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Language

Overview of Romanesque languagesOverview of Romanesque languagesPhoto: Koryakov Yuri CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The Italian language is a Romanesque language and a direct continuation and development of (Vulgar) Latin. The question of whether Italian should be based on the Florentine dialect or contain elements of other dialects has given rise to many and protracted discussions and controversies (which continued into the 18th century): the so-called "questione della lingua". The language of civilized circles in the Tuscan cities and in Rome is currently the standard.

Some Italian words and expressions:

The first attempts at creating a written vernacular started with the Sicilian poetry school (first half of the 13th century), followed a little later by the north and Tuscany. For historical and geographic reasons, but mainly by Dante, followed by Petrarch and Boccaccio, Tuscan, especially its Florentine idiom, prevailed over all other dialects in the 14th century.

The Italian dialects are still very vital and one distinguishes them into a central and southern Italian group to which the dialect of Sicily belongs.

Sicilian (lu sicilianu, Italian: lingua siciliana, also known as Siculu or Calabro-Sicilian) is an Italian dialect and a Romance language. It is spoken on the island of Sicily and neighbouring islands, in southern and central Calabria, in southern Puglia, Salento (where it is known as Salentino), and Campania on the Italian peninsula, where it is called Cilentano.

The real, unadulterated Sicilian dialect can only be heard in somewhat isolated areas and can be recognised by many u-sounds, e.g:

Palermo - Palermu
Come dico io - comu dicu
Lo primo - fu lu primu

The name Sicilia refers to one of the oldest peoples in the history of the island, the Siculians.


Sources

Scholten, J. / Sicilië: met de Egadische en Eolische eilanden
Van Reemst

Bausenhardt, H. / Sicilië
Van Reemst

Haan-van de Wiel, W.H. de / Sicilië
Gottmer

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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