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Ibero-Romance

The Ibero-Romance languages are a subfamily of the Romance languages which originated in the Iberian Peninsula. Its most prominent members are:

  • Spanish, with ~480 million native speakers and 543 million in total
  • Portuguese, with 232 million native speakers and 258 million in total
  • Galician, with 3.2 million speakers
  • Astur-Leonese, with a few hundred thousand speakers (exact number unknown)
    • Extremaduran is a transitional language between this and Spanish, with perhaps another 200,000 speakers
  • Aragonese (although this is really a transitional language that also shares a lot of features with Catalan to its east), with 12,000 speakers

The Ibero-Romance languages are a relatively conservative grouping (which is to say, it has made fewer changers from Vulgar Latin than many of the other groups). Some of the features characteristic to this group include the retention of unstressed final vowels -e and -o (from Latin -em and -us/-um), the active use of a wider range of verb tenses (including the simple past) than neighbours to this group’s northwest do, and the lack of partitive and locative clitics (e.g. French en and y – although Aragonese does have these). Most of the languages in this group have also had significant influence on their vocabularies from Arabic, due to the centuries when Moors ruled over most of the Iberian Peninsula.