Ligurian language

Last updated
Ligurian / Genoese
lìgure, zeneize
Pronunciation [ˈliɡyre] , [zeˈnejze]
Native to Italy, Monaco, France
RegionItaly
  Liguria
 Southern Piedmont
 Southwestern Lombardy
 Western Emilia-Romagna
 Southwestern Sardinia
France
 Southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
 Southern Corsica
Native speakers
600,000 (2002) [1]
Early forms
Dialects
Official status
Official language in
Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco (as Monégasque)

Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

Flag of Liguria.svg  Liguria
Language codes
ISO 639-3 lij
Glottolog ligu1248
Linguasphere 51-AAA-oh & 51-AAA-og
Ligure-Ligurian-map.svg
Lang Status 60-DE.svg
Ligurian is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Ligurian ( /lɪˈɡjʊəriən/ [2] ) or Genoese ( /ˌɛnˈz/ [3] ) (locally called zeneise or zeneize) [4] is a Gallo-Italic language spoken primarily in the territories of the former Republic of Genoa, now comprising the area of Liguria in Northern Italy, parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, Monaco (where it is called Monégasque), 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.

Contents

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  [ it; lij ], and Gian Giacomo Cavalli  [ it; lij ].

A man speaking Ligurian, recorded in Italy

Geographic extent and status

Status

The Italian Government does not consider Ligurian its own language but rather as a dialect of Italian. [5] Hence, it is not protected by law. [6] 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 [7] (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.

Geographic extent

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, around the area of Novi Ligure, and the Province of Cuneo, in the municipalities of Ormea, Garessio, [8] Alto and Caprauna), 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.

Description

Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria Romance-lg-classification-en.svg
Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria

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

Most important variants of the Ligurian language are:

Phonology

Consonants

Consonants in the Genovese dialect
Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ
voiced v z ʒ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Trill r
Approximant l j w

Semivowels occur as allophones of /i/ and /u/, as well as in diphthongs. /u/ is realized as a semivowel [ w ] after a consonant, or before a vowel (i.e poeivan[pwejvaŋ]), as well as after /k/, when the sequence is spelled qu.

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i iː y yː u uː
Mid e eː ø øː
ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː
Open a aː

Diphthong sounds include ei[ej] and òu[ɔw]. [9]

Alphabet

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. [10] [11] [12] [13] The other, proposed by the cultural association A Compagna and the Academia Ligustica do Brenno is the self-styled grafia ofiçiâ (official orthography). [14] [15] 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 nn), 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:

Sample Text [16] [17]

Ligurian

Articolo 1

Tutte e personn-e nascian libere e pæge in dignitæ e driti. Son dotæ de raxon e coscensa e gh'an da agî l'unn-a verso l'atra inte 'n spirito de fradelansa.

Articolo 2

Ògni personn-a a gh'à tutti i driti e e libertæ proclamæ inte questa Diciaraçion, sensa nisciunn-a distinçion de razza, cô, sesso, lengoa, religion, òpinion politica ò d'atro tipo, òrigine naçionale ò sociale, poxiçion econòmica, nascimento, ò quæ se segge atra condiçion. Pe de ciù, no se faiâ nisciunn-a diferensa fondâ in sciâ condiçion politica, giuridica ò internaçionale do Paize ò do teritöio a-o quæ e personn-e apartegnan, segge pe-i Paixi indipendenti che pe-i teritöi sott'aministraçion fiduciaia, sens'outonomia, ò sotomissi a ògni atra limitaçion de sovranitæ.

English

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Vocabulary

Some basic vocabulary, in the spelling of the Genoese Academia Ligustica do Brenno :

Ligurian vocabulary with multiple translations
LigurianEnglishItalianFrenchSpanishRomanianCatalan
péi or péia, pl. péiepear, pearspera, perepoire, poirespera, peraspară, perepera, peres
mei or méia, pl. méieapple, applesmela, melepomme, pommesmanzana, manzanasmăr, merepoma, pomes
çetrónlemonlimonecitronlimónlămâiellimona/llima
fîgofigficofiguehigosmochinăfiga
pèrsegopeachpescapêchemelocotónpiersicăpréssec/bresquilla
frambôasaraspberrylamponeframboiseframbuesazmeurăgerd
çêxacherryciliegiacerisecerezacireașăcirera
meréllostrawberryfragolafraisefresacăpșunămaduixa, fraula
nôxe(wal)nutnocenoixnueznucănou
nissêuahazelnutnocciolanoisetteavellanaaluneavellana
bricòccaloapricotalbicoccaabricotalbaricoquecaisăalbercoc
ûgagrapeuvaraisinuvastrugureraïm
pigneupine nutpinolopignon de pinpiñónsămânță de pinpinyó
tomâtatomatopomodorotomatetomateroșietomàquet, tomata
articiòccaartichokecarciofoartichautalcachofaanghinareescarxofa, carxofa
êuvoegguovoœufhuevoouăou
or casahome, housecasamaison, domicilecasacasăcasa or ca
ciæoclear or lightchiaroclairclaroclarclar
éuggioeyeocchioœilojoochiull
bóccamouthboccabouchebocagurăboca
téstaheadtestatêtecabezacapcap
schénn-abackschienadosespaldaspateesquena
bràssoarmbracciobrasbrazobrațbraç
gànbaleggambajambepiernapiciorcama
cheuheartcuorecœurcorazóninimăcor
arvîto openaprireouvrirabrirdeschidereobrir
serrâto closechiuderefermercerrarînchideretancar

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Monaco</span> Account of the past of Monaco

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Occitan language</span> Romance language of Western Europe

Occitan, also known as lenga d'òc by its native speakers, sometimes also referred to as Provençal, is a Romance language spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Valleys, as well as Spain's Val d'Aran in Catalonia; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitania. It is also spoken in 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 between different Occitan dialects. Catalan was considered a dialect of Occitan until the end of the 19th century and still today remains its closest relative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Romance languages</span> Direct descendants of Vulgar Latin

The Romance languages, also known as the Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the languages that are directly descended from Vulgar Latin. They are the only extant subgroup of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallo-Romance languages</span> Branch of the Romance languages

The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages includes in the narrowest sense the langues d'oïl and Franco-Provençal. However, other definitions are far broader and variously encompass the Occitan or Occitano-Romance, Gallo-Italic or Rhaeto-Romance languages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lombard language</span> Gallo-Italic language spoken in the Italian region of Lombardy

The Lombard language belongs to the Gallo-Italic family and is a cluster of homogeneous dialects that are spoken by millions of speakers in Northern Italy and southern Switzerland, including most of Lombardy and some areas of the neighbouring regions, notably the far eastern side of Piedmont and the extreme western side of Trentino, and in Switzerland in the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden. The language is also spoken in Santa Catarina in Brazil by Lombard immigrants from the Province of Bergamo, in Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Venetian language</span> Romance language of Veneto, northeast Italy

Venetian, wider Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken natively in the northeast of Italy, mostly in Veneto, where most of the five million inhabitants can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto: in Trentino, Friuli, the Julian March, Istria, and some towns of Slovenia, Dalmatia (Croatia) and Bay of Kotor (Montenegro) by a surviving autochthonous Venetian population, and in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom by Venetians in the diaspora.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monégasque dialect</span> Variety of Ligurian spoken in Monaco

Monégasque is the variety of Ligurian spoken in Monaco. It is closely related to the Ligurian dialects spoken in Ventimiglia and is considered a national language of Monaco, though it is not the official language of the country, which is French. Monégasque has been officially taught in the schools of Monaco since 1972 and was made a compulsory subject in 1976, but is the native language of only a handful of people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carloforte</span> Comune in Sardinia, Italy

Carloforte is a fishing and resort town located on Isola di San Pietro, approximately 7 kilometres off the southwestern coast of Sardinia, in the Province of South Sardinia, Italy. It is one of I Borghi più belli d'Italia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emilian–Romagnol linguistic group</span> Continuum of Gallo-Italic dialects of Emilia and Romagna, Italy

Emilian-Romagnol is a linguistic continuum that is part of the Gallo-Italic languages spoken in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It is divided into two main varieties: Emilian and Romagnol.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languages of Italy</span> On the various languages spoken in Italy

The languages of Italy include Italian, which serves as the country's national language, in its standard and regional forms, as well as numerous local and regional languages, most of which, like Italian, belong to the broader Romance group. The majority of languages often labeled as regional 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallo-Italic languages</span> Sub-family of Romance languages spoken in Northern Italy

The Gallo-Italic, Gallo-Italian, Gallo-Cisalpine or simply Cisalpine languages constitute the majority of the Romance languages of northern Italy: Piedmontese, Lombard, Emilian, Ligurian, and Romagnol. In central Italy they are spoken in the northern Marches ; in southern Italy in some language islands in Basilicata and Sicily.

Genoese, locally called zeneise or zeneize, is the prestige dialect of Ligurian, spoken in and around the Italian city of Genoa, the capital of Liguria, in Northern Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">San Pietro Island</span>

San Pietro Island is an island approximately seven kilometres off the South western Coast of Sardinia, Italy, facing the Sulcis peninsula. With an area of 51 square kilometres 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emilian dialects</span> Unstandardized language spoken in Emilia, Italy

Emilian is a Gallo-Italic unstandardised language spoken in the historical region of Emilia, which is now in the northwestern part of Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Romagnol</span> Romance language spoken in Romagna (Italy) and San Marino

Romagnol is a Romance language spoken in the historical region of Romagna, consisting mainly of the southeastern part of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The name is derived from the Lombard name for the region, Romagna. Romagnol is also spoken outside the region, particularly in the independent Republic of San Marino. Romagnol is classified as endangered because older generations have "neglected to pass on the dialect as a native tongue to the next generation".

Bolognese is a dialect of Emilian spoken in the most part in the city of Bologna and its hinterland, but also in the district of Castelfranco Emilia in the Province of Modena, and in the towns of Sambuca Pistoiese (Tuscany), Cento, Sant'Agostino, and Poggio Renatico.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Intemelio dialect</span> Ligurian dialect spoke historically spoken from Monaco to Italian Imperia

Intemelio is a Ligurian dialect spoken historically from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian province of Imperia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tabarchino</span> Ligurian dialect spoken in Sardinia

Tabarchino is a dialect of the Ligurian language spoken in Sardinia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Academia Ligustica do Brenno</span> Italian society whose aim is to maintain the purity of the Genoese dialect

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.

Fiorenzo Toso was an Italian academic, linguist, and dialectologist.

References

  1. Ligurian / Genoese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. "Ligurian". Dictionary.com Unabridged (Online). n.d.
  3. "Genoese". Dictionary.com Unabridged (Online). n.d.
  4. "Genoese". Omniglot. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15.
  5. "Ligurian – CIDLeS" . Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  6. Legge 482, voted on Dec 15, 1999 does not mention Ligurian as a regional language of Italy.
  7. "L'uso della lingua italiana, dei dialetti e di altre lingue in Italia". Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (in Italian). 2018-03-09. Archived from the original on 2018-08-23. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  8. Duberti, Nicola. "L'Alta Val Tanaro: inquadramento linguistico" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2020-02-22. Retrieved 2021-10-09 via Academia.edu.
  9. Toso, Fiorenzo (1997). Grammatica del genovese: varietà urbana e di koiné. Recco: Le Mani.
  10. Acquarone, Andrea (13 December 2015). "O sciòrte o libbro de Parlo Ciæo, pe chi gh'è cao a nòstra lengua" [The anthology of Parlo Ciæo is now out, for those who love our language]. Il Secolo XIX (in Ligurian). Genoa, Italy. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  11. "GEPHRAS". GEPHRAS. University of Innsbruck. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  12. "Catalogo poesia" [Catalogue of poetry] (in Italian). Editrice Zona. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  13. "Biblioteca zeneise" [Genoese library] (in Italian and Ligurian). De Ferrari editore. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  14. "Grafîa ofiçiâ" [Official orthography] (in Ligurian). Academia Ligustica do Brenno. Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  15. Bampi, Franco (2009). Grafîa ofiçiâ. Grafia ufficiale della lingua genovese. Bolezùmme (in Ligurian and Italian). Genoa, Italy: S.E.S. – Società Editrice Sampierdarenese. ISBN   978-8889948163.
  16. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Ligurian".
  17. Nations, United. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". United Nations. Retrieved 2023-12-04.

Further reading

Wikisource-logo.svg   Wikisource has original text related to this article: Ligurian language wikisource