Hot answers tagged

10 votes

From Italian to Spanish, consonant + "i" goes to consonant + "l"?

Spanish and Italian are both languages descended from Latin. As such, many of their words are cognate sharing a common Latin ancestor, but the sounds in these words evolved over time and evolved ...
user avatar
  • 2,954
10 votes
Accepted

Why do Croatian and Italian contain the same grammatical endings for nouns and verbs?

These all derive from the original Proto-Indo-European inflections. Compare Classical Latin present-tense verb endings: sg pl 1 amō amāmus 2 amās amātis 3 amat amant And Ancient Greek (...
user avatar
  • 51k
8 votes
Accepted

Etymology of "fiamma" in Italian

Syllable-initial Latin "Xl" clusters, where X is a consonant, regularly become "Xi" in Italian. Examples: platea -> piazza ('square') clamare -> chiamare ('call') flumen -&...
user avatar
  • 6,279
7 votes

Italian 'gn' vs Spanish 'ñ' - Why does their use differ intervocalically and word internally?

The most obvious reason for the difference is that Spanish, like English, does not have geminate consonants (aside from occasional “fake” geminates that arise from the same consonant occurring on ...
user avatar
  • 16.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Calabrian/Sicilian and unstressed e/o

Not all Calabrian is the same Calabrian (it: Calabrese) is the name given to the romance dialect continuum spoken in Calabria. It is commonly divided into two different language groups: In the ...
user avatar
  • 2,954
6 votes

Historical morphology of Italian nouns from Latin 3rd declension

Actually, it seems that the most common modern point of view is that most Italian plurals come from the accusative plural, after the regular transformation that turned final /s/ into /j/. This ...
user avatar
5 votes

What is the origin of the word assassin?

The origin appears to come from the name of the Nizari Ismaili state founded by Hassan-i Sabbah who termed his followers Asāsiyyūn أساسيون, the root of which translates as "fundamentals". ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
4 votes

Italian: is there an authoritative word frequency list?

For many languages, SUBTLEX is considered a good source for realistic frequencies. There is an Italian version, SUBTLEX-IT, available at http://crr.ugent.be/subtlex-it/; (Crepaldi, Keuleers, Mandera, &...
user avatar
4 votes

Why do Spanish and other Romance Languages use the preposition "a" for culinary styles?

In French, dishes "à la" stands for "à la façon de" which you could translate as "in the style of". So, "à la bourguignonne" means as it's done in that area of France. Same idea for the other ...
user avatar
  • 265
4 votes

Any other example of "socially stigmatized phoneme" like the "th" sound in some Venetian dialect?

In any place where regional origin is associated with lower social status (basically, where internal migration in search of jobs and wages is/was important, or where a central political authority was ...
user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Historical morphology of Italian nouns from Latin 3rd declension

First off: Italian is commonly analysed as inheriting the nominative forms of nouns from Vulgar Latin, instead of the accusative ones. I don't think I'd quite agree with that. In the plural, the ...
user avatar
  • 51k
4 votes

Is there a General European English Accent?

Those people just happen to have accents that sound similar to your ears. Features common to several European languages but not your native English stand out to your ears. It'd make sense to ...
user avatar
4 votes

Phonological rule for realizations of Italian /s/

While the link in ukemi's comment gives a good description of the rules governing S-voicing, the main question here has a simple answer. /s/ and /z/ are separate phonemes in (standard/Tuscan) Italian....
user avatar
  • 51k
3 votes

Why does Italian use definite articles before possessive adjectives, except when these are followed by a singular family noun?

Generally (in Central Italian), the definite article always accompanies a possessive pronoun - except when referring to a certain kinship names (singenionimi) in the singular. These are: padre, madre,...
user avatar
  • 2,954
3 votes

Why do some linguists say vowel length isn't contrastive in Italian?

"Stress in Italian is mostly length, isn't it?" I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you mean "stress in Italian is mostly realized as phonetic length", it might or might not be true, but it isn't ...
user avatar
  • 16.5k
3 votes

Why do some linguists say vowel length isn't contrastive in Italian?

The main reason is that it is (given the definition of contrast) not contrastive. The exercise of phonemicization requires that you start with phonetically transcribed data, not removing phonetic ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
3 votes

Italian: is there an authoritative word frequency list?

Frequency lists extracted from the WaCky corpora. Lists of words and lemmas are provided, sorted by frequency. itWaC (Italian) itWaC: a 2 billion word corpus constructed from the Web limiting the ...
user avatar
  • 131
3 votes

Any other example of "socially stigmatized phoneme" like the "th" sound in some Venetian dialect?

In Hindi the usage of only /s/ in the place of /ʃ/ /ʂ/ and /s/ generally makes one sound less educated. Same with the realization of the monophthongs /ɛː/ and /ɔː/ as diphthongs /əɪ/ and /əʊ/. These ...
user avatar
  • 847
2 votes
Accepted

More or less - Widespread idiom?

Good question, I was making a list of languages that use the 'less-or-more' form, after first noticing it in Paul-Wexler's lecture, before his lecture, I assumed "less or more" is the more common form,...
user avatar
  • 251
2 votes

From Italian to Spanish, consonant + "i" goes to consonant + "l"?

Just for (a random) curiosity :D : Latin pl, cl and fl bacame [ʃ] in portuguese (written ch). Example: planum > chão (doublet of "plano") plattus > chato (doublet of "prato") plenum > cheio (...
user avatar
  • 1,167
2 votes

From Italian to Spanish, consonant + "i" goes to consonant + "l"?

I would say, /l/ in specific Latin clusters was simply vocalized in Italian. That means the consonant became a vowel, which is not all that uncommon for a sound like this. Take for example r-...
user avatar
2 votes

Expressions derived from Italian mafia

According to the following source, the expression "break/bust my balls" comes from the old practice of cattle castration: Whether it’s busting or breaking, balls or stones, this expression ...
user avatar
  • 309
2 votes

English "fruit" vs Italian "frutta" plural number

As a native Spanish speaker I might use fruta or frutas according to the occasion. The difference might be small enough that I might doubt which one is correct, though. I suspect that nouns shifting ...
user avatar
  • 1,185
2 votes

Any other example of "socially stigmatized phoneme" like the "th" sound in some Venetian dialect?

You'd be better off asking what languages don't have such a feature. An example from New York City English is the curl-coil merger, which pronounces curl/coil, verse/voice, loin/learn as homophones. ...
user avatar
  • 589
1 vote

Latin suffixes -or and -idus, is there a correspondence?

According to Wiktionary, -idus is "suffix forming adjectives", but most of the words in the Category:Latin words suffixed with -idus, are based on a verb. -or is similarly "used to form ...
user avatar
  • 6,279
1 vote

It's very uncommon for Italian nouns and verbs to end in consonants, but vast number of Latin nouns and verbs do. Why?

The current result that you are referring to is the product of 2 millenia of language change, which in also resulted in the distinct properties of French, Romanian, Catalan, Spanish, Sardinian and so ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
1 vote

What languages reinforce imperatives with conjunctions?

The order is really arbitrary or a result of the syntactic constraints of the language. (Generally SAE requires imperatives take the first position whereas even in neighbouring Eastern European IE ...
user avatar
1 vote

Italian Pronunciation Lost in Translation or regional language difference?

Ah Italian pronunciation. This is going to be fun! One thing you have to understand about the evolution of the Italian language is that Italian was for most of its existence an almost exclusively ...
user avatar
1 vote

Any other example of "socially stigmatized phoneme" like the "th" sound in some Venetian dialect?

I imagine this happens to some extent in all languages with a prestige dialect and non-prestige dialects with distinctive realisations of phonemes. Some examples that come to mind: ceceo in ...
user avatar
  • 2,954
1 vote

English "fruit" vs Italian "frutta" plural number

I don't know enough Spanish to comment on why Spanish decided not to go this route, but Italian usage is certainly derived with Latin usage, and it has no relation to English uncountable nouns What ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible