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Florentine dialect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
dialetto fiorentino
The title page of Pinocchio (1883), by Carlo Collodi. Collodi included several Florentinisms in his book.
Native toItaly
RegionTuscany (Florence)
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Florentine dialect or vernacular (dialetto fiorentino or vernacolo fiorentino) is a variety of Tuscan, a Romance language spoken in the Italian city of Florence and its immediate surroundings.

A received pedagogical variant derived from it historically, once called la pronuncia fiorentina emendata (literally, 'the amended Florentine pronunciation'), was officially prescribed as the national language of the Kingdom of Italy, when it was established in 1861. It is the most widely spoken of the Tuscan dialects.[1]


Important writers such as Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio and, later, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini wrote in literary Tuscan/Florentine, perhaps the best-known example being Dante's Divine Comedy.

It became a second prestige language alongside Latin and was used as such for centuries.[2]

Differences from Standard Italian[edit]

Florentine, and Tuscan more generally, can be distinguished from Standard Italian by differences in numerous features at all levels: phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon.

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 the voiceless plosive 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 to Tuscan. The word gelato is pronounced with [dʒ] following a pause or a consonant, [ʒ] following a vowel and [ddʒ] if raddoppiamento applies ([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 weakest variant appears between vowels ([reˈʒoːne] regione 'region', [ˈkwattro ʒeˈlaːθi] quattro gelati; [la ˈʃeːna] la cena, [ˈbaːʃo] bacio 'kiss').

Florentine[3] Italian[3] English[3]
Io sòn io sono i am
Te tu sei tu sei You are
Egli l'è egli è he/she/it is
Noi s'è/semo noi siamo We're
Voi vù siete voi siete You're
Essi l'enno essi sono They're
Io c'ho io ho I have
Te tu c'ha tu hai You have
Egli c'ha egli ha He/she/it has
Noi ci s'ha noi abbiamo We have
Voi vù c'avete noi abbiamo You have
Essi c'hanno voi avete They have


Florentine uses the diminutive case -ino/-ine far more than Italian does, with many surnames also ending in -ini.

Italian[4] Florentine[4] English[4]
belle belline Lovey
povere poverine/poerine Poor
poche pochine/pohine Little

Article and Pronouns[edit]

Florentine often abbreviates its Articles and pronouns.

Italian[4] Florentine[4]
il tuo i’ tu

Unique Phrases[edit]

The Florentine dialect has several unique phrases as compared the other Tuscan dialects.

Florentine[5][6] English Literal[5][6]
Maremma Damn it
Trombaio Plumber
icchè tu sei grullo Are you stupid
smettila, se no tu ne buschi stop it or I will get you
Acquai Kitchen sink
sei un boccalone You have a big mouth
Babbo Dad/Father


  1. ^ "Some Italians Don't Even Use Italian? A Spotlight on Italian Dialects". The Glossika Blog. 2021-03-02. Retrieved 2024-06-19.
  2. ^ "The Origin of the Italian Language and the Florentine Vernacular". www.destinationflorence.com. Retrieved 2024-06-19.
  3. ^ a b c Vohabolario del vernaholo fiorentino e del dialetto toscano di ieri e di oggi, Romano Editore, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Destination Florence | Il sito ufficiale per organizzare il tuo viaggio a Firenze". www.destinationflorence.com. Retrieved 2024-06-19.
  5. ^ a b Barbuto, Anthony. "The Florentine Dialect and Vernacular". The Italian Enthusiast. Retrieved 2024-06-19.
  6. ^ a b "On Florentine Lingo: How Those Who "Invented Italian" Became the Ones Italians Can't Understand". Italy Segreta. 2023-09-29. Retrieved 2024-06-19.
  • Cory Crawford. "A Brief History of the Italian Language". Retrieved 2007-01-15.
  • Giacomelli, Gabriella. 1975. Dialettologia toscana. Archivio glottologico italiano 60, pp. 179-191.
  • Giannelli, Luciano. 2000. Toscana. (Profilo dei dialetti italiani, 9). Pisa: Pacini.