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Neapolitan language

Neapolitan language

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Neapolitan is the language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 of the city and region of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 (Neapolitan: Nàpule; ), and Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

. On October 14, 2008 a law by the Region of Campania stated that the Neapolitan language had to be protected.

It is part of Southern Italian
Southern Italian
Southern Italian , or Napoletano-Calabrese, is a group of Italo-Dalmatian Romance dialects spoken in Southern Lazio, Southern Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia, and Northern Calabria....

, what Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

calls Napoletano-Calabrese. This linguistic group is spoken throughout most of southern continental Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, including the Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

 and Sora districts of southern Lazio, the southern part of Marche
Marche
The population density in the region is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per km2, compared to the national figure of 198.8. It is highest in the province of Ancona , and lowest in the province of Macerata...

, Abruzzo
Abruzzo
Abruzzo is a region in Italy, its western border lying less than due east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east...

, Molise
Molise
Molise is a region of Southern Italy, the second smallest of the regions. It was formerly part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise and now a separate entity...

, Basilicata
Basilicata
Basilicata , also known as Lucania, is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south, having one short southwestern coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania in the northwest and Calabria in the southwest, and a...

, northern Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, and northern and central Puglia.

Distribution


The Neapolitan dialects are distributed throughout most of continental southern Italy, historically united during the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

 and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

, and include Neapolitan proper, Irpino, Cilentano, Ascolano, Teramano, Abruzzese Orientale Adriatico, Abruzzese Occidentale, Molisano, Dauno-Appenninico, Garganico, Apulo-Barese, Lucano, and Cosentino. The dialects are part of a varied dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

, so the varieties in southern Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria can typically be recognizable as regional groups of dialects. In eastern Abruzzo and Lazio the dialects give way to Central Italian
Central Italian
Central Italian is a group of Italo-Dalmatian Romance dialects spoken in Lazio, Umbria, central Marche, the far south of Tuscany and a small part of Abruzzo, in central Italy....

 dialects such as Romanesco
Romanesco
Romanesco or Romanesque is a regional language or sociolect subsumed within the Italian language spoken in Rome. It is part of the Central Italian dialects and is thus genetically closer to the Tuscan dialect and Standard Italian....

. In central Calabria and southern Puglia, the dialects give way to the Sicilian language
Sicilian language
Sicilian is a Romance language. Its dialects make up the Extreme-Southern Italian language group, which are spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands; in southern and central Calabria ; in the southern parts of Apulia, the Salento ; and Campania, on the Italian mainland, where it is...

. Largely due to massive southern Italian immigration in the 20th century, there are also numbers of speakers in Italian diaspora
Italian diaspora
The term Italian diaspora refers to the large-scale migration of Italians away from Italy in the period roughly beginning with the unification of Italy in 1861 and ending with the Italian economic miracle in the 1960s...

 communities in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

.

Neapolitan has also had a significant influence on the intonation of Rioplatense Spanish
Rioplatense Spanish
Rioplatense Spanish or River Plate Spanish is a dialectal variant of the Spanish language spoken mainly in the areas in and around the Río de la Plata basin of Argentina and Uruguay, and also in Rio Grande do Sul, although features of the dialect are shared with the varieties of Spanish spoken...

, spoken mainly in the Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 region of Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

.

Classification


Neapolitan is generally considered Italo-Dalmatian
Italo-Dalmatian languages
The Italo-Dalmatian languages are a group of Romance languages of Italy , Corsica, and, formerly, the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia...

. There are notable differences among the various dialects, but they are all generally mutually intelligible. The language as a whole has often fallen victim of its status as a "language without prestige".

Italian language
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 and Neapolitan are of variable mutual comprehensibility, depending on factors both affective and linguistic. There are notable grammatical differences such as nouns in the neuter form and unique plural formation, and historical phonological developments that often obscure the cognacy of lexical items. Its evolution has been similar to that of Italian and other Romance languages from their roots in Spoken Latin. It has also developed with a pre-Latin Oscan influence, which controversially purported to be noticeable in the pronunciation of the d sound as an r sound (rhotacism
Rhotacism
Rhotacism refers to several phenomena related to the usage of the consonant r :*the excessive or idiosyncratic use of the r;...

), but only when "d" is at the beginning of a word, or between two vowels (e.g.- "doje" or "duje" (two, respectively feminine and masculine form), pronounced, and often spelled, as "roje"/"ruje", vedé (to see), pronounced as "veré", and often spelled so, same for cadé/caré (to fall), and Madonna/Maronna). Some think that the rhotacism is a more recent phenomenon, though. Another purported Oscan influence (claimed by some to be more likely than the previous one) is historical assimilation of the consonant cluster /nd/ as /nn/, pronounced [nː] (this generally is reflected in spelling more consistently) (e.g.- "munno" ('world', compare to Italian "mondo"), "quanno" ('when', compare to Italian "quando"), etc.), along with the development of /mb/ as /mm/ (e.g.- tammuro (drum), cfr. Italian tamburo), also consistently reflected in spelling. Other effects of the Oscan substratum
Substratum
In linguistics, a stratum or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum is a language which has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum...

 are postulated too, although substratum claims are highly controversial. In addition, the language was also affected by the Greek language
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

. There have never been any successful attempts to standardize the language (e.g.- consulting three different dictionaries, one finds three different spellings for the word for tree, arbero, arvero and àvaro).

Neapolitan has enjoyed a rich literary, musical and theatrical history (notably Giambattista Basile
Giambattista Basile
Giambattista Basile was an Italian poet, courtier, and fairy tale collector.- Biography :Born to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was, during his career, a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in 1575, while...

, Eduardo de Filippo
Eduardo De Filippo
Eduardo De Filippo was an Italian actor, playwright, screenwriter, author and poet, best known for his Neapolitan works Filumena Marturano and Napoli Milionaria.-Biography:...

, Salvatore di Giacomo
Salvatore Di Giacomo
Salvatore Di Giacomo was a Neapolitan poet, songwriter and playwright.Di Giacomo is credited as being one of those responsible for renewing Neapolitan dialect poetry at the beginning of the 20th century...

 and Totò
Totò
Prince Antonio Focas Flavio Angelo Ducas Comneno De Curtis di Bisanzio Gagliardi, best known by his stage name Totò and nicknamed il principe della risata was an Italian comedian, film and theatre actor, writer, singer and songwriter...

). Thanks to this heritage and the musical work of Renato Carosone
Renato Carosone
Renato Carosone , born Renato Carusone, was among the greatest figures of Italian music scene in the second half of the 20th century. He was also a modern performer of the so-called canzone napoletana, Naples' song tradition.-Beginnings:Carosone was born in Naples...

 in the 1950s, Neapolitan is still in use in popular music, even gaining national popularity in the songs of Pino Daniele
Pino Daniele
Pino Daniele is an Italian vocalist, composer, and musician, whose influences cover a wide number of genres, fusing pop, blues, jazz, Italian and Middle eastern music into his own unique brand of world music.-Studio albums:...

 and the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare.

The language has no official status within Italy and is not taught in schools. The Università Federico II in Naples offers (from 2003) courses in Campanian Dialectology at the faculty of Sociology, whose actual aim is not teaching students to speak the language, but studying its history, usage, literature and social role. There are also ongoing legislative attempts at the national level to have it recognized as an official minority language
Minority language
A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities.-International politics:...

 of Italy. It is however a recognized ISO
International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

 639 Joint Advisory Committee language with the language code of nap.

For comparison, The Lord's Prayer is here reproduced in the Neapolitan spoken in Naples and in a northern Calabrian dialect, in contrast with a variety of southern Calabrian (part of Sicilian language
Sicilian language
Sicilian is a Romance language. Its dialects make up the Extreme-Southern Italian language group, which are spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands; in southern and central Calabria ; in the southern parts of Apulia, the Salento ; and Campania, on the Italian mainland, where it is...

), Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

.
Catholic Catechism Neapolitan (Naples) Neapolitan (Northern Calabrian) Sicilian (Southern Calabrian) Sicilian (Sicily) Italian Latin
Our Father who art in heaven, Pate nuoste ca staje 'ncielo, Patre nuorru chi sta ntru cielu, Patri nostru chi' sini nt'o celu, Nunnu nostru, ca inta lu celu siti Padre Nostro, che sei nei cieli, Pater noster, qui es in caelis
hallowed be thy name santificammo 'o nomme tuojo chi sia santificatu u nume tuoio, m'esti santificatu u nomi toi, mu santificatu esti lu nomu vostru: sia santificato il tuo nome. sanctificetur nomen tuum:
Thy kingdom come, faje vení 'o regno tuojo, venisse u riegnu tuoio, Mù veni u rregnu toi, Mu veni lu regnu vostru. Venga il tuo regno, Adveniat regnum tuum.
Thy will be done, sempe c' 'a vuluntà toja, se facisse a vuluntà tuoia, ù si facissi a voluntà Mu si faci la vuluntati vostra sia fatta la tua volontà, Fiat voluntas tua
on earth as it is in heaven. accussí 'ncielo e 'nterra. sia nto cielu ca nterra. com'esti nt'o celu, u stessa sup'a terra. comu esti inta lu celu, accussì incapu la terra come in cielo, così in terra. sicut in caelo et in terra
Give us this day our daily bread Fance avé 'o ppane tutt' 'e juorne Ranne oje u pane nuorro e tutti i juorni, Dùnandi ped oji u pani nostru e tutti i jorna Dunàtini ogghi lu nostru panuzzu. Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano, Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie.
and forgive us our trespasses lièvace 'e dièbbete perdunacce i rebita nuorri, e' perdùnandi i debiti, E pirdunàtini li nostri dèbbiti, e rimetti a noi i nostri debiti, Et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
as we forgive those who trespass against us, comme nuje 'e llevamme a ll'ate, cumu nue perdunammu i rebituri nuorri. comu nù nc'i perdunamu ad i debituri nostri. comu nuautri li pirdunamu a li nostri dibbitura. come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori. sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
and lead us not into temptation, nun 'nce fa spantecà, Un ce mannare ntra tentazione, Non nci dassari nt'a tentazioni, E nun lassàtini cascari inta la tintazziuni; E non ci indurre in tentazione, Et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
but deliver us from evil. e llievace 'o mmale 'a tuorno. ma liberacce e ru male. ma liberaci dal male. sed libera nos a malo.
Amen. Ammèn. Ammèn. Ammèn. Ammèn. Amen. Amen.

Alphabet and pronunciation


The Neapolitan alphabet, like the Italian alphabet
Italian alphabet
The Italian alphabet is a variant of the Latin alphabet used by the Italian language.-Vowels:The Italian alphabet has five vowel letters, ⟨a e i o u⟩. Of those, only ⟨a⟩ represents one sound value while each of the others has two...

, is almost the same as the English alphabet except that it consists of only 22 letters. It does not contain k, w, x, or y even though these letters might be found in some foreign words. The pronunciation guidelines that follow are based on pronunciation of American English and these values may or may not be applicable to British English.

All romance languages are closely related. Although Neapolitan shares a high degree of its vocabulary with Italian, the official language of Italy, differences in pronunciation often make the connection unrecognizable to those without knowledge of Neapolitan. The most striking phonological difference is the Neapolitan weakening of unstressed vowels into schwa
Schwa
In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean the following:*An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in some languages, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel...

 (schwa is pronounced like the a in about or the u in upon). However it is also possible (and quite common for some Neapolitans) to speak standard Italian with a "Neapolitan accent"; that is, by pronouncing un-stressed vowels as schwa but by otherwise using only entirely standard words and grammatical forms. This is not Neapolitan proper, but a mere difference in Italian pronunciation.

Therefore, while pronunciation presents the strongest barrier to comprehension, the grammar of Neapolitan is what sets it apart from Italian. In Neapolitan, for example, the gender and number of a word is expressed by a change in the accented vowel, whereas in Italian it is expressed by a change in the final vowel (e.g. lungo, longa; Italian lungo, lunga; masc. "long", fem. "long"). These and other morpho-syntactic differences distinguish the Neapolitan language from the Italian language and the Neapolitan accent.

Vowels


While there are only five graphic vowels in Neapolitan, phonetically, there are eight. The vowels e and o can be either "closed" or "open" and the pronunciation is different for the two. The grave accent (à, è, ò) is used to denote open vowels, and the acute accent (é, í, ó, ú) is used to denote closed vowels. However, accent marks are not used in the actual spelling of words except when they occur on the final syllable of a word, such as Totò, arrivà, or pecché and when they appear here in other positions it is only to demonstrate where the stress, or accent, falls in some words.
Letter IPA Pronunciation guide
a /a/
/ə/
a is always open and is pronounced like the a in father
when it is the final, unstressed vowel, its pronunciation is indistinct and approaches the sound of the schwa
e /ɛ/
/e/
/ə/
stressed, open e is pronounced like the e in bet
stressed, closed e is pronounced like the a in fame except that it does not die off into ee
unstressed e is pronounced as a schwa
i /i/ i is always closed and is pronounced like the ee in meet
o /ɔ/
/o/
/ə/
stressed, open o is pronounced like the o in often
stressed, closed o is pronounced like the o in closed except that it does not die off into oo
unstressed o is pronounced as a schwa
u /u/ u is always closed and is pronounced like the oo in boot

Consonants

Letter IPA Pronunciation guide
b /b/ pronounced the same as in English
c /ʃ/ or /t͡ʃ/
/k/
when followed by e or i the pronunciation is somewhere between the sh in share and the ch in chore
otherwise it is like the k in skip (not like the c in call, which is aspirated
Aspiration (phonetics)
In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies either the release or, in the case of preaspiration, the closure of some obstruents. To feel or see the difference between aspirated and unaspirated sounds, one can put a hand or a lit candle in front of one's mouth, and say pin ...

)
d /d/ dental version of the English d
f /f/ pronounced the same as in English
g /ʒ/ or /d͡ʒ/
/ɡ/
when followed by e or i the pronunciation is somewhere between the g of germane and the z of azure
otherwise it is like the g in gum
h h is always silent and is only used to differentiate words pronounced the same and otherwise spelled alike (e.g. a, ha; anno, hanno)
and after g or c to preserve the hard sound when e or i follows (e.g. ce, che; gi, ghi)
j /j/ referred to as a semi-consonant, is pronounced like English y as in yet
l /l/ pronounced the same as in English
m /m/ pronounced the same as in English
n /n/ pronounced the same as in English
p /p/ pronounced the same as the p in English spill (not as the p in pill, which is aspirated)
q always followed by u and pronounced the same as in English
r /ɾ/
/r/
when between two vowels it is sounds very much like the American tt in butter but in reality it is a single tic of a trilled r
when at the beginning of a word or when preceded by or followed by another consonant, it is trilled
s /s/ or /z/ pronounced the same as in English and just as in English it is sometimes voiced and sometimes unvoiced
/ʃ/ or /ʒ/ pronounced sh when followed by a voiceless consonant (except /t/) and zh when followed by a voiced consonant (except /n d r l/)
t /t/ dental version of the English t as in state (not as the t in tool, which is aspirated)
v /v/ pronounced the same as in English
x /ʃ/ pronounced sh the same as in English shower
z /d͡z/
/t͡s/
voiced z is pronounced like the ds in suds
unvoiced
z is pronounced like the ts in jetsam

Digraphs and trigraphs

Letter IPA Pronunciation Guide
gn /ɲ/ palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

 version of the ni in the English onion
gl(i) /ʎ/ palatal version of the lli in the English million
sc /ʃ/ when followed by e or i it is pronounced as the sh in the English ship

Definite articles


The Neapolitan definite article
Definite Article
Definite Article is the title of British comedian Eddie Izzard's 1996 performance released on VHS. It was recorded on different nights at the Shaftesbury Theatre...

s (corresponding to the English word "the") are La (feminine singular), Lo (masculine singular) and Li (plural for both), but in reality these forms will probably only be found in older literature (along with Lu and even El) , of which there is much to be found. Modern Neapolitan uses, almost entirely, shortened forms of these articles which are:

Before a word beginning with a consonant:
Singular Plural
Masculine ’o ’e
Feminine ’a ’e
Neuter ’o


These definite articles are always pronounced distinctly.

Before a word beginning with a vowel:

l’ or ll’ for both masculine and feminine; for both singular and plural.

Although both forms can be found, the
ll’ form is by far the most common.

It is well to note that in Neapolitan the gender
Grammatical gender
Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

 of a noun is not easily determined by the article, so other means must be used. In the case of
’o which can be either masculine singular or neuter singular (there is no neuter plural in Neapolitan), when it is neuter the initial consonant of the noun is doubled. As an example, the name of a language in Neapolitan is always neuter, so if we see ’o nnapulitano we know it refers to the Neapolitan language, whereas ’o napulitano would refer to a Neapolitan man.

Likewise, since
’e can be either masculine plural or feminine plural, when it is feminine plural, the initial consonant of the noun is doubled. As an example, let's consider ’a lista which in Neapolitan is feminine singular for "list." In the plural it becomes ’e lliste.

There can also be problems with nouns whose singular form ends in
e. Since plural nouns usually end in e whether masculine or feminine, the masculine plural is often formed by orthographically changing the spelling. As an example, let's consider the word guaglione (which means "boy", or "girl" in the feminine form):
Singular Plural
Masculine ’o guaglione ’e guagliune
Feminine ’a guagliona ’e gguaglione


More will be said about these orthographically changing nouns in the section on Neapolitan nouns.

A couple of notes about consonant doubling:
  • Doubling is a function of the article (and certain other words), and these same words may be seen in other contexts without the consonant doubled. More will be said about this in the section on consonant doubling.
  • Doubling only occurs when the consonant is followed by a vowel. If it is followed by another consonant, such as in the word spagnuolo (Spanish), no doubling occurs.

Indefinite articles


The Neapolitan indefinite articles, corresponding to the English "a" or "an", are presented in the following table:
Masculine Feminine
Before words beginning with a consonant nu na
Before words beginning with a vowel n’ n’

Doubled initial consonants


In Neapolitan, many times the initial consonant of a word is doubled. This is apparent both in written as well as spoken Neapolitan.
  • All feminine plural nouns, when preceded by the feminine plural definite article, ’e, or by any feminine plural adjective, will have the initial consonant doubled.
  • All neuter singular nouns, when preceded by the neuter singular definite article, ’o, or by a neuter singular adjective, will have the initial consonant doubled.
  • In addition, other words also trigger this doubling. Below is a list of words which trigger the doubling of the initial consonant of the word which follows.

Bear in mind, however, that when there is a pause after the "trigger" word, then the doubling does not occur (e.g.
Tu sî gguaglione, [You are a boy] where is a "trigger" word causing doubling of the initial consonant in guaglione but in the phrase ’A do sî, guagliò? [Where are you from, boy? no doubling occurs). It is also well to note that no doubling occurs when the initial consonant is followed by another consonant (e.g. ’o ttaliano [the Italian language], but ’o spagnuolo [the Spanish language], where ’o is the neuter definite article).

Words which trigger doubling

  • The conjunctions e and , but not o (e.g. pane e ccaso; né ppane né ccaso; but pane o caso)
  • The prepositions a, pe, cu (e.g. a mme; pe tte; cu vvuje)
  • The negation nu, short for nun/nunn (e.g. nu ddicere niente)
  • The indefinites ogne, cocche (e.g. ogne ccasa; cocche ccosa)
  • Interrogative che and relative che, but not ca (e.g. Che ppiensa? Che ffemmena! Che ccapa!)
  • accussí (e.g. accussí ttuosto)
  • From the verb "essere," so’; ; è; but not songo (e.g. je so’ ppazzo; tu sî ffesso; chillo è ccafone; chilli so’ ccafune; but chilli songo cafune)
  • cchiú (e.g. cchiú ppoco)
  • The number tre (e.g. tre ssegge)
  • The neuter definite article ’o (e.g. ’o ppane, but nu poco ’e pane)
  • The neuter pronoun ’o (e.g. ’o ttiene ’o ppane?)
  • Demonstrative adjectives chistu and chillu which refer to neuter nouns in indefinite quantities (e.g. chistu ffierro; chillu ppane ) but not in definite quantities (e.g. Chistu fierro; chillu pane)
  • The feminine plural definite article ’e (e.g. ’e ssegge; ’e gguaglione)
  • The plural feminine pronoun ’e (’e gguaglione ’e cchiamme tu?)
  • The plural masculine pronoun ’e preceding a verb, but not a noun (’e guagliune ’e cchiamme tu?)
  • The locative lloco (e.g. lloco ssotto)
  • From the verb stà: sto’ (e.g. sto’ pparlanno)
  • From the verb puté: può; (e.g. ; isso pô ssapé)
  • The religious titles padre and madre (e.g. padre Ccarlo; padre Mmichele)
  • Special case

See also

  • Italian dialects
    Italian dialects
    Dialects of Italian are regional varieties of the Italian language, more commonly and more accurately referred to as Regional Italian. The dialects have features, most notably phonological and lexical, percolating from the underlying substrate languages...

  • Languages of Italy
  • Sicilian language
    Sicilian language
    Sicilian is a Romance language. Its dialects make up the Extreme-Southern Italian language group, which are spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands; in southern and central Calabria ; in the southern parts of Apulia, the Salento ; and Campania, on the Italian mainland, where it is...

  • Calabrian languages
  • Southern Italian
    Southern Italian
    Southern Italian , or Napoletano-Calabrese, is a group of Italo-Dalmatian Romance dialects spoken in Southern Lazio, Southern Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia, and Northern Calabria....


External links