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Piedmontese (Piemontèis or Lenga Piemontèisa, in Italian: Piemontese) is a Romance language
Romance language
spoken some 700,000 people in Piedmont, northwestern region of Italy. It is geographically and linguistically included in the Gallo- Italic languages
Italic languages
group of Northern Italy
Italy
(with Lombard, Emiliano-Romagnolo
Emiliano-Romagnolo
and Ligurian). It is part of the wider western group of Romance languages, which also includes French, Occitan, and Catalan. Many European and North American linguists acknowledge Piedmontese as an independent language, though in Italy
Italy
it is often still considered a dialect.[3] Today it has a certain official status recognized by the Piedmont
Piedmont
regional government, but not by the national government.[3] Piedmontese was the first language of emigrants who, in the period from 1850 to 1950, left Piedmont
Piedmont
for countries such as France, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Current status

2 Alphabet 3 Characteristics 4 Lexical comparison with other Romance languages
Romance languages
and English 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit] The first documents in the Piedmontese language
Piedmontese language
were written in the 12th century, the sermones subalpini, when it was extremely close to Occitan. Literary Piedmontese developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, but it did not gain literary esteem comparable to that of French or Italian, other languages used in Piedmont. Nevertheless, literature in Piedmontese has never ceased to be produced: it includes poetry, theatre pieces, novels, and scientific work.[4] Current status[edit] In 2004, Piedmontese was recognised as Piedmont's regional language by the regional parliament,[5][6][7] although the Italian government has not yet recognised it as such. In theory it is now supposed to be taught to children in school,[8] but this is happening only to a limited extent. The last decade has seen the publication of learning materials for schoolchildren, as well as general-public magazines. Courses for people already outside the education system have also been developed. In spite of these advances, the current state of Piedmontese is quite grave, as over the last 150 years the number of people with a written active knowledge of the language has shrunk to about 2% of native speakers, according to a recent survey.[9] On the other hand, the same survey showed Piedmontese is still spoken by over half the population, alongside Italian. Authoritative sources confirm this result, putting the figure between 2 million (Assimil,[10] IRES Piemonte[11]) and 3 million speakers (Ethnologue[12]) out of a population of 4.2 million people. Efforts to make it one of the official languages of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
were unsuccessful. Alphabet[edit] Piedmontese is written with a modified Latin alphabet. The letters, along with their IPA
IPA
equivalent, are shown in the table below.

Letter IPA
IPA
value

Letter IPA
IPA
value

Letter IPA
IPA
value

A a /a/~/ɑ/ H h ∅ P p /p/

B b /b/ I i /i/ Q q /k/

C c /k/, /tʃ/[i] J j /j/ R r /r/~/ɹ/

D d /d/[ii] L l /l/ S s /s/, /z/[iii]

E e /e/, /ɛ/, /æ/[iv] M m /m/ T t /t/

Ë ë /ə/ N n /n/, /ŋ/[v] U u /y/

F f /f/ O o /u/ V v /v/, /w/, /u/, ∅[vi]

G g /ɡ/, /dʒ/[i] Ò ò /o/ Z z /z/~/dz/

^ a b Before i, e or ë, c and g represent /tʃ/ and /dʒ/, respectively. ^ /d/ is devoiced to /t/ at the end of words. ^ s is voiced /z/ between vowels, at the end of words and immediately after other consonants. ^ e is /e/ or /ɛ/ in open syllables and /æ/ in closed. ^ At the end of words, n represents the velar nasal /ŋ/ and lengthens the preceding vowel. ^ v is /v/ initially, /w/ before dental consonants, /w/ (/f/ by some speakers) at the end of words and silent between vowels.

Certain digraphs are used to regularly represent specific sounds as shown below.

Digraph IPA
IPA
value

Digraph IPA
IPA
value

Digraph IPA
IPA
value

ae /ˈaɛ/ gg /dʒ/ òi /oj/

ao /aw/ gh /ɡ/ qo /kw/

cc /tʃ/ gli /ʎ/[a] ss /s/

ea /ˈɛa/ gn /ɲ/ sc /sk/, /ʃ/

ei /ɛj/ ij /ij/ sc, scc /stʃ/

eo /ɛw/ oe /ˈue/, /we/ sg /ʒ/

eu /ø/ oi /uj/ sg, sgg /zdʒ/

^ ⟨gli⟩ represents /ʎ/ in some Italian loanwords.

All other combinations of letters are pronounced as written. Grave accent marks break diphthongs, so ua and uà are /wa/, but ùa is pronounced separately, /ˈya/. Characteristics[edit]

Piedmontese linguistic map

Some of the characteristics of the Piedmontese language
Piedmontese language
are:

The presence of clitic so-called verbal pronouns for subjects, which give a Piedmontese verbal complex the following form: (subject) + verbal pronoun + verb, as in (mi) i von 'I go'. Verbal pronouns are absent only in the imperative form and in the Piedmontese interrogative form. The bound form of verbal pronouns, which can be connected to dative and locative particles (a-i é 'there is', i-j diso 'I say to him'). The interrogative form, which adds an enclitic interrogative particle at the end of the verbal form (Veus-to…? 'Do you want to…?']) The absence of ordinal numerals higher than 'sixth', so that 'seventh' is col che a fà set 'the one which makes seven'. The existence of three affirmative interjections (that is, three ways to say yes): si, sè (from Latin sic est, as in Italian); é (from Latin est, as in Portuguese); òj (from Latin hoc est, as in Occitan, or maybe hoc illud, as in Franco-Provençal, French and Old Catalan and Occitan). The absence of the voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (like the sh in English sheep), for which an alveolar S sound (as in English sun) is usually substituted. The existence of an S-C combination pronounced [stʃ]. The existence of a velar nasal [ŋ] (like the ng in English going), which usually precedes a vowel, as in lun-a 'moon'. The existence of the third Piedmontese vowel Ë, which is very short (close to the vowel in English sir). The absence of the phonological contrast that exists in Italian between short (single) and long (double) consonants, for example, Italian fata 'fairy' and fatta 'done (F)'. The existence of a prosthetic Ë sound when consonantal clusters arise that are not permitted by the phonological system. So 'seven stars' is pronounced set ëstèile (cf. stèile 'stars').

Piedmontese has a number of varieties that may vary from its basic koiné to quite a large extent. Variation includes not only departures from the literary grammar, but also a wide variety in dictionary entries, as different regions maintain words of Frankish or Lombard origin, as well as differences in native Romance terminology. Words imported from various languages are also present, while more recent imports tend to come from France
France
and from Italian. A variety of Piedmontese was Judeo-Piedmontese, a dialect spoken by the Piedmontese Jews
Jews
until the Second World War. Lexical comparison with other Romance languages
Romance languages
and English[edit]

Piedmontese Italian French Spanish Portuguese Romanian Catalan English

cadrega sedia chaise silla cadeira scaun, catedră cadira chair

pijé prendere, pigliare prendre coger, tomar, pillar pegar, tomar a lua prendre to take

surtì uscire sortir salir sair a ieși sortir/eixir to go/come out

droché/casché/tombé cadere, cascare tomber caer, tumbar cair, tombar cădere caure to fall

ca/mison casa maison casa casa casă ca/casa home

brass braccio bras brazo braço braț braç arm

nùmer numero nombre número número număr nombre number

nòm nome nom nombre nome nume nom name

pom mela pomme manzana maçã măr poma apple

travajé lavorare travailler trabajar trabalhar a lucra treballar to work

ratavolòira pipistrello chauve-souris murciélago morcego liliac ratpenat bat (animal)

scòla scuola école escuela escola școală escola school

bòsch bosco bois bosque bosque pădure bosc wood (land)

monsù signore monsieur señor senhor, seu domn senyor Mr

madama signora madame señora senhora, dona doamnă senyora Mrs

istà estate été verano, estío verão, estio vară estiu summer

ancheuj oggi aujourd'hui hoy hoje azi avui/hui today

dman domani demain mañana amanhã mâine demà tomorrow

jer ieri hier ayer ontem ieri ahir yesterday

lùnes lunedì lundi lunes segunda-feira luni dilluns Monday

màrtes martedì mardi martes terça-feira marți dimarts Tuesday

mèrcol/merco mercoledì mercredi miércoles quarta-feira miercuri dimecres Wednesday

giòbia giovedì jeudi jueves quinta-feira joi dijous Thursday

vënner/vene venerdì vendredi viernes sexta-feira vineri divendres Friday

saba sabato samedi sábado sábado sâmbătă dissabte Saturday

dumìnica domenica dimanche domingo domingo duminică diumenge Sunday

References[edit]

^ Piedmontese on Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(19th ed., 2016) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Piemontese". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ a b La Stampa. "Per la Consulta il piemontese non è una lingua". Retrieved May 14, 2010.  ^ University-level course material - physics and calculus (as consulted on 30 July 2010) ^ Motion 1118 in the Piedmontese Regional Parliament, Approvazione da parte del Senato del Disegno di Legge che tutela le minoranze linguistiche sul territorio nazionale - Approfondimenti, approved unanimously on 15 December 1999 ^ Text of motion 1118 in the Piedmontese Regional Parliament, Consiglio Regionale del Piemonte, Ordine del Giorno 1118 ^ Piemontèis d'amblé - Avviamento Modulare alla conoscenza della Lingua piemontese; R. Capello, C. Comòli, M.M. Sánchez Martínez, R.J.M. Nové; Regione Piemonte/Gioventura Piemontèisa; Turin, 2001] ^ Details on how schools can implement Piedmontese courses subsidized by the regional government by "Arbut", one organisation offering such courses Arbut - Ël piemontèis a scòla ^ Knowledge and Usage of the Piedmontese Language
Language
in Turin and its Province Archived 2006-02-07 at the Wayback Machine., carried out by Euromarket, a Turin-based market research company on behalf of the Riformisti per l'Ulivo party in the Piedmontese Regional Parliament in 2003 (in Italian). ^ F. Rubat Borel, M. Tosco, V. Bertolino. Il Piemontese in Tasca, a Piedmontese basic language course and conversation guide, published by Assimil Italia (the Italian branch of Assimil, the leading French producer of language courses) in 2006. ISBN 88-86968-54-X. http://www.assimil.it ^ E. Allasino, C. Ferrer, E. Scamuzzi, T. Telmon Le Lingue del Piemonte, research published in October 2007 by Istituto di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali, a public economic and social research organisation. Available under: http://www.ires.piemonte.it/quaderni.html ^ Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International ISO 639-3, pms (Piemontese) Retrieved 13 June 2012

Further reading[edit]

Zallio, A. G. (1927). "The Piedmontese Dialects in the United States". American Speech. 2 (12): 501–4. doi:10.2307/452803. JSTOR 452803. 

External links[edit]

Piedmontese edition of, the free encyclopedia

Piedmontese language
Piedmontese language
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Cultural Association "Nòste Rèis": features online Piedmontese courses for Italian, French, English, and Spanish speakers with drills and tests Piemunteis.it - Online resources about piedmontese language: poems, studies, audio, free books Piemontese basic lexicon (several dialects) at the Global Lexicostatistical Database

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