--- In nostratic@yahoogroups.com, "Geraldine Reinhardt" <waluk@...>

> GR: Hey Marco. Good morning to you. Oh yes, any word that
sounds similar can have different meanings in two languages. The
same phenomenon can happen in one language as well. Here's an
example from American English: what's the name of a popular sandwich
made by splitting a long, torpedo-shaped roll in half lengthwise and
filling it with some or all of these cold cuts, sausage, cheese,
lettuce, tomato, pickles, and other condiments? The answer is very
regional and is known by one of the following: submarine, grinder,
hero, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo. Or what
about the nonalcoholic beverages, usually carbonated so as to fizz,
bubble, or "sparkle." Again, this is a regional varient know as:
soda, club soda, pop, soda pop, soft drink, sparkling water, tonic,
water with gas, fizzy water etc.
> In New England the word tonic is used for soda pop and fizzy
water as well as a type of medicine.

Hello, dear Gerry!

The examples you quoted are quite interesting. Similar occurrences
can be found in Italian as well. In the standard language a /muscolo/
is a "muscle", while in wide areas of Tuscany it is a "mussel".
Where I live, a /mora/ is a black-haired girl with tawny skin, but in
other areas a /mora/ is simply a black-haired girl, no matter if her
skin is pale as a ghost. If one says /mora/ I can think she's a
gypsy, but a friend of mine (who is from Mantua) can well think she's
Zora the Vampire.

> Yiiips!!! So you probably found my invectives somewhat scabrous.
> Probably you were offended by my fierce anti-Catholicism.
> I'm very sorry for all this, but I cannot brake my turbolent
> nature. Nothing personal.
> About Haverhill, from your description I imagine it like a place
> Hobbits' County.
> GR: Actually your invectives I missed. I'm glad you see
Haverhill as a place in Hobbits' Country.... is this from the texts
or the Lord of the Rings films?

I read the texts and I saw the films. All masterpieces. I missed an
-r- while I wrote (often I miss a letter or I revert two letters
because of the hurry). In English Hobbits' Country is called "the

> Now in Milan all people could converse with others in common
> but when I was a child things were more difficult. A Sicilian
> couldn't understand a native. And all this not only for
intonation of
> voice.
> GR: I know very little about Italian dialects but I do know from
regional foods and from visiting Italy many years ago that Sicilians
weren't considered of the same social class as those from the Rome
area, for example. They were considered "rustic"; almost foreign and
their food was more peasantlike than food served in the large cities.

It is not only social class that is different. In Italy social
dialects are a distinct phenomenon from regional dialect. In other
words, we have not only differences between the rustic and urban
speeches in a single country, but each region also has (or better had
until recently) a dialect (or better a true language) that is
different from the neighbouring one, and often not mutually
understandable. In Northern Italy many dialects are more similar
to French in their phonetic sistem and phonotactics than to standard
Italian. Few example:

Italian Lombard (in phonetic characters)

/rosso/ "red" /rus/
/mondo/ "world" /munt/
/fumo/ "smoke" /fu"m/
/ragazza/ "girl" /tuza/
/scuola/ "scool" /sko"ra/
/uovo/ "egg" /o"f/
/monte/ "mountain" /brik/
/lampo/ "lightning" /stralu"s^/
/denti/ "teeth" /dinc^/
/essere/ "to be" /ves/
/avere/ "to have" /ave'k/
/freddo/ "cold" /frec^/
/bere/ "to drink" /bef/
/pecora/ "sheep" /bera/
/testa/ "head" /ko/, /ku/

The Lombard words I quote are from the dialect used
in the place where I live. But there are more differentiated
dialects. Here is a list of words used in the valleys
of Bergamo, compared with Italian:

Italian Lombard (Bergamo, in phonetic characters)

/vino/ "wine" /i/
/rosso/ "red" /ruh/
/cinque/ "five" /hik/
/sei/ "six" /heh/
/sempre/ "forever /heper/
/vetro/ "glass" /eder/
/qualcosa/ "something" /ergo't/
/castello/ "castle" /kahte'l/
/salsiccia/ "sausage" /halhiha/
/dolce/ "sweet" /dulh/
/orso/ "bear" /urh/
/sopra/ "above" /hura/
/seta/ "silk" /hida/

As you see, it is a complicated topic.

Nice chatting with you Gerry.

Best wishes