Italian

Authored by: Nigel Vincent

The Romance Languages

Print publication date:  January  1988
Online publication date:  December  2003

Print ISBN: 9780415164177
eBook ISBN: 9780203426531
Adobe ISBN: 9781134712298

10.4324/9780203426531.ch8

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Abstract

For reasons which have already been set out (pp. 18–19), Italian evinces less homogeneity than any other Romance vernacular that has achieved the status of a national language. Correspondingly, dialects and regional varieties still play a significant role in the linguistic life of the peninsula (see Map VII). The extent of variation, however, differs according to the level of linguistic structure. Most speakers betray their geographical origin to some degree in their accent and often, too, in their vocabulary. Morphology, on the other hand, exhibits very little variation. Syntax and morphosyntax occupy an intermediate position, with the major patterns of word order, relativisation and complementation being fairly uniform up and down the country, but with geographically definable differences emerging clearly in tense, mood and aspect usage.

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