Corsican (in its own language: corsu, lingua corsa) is a Romance language spoken in the island of Corsica (which belongs to France) and also, in a strict linguistic view, in the far north of the nearby island of Sardinia (which belongs to Italy).
This minority language is not officially recognized by France but is strongly promoted by a dynamic cultural movement in Corsica. It enjoys some legal protection in the autonomous region of Sardinia where it is identified with the names of its two local dialects: Sassarese and Gaddurese (or Gallurese). The two state languages, French (in Corsica) and Italian (in Sardinia), have a dominant status in the Corsican-speaking area.
Corsican is very close to Italian and was considered as an Italian dialect in traditional Romance linguistics. But since the second half of the 20th century, it has been more and more identified as an independent language because of the peculiar, insular Corsican identity: it is now codified and elaborated in a way which makes it distinct from standard Italian (becoming so an Ausbau language).
- DALBERA-STEFANAGGI Marie Josée (2002) La langue corse, coll. Que sais-je? no. 3641, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France