Talk:Sicilian language

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Request for cleanup[edit]

The intro is very choppy and could use some work to more properly introduce the article. I'll try to get to it when I can.Mcorco2 (talk) 08:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The way citations are made do not comply with wikipedia standards and most of the word put under the influences of the Arab period are anything but Arabic. The information is also not complete. 99.51.150.199 (talk) 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I find it interesting that you've taken issue specifically with the Arab period section, when the same sources and citation format are employed throughout the history section. Any objection to those? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.169.195.134 (talk) 08:37, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Sicilian words for english words[edit]

How do you say "Good Luck" or "Blessings" "Good Fortune" in Sicilian?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.119.80.138 (talk) 08:56, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Sicilian vs Dialetti meridionali estremi[edit]

This article is quite chauviniste and its fully based on "Etnlogue" book. The sicilian language is part of "meridionali estremi"(= "southern languages") as the picture in the page shows. Dialleti merdionali estremi are: "sicilian", southern calabrian, southern Apulia language, and southern Campania language. Sayng "Dialetti meridionali estremi" is sicilian is like affirming England is UK. A completely non-sence —Preceding unsigned comment added by Firestorm81 (talkcontribs) 10:33, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Don't know who has written this article, but I think it is of poor knowledge of the two languages sicilian and italian, or that one is a political motivated one. To translate fìmmina to donna is not wrong, but the most would translate it to femmina. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.237.175.155 (talk) 11:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Why, the Sicilian word fìmmina is the most direct and correct translation of the Italian word donna. It is also the correct translation of the Italian word fèmmina, but it’s less frequently used in that meaning, so much that when the Sicilian people want to qualify the gender of animals and plants they can feel the need to use other words such as masculinu (e.g. i laddichi masculini, the nettle) and fimmineḍḍa (e.g. i virioli fimmineḍḍi, a kind of fish). The Sicilian word donna means another thing, which you would translate as signora in Italian; it’s the feminine counterpart to the masculine don. Peppepz (talk) 10:12, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Sicilian in the United States[edit]

Where is there any evidence for the claim that there is a significant number of Sicilian speakers in the United States? I live in one of the US cities cited as having a sizable Sicilian-speaking population. I never hear it anymore. I do not know of a single Bostonian who speaks Sicilian as their only native language, does not speak English better than Sicilian, does not prefer to speak English, or speaks Sicilian on any regular basis. My father has not spoken Sicilian for more than 30 minutes total in the past 30 years.

Sicilian immigration into the US ended about 100 years ago. There are no more than a handful of Sicilian immigrants who are still alive. Very few Americans are of 100% Sicilian ancestry. Little remains of the ancestral identity of most white Americans.Bostoner (talk) 01:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and I couldn't find any relevant sources for that section (that really looked quite like WP:OR to me), so I've deleted the whole section. I would strongly encourage people to start searching for reliable sources in the future. --Angelo (talk) 10:37, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

You are all 3 incorrect. There are many Americans including myself not only fluent in Sicilan, but speak it regularly. The language is preserved and taught through family association, church organizations and societies, as well as social and ethnic historical clubs. Cosand (talk) 20:18, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

It's great that you speak Sicilian - please continue to do so, and preserve the language here in the US!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.188.113.121 (talk) 01:42, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Arba Sicula, which publishes newsletters and journals in Sicilian to this day, is one of the largest cultural clubs in the USA. --202.14.81.49 (talk) 00:24, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Baaria[edit]

User:Angelo.romano deleted my contribution with (rv - as you said in your comments, it's not even Sicilian, but just a mixture of Italian with Sicilian words. So, WP:TRIVIA quite inappropriate for this article.):

One recent example of Sicilian reaching a high profile is the 2009 film Baarìa - La porta del vento that uses a continuum of Italian and Sicilian (in the Baarioto variant of Bagheria) to portray the life a Palermo community in the 20th century.
The film was shot in Sicilian and this version was shown in Sicily and (with subtitles) foreign countries.
The actors also dubbed themselves in Sicilian-accented Italian for the version projected in the rest of Italy[deleted ref 1].

I think it should appear in the article because Sicilian rarely is seen on the screen. Even more, it represented Italy at the Oscars, so it gets projected abroad in Sicilian (locally subtitled). The dialogue tries to represent everyday Bagheria life. Hence characters talk Sicilian and Italian depending on context, just as real Sicilians did. For example, the school is in Italian, but the shepherds talk Sicilian.

It is also an example of the role of Sicilian in the media today. If you have an recent example of Sicilian given a higher profile, mention it. Otherwise Baaria should go in the article. The contrast between the Sicilian and the Italian dubbings also shows the degree of mutual intelligibility.

I'm not a expert in the language, but I think in the Sicilian version, they speak "full Sicilian" (and Italian and Sicilian-accented Italian and even English in some scenes), not "a mixture". It depends on which character in which context, just as in real 20th century Sicily. If you understood otherwise, please suggest a rephrasing. --Error (talk) 19:05, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

First, it is untrue to say that language is not that featured on screen; it could be valid for non-Italian movie, but a lot of Italian movies covering Sicilian subjects actually make a massive use of the Sicilian language, starting from the Italian record-audience TV series from the books of Andrea Camilleri to a huge list of mafia-related movies (the whole La Piovra series for instance), and it is even occasionally used on the Godfather's trilogy, at least it used to be on the first movie. The Sicilian used in Bàaria is also the same Sicilian used in another Oscar-participant movie by Giuseppe Tornatore, Cinema Paradiso, which was far more successful in the end as you probably know.
However, citing all this stuff we're talking about has little to no meaning in a linguistical article which should directly cover the idiom itself; what you're talking about is not Sicilian language, but Sicilian culture instead, and just looks like unfit for this article - and such information is discouraged by guidelines such as WP:TRIVIA. Also, if we start mentioning movies, then we should mention also music, television, theatre, etc., and we would add a lot of unnecessary cruft to an article which is in a not-so-good state and has a widespread lack of sources in several of its parts. --Angelo (talk) 22:57, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Aha. I think that mentioning that the language is used (or not) in journals, TV, movies, music, is relevant to the article. Sociolinguistics and language politics are also part of linguistics. Otherwise it seems that it is merely a spoken language nowadays. I encourage you to include examples such as those you have provided do in your answer. --Error (talk) 21:04, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Angelo. --202.14.81.96 (talk) 00:32, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

About the verb to have[edit]

I added a "citation needed" in the section about the verb "to have" (link), where it reads: "Sicilian may use the verb jiri, to go, to signify the act of being about to do something. Italian does not use the verb andare, to go, in this way". As an Italian I can witness that Italian does indeed use the verb "avere" (to have) in equivalent constructs. For example as a teacher I might say "Andiamo a vedere ..." (we're going to see, literally: we go to see), or as an anchorman I could say "Andiamo ad ascoltare ..." (we're going to listen, literally: we go to listen).

--Astabada (talk) 15:42, 30 January 2012 (UTC)


Why "Sicilian language" but "Neapolitan dialect"[edit]

I wanted to point out this discrepancy. I made it also in the talk of Neapolitan language. Nothing personal towards Sicily , Sicilians and Sicilian language , that I love (I have supported from years that Sicilian must be declared an official language in Sicilian region) , but it appears to me as a discrimination unjust and unjustified ! Anno1443

Footnotes and parenthetical references[edit]

I would like to refactor the references in this page to use the inline citation style of footnote. Currently it uses parenthitical references (Hull, 1989) instead of inline references[1]. I will keep separate the Notes and the References since the page already does this. Does anybody have any objections to using this style of footnote? It is the prevailing method here and is easier (IMO) to maintain.

Sample Footnotes

  1. ^ like this

Thanks, Dusty|💬|You can help! 16:04, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Pronunciation: TR/DR[edit]

'DR, TR — Similarly, Sicilian has a unique pronunciation of the digraphs -tr- and -dr- as [tʃɹ] and [dʒɹ], not common to Italian. The sound of -tr- is exactly like that heard in English tree and the sound of -dr- exactly like the digraph heard in English dragon.

This is inconsistent. There is no ʃ in English TR, and no ʒ in English DR. Can someone clarify what the correct pronunciation is, please? Prof Wrong (talk) 20:58, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

The article is probably wrong about this. I am a Sicilian and I have no knowledge of IPA, but I can tell that, although they do sound similar, especially when spoken fast, Sicilian TR and English TR are somehow different. First, in English, unless it’s spoken fast, I can tell the boundary between the two sounds T and R; in Sicilian I don’t, ever. Second, when pronouncing the English R, I seem to feel my mandible going slightly lower to “make room” for the tongue, whereas when I pronounce the R in the Sicilian TR combination my tongue seems to need less “room” as it’s just going backwards and close to the palate. Finally, I never hear the “flap” in the English R, whereas I do hear a weak flap in the case of the R in the Sicilian TR combination. Overall, the Sicilian TR combination seems to denote a single sound (which can’t be split in two, just like the dʒ combination resulting from G). Perhaps this sound is ʈ͡ʂ as suggested by the comment below: I do seem to recognise the sound in the audio clips on the Wikipedia page about affricate consonants, but I seem to understand that IPA is more about how a sound is made than the way it’s heard, so I could be wrong.
Oh and mostly the same observations apply to DR, which I feel closer to ɖ͡ʐ than to the English DR. Peppepz (talk) 09:50, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation and IPA[edit]

The sentence of ethnologue is unnecessary, because it’s impossible to think that sicilian and italian languages are the same thing. Between sicilian and italian there is not the same differences than between, for example, serbian, croatian and bosnian. The similarities between sicilian and italian concern just part of lexicon, because they are both romance languages and because they influence each other (for obvious social political reasons), but the grammar and overall the phonology is completely different. A stranger can think that czech and slovakian are the same language because they sound very similar; often a stranger cannot distinguish spanish and catalan (despite they are rather distinguishable), but even a stranger can realize that italian and sicilian are two different languages.
The IPA transliteration of the digraphs “tr”, “dr”, aren’t [tʃɹ], [dʒɹ]. In Sicilian they are typical affricate sounds, so [ʈ͡ʂ], [ɖ͡ʐ]. Listen the chart [[1]] it’s exactly like that. The digraph “ci” is not [ç], or rather in some (limited) areas the sound is like that but in majority of Sicily it’s [ʃ], like english “sh” but more faint. In english “sh” is actually [ʃʃ], always strong, instead in sicilian there is a [ʃ] written usually “ci”/“ce” and a [ʃʃ] just like in english, written usually “sci”/”sce”. Sicilian language unfortunately use the italian orthography because it hasn’t a standard peculiarly sicilian.
The trigraph “str” in not pronounced [ʃɹ] but simply [ʂː], it’s a unique sound, always strong. “Shr” in english is different, even if more similar than italian.
It’s true, “j” can be pronounced in different ways, but not like “jelly” in English. “Un jornu” is [uŋˈgjɔɾnu] not [unˈdʒoɾnu]. “Tri jorna” is [ʈ͡ʂigˈgjɔɾna], not [triˈɡjoɾna]; [tr] and [o] in sicilian don’t exist. The pronounce [ˈddʒɔɾnu] can existe just in “bon giornu” (good morning), but it is an italianism, in sicilian in fact the correct pronunciation should be [bbɔŋˈgjɔɾnu]. I’m Sicilian.--16:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.153.229.189 (talk)

I don’t know IPA, but as a Sicilian, I would like to second what this comment says about pronunciation. I’d like, for what it’s worth, to specify more about the sounds deriving from Latin FL (e.g. ciancu, ciascu, ciatu, ciauru, ciumi). This sound has historically been written as X, possibily during the Spanish domination. To me it looks like that, in Sicilian and Southern Calabrian, this sound has evolved into three different pronunciations, depending on the locality:
  • [çj] somewhere in central-western Sicily and in some places in southern Calabria; while this is probably the less common pronunciation, I find that it’s often wrongly presented as the only one in some texts, possibly because it’s the most peculiar one;
  • [ʃ] in Catania and Palermo; this is probably the most common pronunciation;
  • [t͡ʃ] in Messina.
Of course it’s not unlikely to also hear many of the possbile shades between the three. You can hear online examples of this in this informative atlas from Humboldt-Universität of Berlin, also you can hear how a Calabrian folk singer pronounces the ci in ciuriri as [çj] in this YouTube clip (contains music).
Also, it could be useful if the article mentioned the different kind of sound for I (something like [ɨ]? But it depends on the speaker) which is pronounced, at least in certain dialects, for words where an accented E has lost the accent (e.g. vèntuvintùsu). Peppepz (talk) 11:06, 5 November 2014 (UTC)


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