By Martin Maiden

Publish yr note: First released in 1995 by way of Longman Publishing
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A Linguistic heritage of Italian deals a transparent and concise rationalization of why glossy Italian grammar has turn into how it is. It makes a speciality of the consequences of old adjustments at the sleek constitution of Italian, revealing styles and buildings which aren't constantly obvious to people who are just acquainted with sleek Italian. even if the booklet concentrates at the inner heritage of the language, the emergence of Italian is taken into account opposed to the broader historical past of the background of the Italian dialects, and different exterior elements equivalent to cultural and social affects also are tested. Surveys of present examine are integrated, overlaying a variety of phenomena lately dropped at gentle or re-evaluated.

This ebook contains dialogue of a few components really missed by means of prior histories of the language, corresponding to the advance of Italian outdoors Italy. specific realization is paid to the effect of alternative Romance dialects, the linguistic results of Italian turning into a literary instead of a spoken language, and structural adaptations that have resulted from the purchase of the language by way of a predominantly dialect-speaking inhabitants.

Containing basically offered examples, the e-book is designed to be available to these with out wisdom of Italian itself. it is going to as a result attract scholars of common linguistics, historical past linguistics, and Romance linguistics, in addition to these learning Italian. it's the simply significant 'internal' background of Italian at the moment to be had in English.

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Extra resources for A Linguistic History of Italian (Longman Linguistics Library)

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At some stage after the loss of CL vowel length, there appeared a new, phonologically determined, differentiation of vowel length, which is continued into modem Italian, and underlies most Italo-Romance and Gallo-Romance varieties. The new distributional principle for vowel length is that all vowels are short, unless they occur in a stressed and open syllable, in which case they are long. 1), and where, in some cases, an open-syllable stem may alternate with a closedsyllable stem. Thus the third person present indicative, passato remoto, and imperfect indicative forms of the modem Italian verbs dire 'to say'; vaiere 'to be worth'; tradurre 'to translate' are (2): 28 A LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF ITALIAN (2) Stressed Open Syllable Stressed Closed Syllable Unstressed Syllable 'dil-U"e 'dis-se di-'fe:-va 'val-Ie 'val-se va-'Ie:-va tra-'dm-U"e tra-'dus-se tra-du-'fe:-va This distinction between the long vowels of stressed open syllables and the short vowels of all other syllables plays a particularly important role in the history of Gallo-Romance and Italo-Romance vocalism, since the long vowel of open syllables is often subject to further differentiation (particularly diphthongization) with respect to its short counterparts.

Vowel length evolves quite differently. 1). At some stage after the loss of CL vowel length, there appeared a new, phonologically determined, differentiation of vowel length, which is continued into modem Italian, and underlies most Italo-Romance and Gallo-Romance varieties. The new distributional principle for vowel length is that all vowels are short, unless they occur in a stressed and open syllable, in which case they are long. 1), and where, in some cases, an open-syllable stem may alternate with a closedsyllable stem.

This sound, already subject to deletion in the classical period (cf. ), has disappeared without any trace in all Romance languages. Thus, in Italian, HABEBAT > aveva 'he had'; PER HOC> pero 'however', etc. , *'h8l]ka > anca 'hip'; *'haspa > aspa 'reel'. , HORRIBILEM 'horrible' and HABITARE 'to dwell' are borrowed as or'ri:bile and abi'ta:re. 2 Emergence of the voiced fricative [v] Latin possessed the voiceless fricative [f], but lacked its voiced counterpart Iv] (fricatives are consonants uttered by expelling air between speech organs, in this case the lips and the teeth, which are brought close together, thereby producing turbulence).

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