Italian language

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Italian language,

member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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). The official language of Italy and San Marino, and one of the official languages of Switzerland, Italian is spoken by about 58 million people in Italy, 30,000 in San Marino, 840,000 in Switzerland, another 1 million in other European countries, and approximately 5 million in North and South America. Historically, Italian is a daughter language of Latin (see Latin languageLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
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). Northern Italian dialects are the Gallo-Italian—including Piedmontese, Ligurian, Lombard, and Emilian—and Venetian. Further south, the major dialects are Tuscan and various others from Umbria to Sicily. Sardinian, spoken on the island of Sardinia, is sufficiently distinct from other dialects to be considered by some a Romance language in its own right. The Rhaeto-Romance forms, similar to the dialects of northern Italy, are spoken in the border region between Italy and Switzerland. It is not known exactly when Italian could be distinguished from its parent tongue; however, no text in Italian is recorded before the 10th cent. A.D.

The idiom of Florence, one of the Tuscan dialects of Italian, became dominant from the end of the 13th cent. to the middle of the 14th cent., largely owing to the growing prestige of the city of Florence and the literary works written in the Florentine dialect during that period. These literary works included Dante's Divine Comedy and the vernacular writings of Petrarch and Boccaccio. Thus, although Italian had—and still has—a great many dialects, it was the culturally important idiom of Florence that in time gave rise to modern standard Italian. The dialect of the Italian capital, Rome, also has influenced modern standard Italian. The Roman alphabet is used for Italian. The employment of diacritics is limited to the grave (`) and acute (´) accents, which sometimes serve to make clear where the stress of a word is to fall (as in caffè=coffee); they also serve to distinguish between homonyms (as with ne = "of it" or "of them," but né … né = "neither … nor"). The pronunciation of the language follows the spelling very closely. Italian is often described both as the language of art and music and as the language best suited to singing. Since the Renaissance its general cultural importance has been considerable.

Bibliography

See I. Iordan et al., An Introduction to Romance Linguistics (1970); A. L. Lepschy and G. C. Lepschy, The Italian Language Today (1977); M. Harris and N. Vincent, The Romance Languages (1988).

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References in classic literature ?
"Non siete Spagnuolo," he said; "non siete Tedesco; siete Italiano."
Margaret guessed at Monica's type--"Italiano Inglesiato" they had named it: the crude feminist of the South, whom one respects but avoids.
Hyperwash vs Italiano's Homme MANILA, Philippines Hyperwash, Asia's Lashes and AMA Online Education tackle different opponents today, with all these teams looking for playoff entry in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
opener Thursday before Italiano's Home takes on winless Alberei at 3:30 p.m.
PALESTINO suffered a 5-0 hiding at the hands of Universidad Catolica in the Chilean Supercup on Saturday but they can stir up good memories of last term's cup triumph when they host Audax Italiano in the league.
La Porto Italiano, based in Queensway, has had its front door damaged.
That said it is no wonder that IL Palato Italiano Executive Chef Filippo Sinisgalli known as the "Italian Chef to the Stars," joined famed celebrities including NBA icon Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Comedian and Actor George Lopez and Business Partner Raffles Van Exel in support and celebration of Cedric the Entertainer as the latest recipient of a prestigious star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 18, 2018 at 6212 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hollywood el Centro Complex.
(ICCPI) ended 2017 with a bang courtesy of L'Aperitivo Italiano: 'Festa di Natale' held on December 14 at the Bonifacio Global City.