1) What is the language of the Valencian people?
Valencians have their own distinguished language. The language of the Valencian people is Valencian, a neo-Latin language derived from the Vulgar Latin spoken in the Valencian lands before the “Reconquest”. In the Middle-Ages, this language was strongly influenced by other neo-Latin languages in the Iberian Peninsula and the south of France when people migrated to the Kingdom of Valencia
2) If the Kingdom of Valencia was governed by the Moors before the “Reconquest”, who was speaking the “ancient Valencian language” that originated the current Valencian language?
The “ancient Valencian language” was spoken by the Roman-Iberian people and their descendants who continued living in the Valencian territories after the conquest of the Roman-Gothic Hispania by the Moors.
The Moors forced the subjugated native Roman-Iberian population to live in suburbs separated from the Muslims, suburbs where they continued using their vernacular Latin language, even when they had had to renounce their Christian religion and accept the Muslim religion to avoid reprisals from certain fundamentalist Muslim groups. Besides, some of Muslim men got married with Roman-Iberian women who continued speaking to their children in the “ancient Valencian language”, the only language they knew. This way, the Valencian language was introduced and relatively used among the Moors.
3) Is it true that in the time of the “Reconquest” the Roman-Iberian people in the Kingdom of Valencia and their “ancient Valencian language” disappeared, and that the Valencian nowadays is the result only and exclusively of the resettlement of Catalans in the Kingdom of Valencia?
It is a historical lie spread by those who want Valencia and the Valencian Community (provinces) to belong to an invented and fictitious political project called “Països Catalans” (“Catalan countries”).
The invading Moors did not massacre the native Roman-Iberian people but they submitted them and abused them (with taxes and services), as one of the sources of richness of the dominant Muslim elites. The Roman-Iberian people, also known as “Mozarabs” (Christians living in Moorish part of Spain), were living in suburbs separated from the Moors, keeping their customs and their antique Valencian language.
At the time of Muslim fanaticism, the Moors forced part of the Valencian Roman-Iberian people to accept the Muslim religion without having to refrain from speaking their Valencian language (actually a great part of the “converted” men would be bilingual due to the social and labour relations they had with the Moors, whereas their wives would continue speaking antique Valencian as a consequence of being socially separated from the Moorish community). Besides, many of these “converted” ones were only pretending, (Crypto-Christians), therefore they reconverted to the Christian religion after the “Reconquest” and they never lost the Valencian language the had always been speaking in.
4) Catalanists say that the chronicles of the Catalan Ramon Muntaner confirm that the Kingdom of Murcia (Murcia and the south of Alicante) was resettled only by Catalans. What are the words of this Catalan medieval chronicler worth?
The words of Ramon Muntaner are nonsense, as the resettlement he refers to took place by the Aragonese King Jaume 1st “The Conqueror” in 1265, and this same year was when Ramon Muntaner was born. Moreso, if we keep in mind that King Jaume 1st died when Ramon Muntaner was only eleven years old it is clear that Muntaner could have never travelled with the King Jaume 1st as his chronicler in any of his campaigns, and he could not have been direct witness to the facts the Catalan chronicler portrays as directly lived.
In addition to this, some studies based on the documents of the resettlement of the lands of Murcia and Alicante demonstrate that the Catalan people amounted only to 20 % during the “Reconquest”. This fact that contradicts what the according to Catalan Ramon Muntaner wrote in his “chronicles”.
5) What context was the famous phrase “O Dio, la Chiesa Romana in mani dei catalani” (“Oh, God, the Roman church in hands of Catalan ones”) in, referring to Alexaindre VI, Pope of Rome and member of the Valencian Borja family?
This phrase, declared by the Italian Pietro Bembo in a sarcastic and malicious way is a consequence of the fact that in Italy, in the 15th century the term “Catalan” was used in a general sense to point to all the people of Hispanic origin regardless of the region that they came from. Since the end of the 14th century, some gangs of Catalans had been committing plunders in the Sicilian and Greek lands and they got the scorn of the inhabitants of these lands who used the “Catalan” term as an insult applied to everyone coming from the Iberian Peninsula. Today the same thing happens in Latin-America where all Spaniards are referred to as “Gallegos” (Galicians) though most of them do not come from the Spanish region of Galicia.
6) Are the Valencian and Catalan languages the same language?
Absolutely not! Valencian and Catalan are two differentiated languages as they have a different origin and a different linguistic evolution throughout many centuries in different social-linguistic, political-cultural and geographical spaces. However, it is obvious that all the Neo-Latin Iberian languages have a high degree of similarities and seem much alike.
7) Do Valencian and Catalan belong to the so called “linguistic system”?
Not at all! If by “linguistic system” we mean a “language”, Valencian and Catalan cannot be the same not only due to their different and differentiated evolution, but because of the many phonetic, semantic, morphological, and syntactic differences.
However, if the term: “linguistic system” is taken as “a language family because of the many confidential features”, in this case Valencian would be inside the “Neo-Latin linguistic system” formed by several Iberian and Occitanian languages like Castillian, Galician, Aragonese, Gasconian, etc…) and it would not be in the “Catalan linguistic system” or whatever Catalans want to name it.