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.
Mantovano, spoken in all but the very north of the Province of Mantua in Lombardy. It has a strong Lombard influence.
Vogherese (Pavese-Vogherese), spoken in the Province of Pavia in Lombardy. It is closely related phonetically and morphologically to Piacentino. It is also akin to Tortonese.[clarification needed]
Piacentino, spoken west of the River Taro in the province of Piacenza and on the border with the province of Parma. The variants of Piacentino are strongly influenced by Lombard, Piedmontese, and Ligurian.
Parmigiano, spoken in the province of Parma. Those from the area refer to the Parmigiano spoken outside of Parma as Arioso or Parmense, although today's urban and rural dialects are so mixed that only a few speak the original. The language spoken in Casalmaggiore in the Province of Cremona to the north of Parma is closely related to Parmigiano.
Modenese, spoken in the province of Modena, although Bolognese is more widespread in the Castelfranco area. In the northern part of the province of Modena, the lowlands around the town of Mirandola, a Mirandolese sub-dialect of Modenese is spoken.
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.
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.