Languages of Calabria

The primary languages of Calabria are the standard Italian language as well as regional varieties of the Neapolitan and Sicilian languages, all collectively known as Calabrian (Italian: calabrese). In addition, there are 100,000 Arbëresh-Albanian speakers, as well as small numbers of Calabrian Greek speakers and pockets of Occitan.

Calabrian (Calabrese)[]

Calabrian (it: Calabrese) refers to the Romance varieties spoken in Calabria, Italy. The varieties of Calabria are part of a strong dialect continuum that are generally recognizable as Calabrian, but that are usually divided into two different language groups:

The Amantea-Cirò line is generally considered an approximate demarcation between the Neapolitan and Sicilian language groups.

The linguistic division roughly corresponds with the historic administrative division already in place since medieval times: Calabria Citeriore (or Latin Calabria) and Calabria Ulteriore (or Greek Calabria). This is a broad generalization and many communities in the more central parts of the region exhibit features of both language groups.

The dialects of Calabria have been extensively studied, catalogued and commented upon by German philologist Gerhard Rohlfs. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1970s, he traveled the region extensively and assembled a very extensive, multi-volume dictionary.

English Southern Calabrian Northern Calabrian Italian
tomorrow rumàni crai / dumàni domani
in the meantime asciatàntu / shramènti interimme frattanto
the day before last avantèri nustierzu ieri l'altro
to yawn sbadigghjàri alare sbadigliare

Central-Southern Calabrian[]

Dialetti italiani meridionali estremi.jpg

The areas where Central–Southern Calabrian (calabbrìsi or calavrìsi, in Sicilian) is spoken corresponds generally to the provinces of Reggio Calabria, Vibo Valentia, Catanzaro and the southern part of Crotone (Crotone, Isola di Capo Rizzuto, Cutro and vicinity). The term Sicilian-Calabrian is also used to distinguish the group from the Northern Calabrian group. It comprises Central Calabrian and Southern Calabrian.

The primary roots of the dialects is Latin.[3] Southern and Central Calabrian dialects are strongly influenced by a Greek substratum and ensuing levels of Latin influence and other external Southern Italian superstrata, in part hindered by geography, resulted in the many local variations found between the idioms of Calabria.[4] Nonetheless, the dialects have some influence from other languages, thanks to the periodic rule and influx of other cultures. As a result, French, Occitan and Spanish have left an imprint.

Central-Southern Calabrian Greek Albanian Italian French English
batràci βάτραχος bretkosë ranocchio grenouille frog
zinnapòtamu κυνοπόταμος vidër lontra loutre otter
bampurìddha / lampurìdda / vampurìddha λαμπυρίδα xixëllonjë lucciola luciole firefly
purtuàllu πορτοκάλι portokall arancia orange orange
'nnàca νάκη djep culla berceau cradle
tuppitiàri τύπτω godit battere battre to hit

French and Norman vocabulary entered the region via the kingdoms of the Normans and the Angevins in Calabria.

Central-Southern Calabrian Norman or French Italian English
'ccattàri accater (cf. accapitāre) comprare to buy
'nduja andouille salsicciotto type of sausage
buccirìa boucherie macelleria butcher's
arrocculàri reculer rotolare to recoil
ràggia rage rabbia anger
sciarabàllu carriole (char à bancs) veicolo sbatacchiato charabanc
travagghiàri travailler lavorare to work

Other words derived from Spanish, Catalan, and Occitan:

Conjugations[]

Êssiri (to be)[]

Present Imperfect Past simple Subjunctive present Subjunctive imperfect
(J)èu sugnu êra fùja chi fùssi fùssi
Tu(ni) êri fùsti chi fùssi fùssi
Iddhu, Iddha êsti êra fu' chi fùssi fùssi
Nu(i) símu êrumu fùmmu chi fùssimu fùssimu
Vu(i) síti êru fùstu chi fùstu fùssivu
Iddhi sunnu êrunu fúru chi fùssiru fùssiru

Aìri (to have)[]

Present Imperfect Past simple Subjunctive present Subjunctive imperfect
(J)èu haju aìva èppi chi aìssi aìssi
Tu(ni) hai aívi aìsti chi aìssi aìssi
Iddhu, Iddha havi aìva èppi chi aìssi aìssi
Nui aìmu aìvumu èppimu chi aìssimu aìssimu
Vui aíti aìvu aistu chi aìssivu aìssivu
Iddhi hannu aìvunu èppiru chi aìssiru aìssiru

Dialects[]

Comparison of the Central-Southern Calabrian Dialects[]

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Tutti gli esseri umani nascono liberi ed eguali in dignità e diritti. Essi sono dotati di ragione e di coscienza e devono agire gli uni verso gli altri in spirito di fratellanza.

Reggino Piana di Gioia Tauro Locride Catanzaro Alto Jonica
"Tutti i cristiàni "Tutti l'omani "Tutti i perzùni "Tutti l'omini "Tutti l'uamini
nàsciunu libberi nascinu libbèri nèsciunu lìbberi nescianu libberi nascianu libberi
e ntâ stessa manèra e â stessa manera e ntâ stessa manèra e sunnu e su
ill'authri dil'atri dill'atti i stessi i stessi
pi dignità e diritti. pe dignità e diritti. pe dignità e diritti. pe' dignità e diritti. pe' dignità e diritti.
Iddhi ndànnu Tutti ndànnu Iji ndànnu Ognunu ava u cerveddhu Ognunu tena u cerivìaddru
ognunu u so ciriveddhu ognunu u so cervèllu ognunu u cervèju soi e a raggiuna sue e a raggiune sua
mi 'rraggiùnunu pemmu reggiùnanu soi pemmu raggiùnanu e a cuscenza sua e a cuscìanza sua
e 'ndannu mi càmpunu e ndànnu pemmu càmpanu e ndànnu u càmpanu e ava ma si cumporta e s'ha de comportare
unu cull'authru unu cu l'atru unu cull'attu cull'atri propriu cull'atri propriu
comu mi sùnnu fràti comu frati figgji comu frati figgji comu si fhussèranu cùamu si fòranu
râ stessa matri." dâ stessa mamma." dâ stessa matri." i frati soi." frati sui."

Northern Calabrian (Cosentian)[]

The Northern Calabrian dialects (calabbrìse or calavrìse, in Neapolitan) are similar to other Neapolitan varieties and are significantly different from the dialects of southern Calabria.[6] The dialects of the northern fringes of the Province of Cosenza give way to Campanian and Lucanian dialects; however, the majority of the province speaks the Cosentian dialect (u cusindinu). It is also spoken in the northern portion of the Province of Crotone and in the extreme northwest of the Province of Catanzaro.

One aspect of Northern Calabrian is that the use of the preterite is almost absent, in great contrast to the Sicilian varieties of the south. In Cosentian, the norm is he (or haju) pigliatu or signu jutu (literally "I took" and "I went"); whereas the preterite (distant remote tense) pigghiai or ivi would be more common in the rest of Calabria. Other aspects are the phonetic modifications similar to other Neapolitan dialects, such as where -nt is pronounced -nd (praticamente becomes praticamende), and v is usually pronounced b. In addition, spoken Cosentian is noted for its "soft" truncation of end syllables at the termination of sentences, and for the typical T/C sound in words such as ccjù (more) or cjanu (slow). As a transitional dialect between Sicilian and Neapolitan, Cosentian dialect shares many sounds, words and features unique to each of the Sicilian and Neapolitan groups.

Conjugations[]

Êsse (to be)[]

Present Imperfect Past simple Subjunctive present Subjunctive imperfect
Iu signu êra signu statu fossa
Tu(ni) êri sì statu fossi
Iddru, Iddra è êra è statu fossa
Nua símu êramu simu stati fossimu
Vua síti êrati siti stati fossati
Iddri(o Loro) êranu sù stati fòssaru

Avì (to have)[]

Present Imperfect Past simple Subjunctive present Subjunctive imperfect
Iu haju avìa he (haju) avutu avissa
Tu(ni) ha' avii ha' avutu avissi
Iddru, Iddra avìa hà avutu avissa
Nua avìmu avìamu hamu avutu avìssamu
Vua avíti avìati hat'avutu or avít' avutu avvissati
Iddri hannu avìanu hannu avutu avissaru

Comparison of Central-Southern and Northern Calabrian[]

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Tutti gli esseri umani nascono liberi ed eguali in dignità e diritti. Essi sono dotati di ragione e di coscienza e devono agire gli uni verso gli altri in spirito di fratellanza.

Reggino Cosentian
"Tutti i cristiàni "Tutti i ggìenti
nàsciunu libberi nascianu libberi
e ntâ stessa manèra e 'gguali
ill'authri all'àtri
pi dignità e diritti. ppì ddignità e diritti.
Iddhi ndànnu Ognunu
ognunu u so ciriveddhu tena cirbìeddru
mi 'rraggiùnunu raggiune e cuscìenza
e 'ndannu mi càmpunu e s'ha de cumbortà
unu cull'authru cull'atri
comu mi sùnnu fràti cumu si li fòssaru
râ stessa matri." frati."

Bibliography[]

Other languages in Calabria[]

Bibliography[]

Italian bibliography:

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Ethnologue report for Sicilian.
  2. ^ Ethnologue report for Napoletano-Calabrese;
  3. ^ Gerhard Rohlfs, Nuovo dizionario dialettale della Calabria - Le fonti del lessico calabrese, 1977 (945 pages)
  4. ^ The Languages of Italy, Giacomo Devoto ISBN 0-226-14368-6
  5. ^ Cesare Morisani, Vocabolario del dialetto di reggio Calabria colle corrispondenti parole italiane, 1991, Sala Bolognese : Forni (228 pages).
  6. ^ Ethnologue report for language code:nap
  7. ^ Ethnologue report for Greek;
  8. ^ Ethnologue report for Franco-Provençal;
  9. ^ Ethnologue report for Albanian, Arbëreshë;

External links[]