A Linguistic History of Italian (Longman Linguistics by Martin Maiden

By Martin Maiden

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

A Linguistic background of Italian bargains a transparent and concise clarification of why glossy Italian grammar has develop into how it is. It makes a speciality of the consequences of ancient adjustments at the sleek constitution of Italian, revealing styles and buildings which aren't continually obvious to those that are just conversant in smooth Italian. even supposing the e-book concentrates at the inner background of the language, the emergence of Italian is taken into account opposed to the broader heritage of the background of the Italian dialects, and different exterior elements reminiscent of cultural and social impacts also are tested. Surveys of present examine are incorporated, masking quite a lot of phenomena lately delivered to gentle or re-evaluated.

This booklet comprises dialogue of a few parts quite overlooked by way of past histories of the language, similar to the improvement of Italian outdoor Italy. specific cognizance 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 way of a predominantly dialect-speaking inhabitants.

Containing truly awarded examples, the ebook is designed to be obtainable to these with out wisdom of Italian itself. it's going to hence attract scholars of normal linguistics, historical past linguistics, and Romance linguistics, in addition to these learning Italian. it's the simply significant 'internal' historical past of Italian at the moment on hand in English.

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

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Two major lines of explanation have been 36 A LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF ITALIAN offered. One ascribes the diphthongization to a development of phonetically lengthened stressed vowels which is 'unconditioned' or 'spontaneous', in the sense that it is a change naturally affecting stressed vowels in open syllables which is not triggered either by following or by preceding sounds; the other sees the origin of SOSD in an assimilatory phonetic process called metaphony. The balance of evidence, as we shall see below, favours the latter, metaphonic, explanation.

Notes I. ; 38--40) for an analysis of the history of this distinction. 2. On this point see also Varvaro (1984: 45-7). But the present work is closer in kind to what he describes as a 'sophisticated form of structural diachrony' than to his conception of a 'history of the language'. 3. To mention but a few, there are Migliorini and Griffith (1984); Bruni (1987); and the new multivolume series Storia della lingua italiana, emerging under the general editorship of F. Bruni, which combines rich textual documentation with detailed linguistic analysis.

INTRODUCTION II idiom remote from spontaneous, everyday, language - has changed strikingly little since the time of Boccaccio and Petrarch, particularly in the domains of phonology and morphology. Before the fifteenth century, it might be more accurate to talk of 'old Tuscan' rather than of 'old Italian',B since Tuscan was not universally accepted as the Italian lingua, even though the perception of the prestige and primacy of Tuscan was gathering ground from the time of Dante onwards. In the fifteenth century we find the terms fiorentino, toscano and italiano being used sometimes interchangeably.

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