|Ligurian / Genoese|
|Pronunciation||[ˈliɡyre] , [zeˈnejze]|
|Native to||Italy, Monaco, France|
•Southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Ligurian or Genoese (lìgure or zeneize)is a Gallo-Italic language spoken primarily in the territories of the former Republic of Genoa, now comprising the region of Liguria in Northern Italy, parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, Monaco (where it is called Monegasque), the village of Bonifacio in Corsica, and in the villages of Carloforte on San Pietro Island and Calasetta on Sant'Antioco Island off the coast of southwestern Sardinia. It is part of the Gallo-Italic and Western Romance dialect continuum. Although part of Gallo-Italic, it exhibits several features of the Italo-Romance group of central and southern Italy. Zeneize (literally "for Genoese"), spoken in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is the language's prestige dialect on which the standard is based.
There is a long literary tradition of Ligurian poets and writers that goes from the 13th century to the present, such as Luchetto (the Genoese Anonym), Martin Piaggio and Gian Giacomo Cavalli.
Ligurian does not enjoy an official status in Italy. Hence, it is not protected by law.Historically, Genoese (the dialect spoken in the city of Genoa) is the written koiné , owing to its semi-official role as language of the Republic of Genoa, its traditional importance in trade and commerce, and its vast literature.
Like other regional languages in Italy, the use of Ligurian and its dialects is in rapid decline. ISTAT(the Italian central service of statistics) claims that in 2012, only 9% of the population used a language other than standard Italian with friends and family, which decreases to 1.8% with strangers. Furthermore, according to ISTAT, regional languages are more commonly spoken by uneducated people and the elderly, mostly in rural areas. Liguria is no exception. One can reasonably suppose the age pyramid to be strongly biased toward the elderly who were born before World War II, with proficiency rapidly approaching zero for newer generations. Compared to other regional languages of Italy, Ligurian has experienced a significantly smaller decline which could have been a consequence of its status or the early decline it underwent in the past. The language itself is actively preserved by various groups.
Buio Pesto, a popular music group, has been composing songs entirely in the language since 1995.
Because of the importance of Genoese trade, Ligurian was once spoken well beyond the borders of the modern province. It has since given way to standard varieties, such as Standard Italian and French. In particular, the language is traditionally spoken in coastal, northern Tuscany, southern Piedmont (part of the province of Alessandria), western extremes of Emilia-Romagna (some areas in the province of Piacenza), and in Carloforte on San Pietro Island and Calasetta on Sant'Antioco Island off of southwestern Sardinia (known as Tabarchino), where its use is ubiquitous and increasing. It is also spoken in the department of the Alpes-Maritimes of France (mostly the Côte d'Azur from the Italian border to and including Monaco), in the town of Bonifacio at the southern tip of the French island of Corsica, and by a large community in Gibraltar (UK). It has been adopted formally in Monaco under the name Monégasque – locally, Munegascu – but without the status of official language (that is French). Monaco is the only place where a variety of Ligurian is taught in school.
The Mentonasc dialect, spoken in the East of the County of Nice, is considered to be a transitional Occitan dialect to Ligurian; conversely, Roiasc and Pignasc spoken further North in the Eastern margin of the County are Ligurian dialects with Occitan influences.
As a Gallo-Italic language, Ligurian is most closely related to the Lombard, Piedmontese and Emilian-Romagnol languages, all of which are spoken in neighboring provinces. Unlike the aforementioned languages, however, it exhibits distinct Italian features. No link has been demonstrated by linguistic evidence between Romance Ligurian and the Ligurian language of the ancient Ligurian populations, in the form of a substrate or otherwise. Only the toponyms are known to have survived from ancient Ligurian, the name Liguria itself being the most obvious example.
Variants of the Ligurian language are:
Semivowels occur as allophones of /i/ and /u/, as well as in diphthongs. A /w/ sound occurs when a [u] sound occurs after a consonant, or before a vowel (i.e poeivan[pwejvaŋ]), as well as after a q sound, [kw].
|Close||i iː||y yː||u uː|
|Mid||e eː||ø øː|
|ɛ ɛː||ɔ ɔː|
Diphthong sounds include ei[ej] and òu[ɔw].
No universally accepted orthography exists for Ligurian. Genoese, the prestige dialect, has two main orthographic standards.
One, known as grafia unitäia (unitary orthography), has been adopted by the Ligurian-language press – including the Genoese column of the largest Ligurian press newspaper, Il Secolo XIX – as well as a number of other publishing houses and academic projects.The other, proposed by the cultural association A Compagna and the Academia Ligustica do Brenno is the self-styled grafia ofiçiâ (official orthography). The two orthographies mainly differ in their usage of diacritics and doubled consonants.
The Ligurian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet, and consists of 25 letters: ⟨a⟩, ⟨æ⟩, ⟨b⟩, ⟨c⟩, ⟨ç⟩, ⟨d⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨f⟩, ⟨g⟩, ⟨h⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨l⟩, ⟨m⟩, ⟨n⟩, ⟨ñ⟩ or ⟨nn-⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨p⟩, ⟨q⟩, ⟨r⟩, ⟨s⟩, ⟨t⟩, ⟨u⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨x⟩, ⟨z⟩.
The ligature ⟨æ⟩ indicates the sound /ɛː/, as in çit(t)æ 'city' /siˈtɛː/. The c-cedilla ⟨ç⟩, used for the sound /s/, generally only occurs before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, as in riçetta 'recipe' /riˈsɛtta/. The letter ⟨ñ⟩, also written as ⟨nn-⟩ (or more rarely ⟨n-n⟩, ⟨n-⟩, ⟨nh⟩, or simply ⟨⟩), represents the velar nasal /ŋ/ before or after vowels, such as in canpaña 'bell' /kɑŋˈpɑŋŋɑ/, or the feminine indefinite pronoun uña/ˈyŋŋɑ/.
There are five diacritics, whose precise usage varies between orthographies. They are:
The multigraphs are:
Some basic vocabulary, in the spelling of the Genoese Academia Ligustica do Brenno :
|péi or péia, pl. péie||pear, pears||pera, pere||poire, poires||pera, peras||pară, pere||pera, peres|
|mei or méia, pl. méie||apple, apples||mela, mele||pomme, pommes||manzana, manzanas||măr, mere||poma, pomes|
|pigneu||pine nut||pinolo||pignon de pin||piñón||pinyó|
|cà or casa||home, house||casa||maison, domicile||casa||casă||casa or ca|
|ciæo||clear or light||chiaro||clair||claro||clar||clar|
The early history of Monaco is primarily concerned with the protective and strategic value of the Rock of Monaco, the area's chief geological landmark, which served first as a shelter for ancient peoples and later as a fortress. Part of Liguria's history since the fall of the Roman Empire, from the 14th to the early 15th century the area was contested for primarily political reasons. Since that point, excepting a brief period of French occupation, it has remained steadily under the control of the House of Grimaldi.
Occitan, also known as lenga d'òc by its native speakers, is a Romance language spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Valleys, as well as Catalonia's Val d'Aran; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitania. It is also spoken in South Italy (Calabria) in a linguistic enclave of Cosenza area. Some include Catalan in Occitan, as the distance between this language and some Occitan dialects is similar to the distance among different Occitan dialects. Catalan was considered a dialect of Occitan until the end of the 19th century and still today remains its closest relative.
The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages includes in the narrowest sense French, Occitan, and Franco-Provençal. However, other definitions are far broader, variously encompassing Catalan, the Gallo-Italic languages, and the Rhaeto-Romance languages.
Piedmontese is a language spoken by some 2,000,000 people mostly in Piedmont, northwestern region of Italy. Although considered by many linguists a separate language, in Italy it is often regarded as an Italian dialect. It is linguistically included in the Gallo-Italic languages group of Northern Italy, which would make it part of the wider western group of Romance languages, which also includes French, Occitan, and Catalan. It is spoken in the core of Piedmont, in northwestern Liguria, near Savona and in Lombardy.
Lombard is a language, consisting in a cluster of dialects spoken by millions of speakers in Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland, including most of Lombardy and some areas of neighbouring regions, notably the eastern side of Piedmont and the western side of Trentino, and in Switzerland in the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden. Within the Romance languages, they form part of the Gallo-Italic group.
Venetian or Venetan, is a Romance language spoken as a native language by Venetians, almost four million people in the northeast of Italy, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where most of the five million inhabitants can understand it, centered in and around Venice, which carries the prestige dialect. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, the Julian March, Istria, and some towns of Slovenia and Dalmatia (Croatia) by a surviving autochthonous Venetian population, and Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Mexico by Venetians in the diaspora.
Monégasque is the dialect of Ligurian spoken in Monaco, where it is considered a national language, even though it is not the official language of the country.
The languages of Italy are Italian, which serves as the country's national language, as well as several local and regional languages. There are approximately 34 native living languages in Italy, most of which belong to the broader Romance group. The majority of such languages and related dialects are distributed in a continuum across the regions' administrative boundaries, with speakers from one locale within a single region being typically aware of the features distinguishing their own variety from one of the other places nearby.
The Gallo-Italic, Gallo-Italian, Gallo-Cisalpine or simply Cisalpine languages constitute the majority of the Romance languages of northern Italy. They are Piedmontese, Lombard, Emilian, Ligurian, and Romagnol. Although most publications define Venetian as part of the Italo-Dalmatian branch, both Ethnologue and Glottolog group it into the Gallo-Italic languages.
Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It comprises two of the branches of Romance languages: Italo-Dalmatian and Western Romance. It excludes the Sardinian language and Eastern Romance.
Genoese, locally called zeneize, is the main Ligurian dialect, spoken in and around the Italian city of Genoa, the capital of Liguria, in Northern Italy.
Calasetta is a small town and comune located on the island of Sant'Antioco, off the Southwestern coast of Sardinia, Italy.
San Pietro Island is an island approximately 7 kilometres off the South western Coast of Sardinia, Italy, facing the Sulcis peninsula. With 51 square kilometres (19.7 sq mi) it is the sixth largest island of Italy by area. The approximately 6,000 inhabitants are mostly concentrated in the fishing town of Carloforte, the only comune in the island. It is included in the province of South Sardinia. It is named after Saint Peter.
Italian irredentism in Nice was the political movement supporting the annexation of the County of Nice to the Kingdom of Italy.
Emilian dialects are a group of closely-related dialects spoken in the historical region of Emilia, the western portion of today's Emilia-Romagna region, in Northern Italy.
Romagnol dialects (rumagnòl) are a group of closely-related dialects spoken in the historical region of Romagna, which is now in the south-eastern part of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The name is derived from the Lombard name for the region, Romania. Romagnol is also spoken outside the region, particularly in the Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino and in the independent country of San Marino. It is classified as an endangered language because older generations have "neglected to pass on the dialect as a native tongue to the next generation".
Bolognese is a dialect of Emilian-Romagnol spoken in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and along the border of Tuscany to the south.
Intemelio is a Ligurian dialect spoken historically from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian province of Imperia.
Tabarchino is a dialect of the Ligurian language spoken in Sardinia.
The Academia Ligustica do Brenno is an Italian society founded in Genoa in 1970 with the aim of maintaining the purity of the Genoese dialect and other variants of Ligurian language. The name of the society is sometimes stylised as Académia Ligùstica do Brénno, showing the optional diacritical marks for educational purposes.
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