Tuscan (dialetto toscano [di.aˈlɛtto toˈskaːno; dja-]) is a set of
Italo-Dalmatian varieties mainly spoken in Tuscany, Italy.
Standard Italian is based on Tuscan, specifically on its Florentine
dialect, and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due
to the prestige of the works by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni
Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Francesco Guicciardini. It would
later become the official language of all the Italian states and of
Kingdom of Italy
1 Subdialects 2 Speakers 3 Dialectal features
3.1.1 Tuscan gorgia 3.1.2 Weakening of G and C 3.1.3 Affrication of S 3.1.4 No dipththongization of /ɔ/
3.2.1 Accusative "te" for "tu" 3.2.2 Double dative pronoun 3.2.3 Masculine definite articles 3.2.4 Noi + impersonal si 3.2.5 Fo (faccio) and vo (vado) 3.2.6 Loss of infinitival "-re"
4 See also 5 References 6 External links
Languages of Italy
Tuscan is a dialect complex composed of many local variants, with minor differences among them. The main subdivisions are between Northern Tuscan dialects, the Southern Tuscan dialects, and Corsican. The Northern Tuscan dialects are (from east to west):
Fiorentino, the main dialect of Florence,
The Southern Tuscan dialects are (from east to west):
Aretino-Chianaiolo, spoken in
Corsican, Gallurese and Sassarese:
Corsican on the island of Corsica, and the Corso-Sardinian transitional varieties spoken in northern Sardinia, are classified by scholars as a direct offshoot from medieval Tuscan.
Excluding the inhabitants of Province of Massa and Carrara, who speak
an Emilian variety of a Gallo-Italic language, around 3,500,000 people
speak the Tuscan dialect.
/k/ → [h] /t/ → [θ] /p/ → [ɸ]
Weakening of G and C
A phonetic phenomenon is the intervocalic weakening of the Italian
soft g, the voiced affricate /dʒ/ (g as in judge) and soft c, the
voiceless affricate /tʃ/ (ch as in church), known as attenuation, or,
more commonly, as deaffrication.
Between vowels, the voiced post-alveolar affricate consonant is
realized as voiced post-alveolar fricative (z of azure):
/dʒ/ → [ʒ].
This phenomenon is very evident in daily speech (common also in Umbria
and elsewhere in Central Italy): the phrase la gente, 'the people', in
standard Italian is pronounced [la ˈdʒɛnte], but in Tuscan it is
Similarly, the voiceless post-alveolar affricate is pronounced as a
voiceless post-alveolar fricative between two vowels:
/tʃ/ → [ʃ].
The sequence /la ˈtʃena/ la cena, 'the dinner', in standard Italian
is pronounced [la ˈtʃeːna], but in Tuscan it is [la ˈʃeːna]. As
a result of this weakening rule, there are a few minimal pairs
distinguished only by length of the voiceless fricative (e.g.
[laʃeˈrɔ] lacerò 'it/he/she ripped' vs. [laʃʃeˈrɔ] lascerò 'I
Affrication of S
A less common phonetic phenomenon is the transformation of voiceless s
or voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ into the voiceless alveolar
affricate [ts] when preceded by /r/, /l/, or /n/.
/s/ → [ts].
For example, il sole (the sun), pronounced in standard Italian as [il
ˈsoːle], would be in theory pronounced by a Tuscan speaker [il
ˈtsoːle]. However, since assimilation of the final consonant of the
article to the following consonant tends to occur in exactly such
cases (see "Masculine definite articles" below) the actual
pronunciation will be usually [i ssoːle]. Affrication of /s/ can more
commonly be heard word-internally, as in falso (false) /ˈfalso/ →
[ˈfaltso]. This is a common phenomenon in Central Italy, but it is
not exclusive to that area; for example it also happens in Switzerland
No dipththongization of /ɔ/
There are two Tuscan historical outcomes of Latin ŏ in stressed open
syllables. Passing first through a stage [ɔ], the vowel then develops
as a diphthong /wɔ/. This phenomenon never gained universal
acceptance, however, so that while forms with the diphthong came to be
accepted as standard Italian (e.g. fuoco, buono, nuovo), the
monophthong remains in popular speech (foco, bono, novo).
Accusative "te" for "tu"
A characteristic of
Standard Italian: tu lo farai, no? 'You'll do it, won't you?' Tuscan: Te lo farai, no? Standard Italian: tu, vieni qua! 'You', come here!' Tuscan: Te, vieni qua!
Double dative pronoun
A morphological phenomenon, cited also by
In Standard Italian: a me piace or mi piace ("I like it"; literally, "it pleases me") In Tuscan: a me mi piace ("I like it")
This usage is widespread throughout the central regions of Italy, not
only in Tuscany, and is often considered redundant and erroneous by
In some dialects the double accusative pronoun me mi vedi (lit: You
see me me) can be heard, but it is considered an archaic form.
Masculine definite articles
The singular and plural masculine definite articles can both be
realized phonetically as [i] in Florentine varieties of Tuscan, but
are distinguished by their phonological effect on following
consonants. The singular provokes lengthening of the following
consonant: [i kkaːne] 'the dog', whereas the plural permits consonant
weakening: [i haːni] 'the dogs'. As in Italian, masc. sing. lo occurs
before consonants long by nature or not permitting /l/ in clusters is
normal (lo zio 'the uncle', lo studente 'the student'), although forms
such as i zio can be heard in rustic varieties.
Noi + impersonal si
A morpholosyntactic phenomenon found throughout
Standard Italian: Andiamo a mangiare (We're going to eat), Noi andiamo là (We go there) Tuscan: Si va a mangià (We're going to eat), Noi si va là (We go there)
The phenomenon is found in all verb tenses, including compound tenses. In these tenses, the use of si requires a form of essere (to be) as auxiliary verb. If the verb is one that otherwise selects auxiliary avere in compound constructions, the past participle does not agree with the subject in gender and number:
Italian: Abbiamo mangiato al ristorante. Tuscan: S'è mangiato al ristorante.
If the verb normally requires essere, the past participle is marked as plural:
Italian: Siamo andati al cinema. Tuscan: S'è andati al cinema.
Usually si contracts before è: si è → s'è.
Fo (faccio) and vo (vado)
Another morphological phenomenon in the
Fare: It. faccio Tusc. fo (I do, I make) Andare: It. vado Tusc. vo (I go)
These forms have two origins. Natural phonological change alone can account for loss of /d/ and reduction of /ao/ to /o/ in the case of /vado/ > */vao/ > /vo/. A case such as Latin: sapio > Italian so (I know), however, admits no such phonological account: the expected outcome of /sapio/ would be */sappjo/, with a normal lengthening of the consonant preceding yod. What seems to have taken place is a realignment of the paradigm in accordance with the statistically minor but highly frequent paradigms of dare (give) and stare (be, stay). Thus so, sai, sa, sanno (all singulars and 3rd personal plural of 'know') come to fit the template of do, dai, dà, danno ('give'), sto, stai, sta, stanno ('be, stay'), and fo, fai, fa, fanno ('make, do') follows the same pattern. The form vo, while quite possibly a natural phonological development, seems to have been reinforced by analogy in this case. Loss of infinitival "-re"  A phonological phenomenon that might appear to be a morphological one is the loss of the infinitival ending -re of verbs.
andàre → andà pèrdere → pèrde finìre → finì
Stress remains on the same vowel that is stressed in the full form, so
that the infinitive can come to coincide with various conjugated
singulars: pèrde 'to lose', pèrde 's/he loses'; finì 'to finish',
finì 's/he finished'. This homophony seldom, if ever, causes
confusion, as they usually appear in distinct syntactic contexts.
While the infinitive without -re is universal in some subtypes such as
Pisano-Livornese, in the vicinity of
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The biggest differences among dialects is in the lexicon, which also distinguishes the different subdialects. The Tuscan lexicon is almost entirely shared with standard Italian, but many words may be perceived as obsolete or literary by non-Tuscans. There are a number of strictly regional words and expressions too. Characteristically Tuscan words:
accomodare (which means "to arrange" in standard Italian) for riparare (to repair) babbo (literary form in standard Italian) for papà (dad) bove (literary form in standard Italian) for bue (ox) cacio for formaggio (cheese), especially for Pecorino calzoni (literary form in standard Italian) for pantaloni camiciola for canottiera (undervest) cannella for rubinetto (tap) capo (literary form in standard Italian) for testa (head) cencio for straccio (rag, tatters) chetarsi (literary form in standard Italian) for fare silenzio (to be silent) codesto (literary form in standard Italian) is a pronoun which specifically identifies an object far from the speaker, but near the listener. costì or costà is a locative adverb which refers to a place far from the speaker, but near the listener. It relates to codesto as qui/qua relates to questo, and lì/là to quello desinare (literary form in standard Italian) for pranzare (to have lunch) ghiaccio for ghiacciato, freddo (frozen, cold) essi for sii (imperative tense of 'to be') furia (which means "fury" in standard Italian) for fretta (hurry) golpe for volpe (fox) garbare for piacere (to like) (but also piacere is widely used in Tuscany) gota (literary form in standard Italian) for guancia (cheek) ire for andare (to go) (only some forms as ito (gone)) lapis for matita (pencil) (cfr. Spanish lápiz) punto for per nulla or niente affatto (not at all) in negative sentences sciocco (which means "silly" or "stupid" in standard Italian) for insipido (insipid) sistola for tubo da giardinaggio (garden hose) sortì for uscire (to exit) (cfr. French sortir) sudicio for spazzatura (garbage) as a noun and for sporco (dirty) as an adjective termosifone for calorifero (radiator) tocco for le 13 (one p.m.), dinner time
Augusto Novelli, Italian playwright known for using the Tuscan dialect
for 20th-century Florentine theater
The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by
^ "Ali, Linguistic atlas of Italy". Atlantelinguistico.it. Retrieved
^ Linguistic cartography of
Giannelli, Luciano. 2000. Toscana. Profilo dei dialetti, 9. Pisa: Pacini.
La Lingua Toscana Atlante lessicale toscano (ALT) - Dialectometry The Linguasphere Register
v t e
Languages of Italy
Italian Sign Language Regional Italian
Marchigiano Sabino Romanesco
Barese Irpinian Molisan Cosentino Tarantino
Salentino Southern Calabrese
Dalmatian Castelmezzano[a] Manduriano Judaeo-Italian Vastese
Valdôtain Faetar Savoyard
Brigasc Genoese Intemelio Monégasque Royasc
Bustocco and Legnanese Comasco-Lecchese dialects
Comasco Laghée Vallassinese Lecchese
Varesino Southwestern Lombard
Pavese Novarese Cremunés
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Fornes Friulian Ladin
Arbëresh Vaccarizzo Albanian
Brda Gail Valley Inner Carniolan Istrian Karst Natisone Valley Resian Torre Valley
Calabrian Greek Griko
Cimbrian Mòcheno Southern Bavarian
Austrian German Walser Yiddish
^ Castelmezzano may also be defined as an Eastern Romance language,
though the Italo-Dalmation group may itself be defined as a
subdivision of Eastern
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