Origins of the Italian Language – Melodic and Romantic

The Italian language, which is considered as the most melodic and romantic of all languages, emanated from an intricate origin. It has been widely spoken not only in Italy but also in some other regions like Eritrea, Abyssinia and Somalia in Africa, which are former Italian colonies.

The language originated from the departed Roman Empire, the Vulgar Latin. It is a single language that has several varying dialects. The standardĀ language was developed during the 13th and 14th centuries by the fathers of the Modern Italian: Francesco Petrarca, Dante Alighieri and Giovani Boccaccio. In the Northern and Northwestern regions of Italy, the dialects they use are known as Gallo-Italian. These includes the Emilian-Romagnol, Piedmontese, Lombard, and Ligurian. Another dialect is the Venetian, spoken in Northeastern Italy that includes Trevisan, Paduan, and Veronese. Next is the Istrian, which is spoken in Croatia and Slovenia. The Tuscan dialect of Central Italy is the most widely used dialect by Italian philosophers, writers and politicians. The Southern and Eastern regions have the dialects of Calabrian, Umbria, Marchigiano, Rome, Lucanian, Apulian, Neapolitan, Campanian, Abruzzian, Otrantan, and Sicilian.

After the new “barbarian” ruling classes had been adopted, there was an infliction of a somewhat divergent pronunciation than the one introduced by the Roman rule. However, the foreign influence has not impacted intensely the Italian peninsula compared to other European regions. The former Latin communication with inflectional word modifications was now communicated through separate words or phrases and different words order.

The changes in the Italian grammar had caused confusion for the speakers of the modern regional languages to understand Latin. In the 18th century, the unification of Italy occurred, where an implementation of the use of a National Language has been decided. The earliest known author to suggest this was Alessandro Manzoni. The unification has made Florence to be the capital and the Florentine to be the national language. This resulted in a significant impact shaping the cultural, economic and social transformation of Italy. The literacy rate has improved due to mandatory schooling and had caused the people to adopt the national language and forget their native dialects. However, it was only until the 19th century that the textbooks and the Italian Bible have been published in a uniform, Italian language.

Italy has now achieved unity in its spoken language, with a current number of 66 million Italian speakers. However, due to the innumerable invasions by foreign governments in some regions, there are minimal differences in the spoken dialect of its countrymen. Native dialects are still used by some older generations and some who speak the standard language possess diverse accents influenced by their origins. But due to the progress in technology and education, the comprehending gap between Latin and modern Italian is gradually diminishing.

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