Galician-Portuguese (in its own language: galegoportuguês, galaico-português) is a Romance language spoken mainly in Galicia, Portugal, Brazil and various countries of Africa and Asia, with two main standardized varieties: Galician (galego) in Galicia and Portuguese (português) in the other countries. The language was born in the High Middle Ages in Galicia and northern Portugal before it was spread in the rest of Portugal by the Reconquista. It enjoyed a unitary development during the Middle Ages. An apparent split between Galician and Portuguese, in the way of they were socially recognized, occurred in the 15th century because Galicia became strictly controled by the Kingdom of Spain, while Portugal was a dynamic, independent nation. So Galician became a minority language subjugated by Spanish while Portuguese went on thriving freely. Nonetheless, Galician and Portuguese have kept a strong linguistic unity.
Since the 20th century, the question wether Galician should be codified or not in accordance with Portuguese has lead to two rival norms:
- The administrative, official norm, supported by the local government of Galicia, is very similar to that of Spanish. It is regulated by the Instituto da Lingua Galega (ILG) and the Real Academia Galega (RAG).
- The "reintegrationist" norm stresses the historical features of Galician and therefore is very similar to that of Portuguese. It is regulated by the Associaçom Galega da Língua (AGAL).