Emilian dialect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Emilian language)
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Tuscany, Liguria
Ethnicity 3.3 million (2008)[1]
Native speakers
ca. 1.3 million (2006)[2]
Dialects Bolognese, Ferrarese, Modenese, Reggiano, Parmigiano, Piacentino
Language codes
ISO 639-3 egl
Glottolog emil1241[3]
Linguasphere 51-AAA-oka ... -okh

Emilian is a group of dialects of the Emiliano-Romagnolo language, spoken in the area historically called Emilia, western portion of today's Emilia-Romagna region.

Although commonly referred to as a dialect of Italian, it does not descend from it. It is part of the Gallo-Italic group of languages, which are Western Neo-Latin, conserving innovative phonetic and syntactic features as in French, Occitan and Catalan, while Italian is part of Eastern Neo-Latin. There is no standardised version of Emilian.

The default word order is subject–verb–object. There are two genders, and a distinction between plural and singular. Emilian has a strong T–V distinction to distinguish varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult. It employs a considerable number of diacritics.


Main articles: Emiliano-Romagnolo and Gallo-Italic

Emilian is a dialect of the Emiliano-Romagnolo language, one of the Gallo-Italic languages. There is a high degree of mutual intelligibility between the various varieties of Emilian, as well as with the other Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect: Romagnolo. The Gallo-Italic family comprises Emiliano-Romagnolo, Piedmontese, Ligurian and Lombard language.


Linguasphere Observatory recognises the following dialects:[4]

Other definitions include the following:[citation needed]

  • Carrarese and the Lunigiano dialect, spoken in Carrara, Lunigiana, in almost all of Massa-Carrara and a good portion of the La Spezia province, i.e. west-northern Tuscany. Historically, this region has been part of both Tuscany and the Duchy of Parma at different times, so has a close economic relationship with the Emilian area and is geographically proximate due to the Magra and Vara rivers.
  • Massese (mixed with some Tuscanian features)
  • Casalasco, spoken in Southern Province of Cremona, Lombardy.

Writing system[edit]

Main article: Latin script

Emilian is written using a Latin alphabet that has never been standardised. As a result, spelling varies widely across the dialects. The language is largely learnt orally and not taught in written form; however, the Bible was published in an Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect in 1865, although the work has since been lost.[5]


  1. ^ ISO change request
  2. ^ La lingua italiana, i dialetti e le lingue straniere Anno 2006
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Emiliano". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ "51-AAA-ok. emiliano + romagnolo". Linguasphere. 
  5. ^ "Emiliano-Romagnolo [eml]". forum-intl.net. 


  • Colombini, F. 2007. La negazione nei dialetti emiliani: microvariazione nell’area modenese. University of Padua, MA Thesis.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pietro Mainoldi, Manuale dell'odierno dialetto bolognese, Suoni e segni, Grammatica - Vocabolario, Bologna, Società tipografica Mareggiani 1950 (Rist. anast.: Sala Bolognese, A. Forni 2000)
  • Fabio Foresti, Bibliografia dialettale dell'Emilia-Romagna e della Repubblica di San Marino (BDER), Bologna, IBACN Emilia-Romagna / Compositori 1997
  • E. F. Tuttle, Nasalization in Northern Italy: Syllabic Constraints and Strength Scales as Developmental Parameters, Rivista di Linguistica, III: 23-92 (1991)
  • Luigi Lepri e Daniele Vitali, Dizionario Bolognese-Italiano Italiano-Bolognese, ed. Pendragon 2007

External links[edit]