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11 votes
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How close are the Italian and the Romanian open central unrounded vowels?

Short answer: there is more variation than what is expected, but the data could be interpreted 'on average' to show that Romanian has more instances of a back /a/ than Italian. The /a/ phoneme covers ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
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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 ...
iacobo's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 (...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 -&...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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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 ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
6 votes
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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 ...
iacobo's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the origin of North Italian dialects' particle /g/ (cf. Italian "ci", "gli")?

First, the form is not gh (at least in the regional languages I am familiar with) but rather ghe (that sometimes can support elision, but not often). For example in the Venetian Ghe go dito 'I have ...
Denis Nardin's 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". ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is it a coincidence that both Italian and German use third person feminine pronouns for formal second-person address?

Italian uses the third person feminine by following Spanish usage of usted. It simply never developed a special pronoun, which is reasonable as Italian very rarely uses the pronoun at all (e.g. Cosa ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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, &...
Jeremy Needle's user avatar
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 ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
4 votes
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
user23212's 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....
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes

Orthography changes in Italian

For starters, there's a nice overview on the Treccani on the Ottocento and on the history of Italian orthography, with good references to the increasing rates of literacy among the middle classes and ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
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 ...
Aryaman's user avatar
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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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
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,...
iacobo's user avatar
  • 3,112
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 ...
John Doe's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
Accepted

Auxilary verb alternation in analytic perfect for French/Italian and German languages

This is called auxiliary selection. It came about in the late Roman - early Medieval period in the major Romance and Germanic languages, before being progressively lost in many languages through the ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
3 votes

Are there Romance parallel descendants to Italian "cicalare" and Romanian "cicăli(re)"?

Spanish and Portuguese have the word cigarra, which also refers to the insect and ultimately comes from Latin (there is debate whether the Portuguese word is native or replaced its native word with ...
Quaestor's user avatar
3 votes

Are there Romance parallel descendants to Italian "cicalare" and Romanian "cicăli(re)"?

I don’t have any particular sources for this, but this is too long for a comment, so it’ll have to go in an answer. My guess (and it is only a guess) would be that Romanian has obtained the word for a ...
Janus Bahs Jacquet's user avatar
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 ...
pablodf76's user avatar
  • 1,235
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 ...
Mr. Black's user avatar
  • 319
2 votes
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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,...
oyd11's user avatar
  • 247
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 (...
Ergative Man's user avatar
  • 1,436
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-...
unknown_person_1000's user avatar
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. ...
ubadub's user avatar
  • 626

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