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Logudorese Sardinian[2] (Sardinian: Sardu Logudoresu, Italian: Sardo Logudorese) is one of the two written standards of Sardinian, often considered the most conservative of all Romance languages. The orthography is based on the spoken dialects of central northern Sardinia, identified by certain attributes which are not found, or found to a lesser degree, among the Sardinian dialects centered on the other written form, Campidanese. Its ISO 639-3 code is src. Italian-speakers do not understand Logudorese, like any other dialect of the Sardinian language:[3] Sardinian is an autonomous linguistic group rather than a dialect of Italian[4] as it is often noted because of its morphological, synctatic, and lexical differences from Italian.

Logudorese Sardinian
Sardu Logudoresu
Native toItaly
(Central-southern part of the Province of Sassari
Northern part of the Province of Nuoro
Northern part of the Province of Oristano)
Native speakers
500,000 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-1sc
ISO 639-2srd
ISO 639-3src
Logudorese Sardinian
Logudorese Sardinian
Sardinia Language Map.png
Languages and dialects of Sardinia
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Latin G and K before /i, e/ are not palatalized in Logudorese, in stark contrast with all other Romance languages. Compare Logudorese kentu with Italian cento /ˈtʃɛnto/, Spanish ciento /ˈθjento/, /ˈsjento/ and French cent /sɑ̃/. Like the other varieties of Sardinian, most subdialects of Logudorese also underwent Lenition in the intervocalic plosives of -/p/-, -/t/-, and -/k/-/ (e.g. Lat. focum > fogu "fire", ripa > riba "shore, bank", rota > roda "wheel"). Logudorese also turns medial /nj/ and /lj/ into and /ɲ/ and /ʎ/, respectively (e.g. Lat. Sardinia > Sardigna and folium > fogia "leaf"). Finally, Logudorese shifts the Latin labiovelars /kʷ/ and /gʷ/ into /b/ medially and /k/ word-initially (Lat. lingua > limba "tongue", qualem > cale "what")

Logudorese is intelligible to those from the southern part of Sardinia, where Campidanese Sardinian is spoken,[5] but it is not to those from the extreme north of the island, where Corsican–Sardinian dialects are spoken.[citation needed]

Location and distributionEdit

The area of Logudoro (term originated as a blend of the kingdom's name of Logu de Torres) in which it is spoken, a northern subregion of the island of Sardinia with close ties to Ozieri (Othieri) and Nuoro (Nùgoro) for culture and language, as well as history, with important particularities in the western area, where the most important town is Ittiri. It is an area of roughly 150 × 100 km with some 500,000–700,000 inhabitants.

Origins and featuresEdit

The origins of Sardinian have been investigated by Eduardo Blasco Ferrer and others. The language derives from Latin and a pre-Latin, Paleo-Sardinian (Nuragic) substratum, but has been influenced by Catalan and Spanish due to the dominion of the Crown of Aragon and later the Spanish Empire over the island. Logudorese is the northern macro-dialect of the Sardinian language, the southern macro-dialect being Campidanese, spoken in the southern half of the island. The two dialects share a clear common origin and history, but have experienced somewhat different developments.

Though the language is typically Romance, some words are not of Latin origin, and are of uncertain etymology. One such is "nura", found in "nuraghe", the main form of pre-Roman building, hence the term for the pre-Roman era as the Nuragic Period. Various place names similarly have roots that defy analysis.

Logudorese Sardinian changed only very slowly from Vulgar Latin in comparison to other Romance lects, with Linguist Mario Pei reporting an 8% degree of separation from Latin in the Nuorese subdialect, the most conservative compared to other Romance Languages.[6] Because of this reason, as well as the preservation of many works of traditional literature from the 15th century onwards, Logudorese is often considered to be the most prestigious variety of Sardinian.


Logudorese Sardinian has multiple subdialects, some confined to individual villages or valleys. Though such differences can be noticeable, the dialects are mutually intelligible, and share mutual intelligibility with the neighbouring Campidanese dialects as well.

Northern LogudoreseEdit

Spoken in the north of Sardinia, this subdialect contains the following features:

/pl/, /fl/, /kl/ changes to /pi/, /fi/, /ki/ (Lat. plovere > piòere "rain", florem > fiore "flower", clavem > ciae "key")

/r/ > /l/ in an intervocalic, pre-consonantal position (Northern Saldigna vs Southern Sardigna)

Central (Common) LogudoreseEdit

Spoken in Central Sardinia, this subdialect contains the following features:

/pl/, /fl/, /kl/ changes to /pr/, /fr/, /kr/ (Lat. plovere > pròere "rain", florem > frore "flower", clavem > crae "key")

/l/ > /r/ in an intervocalic, pre-consonantal position (Northern altu vs Southern artu "high")


The Nuorese dialects (spoken in Nuoro and Baronia) have some distinctive features not found anywhere else in Sardinia, many features demonstrating the conservative nature of the dialect:

No lenition of intervocalic plosives (e.g. Lat. focum > focu "fire", ripa > ripa "shore, bank", rota > rota "wheel")

No palatal realisation of /nj/ and /lj/, instead turning into and /nn/ and /ll/, respectively (e.g. Lat. Sardinia > Sardinna and folium > folla "leaf").

Preservation of intervocalic /g/, /d/, and /v/ (Lat. augustus "August" > Log. austu but Nuo. agustu, Lat. credere "to believe" > Log. creere but Nuo. credere, Lat. novem "nine" > Log. noe vs Nuo. nobe < nove)

Betacism of /v/ in Nuoro but not in Baronia.

Latin /t/ before yod to /θ/ in Nuorese (plateam "street, courtyard" > pratha), albeit the sound is in the process of becoming /ts/ (pratza).

Sample of textEdit

Frontispiece of Jonah's Prophecy in the Logudorese dialect of Sardinian, Giovanni Spano, London, 1861 (the other pages can be seen by clicking on the picture).

Medieval administrative documentsEdit

(Logudorese Privilege, 1080)

"In nomine Domini amen. Ego iudice Mariano de Lacon fazo ista carta ad onore de omnes homines de Pisas pro xu toloneu ci mi pecterunt: e ego donolislu pro ca lis so ego amicu caru e itsos a mimi; ci nullu imperatore ci lu aet potestare istu locu de non (n)apat comiatu de leuarelis toloneu in placitu: de non occidere pisanu ingratis: e ccausa ipsoro ci lis aem leuare ingratis, de facerlis iustitia inperatore ci nce aet exere intu locu [...]"


Extract from Sa Vitta et sa Morte, et Passione de sanctu Gavinu, Brothu et Ianuariu (Antoni Canu, 1557)

Tando su rey Barbaru, su cane renegadu
de custa resposta multu restayt iradu
et issu martiriu fetit apparigiare
Itu su quale fetit fortemente ligare
sos sanctos martires cum bonas catenas
qui li segaant sos ossos cum sas veinas
et totu sas carnes cum petenes de linu.

Pro Amsicora (Antioco Casula, also known as Montanaru, early 20th century)

Beni, ispiritu antigu, beni tue
eroe de sa sarda libertade,
chi pustis tantu currere d’edade
risplendes che sole senza nue.
Tue, mannu rebellu, anima rue
de fronte a sa romana podestade
sa morte hasa prefertu a s’amistade
furistera. Nessunu ischit inue
T’han seppellidu, eroe isfortunadu
de una causa santa e tantos Sardos
no ischini chi sias esistidu.
Ma eo peso su cantu innamoradu
pro te, cun versos duros, galiardos,
comente duramente ses vividu.
Su tempu senza pasu andat a fua
che marettas marinas a curtura
però sos veros Sardos in tristura
vivene sempre. Est sa tristura tua.
Eroe nostru, senza sepoltura
in custa sarda terra dur’e crua
chi sos mezzus allattat cun sa lua
e dat a sos istranzos sa dulzura.
Ma oe che Iosto, senza brigas,
dogni giovanu avanzat temperadu
a provas de trabagliu e d’amore.
Non pius, o eroe, maleigas
s’offesa antiga. Olvida su passadu
e saluda su tempus benidore.


A passage from Sa limba est s'istoria de su mundu (Frantziscu Masala, 2000)

"A sos tempos de sa pitzinnìa, in bidda, totus chistionaiamus in limba sarda. In domos nostras no si faeddaiat atera limba. E deo, in sa limba nadìa, cominzei a connoscher totu sas cosas de su mundu. A sos ses annos, intrei in prima elementare e su mastru de iscola proibeit, a mie e a sos fedales mios, de faeddare in s'unica limba chi connoschiamus: depiamus chistionare in limba italiana, «la lingua della Patria», nos nareit, seriu seriu, su mastru de iscola. Gai, totus sos pitzinnos de 'idda, intraian in iscola abbistos e allirgos e nde bessian tontos e cari-tristos."


A large body of Sardinian poetry, songs and literature is composed in Logudorese.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Logudorese Sardinian at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "
    Logudorese Sardinian"
    . Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Sardinian Language, Rebecca Posner, Marius Sala. Encyclopedia Britannica
  4. ^ De Mauro, Tullio. L'Italia delle Italie, 1979, Nuova Guaraldi Editrice, Florence, 89
  5. ^ Sardinian intonational phonology: Logudorese and Campidanese varieties, Maria Del Mar Vanrell, Francesc Ballone, Carlo Schirru, Pilar Prieto
  6. ^ Pei, Mario. Story of Language. ISBN 03-9700-400-1.

External linksEdit