I. Dalmatian was a Romance language spoken in Croatia. There were two major dialects: Vegliot and Ragusan.

Ragusan was spoken in the south, and survived in the modern city of Dubrovnik until the fifteenth century.

Vegliot was spoken in the north, and is named after the island now called Krk (Latin Veglia). The language died with its final speaker 77-year-old Tuone Udaina (or Antonio Udina Burbur) on 10 June 1898 in an explosion at a road-building site. Before Udina's death, Matteo Giulio Bartoli had recorded what we know of modern Vegliot from him.

The name of the Vegliote language in the language was "Veklisun".

Characteristics of Dalmatian:

  • retention of /k/ before /e/ and sometimes /i/ (a feature only shared with Sardinian)
  • diphthongization of stressed vowels
  • phonological conservatism (no voicing of intervocalic consonants, for example, as happened in the west)
  • simplification of double consonants
  • palatalization of /k/ before long /u/
  • Latin qui sounds become /tS/ (English-like "ch") and gui becomes /dZ/ ("j")
  • loss of final -s
  • loss of Latin noun declensions (unlike nearby Romanian, which keeps some of them)
  • many Serbo-Croatian borrowings
  • written in the Latin alphabet with some diacritical marks (I have not been able to find this)

To count to ten in Dalmatian:
join, doi, tra, kwatro, chenk, si, sapto, guapto, nu, dik

A conlang based on a reconstruction of Dalmatian ("Neo-Dalmatian") can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6502/

A sample text in Vegliote, with English translation:

Al lan̄k de la suọ́nta kráu̯ki v-in̄ki̯odúa,
La vestra santa búka da bár la dimandúa,
E kol fiél e kol akái̯t i ve la intoskúa.

Al lank de la suonta krauki v-inkiodua,
La vestra santa buka da bar la dimandua,
E kol fiel e kol akait i ve la intoskua.

(They nailed you to the wood of the holy cross
Your holy mouth asked for a drink
And with gall and vinegar they poisoned it for you.)

Rice. Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe.
Pei, Mario. The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages.
CONLANG archive
other mailing list archives at egroups

II. A dalmatian is also a breed of dog, recognizable by its white coat and black spots.

It is (at least in America) the universal mascot of fire departments and fire safety in general.

There is a Disney movie called 101 Dalmatians. The storyline does indeed involve a great many dalmatians. ISTR they resolve to start a dalmatian plantation. I'm afraid it has a sequel, called 102 Dalmatians.

"Dalmatian" is commonly misspelled 'dalmation'. Don't do this.