Southern Italian - Classification


Neapolitan is generally considered Italo-Dalmatian. There are notable differences among the various dialects, but they are all generally mutually intelligible. The language as a whole has often fallen victim to its status of "language without prestige" even if it was commonly used in the court during the kingdom of Bourbons.

The Italian language and Neapolitan are of variable mutual comprehensibility, depending on factors both affective and linguistic. There are notable grammatical differences such as nouns in the neuter form and unique plural formation, and historical phonological developments that often obscure the cognacy of lexical items. Its evolution has been similar to that of Italian and other Romance languages from their roots in Spoken Latin. It has also developed with a pre-Latin Oscan influence, which controversially purported to be noticeable in the pronunciation of the d sound as an r sound (rhotacism), but only when "d" is at the beginning of a word, or between two vowels (e.g.- "doje" or "duje" (two, respectively feminine and masculine form), pronounced, and often spelled, as "roje"/"ruje", vedé (to see), pronounced as "veré", and often spelled so, same for cadé/caré (to fall), and Madonna/Maronna). Some think that the rhotacism is a more recent phenomenon, though. Another purported Oscan influence (claimed by some to be more likely than the previous one) is historical assimilation of the consonant cluster /nd/ as /nn/, pronounced (this generally is reflected in spelling more consistently) (e.g.- "munno" ('world', compare to Italian "mondo"), "quanno" ('when', compare to Italian "quando"), etc.), along with the development of /mb/ as /mm/ (e.g.- tammuro (drum), cfr. Italian tamburo), also consistently reflected in spelling. Other effects of the Oscan substratum are postulated too, although substratum claims are highly controversial. In addition, the language was also affected by the Greek language. There have never been any successful attempts to standardize the language (e.g.- consulting three different dictionaries, one finds three different spellings for the word for tree, arbero, arvero and àvaro).

Neapolitan has enjoyed a rich literary, musical and theatrical history (notably Giambattista Basile, Eduardo De Filippo, Salvatore di Giacomo and Totò). Thanks to this heritage and the musical work of Renato Carosone in the 1950s, Neapolitan is still in use in popular music, even gaining national popularity in the songs of Pino Daniele and the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare.

The language has no official status within Italy and is not taught in schools. The Università Federico II in Naples offers (from 2003) courses in Campanian Dialectology at the faculty of Sociology, whose actual aim is not teaching students to speak the language, but studying its history, usage, literature and social role. There are also ongoing legislative attempts at the national level to have it recognized as an official minority language of Italy. It is however a recognized ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee language with the language code of nap.

For comparison, The Lord's Prayer is here reproduced in the Neapolitan spoken in Naples and in a northern Calabrian dialect, in contrast with a variety of southern Calabrian (part of Sicilian language), Italian and Latin.

Catholic Catechism Neapolitan (Naples) Neapolitan (Northern Calabrian) Sicilian (Southern Calabrian) Sicilian (Sicily) Italian Latin
Our Father who art in heaven, Pate nuoste ca staje 'ncielo, Patre nuorru chi sta ntru cielu, Patri nostru chi' si nt'o celu, Nunnu nostru, ca inta lu celu siti Padre Nostro, che sei nei cieli, Pater noster, qui es in caelis
hallowed be thy name santificammo 'o nomme tuojo chi sia santificatu u nume tuoio, m'esti santificatu u nomi toi, mu santificatu esti lu nomu vostru: sia santificato il tuo nome. sanctificetur nomen tuum:
Thy kingdom come, faje vení 'o regno tuojo, venisse u riegnu tuoio, Mu veni u rregnu toi, Mu veni lu regnu vostru. Venga il tuo regno, Adveniat regnum tuum.
Thy will be done, sempe c' 'a vuluntà toja, se facisse a vuluntà tuoia, ù si facissi a voluntà Mu si faci la vuluntati vostra sia fatta la tua volontà, Fiat voluntas tua
on earth as it is in heaven. accussí 'ncielo e 'nterra. sia nto cielu ca nterra. com'esti nt'o celu, u stessa sup'a terra. comu esti inta lu celu, accussì incapu la terra come in cielo, così in terra. sicut in caelo et in terra
Give us this day our daily bread Fance avé 'o ppane tutt' 'e juorne Ranne oje u pane nuorro e tutti i juorni, Dùnandi ped oji u pani nostru e tutti i jorna Dunàtini ogghi lu nostru panuzzu. Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano, Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie.
and forgive us our trespasses lièvace 'e dièbbete perdunacce i rebita nuorri, e' perdùnandi i debiti, E pirdunàtini li nostri dèbbiti, e rimetti a noi i nostri debiti, Et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
as we forgive those who trespass against us, comme nuje 'e llevamme a ll'ate, cumu nue perdunammu i rebituri nuorri. comu nù nc'i perdunamu ad i debituri nostri. comu nuautri li pirdunamu a li nostri dibbitura. come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori. sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
and lead us not into temptation, nun 'nce fa spantecà, Un ce mannare ntra tentazione, Non nci dassari nt'a tentazioni, E nun lassàtini cascari inta la tintazziuni; E non ci indurre in tentazione, Et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
but deliver us from evil. e llievace 'o mmale 'a tuorno. ma liberacce e ru male. ma liberandi d'o mali. ma scanzàtini di lu mali. ma liberaci dal male. sed libera nos a malo.
Amen. Ammèn. Ammèn. Ammèn. Ammèn. Amen. Amen.

Read more about this topic:  Southern Italian

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