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Balearic dialects of Catalan

These are the dialects of Catalan spoken on the Balearic Islands. As of the 2001 census, 750,000 people in the Balearic Islands identified themselves as Catalan speakers, although some may have been speakers of other dialects.

Grammatical features of the Balearic dialects, that distinguish them from Standard Catalan:

  • definite articles derived from ipse/ipsa instead of ille/illa; thus being es, sa, ses instead of el, els, la, les (although a couple of regions on the mainland do this too)
  • the definite article used before people’s names is always en/na.
  • the first-person singular ending is a zero ending, i.e. jo parl in place of Standard Catalan jo parlo.
  • for -ar verbs, the first and second-person plural endings are -am and -au, i.e. nosaltres cantam, vosaltres cantau instead of nosaltres cantem, vosaltres canteu.
  • where both a direct and indirect object pronoun appear with a verb, the order can be reversed compared to standard Catalan, e.g. la me dóna instead of me la dóna.

These dialects have some unique words:

  • al·lot for noi (boy)
  • moix for gat (cat)
  • ca for gos (dog)
  • besada for petó (kiss)
  • doblers for diners (money)
  • horabaixa for tarda (afternoon)

And some characteristic pronunciation features:

  • the open vowels are lower: /ɛ/ is often /æ/ and /ɔ/ often /ɒ/ (like the vowel in English pot). In mallorquí, /ɔ/ can be pronounced [ɑ].
  • in most parts of Mallorca, words ending in an unstressed -ia lose the final -a; thus, glòria is pronounced glòri.
  • except in Ibiza, when a clitic is appended to the end of a verb, stress moves to that clitic (or the final clitic if there’s more than one)
  • V and B are distinguished, as in Standard Valencian and Alguerese.
  • syllable-final /ɲs/ and /ncs/ come to be pronounced /jns/ instead