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The Counts of Toulouse and the Cross of Toulouse:  Occitan:  Origin of the Language.

Occitan is a Romance language, which means that it evolved from spoken Latin after the fall of the Roman Empire.  
Occitan was influenced by Celtic (Gallic) in the northern part of Occitania and Iberic Aquitan (proto-Basque) in the southwestern part.  It accounts for some of the regional variation giving rise to dialects of Occitan.   Although strongly influenced in the recent past by French, its grammar and phonology are more closely related to Spanish.   It is not in any sense a "mixture" of French and Spanish.  
The earliest written material in Occitan is a refrain attached to a Latin poem dating from the 10th century.  
Here is a small sample of Occitan:

Dins nostra Occitania, coda ciutat, cada castël, èra un nids de poësia.  
Los trobadors cantavan la prima, cantavan le bonur d'èstre en vida, cantauan la beîtat....

In our Occitania, every city, every castle was a nest of poetry.  
The troubadours sang of the Spring, sang of the happiness of living, sang of beauty …

Occitan was known by various names in the Middle Ages, including Provençal, Romana and Lemozí. Later it was called the Langue d'Oc. Provençal is the most common name for the mediaeval literary language. Today Provençal refers properly to the local dialect of Provence.
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