The Florentine dialect, or Florentine language, is a subdialect of the Tuscan dialect. It is spoken in the Italian city of Florence. A received pedagogical variant of it is called la pronuncia fiorentina emendata (literally, "the amended Florentine pronunciation") and was officially prescribed as the national language of the Kingdom of Italy, when it was established in 1861.
Famous writers such as Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccacio and, later, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini originally wrote in Florentine, the best example being perhaps Dante's Divine Comedy.
Differences from Standard Italian
Perhaps the difference most noticed by Italians and foreigners alike is known as the gorgia toscana (literally 'Tuscan throat'), a consonant-weakening rule widespread in Tuscany in which phonemes /k/, /t/, /p/ are pronounced between vowels as fricatives [h], [θ], [ɸ] respectively. The sequence /la kasa/ la casa 'the house', for example, is pronounced [la ˈhaːsa], and /buko/ buco 'hole' is realized as [ˈbuːho]. Preceded by a pause or a consonant, /k/ is produced as [k] (as in the word casa alone or in the phrase in casa). Similar alternations obtain for /t/ → [t],[θ] and /p/ → [p],[ɸ].
Strengthening to a geminate consonant occurs when the preceding word triggers syntactic doubling (raddoppiamento fonosintattico) so the initial consonant /p/ of pipa 'pipe (for smoking)' has three phonetic forms: [p] in [ˈpiːɸa] spoken as a single word or following a consonant, [ɸ] if preceded by a vowel as in [la ɸiːɸa] la pipa 'the pipe' and [pp] (also transcribed [pː]) in [tre pˈpiːɸe] tre pipe 'three pipes'.
Parallel alternations of the affricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ are also typical of Florentine but by no means confined to it or even Tuscan. The word gelato is pronounced with [dʒ] following a pause or a consonant, [ʒ] following a vowel and [ddʒ] if raddoppiamento occurs ([dʒeˈlaːθo], [un dʒeˈlaːθo] un gelato, [ˈkwattro ʒeˈlaːθi] quattro gelati, [ˈtre ddʒeˈlaːθi] tre gelati. Similarly, the initial consonant of /ˈtʃena/ cena 'dinner' has three phonetic forms, [tʃ], [ʃ] and [ttʃ]. In both cases, the weaker variant appears at the beginning of a word ([reˈʒoːne] regione 'region', [ˈbaːʃo] bacio 'kiss').
- Cory Crawford. "A Brief History of the Italian Language". Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- "‘La Lingua Toscana’ – The Tuscan Dialect | TN&M". blog.tuscanynowandmore.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Giacomelli, Gabriella. 1975. Dialettologia toscana. Archivio glottologico italiano 60, pp. 179-191.
- Giannelli, Luciano. 2000. Toscana. (Profilo dei dialetti italiani, 9). Pisa: Pacini.
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