both pre-primary and primary education and none hold permanent positions, whilst the number of primary education students receiving Aragonese lessons was of 320.
^ abHuguet, Dr Ángel; Lapresta, Cecilio; Madariaga, José M. (2008-11-01). "A Study on Language Attitudes Towards Regional and Foreign Languages by School Children in Aragon, Spain". International Journal of Multilingualism. 5 (4): 275–293. 10.1080/14790710802152412. 1479-0718.