Re: [tied] Re: Franco-Provençal

From: Rick McCallister
Message: 63107
Date: 2009-02-18

--- On Wed, 2/18/09, Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...> wrote:

> From: Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...>
> Subject: [tied] Re: Franco-Provençal
> To:
> Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 3:01 PM
> --- In, "Arnaud Fournet"
> <fournet.arnaud@...> wrote:
> > [Corsican is] basically the same thing as most other
> dialects of
> > Italian. Latin evolved and mixed up with adstrates and
> substrates.
> "Dialects" of Italian -- and, as I suspect, also
> what
> you "nationalistically" refer to as mere
> "dialects" of French,
> Spanish etc. -- are historically languages by full right
> (in certain
> cases even endowed with distinctive literary productions
> that date
> from many centuries ago). I fully concur with the following
> remark
> made in the Wikipedia article entitled "Italian
> dialects":
> > The oft-heard expression "dialects of
> Italian" is both inaccurate
> > and very misleading, since the dialects did not derive
> from
> > Italian, but directly from spoken Latin, often termed
> Vulgar
> > Latin: it was Italian that derived from the dialects,
> not the
> > other way around.
> Please bear in mind that both Romance national languages
> and Romance
> regional dialects evolved from various provincial (=
> spoken,
> or "Vulgar") forms of Latin, a "State
> language" that was initially,
> and continued to be for a long time, *foreign* to most of
> the
> European populations whose idioms subsequently developed
> into the
> multifarious Romance "languages" and
> "dialects" (the distinction
> between the two is not that clear to me). This is different
> from
> other known processes of linguistic development such as,
> e.g., the
> differentiation of Germanic "languages" and
> "dialects" from Proto-
> Germanic. Latin was no "Proto-Language". It was a
> pre-packaged
> official language (of the administration, trade etc.) that
> was
> politically superimposed on the natives of the various
> parts of
> Europe whose populations became the speakers of Romance
> "languages"
> and "dialects" during the Middle Ages.
> A mosaic of Romance regional idioms, some of which became
> "national"
> languages due to political processes, is a more faithful
> representation of the situation in medieval
> Romance-speaking Europe
> than the absurd claim that "national" languages
> like French or
> Italian constitued a sort of Ur-model from which dialectal
> forms of
> Romance somehow deviated, but to which they are all
> reconducible
> (like Arnaud's Corsican would be to Italian).
> Regards,
> Francesco

You can add that most "dialects" of Italian are not readily mutually comprehensible. I can understand standard Italian and to a lesser extent Romanesco and Napolitano. I don't understand Sicilian and Northern Italian. Northern Italian, of course, is Gallo-Italian and as such, is structurally closer to Gallo-Romance --or probably more likely to Occitan-Gascon-Catalan.
I have read contradictory view re: Sicilian:
1. That it developed from a language similar to Sardo spoken until the Norman conquest and then was submerged by waves of settlers from the rest of Italy.
2. That there was no Romance language in Sicily until the Norman conquest and that Greek was the common language until it was swamped by settler from the rest of Italy.