Tuscan language

Tuscan
Toscano
Spoken in:Tuscany (Italy) except the Province of Massa-Carrara
Total speakers:3,500,000
Language family:}}}
 Italic
  Romance
   Italo-Western
    Italo-Dalmatian
     Tuscan}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1:none
ISO 639-2:
ISO 639-3:


The Tuscan dialect (dialetto toscano) or the Tuscan language (lingua toscana) is an Italian dialect spoken in Tuscany, Italy. It wandered less than other dialects from the Latin language and evolved linearly and homogenously, without major influences from other foreign languages.

It is the basis dialect for the Italian language, thanks to the masterpieces of Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini, making it the "literary language" of the peninsula.

When the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861, a unique national language was needed to communicate among Italian regions, in which people spoke different dialects or languages. With the support of the writer Alessandro Manzoni, the literary version of Tuscan dialect was chosen.

Subdialects

The Tuscan dialect is an ensemble with many lesser local dialects, with small differences among them.

The main subdivision is between Northern Tuscan dialects and Southern Tuscan dialects.

The Northern Tuscan dialects are (from east to west):
  • the Fiorentino, main dialect of the city of Florence and Mugello, also spoken in Prato and along the river Arno until the city of Fucecchio.
  • the Pistoiese, spoken in the city of Pistoia and nearest zones (some linguists think this dialect is not independent from Fiorentino).
  • the Pesciatino or Valdinievolese, spoken in Valdinievole valley, in the cities of Pescia and Montecatini Terme (some linguists think this dialect is not independent from Lucchese).
  • the Lucchese, spoken in Lucca and nearest hills (named Lucchesia).
  • the Versiliese spoken in Versilia's historical area
  • the Viareggino spoken in Viareggio and the bordering commons
  • the Pisano-Livornese spoken in Pisa and in Livorno and nearest zones along the southern coast until Piombino city.
The Southern Tuscan dialects are (from east to west):
  • The Aretino-Chianaiolo, spoken in Arezzo and Chiana-valley
  • The Senese, spoken in Siena and its province
  • The Grossetano spoken in Grosseto and its province

Speakers

Excluding the inhabitants of Massa-Carrara province, who speak Emiliano-Romagnolo, around 3,500,000 people speak the Tuscan dialect.

Dialectal features

The Tuscan dialect has homogenous features inside itself but all subdialects have some small differences among themselves.

Phonetics

Tuscan gorgia

Main article: Tuscan gorgia

Weakening of G and C

A phonetic phenomenon is the intervocalic weakening of the Italian soft g IPA: [ʤ] (g in George) and soft c IPA: [ʧ] (ch in church), known as attenuation.

Between two vowels, the voiced post-alveolar affricate consonant is realized as voiced post-alveolar fricative:

/ʤ/ → [ʒ].


This phenomenon is very evident and can be heard in daily speech (common also in Umbria and elsewhere in Central Italy): the word la gente, the people, in standard Italian is spoken as /la 'ʤɛnte/ [la 'ʤɛnte], but in Tuscan is spoken as [la 'ʒɛnte].

Similarly, the voiceless post-alveolar affricate consonant is pronounced as a voiceless post-alveolar fricative between two vowels:

/ʧ/ → [ʃ].


The word la cena, the dinner, in standard Italian is spoken as /la 'ʧena/ [la 'ʧe:na], but in Tuscan it is spoken as [la 'ʃe:na].

Affrication of S

A common phonetic phenomenon is the transformation of voiceless s or voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ into the voiceless alveolar affricate IPA: [ʦ] when preceded by /r/, /l/, or /n/.

/s/ → [ʦ].


For example, "il sole" (the sun), pronounced in standard Italian [il 'soːle], will be pronounced by a Tuscan speaker [il 'ʦoːle]; this can be heard also word internally, as in "falso" (false) /'falso/ → ['falʦo]. This is a common phenomenon in Central Italy.

No dipththongization of /ɔ/

There are two Tuscan historical outcomes of Latin ŏ in stressed open syllables. Passing first through a stage [ɔ], the vowel then develops as a diphthong /wɔ/. This phenomenon never gains full acceptance by all speakers, however, so that while forms with the diphthong come to be accepted as Standard Italian (e.g. fuoco, buono, nuovo), the monophthong remains in popular speech (foco, bono, novo).

Morphology

Double dative pronoun

A morphological phenomenon, cited also by Alessandro Manzoni in his masterpiece "I promessi sposi" (The Betrothed), is the doubling of the dative pronoun.

For the use of a personal pronoun as indirect object (to someone, to something), also called dative case, the standard Italian makes use of a construction preposition + pronoun a me (to me), or it makes use of a syntethic pronoun form, mi (to me). The Tuscan dialect makes use of both them in the same sentence as a kind of intensifying of the dative/indirect object:
  • in Standard Italian: [a me piace] or [mi piace] (I like it)
  • in Tuscan: [a me mi piace] (I like it)
This form is widespread throughout the central regions of Italy, not only in Tuscany, and until recently, it was considered redundant and erroneous by Italian linguists. Nowadays linguists no longer inveigh against it. More on this issue (in Italian) can be found at article.

In some dialects the double accusative pronoun (me mi vedi (lit: You see me me) can be heard, but it is considered an archaic form and is no longer current.

Masculine definite articles

The singular and plural masculine definite articles are both phonetically [i] in Florentine varieties of Tuscan, but are distinguished by their phonological effect on following consonants. The singular provokes lengthening: [i kkaːne] 'the dog', whereas the plural permits consonant weakening: [i haːni] 'the dogs'. As in Italian, masc. sing. lo before consonants long by nature or not permitting /l/ in clusters is normal (lo zio 'the uncle', lo studente 'the student'), although forms such as i zio can be heard in rustic varieties.

Noi + impersonal Si

A morphological phenomenon found throughout Tuscany is the personal use of the particle identical to impersonal Si (not to be confused with passive Si or the reflexive Si), as the first person plural. It is basically the same use of On in French language.

It's possible to make use of the construction Si + Third person in singular, which can be joined by the first plural person pronoun Noi, because the particle "si" is no more perceived as an independent particle, but as a piece of verbal conjugation.
  • Standard Italian: [Andiamo a mangiare] (We're going to eat), [Noi andiamo là] (We go there)
  • Tuscan: [Si va a mangiare] (We're going to eat), [Noi si va là] (We go there)
The phenomenon is found in every verb tense, including compound tenses. In these tenses, the use si requires a form of essere (to be) as auxiliary verb, even if the verb would normally have avere (to have) as auxiliary. The past participle must be marked to agree with the subject in gender and number if the verb usually would require essere as auxiliary, while it does not agree in gender and number if the verb usually requires avere.
  • Italian: [Siamo andate a sciare], [Abbiamo mangiato al ristorante]
  • Tuscan: [S'è andate a sciare], [S'è mangiato al ristorante]
Usually Si becomes S' before è.

Fo (faccio) and vo (vado)

Another morphological phenomenon in the Tuscan dialect is what might appear to be shortening of the first singular persons for the present tense of the verbs fare (to do, to make) and andare (to go).
  • Fare: facciofo (I do, I make)
  • Andare: vadovo (I go)
These forms are due to two causes. Natural phonological change alone can account for loss of /d/ and reduction of /ao/ to /o/ in the case of /vado/ > */vao/ > /vo/. A case such as Latin: sapio > Italian so (I know), however, admits no such phonological account: the expected outcome of /sapio/ would be */sappjo/, with common lengthening of the consonant preceding yod. What seems to have taken place is a realignment of the paradigm in accordance with the statistically minor but highly frequent paradigms of dare (give) and stare (be, stay). Thus so, sai, sa, sanno (all singulars and 3rd personal plural) come to fit the template of do, dai, dà, danno, sto, stai, sta, stanno, and fo, fai, fa, fanno follows the same pattern. The form vo, while quite possibly a natural phonological development, is thus also supported by dint of fitting a viable template.

Loss of infinitival "-re"

A phonological phenomenon that might appear morphological, quite naturally native to Tuscany, is the loss of the infinitival ending -re of verbs.
  • andàreandà
  • pèrderepèrde
  • finìrefinì
An important feature of this loss is that main stress does not shift to the new penultimate syllable, as phonological rules of Italian might suggest. Thus infinitive forms can come to coincide with various conjugated singulars: pèrde 'to lose', pèrde 's/he loses'; finì 'to finish', finì 's/he finished'. Distinctions in syntax assure that this homophony seldom, if ever, causes confusion.

The motionless stress can be explained with an intermediate form in -r (as in the Spanish verbal infinitive).

While the infinitive without -re is constant in some subtypes such as Pisano-Livornese, in the area of Florence alternations are regular, so that the full infinitive (e.g. vedere 'to see') appears when followed by pause, and the clipped form (vedé) is phrase internal. The consonant of enclitics is lengthened if preceded by stressed vowel (vedéllo 'to see it', portácci 'to bring us'), but not if the preceding vowel of the infinitive is unstressed (lèggelo 'to read it', pèrdeti 'to lose you').

Lexicon

The biggest differences among dialects are in the lexicon, which also distinguishes the different subdialects. The Tuscan lexicon share with standard Italian the almost totality of its words, but has a good number of only regional words.

We show now some of the most known Tuscan words:
  • babbo (which was until now considered the only real Italian form) for papà (daddy)
  • bove (literary form in standard Italian) for bue (ox)
  • cacio for formaggio (cheese)
  • chetarsi (literary form in standard Italian) for fare silenzio (to be silent)
  • codesto (literary form in standard Italian) is a pronoun which specifically identifies an object far from the speaker, but near the listener
  • desinare (literary form in standard Italian) for pranzare/cenare (to have dinner)
  • diaccio for ghiacciato, "freddo" (frozen, cold)
  • ire for andare (to go) (only some forms as ito (gone))
  • garbare for piacere (to like) (but also piacere is widely used in Tuscany)
  • gota (literary form in standard Italian) for guancia (cheek)
  • sciocco (which means "silly" or stupid in standard Italian) for sciapo (insipid)
  • sudicio for spazzatura (garbage) as a noun and for sporco (dirty) as an adjective

See also

  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi is written in Italian but has frequent Florentinisms.

External links

Regione Toscana


Map highlighting the location of Toscana in Italy

Capital Florence
President Claudio Martini
(DS-Union)
Provinces 10
Comuni 287
Area 22,990 km
 - Ranked 5th (7.6 %)
Population (2006 est.
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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Province of Massa-Carrara

Nation Italy
Region Toscana
Capital Massa
Area 1,157 km
Population (2005) 200,695
Density 174
Comuni 17
Vehicle Registration MS
Postal Code n/a

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A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common ancestor, called the proto-language. As with biological families, the evidence of relationship is observable shared characteristics.
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Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages (including Italian, Catalan, Occitan, French, Corsican, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish), and a number of extinct languages.
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Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family that comprisies all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire.
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Italo-Western is the largest sub-group of Romance languages. It comprises 38 languages in 2 subsets: Italo-Dalmatian, and Western.
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ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. It consists of 136 two-letter codes used to identify the world's major languages. These codes are a useful international shorthand for indicating languages.
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ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 464 language codes in the list.
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ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. It extends the ISO 639-2 alpha-3 codes with an aim to cover all known natural languages. The standard was published by ISO on 5 February 2007[1].
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A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers.
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A language is a system of symbols and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon.
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The Italian people generally indicates as Italian dialects all vernacular idioms spoken in Italy other than Italian and other recognized languages. As a rule of thumb, all Romance languages spoken in Italy are customarily termed as dialects.
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Regione Toscana


Map highlighting the location of Toscana in Italy

Capital Florence
President Claudio Martini
(DS-Union)
Provinces 10
Comuni 287
Area 22,990 km
 - Ranked 5th (7.6 %)
Population (2006 est.
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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Latin}}} 
Official status
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
Language codes
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
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Italian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  European Union
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 San Marino
Vatican City
Sovereign Military Order of Malta

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Dante Alighieri

Dante Aligheri
Born: 14 May 1265(1265--)
Florence
Died: 13 November 1321

Occupation: Statesman, Poet, language theorist
Nationality:  Italy
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Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often popularly called the "father of humanism".
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Giovanni Boccaccio

Born: 1313
Tuscany
Died: 1375
Certaldo
Occupation: Renaissance humanist
Nationality: Italian
Writing period: Early Renaissance

Giovanni Boccaccio
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Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 – June 21, 1527) was an Italian diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet, and playwright. He is a figure of the Italian Renaissance and a central figure of its political component, most widely known for his treatises on
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Francesco Guicciardini (March 6, 1483 - May 22, 1540) was an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance.
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1830s  1840s  1850s  - 1860s -  1870s  1880s  1890s
1858 1859 1860 - 1861 - 1862 1863 1864

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni (March 7, 1785–May 22, 1873) was an Italian poet and novelist.[1]

Biography

Manzoni was born in Milan. Pietro, his father, aged about fifty, belonged to an old family of Lecco, originally feudal lords of Barzio, in the
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Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Florence (FI)
Mayor Leonardo Domenici (Democrats of the Left)

Area km
Population
 - Total (as of 2006-06-02)
 - Density /km

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Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Prato (PO)
Mayor Marco Romagnoli (since June 13, 2004)

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 - Total (as of January 2, 2006)
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Time zone
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Arno may refer to:the

People

  • Arno Breker, a German sculptor
  • Arno Hintjens, a Belgian singer
  • Arno of Salzburg, an 8th-century bishop
  • Madame Arno, a Parisian artist and fighter
  • Peter Arno, an American cartoonist

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Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Florence (FI)
Mayor Claudio Toni

Area km
Population
 - Total (as of 2004-12-31)
 - Density /km
Time zone CET, UTC+1

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Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Pistoia (PT)
Mayor Renzo Berti (from May 2002)

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Time zone
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