I dialetti italiani: Language and Dialect on the Italian Peninsula (via Plep) is a potentially useful site, with all sorts of interesting-sounding links. Unfortunately, none of the external ones work (“Last Modified: 12/27/96”), but there’s still a short essay and a map hosted on the site, so I figure it’s worth mentioning. There are functioning links on Italian dialects here and here and relevant Wikipedia pages here and here (and I vote with those who think those pages should be merged).


    Very interesting, but links not properly working 🙁

  2. John Emerson says

    Sardinian is the oldest Italian dialect, you know.
    Except that it’s not a dialect at all, it’s an independent language — older than Latin.
    Sardo Logudorese is the pure Sardinian language. Sardo Campidanese, Gallurese, and Sassarese are corruptions.

  3. And screw Corsican. And Napoleon too.

  4. Except that there’s no “pure” anything, and thus nothing to be corrupted. Sardo Logudorese is as good as any other.

  5. The dialectology of Italy is very complex. I almost shouldn’t attempt to write about it here. Furthermore, I’m not even an expert on the subject. Nevertheless, I’ll say a few things anyway.
    Dialectal differences have always existed in Italy; since Roman times. These early Italian dialectal differences have also left their imprints on the modern Romance languages. Some linguists claim that, generally speaking, French is closer to the Gallo-Italic dialects of northern Italy while Spanish is closer to the southern Italian dialects of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, especially Sicily. For example, the Spanish tendency to change Latin -f- to -h- is characteristic of some southern Italian dialects too: hilju (son), hilu (thread), huocu (fire) but Standard Italian figlio, filo and fuoco. Spanish has also been compared to the Paduan and Venetian dialects in northeastern Italy which are different from Gallo-Italian.
    The Tuscan or Central Italian dialect which Standard Italian is based on, has some features that link it to French (donare = to give; trovare = to find, parlare = to speak cf. French doner,trouver, parler)and others that link it closer to Spanish (andare = to walk; cieco = blind, Sp. andar, ciego but French promener, aveugle) etc.
    Italian dialects also provide some clues to the mystery of Romanian (or Rumanian). When you compare Romanian and Italian glossaries or dictionaries you see that the word for “blind” is ‘orb’ in Romanian but ‘cieco’ in Italian yet some regional northern Italian dialects have uorbo for ‘blind’ making more sense as to where the Romanians got their word. Likewise, Romanian broascã “frog” and cioarã “crow” bear no resemblance to Standard Italian words for these creatures ‘rana’ and ‘corvo’ but when you look at some of the dialectal Italian words for these animals ‘broscia’,’ciola’ and ‘ciora’ the Romanian etymologies, once again, make more sense.
    Sicilian, located in the far south, preserves some older Italian morphology, vocabulary and pronunciation. For example, compare U lupu “the wolf” to Standard Italian Il lupo. This archaic feature, direct from Vulgar Latin, also turns up in Portuguese O lobo (Oo loh-boo) “The wolf” too, and Romanian Lupu-l. Features like these have led linguists to postulate theories lile Die Wellentheorie (“The Wave Theory”) and the argument that outlying areas and colonies preserve more conservative features of a language.
    In the Romance language domain, it has already been pointed out that peripheral Romance languages and dialects like Romanian, Sicilian, Spanish, Portuguese and Norman French share some isoglosses not found in Standard Italian, Occitan and Parisian French which are more centrally located geographically.

  6. Hi, all.
    About the Romance-languages; Logudorese has the most conversative phonology of classical latin for example;
    Logudorese & Classical latin->words ‘ten and sky’
    Deke pronounced as “de-keh”
    decem pronounced as “de-kehm”
    kelos pronounced as “keh-los”
    coelis pronounced as “keoh-lis”
    Italian & Spanish->words ‘ten and sky’
    dieci (di-ehchi)
    diez (di-ethz) or (di-ess)
    cielo (chi-elo)
    cielo (cthi-elo) or (ssie-lo
    Although an striking feature of Castilian Spanish and other variants of Spanish, respectively….have perserved the “sibilant” -s-
    of CLASSICAL LATIN for example;
    lecciones; (with the HISS-like sound)ending
    cosa; (hiss like sound)middle
    supe; (hiss like sound)beginning
    here are some examples of the languages mentioned. In the lord’s prayer; I think Spanish and Italian are the most conversative in syntax and maintaining resemblence with classical latin in vocabulary.
    Spanish oftenly holds closely to classical-latin’s grammar in places & verb conjunctioning. Let’s not forget that Spanish has inherited the following from Classical latin:
    “The rules tha regulates the verb in the regent clause and in the subordinate one in order to express anteriority, posteriority and contemporaneity; usually the subordinate clause go to subjunctive mood, and there are still present the infinitive clauses in spanish also the accusative dative.”
    Classical latin:
    Pater noster, qui est in coelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra. Panem nostrum cottidianum da nobis hodie et dimitte nobis dedita nostra, sicut nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in temptationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
    Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu Reino. Hágase tu voluntad, así en la tierra como en el cielo. El pan nuestro de cada día, danosle hoydia y perdónanos nuestras deudas, así como nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores. Y no nos induzcas en la tentación, más líberanos de mal(o). Amen.
    Padre nostro che sei nei cieli, sia santificato il tuo nome; venga il tuo regno, sia fatta la tua volontà, come in cielo così in terra. Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano, rimetti a noi i nostri debiti, come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori e non ci indurre in tentazione, ma liberaci dal male. Amen.
    Patri nostru cca si ‘n celu, sia santificatu ‘u nomi teu; venga ‘u to rregnu, sia fatta ‘a tò voluntati, comu ‘n celu accussì ‘n terra. Dani oggi ‘u nostru pani quotidianu, rimeti a niàutri i nostri debiti, comu niàutri li rimettemu ai nostri debitori e nun ni lassàri cadiri ‘nta’a tentazziuni e libèrani d’u mali. Amen.
    Babbu nostru k’istas in sos kelos, santificadu siat su nòmene tou, benzat a nois su regnu tou e fatta siat sa voluntade tua comente in su kelu gai in sa terra. Su pane nostru de dogni die dàdenolu oe, perdona a nois sos peccados nostros perdona a nois sos peccados nostros comente nois perdonamus sos inimigos nostros, e non nos lesses ruer in tentatzione, ma lìberanos dae su male. Amen.
    Romanian (modern)
    Părintele nostru, carele esci în ceriuri, sânţească-se numele tău; Via împěrăţia ta; Fie voia ta, precum în ceri, şi pe pământ; Pănea noastră cea de toate zilele dă-ni-o astăzí. Şi ni ertă detoriele noastre, precum şi noí ertăm detornicilor nostri; Şi nu ne duce în ispită; ci ne scapă de cel rău; Că a ta este împěrăţia şi puterea şi marirea în etern. Amin. (audio in latin and readings etc.)

  7. Maria Flavia George says

    Does anyone know the MEANING of this phrase? I don’t need to know what the words are but instead what the message is.

    Parola in codice:
    Quann si matiell daje e quann si incudine staje”

    I need the MEANING please

  8. PlasticPaddy says

    Seems to be literally:
    When it is “hammered” it goes away, when it is “anvilled” it stands still.
    What was the rest of the text? Maybe Roberto batista knows.

  9. Roberto Batisti says

    I’m not familiar with this saying, but the dialect must be Neapolitan (at least in a broad sense, i.e. upper southern), and a literal translation would be

    “When you’re the hammer, hit; when you’re the anvil, stand still”.

    (‘daje’ and ‘staje’ are 2nd pers. sg. imperatives; ‘si’ = ‘you (sg.) are’)

    Judging from a quick google search, this seems in fact to be a widespread proverb in Southern Italy, and the implied meaning is that one should adapt his behavior to the circumstances.

  10. You guys are amazing!

  11. What does “nericatu” mean?

  12. PlasticPaddy says
    Nericare = to turn black
    Nericato is the participle “turned black”
    Nericatu is dialect (sicilian?)

  13. Roberto Batisti says

    Ner- does not sound very Sicilian — I would expect ni(g)r-.

  14. PlasticPaddy says

    You are right; also salentino has tuccatu and nive:
    So what dialect has -atu and ner-? Or is nericatu Italian nericare + dial. -atu (mesolect)?

  15. Yeah, I’m guessing either mesolect or badly done dialect (speaker of standard Italian trying to create a regional form).

  16. PlasticPaddy says

    Btw that version of Salentino has níuru = ital. nero.

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