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By Martin Maiden

Publish 12 months note: First released in 1995 by way of Longman Publishing

A Linguistic historical past of Italian deals a transparent and concise clarification of why glossy Italian grammar has develop into how it is. It makes a speciality of the consequences of old alterations at the glossy constitution of Italian, revealing styles and constructions which aren't continuously obvious to people who are just accustomed to smooth Italian. even though the booklet concentrates at the inner historical past of the language, the emergence of Italian is taken into account opposed to the broader heritage of the historical past of the Italian dialects, and different exterior components reminiscent of cultural and social impacts also are tested. Surveys of present study are integrated, overlaying quite a lot of phenomena lately dropped at gentle or re-evaluated.

This publication comprises dialogue of a few components quite overlooked via previous histories of the language, akin to the advance of Italian outdoors Italy. specific awareness is paid to the impression of different Romance dialects, the linguistic results of Italian changing into a literary instead of a spoken language, and structural adaptations that have resulted from the purchase of the language by means of a predominantly dialect-speaking inhabitants.

Containing essentially offered examples, the e-book is designed to be obtainable to these without wisdom of Italian itself. it's going to as a result attract scholars of common linguistics, background linguistics, and Romance linguistics, in addition to these learning Italian. it's the in simple terms significant 'internal' background of Italian at present on hand in English.

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

Example text

For subsequent attempts at spelling reform, see Migliorini and Griffith (1984: 323; 374; 423). Chapter 2 History of the sound system o Introduction In the development of the the Italian sound system from Latin, the losses have been few, the innovations many. Some of the latter, notably the enrichment of vowel quality distinctions, and the emergence of palatal consonants, have had a major impact on the morphological structure of Italian. For this reason, the following account of Italian historical phonology has a strongly morphological bias, in that it explores in particular those changes which have helped to confer on the language its characteristic morphological shape.

3). Otherwise, stress may fall on any syllable from the antepenultimate rightwards, regardless of syllable structure. This new freedom of stress (shared, historically, by all Romance varieties) has allowed the emergence of meaningful distinctions between stress patterns, such as presenta 'he presented' vs. presento 'I present', or capito 'I tum up'; capito 'understood' and capita 'he turned up'. , if it ends in a consonant). Thus we have presenta and presento, but not **presento. This is a remnant of the CL 'heavy penultimate' rule and, while it is indisputable that the overwhelming majority of Italian words happen to conform to this stress, and that modem Italians tend to assume that this rule operates when they pronounce unfamiliar words, it is questionable whether, in the modem language, this rule constitutes a particularly powerful constraint on stress-placement.

There are two major sources of [v] in Romance. 1); the other is Latin word-internal intervocalic [b], which gave [v] in common Proto-Romance, probably via the fricative Iii]: FABA(M) > Java 'bean'; HABEBAT > aveva 'he had'; DEBET> deve 'he must'. In the perfect tense of the verb, however, intervocalic U was deleted; AMAUI > amai 'I loved'; AMAUISTI > amasti 'you loved'. , are examples. The Italian forms bevo 'I drink' < BIBO; vivo 'r live' < UIUO and serva 'maid'< SERUA(M); aba 'grass' < HERBA(M), illustrate how the outcomes of Latin [b] and [w] coincide in word-internal intervocalic position, but remain distinct elsewhere.

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