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Page vi This page intentionally left blank. In preparing it we have had in mind the needs of pre-university and university students, teachers, translators and those with a private or professional interest in the language as it is currently used by Catalan speakers in educated conversation and in the normal range of written registers. We have, of course, relied considerably on the extensive existing literature on Catalan grammar, though we have developed some topics which have not previously been covered in depth.
We have also given particular emphasis to areas of usage which are likely to be difficult for users starting from English.
This Comprehensive Grammar is thus conceived as an extension or complement to a fairly wide repertoire of basic study materials, a sample of which is provided in the Further reading list. Another, related, assumption is that users of this book will be acquainted with basic traditional grammatical concepts and terminology; we aim to explain any more specialized concepts and terms as we go along.
Such explanations can be located via the index. Catalan is a member of the Romance family of languages which are modern forms of the Latin language which spread from Rome to much of Europe in the wake of the Roman empire around the beginning of the common era. As its geographical position might suggest, Catalan shares several features with its nearest Romance neighbours: Italian, Sardinian, Occitan, Spanish, while being distinct in several respects from all of them.
The map on page xviii shows where Catalan is spoken and identifies the main dialect divisions.
Catalan: A Comprehensive Grammar
CATALAN - A COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR