|Native to||Italy, San Marino|
|Region||Primarily Emilia-Romagna, San Marino|
|Ethnicity||1.1 million (2008)|
|Unknown, c. 430,000, assuming Romagnol and Emilian retained at same rate (2006)|
Geographic distribution of Romagnol (shown in dark pink)
Romagnol dialects (rumagnòl) are a group of closely-related dialects of Emilian-Romagnol that are spoken in the historical region of Romagna, which is now in the south-eastern part of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The name is derived from the Lombard name for the region, Romania. Romagnol is also spoken outside the region, particularly in the Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino and in the independent country of San Marino. It is classified as an endangered language because older generations have "neglected to pass on the dialect as a native tongue to the next generation".
While contemporaneous with modern Standard Italian, it is technically a member of the Gallo-Italic branch and more comparable to the “northern group” of Italian dialects. This includes the dialects Emilian, Ligurian, Lombard, and Piedmontese. It is sometimes considered a subdialect of a larger Emilian-Romagnol language, which encompasses a broad continuum of dialects spanning the region of Emilia-Romagna.
West of Romagna, the Emilian language is spoken. The border with Emilian-speaking areas is the Sillaro river, which runs 25 km east from Bologna to the west of Castel San Pietro Terme. Romagnol is spoken to the east of this river and to the south of the Reno river. In Emilia-Romagna, Emilian is spoken in all the rest of the region moving from the Sillaro river to the west, up to Piacenza, and to the north of the Reno, up to the Po.
The Reno River is the border between Romagnol and the dialect of Ferrara. Romagnol is spoken also in some villages northwards of the Reno River, such as Argenta, Emilia–Romagna and Filo, where people of Romagnol origin live alongside people of Ferrarese origin. Ferrara goes into Emilian language territory.
Romagnol's first acknowledgement outside regional literature was in Dante Alighieri's treatise De vulgari eloquentia, wherein Dante compares “the language of Romagna” to his native Tuscan dialect. Eventually, in 1629, the author Adriano Banchieri wrote the treatise Discorso della lingua Bolognese, which countered Dante's claim that the Tuscan dialect was better, arguing his belief that Bolognese (a subdialect of Romagnol that saw wide use in writing) was superior in “naturalness, softness, musicality, and usefulness.” Romagnol received more recognition after Romagna gained independence from the Papal States.
16th to 19th century
The first Romagnol poem dates back to the end of the 16th century: E Pvlon matt. Cantlena aroica (Mad Nap), a mock-heroic poem based on Orlando Furioso and written by an anonymous author from San Vittore di Cesena. The original poem comprised twelve cantos, of which only the first four survived (1848 lines).
The 20th century saw a flourishing of Romagnol literature. Theatrical plays, poems and books of a high quality were produced. Some of the best known Romagnol authors are:
- Raffaello Baldini, who won in 1988 the "Premio Viareggio" and in 1995 the "Premio Bagutta," known for long pessimistic poems and prose
- Tonino Guerra (1920–2012), wrote poems during his exile to WWII-era Germany, focusing on people of suffering and poverty
- Olindo Guerrini, with "Sonetti romagnoli"
- Aldo Spallicci, an antifascist exiled from Romagna. He wrote poems such as "Rumâgna" that were often descriptive of Romagna
Unlike Standard Italian, not all nouns end in a theme vowel. Masculine nouns lack theme vowels, and feminine nouns typically (but not always) terminate in a. Masculine nouns and adjectives undergo lexically-specified ablaut to form the plural, and feminine nouns and adjectives form the plural by a becoming i or being deleteed after a consonant cluster or a double consonant.
|Sacrêri (m. sg.)||Sacréri (m. pl.)||Sacrario||Sacrari|
|grând (sg.)||grènd (pl.)||grande||grandi|
Both languages derive their lexicon from Vulgar Latin, but some words differ in gender.
|la risa||il riso||risus (masc.)||rice|
|la sècia||il secchio||siclum (masc.)||bucket|
Italian and Romagnol share much of the same features when it comes to verbs. Both languages use subject-verb-object in simple sentences for their word order. Verbs are conjugated according to tense, mood, and person. Romagnol also has four conjugations, compared to Standard Italian's three: the first, -êr; the second, -ér; the third, -ar; and the fourth, -ìr. Marked differences in Romagnol from Standard Italian are that personal pronouns are required, and some verbs in Romagnol use a reflexive construction even if the speaker is not the second argument of the verb although Italian uses an intransitive construction.
|Me a'm so lavê||(Io) mi sono lavato||I washed myself|
|Me a sò||(Io) sono||I am|
|Me a j'ò||(Io) ho||I have|
Impersonal verbs, which lack a canonical subject, in Romagnol use "avèr" but in Standard Italian use "essere." Even though the subject is null, an expletive pronoun is insered in the specifier position, much like "it" in English.
- Italian: è piovuto, It rained
- Romagnol: l'à piuvù, It rained
The absence of an official institution regulating its orthography often leads to ambiguities in the transcription of vowel sounds.
These three tables list the vowel inventory of the "classical" version of the northern macro-dialect of Romagnol.
The following table lists the vowels above alongside their relative orthography:
|Dialectal pronunciation||Example in Romagnol||Comparison with Italian||English meaning|
|ë||ɛə̯||ɛæ̯||bël||bello||"nice" (masculine singular)|
|è, e||ɛ||ɛ~ɜ||bèl||belli||"nice" (masculine plural)|
|à, a (when stressed)||a||äː||fàza||faccia||"face"|
|ù, u (when stressed)||u||ʊu̯||dur||duro||"hard" (masculine singular)|
|ì, i (when stressed)||i||iː~ɪi̯||partìr||partire||"to leave"|
|Stop||p b||t d||k ɡ|
|Fricative||f v||θ ð||(s z)||ʂ ʐ|
The letter z is always pronounced as either [θ] or [ð] and not [t͡s] or [d͡z] as in Standard Italian
[ŋ] occurs only before velar stops.
- In central dialects, word-final n is deleted, and the preceding vowel is nasalised, as is shown above.
- /dʒ/ and /tʃ/ can occur word-finally and are usually distinguished by the doubling of the final consonants (cc or gg).
- /ʂ/ and /ʐ/ may be realised as alveolars [s] and [z] by some speakers from the influence of Standard Italian.
- The voicing of those consonants is always contrastive.
- La lingua italiana, i dialetti e le lingue straniere Anno 2006
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- Cenni, I. (2013). Code-switching as an indicator of language shift: a case study of the Romagnolo dialect of Gatteo a Mare, Italy. 46th International Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Abstracts. Presented at the 46th International Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea.
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