Istroromanian language
This is considered by some linguists a dialect of Romanian language, but it bears some independent traits and in fact originated not from Romanian, but from Dalmatian language, spoken several centuries ago in Dalmatia and now extinct. Istroromanian speakers are isolated as a linguistic island in Istria, the peninsula belonging to Croatia. Nowadays it is spoken actually in some Croatian villages in the northeast of the Istrian Peninsula. Speakers: from 1,500 to 3,500 according to different sources. So the language is considered quite endangered, and needs a revival seriously.

Roman settlements in Illyria first brought Latin language to this lands, where people spoke Illyrian and Venetic languages then. The mixture of those tongues with later additions of Slavic and other elements created the interesting structure and vocabulary of different varieties of Istroromanian language. Among them, we can mention Istriot dialect, was used to be spoken in Croatia, in the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, now only in towns of Rovinj (Rovigno) and Vodnjan (Dignano), by less than 1.000 speakers. The relationship of Istriot with other romance languages of the area (Italian and Friulian) is not still clear.

The Dalmatian language, the ancestor of Istroromanian, is an extinct Romance language also known with other names: Ragusan, Vegliot. It was widely spoken in Croatia along the coast of Dalmatia. Last it was seen in the town of Krk (Veglia) where it became extinct in 1898, formerly also in Zadar and Dubrovnik (Ragusa).

Istroromanian keeps many Latin features and morphological forms. See, for example, personal pronouns compared to Latin ones:
io : ego
tu : tu
ie : illus
io : illa
noi : nos
voi : vos
el'i : illi
eale : illae

The verb structure was simplified, but preserved infinitive, tenses and participles.

Istroromanian Links