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    The Italian language



    I thought I'd start a dedicated thread to it because discussions are buried in multiple threads.

    I'll start off with this one, which is about which region has the most "neutral" or "standard" accent in Italy. There are subtitles in English, but you'll also be able to hear someone trying very hard to speak said "standard" Italian. (His "natural" pronunciation is clearly Piemontese or Torinese, an accent I personally find very unattractive to the ear.)

    As in most countries, I think, the "standard" accent is often the accent used by television presenters or reporters sometimes, or, in the case of Italy, in the Italian "dubbed" into foreign films.

    So, for Italy, we have a "created" standard pronunciation on top of a language essentially "created" by poets and fiction writers which was read and written by the highly educated for centuries, but was virtually unspoken.

    He comes to the conclusion, as have many in the past, that it's not a "Tuscan" pronunciation, or at least not the Tuscan variety with the pronounced "gorgia" of Firenze, where "coca cola" becomes hoha hola", but not really the Roman one either, i.e. not Romanesco.

    I think I once read perhaps the accent around Siena is the model. I doubt it because the "gorgia" is present there. Perhaps somewhere else in southern Toscana? Anyone know what Grossetano sounds like? Or maybe some border areas with Umbria as well? It's been more than a decade since I was traveling around Umbria, but I remember I liked the way they spoke in Perugia and also in Cortona in neighboring Toscana. It could be northern Lazio out of the reach of Romanesco as well, I suppose.





    If you use the link you can really blow it up to see the details.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...n_Dialects.png



    Wherever it is "natural", I love it: I think it's beautiful, and deliberately designed to be beautiful.

    A corollary in the U.S. is that newscasters used to speak with a sort of "standard" American accent which some people placed in the Midwest, around somewhere like the Nebraska of Tom Brokaw. People took diction courses to sound like that. I got my first job, at a magazine, because they thought I sounded like that, instead of having a downstate New York accent. It was somewhat deliberate on my part. The "American" around me was quite close to the "standard" except for a somewhat flat "a". I corrected all of that, however, because, as I said, I mostly learned English from television, both old films and the newscasts.



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    I am actually surprised that regional dialects are still prevalent in Italy. In Greece only the old, old people still speak the regional dialects. The newer generations speak the standard language. Thanks to television and earlier radio and newspapers the younger more educated generations are speaking a homogenized language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    I am actually surprised that regional dialects are still prevalent in Italy. In Greece only the old, old people still speak the regional dialects. The newer generations speak the standard language. Thanks to television and earlier radio and newspapers the younger more educated generations are speaking a homogenized language.
    I may have given the wrong impression by posting that diagram of Italy. It very much depends on the area whether the local dialect is used. In the Veneto a LOT of people still speak their own language. I've gone into stores and overheard the sales people speaking it to each other and when I ask a question in Italian they switch to Italian. Partly it's a reflexion of the fact that Venetian has a long history, including a long literary history, and partly because they have a strong separatist movement. Lega Nord was very strong there.

    In the south they also still speak a "form" of their dialects. I use the word "form", because Italian Americans who return to Italy tell me that the local, modern Sicilian is not the Sicilian they speak, i.e. the Sicilian of their grandparents and great-grandparents. The Italian they learn in school and hear all over the television and the movies has changed it, as has more contact with other neighboring Southern Italians.

    In my northwest it's very different. In La Spezia and the Lunigiana it indeed became the case that only the very old and relatively uneducated spoke the dialects. When I was a child my father made the conscious decision that he didn't want me to speak dialect, any dialect, whether Spezzino, Lunigianese or Parmigiano; he wanted me to speak only the "purest" possible Italian, in vocabulary, grammar, and even accent. He and my mother never spoke to me in it. I understand Lunigianese because I would overhear my mother speaking to her friends, or my father and uncles joking around when they were playing briscola or scopa. :) From my paternal grandparents I heard some Parmigiano, but after spending decades in the Lunigiana they often used that in speaking to their own children. When we would go to visit my father's people in the mountains south of Parma they would call my mother "La Tosca". It's the "Italian way" to characterize people by area, as I now understand, but it didn't endear them to me, and neither did all that snow, and all the cows, and most of all the nightmarish trip up there on a single lane road reaching into the clouds. I was always so glad to get back down to the Lunigiana and our closeness to the Med. :)

    In very recent times they've tried to bring the dialects back, but with mixed success. They teach it for a few hours a week in the schools, and they do funny comedy sketches using it, and the place names now have the dialect name under the Italian name, but I think it's hopeless. The same is true of a lot of Piemonte and Lombardia. The more Lega Nord types in those areas make a show of liking dialect for obvious reasons.

    Tuscan is separate; it's more or less standard Italian with a bit of "iffy" pronunciation in some areas.

    The area where I was born and spent my childhood has been in Toscana since the 1600s, so although the local dialect is still a predominantly Gallo-Italian one (a mix of Emiliano and Ligure) we've picked up certain Tuscan words and pronunciations, so much so that when I travel in Italy waiters have a habit of sending over complimentary cantuccini and vin santo (a very Tuscan after dinner thing). :) I most definitely DON'T have that ugly gorgia thing going on. Maybe it has a bit of Lucca and Pisa in it.

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    Let's say that Lega Nord is successful and North Italy secedes from the rest of Italy. Will they still speak standard Italian? Local languages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    Let's say that Lega Nord is successful and North Italy secedes from the rest of Italy. Will they still speak standard Italian? Local languages?
    If you mean the Veneto, you'd have to ask a Venetian. My "guess" is that they wouldn't give up their "language", as they insist on calling it.

    For Lombardia and Piemonte, I have no idea how it would have actually worked. Half of the people in the big cities of those two provinces, i.e. Milano and Torino, are of southern Italian extraction. It always seems that all the taxi drivers in Milano are Calabresi who start trying to talk to my husband in "their" language. In Genova and even La Spezia the same thing has happened. In La Spezia they tried to talk to him in Neapolitan. One good thing is that you can now get great Southern Italian pastry even in La Spezia, and at our big food festivals, you can get Southern Italian food as well as ceci, and farinata etc.

    Maybe Stuvane will chime in and give his perspective on Lombardia and Romagna.

    I've lived my adult life here in the U.S. so a lot of this comes from reading and watching Italian news and from conversations with my own family. Even with them I have to be careful of expressing myself plainly. As I've been told, if I don't pay taxes there, my opinions shouldn't hold as much weight. Fair enough, I think. The same goes for the fact that my son will never have to put his life on the line for Italy, although I would. I'm not one of those people who think Italians who have citizenship elsewhere, especially if they're second and third generation, should be voting in Italian elections. You should have skin in the game imo.

    That said, and since my relatives aren't reading this, I think it was all a crock of you know what. Not that most of my family is in Lega Nord. Most members of my maternal family were or descend from partisans of the mostly Socialist and Anarchist kind and they still vote that way. My paternal grandfather, had he been alive, would certainly have joined Lega Nord, and joined in the spray painting of "tags" telling the "terroni" to go home, no doubt. (I lied through my teeth about that to my husband, I have to admit, or I would never have gotten him back to northern Italy to visit. Mea Culpa.) My father told me more than once that had his father been alive there would have been real trouble when I got engaged to my husband. Not that I would have cared. I really didn't like him very much at all, truth be told. He wasn't a drunk or violent or anything like that, but a more obnoxious, more selfish, and at the same time more incapable man it's difficult to imagine; he never made a good decision in his life after the one where he married my grandmother. Just suffice it to say that everything my father and my aunts and uncles became was thanks to my grandmother. She has undoubtedly been sainted for having put up with him for more than fifty years.

    The whole Lega Nord thing was just all completely impractical, which is why they've given it up: too many southerners in the north; too much admixture; too much change in the language in most places etc. Plus, they quickly realized Switzerland or wherever was certainly not going to accept them in some sort of "Confederation of Alpine Peoples". Switzerland, for goodness' sakes, the only place where I ever in my entire life experienced anti-Italian bigotry. I've never been back since.

    Now all they care about is taxes and a federal system. Right, they want to keep all their income. OK. A really regional way of doing this didn't work out so well for them in this Covid Crisis.

    Well, that's my rant. Other Italians, at least the ones who still do have skin in the game, can tell me I'm wrong if they want.

    What a joke that whole "terroni" thing about southerners is, anyway. Who the hell could be more "terroni" than the people of the Po Valley, and yes, I mean north of the Po Valley and into the Alps too. They were dying of pellagra in the 1900s and sending their daughters to be serfs in the rice paddies in the beginning of the 20th century. Why else would so many of them gone to die in the jungles of South America? People don't leave en masse where they're eating well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    If you mean the Veneto, you'd have to ask a Venetian. My "guess" is that they wouldn't give up their "language", as they insist on calling it.

    For Lombardia and Piemonte, I have no idea how it would have actually worked. Half of the people in the big cities of those two provinces, i.e. Milano and Torino, are of southern Italian extraction. It always seems that all the taxi drivers in Milano are Calabresi who start trying to talk to my husband in "their" language. In Genova and even La Spezia the same thing has happened. In La Spezia they tried to talk to him in Neapolitan. One good thing is that you can now get great Southern Italian pastry even in La Spezia, and at our big food festivals, you can get Southern Italian food as well as ceci, and farinata etc.

    Maybe Stuvane will chime in and give his perspective on Lombardia and Romagna.

    I've lived my adult life here in the U.S. so a lot of this comes from reading and watching Italian news and from conversations with my own family. Even with them I have to be careful of expressing myself plainly. As I've been told, if I don't pay taxes there, my opinions shouldn't hold as much weight. Fair enough, I think. The same goes for the fact that my son will never have to put his life on the line for Italy, although I would. I'm not one of those people who think Italians who have citizenship elsewhere, especially if they're second and third generation, should be voting in Italian elections. You should have skin in the game imo.

    That said, and since my relatives aren't reading this, I think it was all a crock of you know what. Not that most of my family is in Lega Nord. Most members of my maternal family were or descend from partisans of the mostly Socialist and Anarchist kind and they still vote that way. My paternal grandfather, had he been alive, would certainly have joined Lega Nord, and joined in the spray painting of "tags" telling the "terroni" to go home, no doubt. (I lied through my teeth about that to my husband, I have to admit, or I would never have gotten him back to northern Italy to visit. Mea Culpa.) My father told me more than once that had his father been alive there would have been real trouble when I got engaged to my husband. Not that I would have cared. I really didn't like him very much at all, truth be told. He wasn't a drunk or violent or anything like that, but a more obnoxious, more selfish, and at the same time more incapable man it's difficult to imagine; he never made a good decision in his life after the one where he married my grandmother. Just suffice it to say that everything my father and my aunts and uncles became was thanks to my grandmother. She has undoubtedly been sainted for having put up with him for more than fifty years.

    The whole Lega Nord thing was just all completely impractical, which is why they've given it up: too many southerners in the north; too much admixture; too much change in the language in most places etc. Plus, they quickly realized Switzerland or wherever was certainly not going to accept them in some sort of "Confederation of Alpine Peoples". Switzerland, for goodness' sakes, the only place where I ever in my entire life experienced anti-Italian bigotry. I've never been back since.

    Now all they care about is taxes and a federal system. Right, they want to keep all their income. OK. A really regional way of doing this didn't work out so well for them in this Covid Crisis.

    Well, that's my rant. Other Italians, at least the ones who still do have skin in the game, can tell me I'm wrong if they want.

    What a joke that whole "terroni" thing about southerners is, anyway. Who the hell could be more "terroni" than the people of the Po Valley, and yes, I mean north of the Po Valley and into the Alps too. They were dying of pellagra in the 1900s and sending their daughters to be serfs in the rice paddies in the beginning of the 20th century. Why else would so many of them gone to die in the jungles of South America? People don't leave en masse where they're eating well.
    So why do they call them terroni instead of paisani?
    You are right about emigration. You don't leave if you have it good. How many Italians emigrate to Germany? I know Argentina, Colombia and Brazil have a lot of Italian emigrants.
    Well I answered my own question: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ad-by-country/

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    So why do they call them terroni instead of paisani?
    You are right about emigration. You don't leave if you have it good. How many Italians emigrate to Germany? I know Argentina, Colombia and Brazil have a lot of Italian emigrants.
    Well I answered my own question: https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ad-by-country/
    A lot went to Switzerland, especially the German part of Switzerland, after the war, but most left, partly because things got better at home, but partly because they were treated abominably. As my mother used to say, after she stopped crying from homesickness, which was about five years, God bless America.

    As to the term "terroni", it just means people of the land, peasants, so it would apply just as much to most Northern Italians of the 19th and first half of the 20th century as it would to southerners. Many of the people spray painting that had grandparents who were peasants too. They didn't all have delusions of grandeur like my grandfather. That's what's so stupid.

    Paesani also wouldn't apply only to southerners. Paese is town for all Italians.

    It's just stupid, like all ethnic slurs, like all prejudices. I used to believe that people who talk like that and think like that must just be uneducated, but I've come to see that isn't really the issue. When people have an ideology, an agenda, even a political orientation, it's the minority who can strip that away and look at things more objectively. Most people just pick a side and stick to it, whatever the evidence of history or data or whatever.

    I don't have a very high opinion of the rationality of most human beings. If you want to get them to decide something in your favor, usually go for their emotional buttons and you win. I can't stand it, but it's true.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    If you mean the Veneto, you'd have to ask a Venetian. My "guess" is that they wouldn't give up their "language", as they insist on calling it.

    For Lombardia and Piemonte, I have no idea how it would have actually worked. Half of the people in the big cities of those two provinces, i.e. Milano and Torino, are of southern Italian extraction. It always seems that all the taxi drivers in Milano are Calabresi who start trying to talk to my husband in "their" language. In Genova and even La Spezia the same thing has happened. In La Spezia they tried to talk to him in Neapolitan. One good thing is that you can now get great Southern Italian pastry even in La Spezia, and at our big food festivals, you can get Southern Italian food as well as ceci, and farinata etc.

    Maybe Stuvane will chime in and give his perspective on Lombardia and Romagna.

    I've lived my adult life here in the U.S. so a lot of this comes from reading and watching Italian news and from conversations with my own family. Even with them I have to be careful of expressing myself plainly. As I've been told, if I don't pay taxes there, my opinions shouldn't hold as much weight. Fair enough, I think. The same goes for the fact that my son will never have to put his life on the line for Italy, although I would. I'm not one of those people who think Italians who have citizenship elsewhere, especially if they're second and third generation, should be voting in Italian elections. You should have skin in the game imo.

    That said, and since my relatives aren't reading this, I think it was all a crock of you know what. Not that most of my family is in Lega Nord. Most members of my maternal family were or descend from partisans of the mostly Socialist and Anarchist kind and they still vote that way. My paternal grandfather, had he been alive, would certainly have joined Lega Nord, and joined in the spray painting of "tags" telling the "terroni" to go home, no doubt. (I lied through my teeth about that to my husband, I have to admit, or I would never have gotten him back to northern Italy to visit. Mea Culpa.) My father told me more than once that had his father been alive there would have been real trouble when I got engaged to my husband. Not that I would have cared. I really didn't like him very much at all, truth be told. He wasn't a drunk or violent or anything like that, but a more obnoxious, more selfish, and at the same time more incapable man it's difficult to imagine; he never made a good decision in his life after the one where he married my grandmother. Just suffice it to say that everything my father and my aunts and uncles became was thanks to my grandmother. She has undoubtedly been sainted for having put up with him for more than fifty years.

    The whole Lega Nord thing was just all completely impractical, which is why they've given it up: too many southerners in the north; too much admixture; too much change in the language in most places etc. Plus, they quickly realized Switzerland or wherever was certainly not going to accept them in some sort of "Confederation of Alpine Peoples". Switzerland, for goodness' sakes, the only place where I ever in my entire life experienced anti-Italian bigotry. I've never been back since.

    Now all they care about is taxes and a federal system. Right, they want to keep all their income. OK. A really regional way of doing this didn't work out so well for them in this Covid Crisis.

    Well, that's my rant. Other Italians, at least the ones who still do have skin in the game, can tell me I'm wrong if they want.

    What a joke that whole "terroni" thing about southerners is, anyway. Who the hell could be more "terroni" than the people of the Po Valley, and yes, I mean north of the Po Valley and into the Alps too. They were dying of pellagra in the 1900s and sending their daughters to be serfs in the rice paddies in the beginning of the 20th century. Why else would so many of them gone to die in the jungles of South America? People don't leave en masse where they're eating well.

    Limiting on the topic of dialects, Milan is obviously a case in itself. A large part of the population is not local, mostly of southern origin (a statistic that I can't tell you how reliable said that most of it was from Puglia) and when it is northern, it is not "ethnic" from Milan, but from other areas of Lombardy. In the past above all from Bergamo, but also Venetians, and to a lesser extent Emilians and Toscans.
    This entails the fact that the local dialect of Milan has virtually disappeared, or at least it is not common knowledge. I would say that it is confined to some people of advanced age class, but we are talking about some local variants far from the city center, extremely similar to the Milanese, but in the expert's ear they would already be different things from the "pure" Milanese. I am thinking above all of the area of ​​Monza and Brianza in the north or towards Legnano where there is a famous comic theater companion who partially plays in the local dialect. But on balance, I do not know that it is adopted and practiced by the new generations.




    Excluding the chief towns, I would say that in other areas of Lombardy (the pre-Alpine and mountain valleys of Bergamo and Brescia above all, or in upper Brianza, close to Lecco and Como) the situation for dialects is certainly a bit more lively.
    Going east I confirm that the Venetians, both on the coast and in the hinterland, still make a still frequent use of it (I remember some friends from Bassano del Grappa who use it safely while building furniture or adjusting precision equipment). Even in Romagna and eastern Emilia - I always speak of rural areas - the dialect is still fairly present (in my house a mixture of Italian and dialect is used, when the standard Italian seems too "patinated" and shabby we go back willingly dialectal expressions), but I think in this case this is due more to a form of inertia, to habit, and to the fact that they are areas that have suffered less immigration from other regions.


    It must also be said that in recent years there have been phenomena of return to the dialect due to certain songwriters or cabaret actors who obviously make a "cultured" and / or goliardic use of the dialect (Davide Van de Sfroos in Como), so as had happened in Milan several decades ago with Nanni Svampa and "I Gufi" or in Ferrara with Alfio Finetti. Ditto in Veneto where this parody of Occidentali's Karma by Gabbani was recently made. Also in Veneto the fictional character of Dino da Sandrà rages, hero of a hilarious cartoon dubbed in the Veronese dialect.
    But i can't say how influential they are on the current use of dialects or if it is te "swan song" ... :)








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    I remember that on several occasions that our relatives from Veneto came to Uruguay to visit us, they spoke in Spanish (they lived for a time in Argentina), but between them they spoke in Veneto, which was difficult for me to understand. My father told me that my grandfather had a Neapolitan neighbor, and that in order to communicate with each other, they spoke .... in Spanish, because their "Italian standard" was not very good.
    There is one thing I do not understand: why it is said that there are "Italian dialects" and not "languages". In my opinion, the Veneto, the Piedmontese and the Lombard are more different from each other and from the southern dialects, than are the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Catalan from each other. However, Iberians are considered "languages" and not "dialects" ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by italouruguayan View Post
    I remember that on several occasions that our relatives from Veneto came to Uruguay to visit us, they spoke in Spanish (they lived for a time in Argentina), but between them they spoke in Veneto, which was difficult for me to understand. My father told me that my grandfather had a Neapolitan neighbor, and that in order to communicate with each other, they spoke .... in Spanish, because their "Italian standard" was not very good.
    There is one thing I do not understand: why it is said that there are "Italian dialects" and not "languages". In my opinion, the Veneto, the Piedmontese and the Lombard are more different from each other and from the southern dialects, than are the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Catalan from each other. However, Iberians are considered "languages" and not "dialects" ...
    There are disputes about it. I'm not a professional linguist, but imo the Tuscan "variety" of standard Italian is barely a dialect, much less a separate language; it's very, very, close to the standard except for pronunciation.

    I have no problem with calling Venetian a separate language; it's got a rich and long literary heritage. I'd probably say the same for Sicilian. I've never heard anyone in the Lunigiana say they're speaking a separate language: it's Emiliano, mixed with Spezzino, and a little Tuscan. There are literary works, but not that many.

    I don't know about the rest. If native speakers of what used to be called "dialects" want to call them languages, it's fine with me. :)

    I wouldn't say the difference is as large, at least for me, as between, say, Italian/Spanish on the one hand, and French on the other. A lot of Italian and Spanish speakers have trouble understanding spoken French. I learned to read it very easily, but I had to train my ear to the different sounds to understand fast, spoken French. As for the Italian, dialects, I can understand how sometimes people from one part of Italy could have trouble understanding someone from another part of Italy, but I think it's particularly the case if neither of them know standard Italian, if you understand me. Once you know the words and pronunciation of standard Italian,you can recognize the word in another "language" in Italy even if they drop a final letter or change the endings habitually to "ee" or "u". Sometimes the words are completely different, so you have to have the word explained to you, but you understand enough to get the gist. Salento posted a song in his own dialect, for example, and I understood it quite well. If they spoke it very quickly and happened to use a lot of the words which are different from "standard" Italian, I would have had much more trouble.

    I actually think one of the reasons I so love standard Italian is precisely because the diction is so "clean", the pronunciation so crisp and precise that you can not only understand every word, but write every word accurately.

    A speech specialist I know told me that there are much fewer diagnosed dyslexics in Italy than in many other countries. I suggested to her that it might in fact not be the case, but that Italian is so phonetic once you learn the rules, that the children and their teachers may not really know if they're mildly dyslexic. English, on the other hand, is a nightmare for them.



    If I had to guess which one is the most difficult for other Italians to understand I'd probably go with Genovese and maybe some of the Sicilian dialects, or maybe that's just me. :)

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    Hard for me to understand - Sardo and Ligure for sure, Piemontese, strict Sicilian, and believe it or not, strict Barese when they speak fast :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Hard for me to understand - Sardo and Ligure for sure, Piemontese, strict Sicilian, and believe it or not, strict Barese when they speak fast :)
    Oh goodness, yes...Sardo! I have a friend from there but we communicate only in Italian. I don't understand it AT ALL.

    My grandmother in law, rest her soul, came from Campania, but near Benevento. I understood her quite well except for certain words and expressions. Yet, when Camorra came out, I was glad of the subtitles, or I would have missed quite a bit of the dialogue.

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    In my opinion, the distinction between language and dialect is something very labile and definable only afterwards. Someone said in an intelligent and ironic way that "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy [or with a flag]": the distinction between language and dialect is not a distinction that has to do with the internal characteristics of a language (phonetics, grammar, lexicon, and not even the structural distance between what is called language and what are called dialects), but with the characteristics of the community that speaks it, and in particular with its will and its ability to transform an identity feeling that is expressed through language into a political reality.


    It is therefore a question of attributing an official dimension to an idiom, something which is not directly recognized by simple dialect.
    Wanting to find a very heuristic criterion for making a distinction, I am quite convinced that as long as there is a sort of mutual intelligibility two idioms can be considered "dialects" of the same linguistic family. If, on the other hand, this interchangeable intelligibility fails (or it becomes very asymmetrical between the various speakers), then we are in the presence of a "language". This obviously implies, as a corollary, that the same idiom can be from time to time both language and dialect.


    The ease with which the Sardinian language status is recognized almost unanimously is certainly due to the fact that it is strongly divergent, isolated and conservative compared to the other neo-Latin idioms: it's directly connected to Latin (itìs practically a cast), which cannot be said of the other continental languages ​​/ dialects. The latter are rather "corruptions" of Latin, hybridized with the lexicons and pronouncements of the local substrates (or superstrates), which evolved over time




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    @italo,

    I've found through a lot of reading in the Anglo world over the years that English writers sometimes develop a passionate love affair with standard Italian much like my own. Language is important to writers and poets, and maybe a language created by writers not only to express elevated thoughts but to sound beautiful strikes a particularly deep chord with them.

    One example immediately comes to mind: "La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian; the World's Most Enchanting Language", by Dianne R. Hales.

    I found it a very engaging read, although it must be said that like a lot of foreigners she romanticizes Italy a bit, although not like the myriad writers of the I moved to Italy and rebuilt a farmhouse type. :)

    This review captures it pretty well:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...a-bella-lingua

    The second example is a highly respected and acclaimed South Asian American writer who took the extraordinary step of completely immersing herself in Italian and then choosing to write only in Italian. It's a really remarkable story.

    Here's an interview with her with English subtitles:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w_xnNZTpu4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    @italo,

    I've found through a lot of reading in the Anglo world over the years that English writers sometimes develop a passionate love affair with standard Italian much like my own. Language is important to writers and poets, and maybe a language created by writers not only to express elevated thoughts but to sound beautiful strikes a particularly deep chord with them.

    One example immediately comes to mind: "La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian; the World's Most Enchanting Language", by Dianne R. Hales.

    I found it a very engaging read, although it must be said that like a lot of foreigners she romanticizes Italy a bit, although not like the myriad writers of the I moved to Italy and rebuilt a farmhouse type. :)

    This review captures it pretty well:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...a-bella-lingua

    The second example is a highly respected and acclaimed South Asian American writer who took the extraordinary step of completely immersing herself in Italian and then choosing to write only in Italian. It's a really remarkable story.

    Here's an interview with her with English subtitles:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w_xnNZTpu4
    I agree, Angela.
    I have no doubts about the beauty of the Italian language (Italian standard), not only for the harmony of its sound, but also for the ease of understanding (some Italian dialects are almost incomprehensible to me). I try to learn something about the dialect of my grandfather, the Venetian, and because of its pronunciation is one of the dialects that sounds most "Italian" to me, although it has differences in the lexicon and even in the syntax. I think that the dialects are valuable riches of the past not to be missed. But people adapt to the times they have to live: my relatives speak Venetian with each other, but at the same time, they tell me that it is socially prestigious to speak and pronounce standard Italian correctly.

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    An analysis of eleven Italian accents:

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