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Encyclopedia > Sicilian language
Sicilian
Sicilianu
Spoken in: Sicily, central and southern Calabria, the province of Lecce (Apulia), the southern part of the province of Salerno (Campania) and emigrants in around 30 countries
Total speakers: 4.8 million (Ethnologue) 
Ranking: 60-70
Language family: Indo-European
 Italic
  Romance
   Italian
    Sicilian
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: scn
ISO 639-3: scn 
Map of Sicily.
Map of Sicily.

Sicilian (lu sicilianu, Italian: lingua siciliana) is a Romance language. Its dialects comprise the Italiano meridionale-estremo language group, which are spoken on the island of Sicily, its satellite islands, and in southern and central Calabria ("southern Calabro") [1]; and in the southern parts of Apulia [1], the Salento (the language is "Salentino") [1]; and Campania ("Cilentano"), on the Italian mainland. Ethnologue (see section below) describes Sicilian as being "distinct enough from Standard Italian to be considered a separate language". Some assert that Sicilian represents the oldest Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin, but this is not a widely-held view amongst philologists. [2] Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... This is about the Italian city of Lecce. ... This article is about the Italian region. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... For other uses, see Campania (disambiguation). ... This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ... The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family, comprising all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Image File history File links Freeworldmaps-sicily. ... Image File history File links Freeworldmaps-sicily. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Unicode is an industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in any of the worlds writing systems. ... The Romance languages, also called Romanic languages, are a subfamily of the Italic languages, specifically the descendants of the Vulgar Latin dialects spoken by the common people evolving in different areas after the break-up of the Roman Empire. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... This article is about the Italian region. ... Salento Salento (Salentu in dialect) is the south-eastern extremity of the Apulia region of Italy. ... For other uses, see Campania (disambiguation). ... Vulgar Latin, as in this political graffito at Pompeii, was the speech of ordinary people of the Roman Empire — different from the classical Latin used by the Roman elite. ...


It is currently spoken by the majority of the inhabitants of Sicily and by immigrant populations around the world. The latter are to be found in the countries which attracted large numbers of Sicilian immigrants during the course of the past century or so, especially the USA, Canada, Australia and Argentina. In the past two or three decades, large numbers of Sicilians were also attracted to the industrial zones of northern Italy and indeed the rest of the EU, in particular, Germany.


As the table indicates, Sicilian is not recognised as an official language anywhere in the world, not even within Italy. There is currently no central body, in Sicily or elsewhere, that regulates the language in any way. The autonomous regional parliament of Sicily has legislated to encourage the teaching of Sicilian at all schools, but inroads into the education system have been extremely slow.

Contents

Ethnologue report on Sicilian

Source. and scn

Other names

The alternate names of Sicilian are: Calabro-Sicilian, Sicilianu, Siculu. The term "Calabro-Sicilian" refers to the fact that a form of Sicilian, or a dialect closely related to Sicilian, is spoken in central and southern Calabria. Sicilianu is the name of the language in Sicilian.


The term "Siculu" describes one of the larger prehistoric groups living in Sicily (the Sicels or Siculi) before the arrival of Greeks in the 8th century BC (see below). It can also be used as an adjective to qualify, or further elaborate on, the origins of a person, for example: Siculo-American (siculu-miricanu) or Siculo-Australian. According to Thucydides (vi:2), before the arrival of Greek colonists, the Sicels (or Siculi) were one of the three tribes who inhabited Sicily: the Sicels (Greek Sikeloi) in eastern Sicily (as well as southern Italy), who spoke an Indo-European language, and the Sicani (Greek Sikanoi) and Elymi (Greek...


Dialects of Sicilian

As a language, Sicilian has its own dialects. Ethnologue lists the following main groupings: A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ...

For other uses, see Palermo (disambiguation). ... Torre della Colombaia Trapani (2004 population 67,456) is a city in the west coast of Sicily in Italy. ... San Lorenzo. ... Enna (Italian: Provincia di Enna) is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. ... Catania (Italian: Provincia di Catania) is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. ... Messina (It. ... The Aeolian Islands. ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Trapani (TP) Mayor Salvatore Gabriele (since May 17, 2005) Elevation 5 m Area 83 km² Population  - Total (as of December 31, 2004) 7,679  - Density 73/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Coordinates Gentilic Panteschi Dialing code 0923 Postal code 91017 Patron St. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... The Salentino dialect is the traditional vernacular of the southern Italian province of Lecce, known more commonly as the Salento; the extreme southern part of the region of Puglia or the heel of the Italian peninsular. ... This article is about the Italian region. ...

Other observations

Sicilian is described as being "vigorous", although most Sicilians are described as being at least bilingual (obviously being fluent in Italian as the official language of Italy). It refers to the strong French influence in the language (elaborated on further below) and raises the prospect that it may be better classified as "Southern Romance" rather than "Italo-Western". [1] The term bilingualism (from bi meaning two and lingua meaning language) can refer to rather different phenomena. ... Southern Romance languages are parte of Romance languages that includes the Sardinian language and Sicilian language. ... Italo-Western is the largest sub-group of Romance languages. ...


Early influences

The fact that Sicily is the largest island in the middle of the Mediterranean and that virtually all the peoples of the Mediterranean (and beyond) have passed through her, be that as friend or foe, over the millennia, ensures that the Sicilian language is both rich and varied in its influences. The language has inherited vocabulary and/or grammatical forms from all of the following: Greek, Latin, Arabic, French, Lombard, Provençal, German, Catalan, Spanish and of course Italian, not to mention prehistoric influences from the earliest settlers on the island. The very earliest influences, visible in Sicilian to this day, exhibit both prehistoric Mediterranean elements and prehistoric Indo-European elements, and occasionally a cross-over of both. Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... The term Lombard refers to a group of related varieties spoken mainly in Northern Italy (most of Lombardy and some areas of neighbouring regions) and Southern Switzerland (Ticino and Graubünden). ... Provençal (Provençau in Provençal language) is one of several dialects spoken by a minority of people in southern France and other areas of France and Italy. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ...


Before the Roman conquest, Sicily was occupied by remnants of the autochthonic populations (Sicani, Elymi, Siculi, (the latter arriving between the second and first millennium BC), as well as by Phoenicians (from between the 10th and 8th centuries BC) and Greeks (from the 8th century BC). The Greek influence remains strongly visible, however, the influences from the other groups are less obvious. What can be stated with certainty is that there remain pre-Indo-European words in Sicilian of an ancient Mediterranean origin, but one cannot be more precise than that. Of the three main prehistoric groups, only the Siculi were Indo-European, and their speech is likely to have been closely related to that of the Romans. [3] Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Sicani (or Sikanoi) were an ancient people of Italy who dwelt along the Tiber river. ... The Elymian people (Greek Elymoi, Latin Elymi) were an ancient civilization located in Sicily. ... According to Thucydides (vi:2), before the arrival of Greek colonists, the Sicels (or Siculi) were one of the three tribes who inhabited Sicily: the Sicels (Greek Sikeloi) in eastern Sicily (as well as southern Italy), who spoke an Indo-European language, and the Sicani (Greek Sikanoi) and Elymi (Greek... Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal plain of what is now Lebanon and Syria. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Overview Events Partition of ancient Israel into the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel (c. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) Ruins of the training grounds at Olympia, Greece. ...


The following table provides the perfect illustration of the difficulty philologists face in tackling the various sub-strata of the Sicilian language. The examples are for the English word "twins" [3].

Stratum Word Source
Modern giamelli Italian gemelli
Medieval bizzuni, vuzzuni French besson
binelli Ligurian beneli
Ancient èmmuli Latin gemulus
cucchi Latin copula
minzuddi Latin medius
ièmiddi, ièddimi Greek ghemellos

A similar qualifier can be applied to many of the words that appear in this article. Sometimes we may know that a particular word has a prehistoric derivation, but we do not know whether the Sicilians have inherited it directly from the autochtonic populations, or whether it has come to them via another route. Similarly, we might know that a particular word has a Greek origin, but we do not know from which Greek period the Sicilians first used it (pre-Roman occupation or during its Byzantine period), or once again, whether the particular word may even have come to Sicily via another route. For instance, by the time the Romans had occupied Sicily during the 3rd century BC, the Latin language had made its own borrowings from the Greek language. The Ligurian language was spoken in pre-Roman times and into the Roman era by an ancient people of north-western Italy and south-eastern France known as the Ligures. ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek city, which, according to legend, was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ... The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... Greek ( IPA: or simply IPA: — Hellenic) has a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any single language in the Indo-European language family. ...


Pre-classical period

The words with a prehistoric Mediterranean derivation often refer to plants native to the Mediterranean region or to other natural features. Bearing in mind the qualifiers mentioned above (alternative sources are provided where known), examples of such words include:

  • alastra (a thorny, prickly plant native to the Mediterranean region; but also Greek kelastron and may in fact have penetrated Sicilian via one of the Gallic idioms)
  • ammarrari (to dam or block a canal or running water; but also Spanish embarrar - to muddy)
  • calancuni (ripples caused by a fast running river)
  • calanna (landslide of rocks)
  • racioppu (stalk or stem, e.g. of a fruit, Mediterranean rak)
  • timpa (crag, cliff; but also Greek tymba, Latin tumba and Catalan timba).

There are also Sicilian words with an ancient Indo-European origin that do not appear to have come to the language via any of the major language groups normally associated with Sicilian, i.e. they have been independently derived from a very early Indo-European source. The Siculi are a possible source of such words, but there is also the possibility of a cross-over between ancient Mediterranean words and introduced Indo-European forms. Some examples of Sicilian words with an ancient Indo-European origin:

  • dudda (mulberry; similar to Welsh rhudd meaning the colour "pink"; Romanian dudă)
  • scrozzu (not well developed; similar to Lithuanian su-skurdes with a similar meaning and Old High German scurz, meaning short)
  • sfunnacata (multitude, vast number; from Indo-European und/Fund meaning water)

Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... The (Late Old High) German speaking area of the Holy Roman Empire around 950. ...

Greek influences

The following Sicilian words are of a Greek origin (including some examples where it is unclear whether the word is derived directly from Greek, or via Latin):

  • appizzari - to rot, go bad (as in fruit), ruin (from (eks) èpeson)
  • babbiari - to fool around (from babazo, which also gives the sicilian words: babbazzu and babbu - stupid; but Latin babulus and Spanish babieca)
  • bucali - pitcher (from baukalion)
  • bùmmulu - water receptacle (from bombylos; but Latin bombyla)
  • cartedda - basket (from kartallos; but Latin cratellum)
  • carusu - boy (from kouros; but Latin carus - dear, Sanskrit caruh - amiable)
  • casèntaru - earthworm (from gas enteron)
  • cirasa - cherry (from kerasos; but Latin cerasum)
  • cona - icon, image, metaphor (from eikon; but Latin icona)
  • cuddura - type of bread (from kollyra; but Latin collyra)
  • grasta - flower pot (from gastra; but Latin gastra)
  • naca - cradle (from nake)
  • ntamari - to stun, amaze (from thambeo; but Calabrian (Calabrese) tammaru - stupid, comes from Arabic tammar date vendor)
  • pistiari - to eat (from apestiein)
  • tuppuliàri - to knock (from typto).

Vulgar Latin was spoken by the Roman occupation troops who garrisoned Sicily after Rome annexed the island (after the end of the First Punic War, c 261 BC). A historical feature shared by Sicily, the far south of Calabria, and the province of Lecce, is that during the Roman period, these areas were never completely latinised. Greek remained the main language for the majority of the population. This helps explain the linguistic differences in these areas and those immediately to the north (which were, more or less, latinised). It is also why Sicilian is often referred to as a neo-Latin language - it did not descend directly from Latin (although some linguists disagree with that view, see below). The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Calabrian language is the name given to a number of Dialects spoken in parts of the Calabria region in Italy. ... Vulgar Latin, as in this political graffito at Pompeii, was the speech of ordinary people of the Roman Empire — different from the classical Latin used by the Roman elite. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


From 493 to 535 and 550 to 552, the Ostrogothic kingdom ruled Sicily,[4] although their presence did not impact the Sicilian language. The few Germanic influences to be found in Sicilian do not appear to originate from this period. One exception might be abbanniari or vanniari (to hawk goods, proclaim publicly) from Gothic bandujan - to give a signal. Also possible is schimmenti (diagonal) from Gothic slimbs (slanting). Other sources of Germanic influences include the Hohenstaufen reign of the 13th century, words of Nordic and Germanic origin contained within the speeches of Norman and Lombard settlers and the short period of Austrian rule in the 18th century. Events February 25 - Odoacer agrees to a mediated peace with Theodoric the Great, and is later killed by him personally. ... Events Beginning of the Western Wei Dynasty in China. ... Events By Place Byzantine Empire Silk reaches Constantinople (approximate date). ... Events July - Battle of Taginae: The Byzantine general Narses defeats and kills Totila, king of the Ostrogoths. ... This article deals with the continental Ostrogoths. ... Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. ... Arms of the Hohenstaufen Dynasty The Hohenstaufen (or the Staufer(s)) were a dynasty of Kings of Germany, many of whom were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Dukes of Swabia. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


Arab period

In 535, Emperor Justinian I made Sicily a Byzantine province, and for the second time in Sicilian history, the Greek language became a familiar sound across the island. As the power of the Byzantine Empire waned, Sicily was progressively conquered by Saracens from North Africa, from the mid 9th century to the mid-10th century. The Arab Emirs who ruled Sicily were progressive monarchs and Sicily enjoyed a sustained period of economic prosperity and intellectual enlightenment. The Arab influence is noticeable in around 300 Sicilian words, most of which relate to agriculture and related activities. This is understandable since the Saracens introduced to Sicily the most (then) modern irrigation and farming techniques and a new range of crops — nearly all of which remain endemic to the island to this day. Events Beginning of the Western Wei Dynasty in China. ... (Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus, Greek: Ιουστινιανός;) commonly known as Justinian I, or (among Eastern Orthodox Christians) as Saint Justinian the Great; c. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Greek ( IPA: or simply IPA: — Hellenic) has a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any single language in the Indo-European language family. ... For the rugby club Saracens see Saracens (rugby club) The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi. ... North Africa is the Mediterranean, northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ...


Some words of Arabic origin:

  • azzizzari - to embellish (from aziz; beautiful)
  • babbaluciu - snail (from babus; but Greek boubalàkion)
  • burnia - jar (from burniya; but Latin hirnea)
  • cafisu - measure for liquids (from qafiz)
  • cassata - sicilian cake (from qashatah; but Latin caseata - something made from cheese)
  • gèbbia - artificial pond to store water for irrigation (from gabiya)
  • giuggiulena - sesame seed (from giulgiulan)
  • ràisi - leader (from rais)
  • saia - canal (from saqiya)
  • zaffarana - saffron, type of plant whose flowers are used for medicinal purposes and in Sicilian cooking (from safara)
  • zagara - blossom (from zahar)
  • zibbibbu - type of grape (from zabib)
  • zuccu - tree trunk (from suq; but Aragonese soccu and Spanish zoque).

Before we move on to the next phase of the language's development, being its most significant, it should be borne in mind that throughout the Arab epoch of Sicilian history, a majority Greek-speaking population remained on the island and continued to use the Greek language, or most certainly, a variant of Greek heavily influenced by Arabic. What is less clear is the extent to which a Latin speaking population survived on the island. While a form of Vulgar Latin clearly survived in isolated communities during the Arab epoch, there is much debate as to the influence it had (if any) on the development of the Sicilian language, following the relatinisation of Sicily (discussed in the next section). The best one can do is to conclude that if there was an influence, it is likely to have been minor. This view is supported by the fact that there are few Sicilian words reflecting an archaic Latin form (as may be found, for example, in Sard). However, some forms do exist, so the tantalising prospect of a Sicilian form of a Vulgar Latin surviving the Arab period and influencing the modern development of Sicilian remains open. Jodie and Gemma made a cassata once. ... Aragonese, IPA: (), is a Romance language now spoken by some 10,000 people over the valleys of the Aragón River, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in the province of Huesca, Aragon, Spain. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Sard is a reddish-brown chalcedony, SiO2, much used by the ancients as a gemstone. ...


These are some words of Latin origin that may have survived the Arab epoch:

  • anchiu - wide, broad (from amplum)
  • antura - a while ago (from ante oram - an hour ago)
  • asciari - to find (from afflare, cf. Portuguese "achar", to find)
  • bìfara - to fruit twice yearly, Large-green fig(from bifera)
  • cuppigghiuni - beehive (from cupa)
  • filìnia - spider's web (from filum, line, strand)
  • grasciu - grease (from crassus)
  • nutricari - to feed (from nutricare)
  • oggiallanu or ovannu - last year (from hodie est annus)

Linguistic development from the middle ages

In 1000 AD the whole of modern day southern Italy, including Sicily, was a complex mix of small states and principalities, languages and religions. The whole of Sicily was controlled by Muslim Saracens, although the population remained predominantly Greek speaking and Christian. The far south of the Italian peninsula was part of the Byzantine empire and predominantly Greek speaking, although many communities were reasonably independent of Constantinople. The principality of Salerno was Lombard. The Lombards (or Langobards) had also started to make some incursions into Byzantine territory and had managed to establish some isolated independent city-states. It was into this mix that Normans thrust themselves in ever increasing numbers during the first half of the 11th century. Europe in 1000 The year 1000 of the Gregorian Calendar was the last year of the 10th century as well as the last year of the first millennium. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Map of Constantinople. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... The Lombards (Latin Langobardi, whence comes the alternative name Longobards found in older English texts), were a Germanic people originally from Northern Europe that entered the late Roman Empire. ... Norman conquests in red. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ...


Norman French influence

When the two most famous of southern Italy's Norman adventurers, Roger of Hauteville and his brother, Robert Guiscard, began their conquest of Sicily in 1061, they already controlled the far south of Italy (Apulia and Calabria). It took Roger 30 years to complete the conquest of Sicily (Robert died in 1085). In the process, the relatinisation and christianisation of Sicily had begun a second time. A long list of Norman words were to become absorbed by the new language during this period, for example: Southern Italy, often referred to in Italian as the Mezzogiorno (a term first used in 19th century in comparison with French Midi ) encompasses six of the countrys 20 regions: Basilicata Campania Calabria Puglia Sicilia Sardinia Sicilia although it is geographically and administratively included in Insular Italy, it has a... Roger I (1031 – June 22, 1101), Norman ruler of Sicily, was the youngest son of Tancred of Hauteville. ... Robert Guiscard (i. ... This article is about the Italian region. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... April 2 - Emperor Zhezong became emperor of Song Dynasty. ... Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. ...

  • accattari - to buy (from Norman acater, Modern French = Acheter)
  • ammintuari – to mention, nominate (from Norman mentevoir)
  • bucceri (vucceri) - butcher (from bouchier)
  • custureri - tailor (from coustrier; Modern French = Couturier)
  • firranti - grey (from ferrant)
  • foddi - mad (from fol; Modern French = Fou)
  • giugnettu - July (from juignet; Modern French = Juillet)
  • ladiu or laiu - ugly (from laid)
  • largasìa - generosity (from largesse)
  • puseri - thumb (from poucier)
  • racina - grape (from raisin)
  • raggia – anger (from rage)
  • testa - head (from teste)
  • trippari - to hop, skip (from Norman triper)

The following factors that emerged during or immediately after the conquest were to prove critical in the formation of the Sicilian language: Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. ...

  • The Normans brought with them not only their own French speaking kin (more than likely in quite small numbers), but mercenaries from southern Italy. In particular, these included Lombards (with their Gallo-Italic idiom) and other Italians from around Campania. The latter would bring with them the Vulgar Latin from that region, an idiom not too different from that to be found in central Italy (at the time).
  • The thirty year-long war of conquest and the encouragement given to reestablishing Christianity resulted in the depopulation of Saracens in most parts of Sicily, many of whom escaped to North Africa.
  • Further migrations to settle the depopulated areas were encouraged from the mainland by Roger. In particular, Latin settlers from areas controlled by the western church. The western parts of Sicily were colonised by migrants from Campania. The central eastern parts of Sicily were colonised by settlers from the western Po valley in northern Italy who also brought with them a Gallo-Italic idiom. After the death of Roger I, and under the regency of Adelaide during the minority of her son, Roger II (herself from northern Italy), this process of "Lombard" colonisation was intensified.

We can see above the main factors that go into framing the Sicilian language as we know it today. The Vulgar Latin base (predominantly from Campania) was similar to the Vulgar Latin in central Italy (and therefore, by implication, reasonably similar to the Vulgar Latin in Tuscany that would eventually form the base for the national language). This base from Campania was influenced by the many Gallic influences present in Sicily at the time, namely Norman, French and Langobardic. Underneath that were remnants of the Arabic and Greek idioms that the new language eventually replaced, but hundreds of words remained in the vocabulary of the new Romance language. Gallo-Italic is a language_family within the Gallo-Romance languages. ... For other uses, see Campania (disambiguation). ... Vulgar Latin, as in this political graffito at Pompeii, was the speech of ordinary people of the Roman Empire — different from the classical Latin used by the Roman elite. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... PO may stand for: Pareto optimality Parole Officer Per os, Latin for by mouth or orally Perfect Orange a third wave ska based in Knoxville, TN from 2002-2005 Petty Officer, a Non-Commissioned Officer Rank in many Navies Pilkington Optronics, now Thales Optronics Pilot Officer, a junior commissioned rank... Roger II, from Liber ad honorem Augusti of Petrus de Ebulo, 1196. ... The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family, comprising all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ...


Other Gallic influences

The Lombard influence is of particular interest. Even to the present day, a Gallo-siculo dialect exists in the areas where the Lombard colonies were the strongest, namely Novara, Nicosia, Sperlinga, Aidone and Piazza Armerina. The Siculo-Gallic dialect did not survive in other major Lombard colonies, such as Randazzo, Bronte and Paternò (although they did influence the local Sicilian vernacular). The Padanian influence was also felt on the Sicilian language itself, as follows: The gallo-siculo dialects represent a group of dialects found in central-eastern Sicily that date back to migrations from Northern Italy during the time of Roger I of Sicily and which continued after his death under his successor Roger II (from around 1080 to 1120). ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Province of Messina (ME) Mayor Elevation m Area 48. ... District Nicosia District Government  - Mayor Eleni Mavrou Population (2004)  - City 270,000 (Greek part) 85,000 (Turkish part) 355,000 (Total) Time zone EET (UTC+2) Website: www. ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Enna (EN) Mayor Elevation m Area km² Population  - Total  - Density /km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Coordinates , Gentilic Dialing code Postal code Sperlinga is a comune in the province of Enna, in region of Sicily in southern Italy. ... Aidone is a town in the Enna province of Sicily. ... Piazza Armerina is an Italian comune in the province of Enna of the autonomous island region of Sicily. ... RANDAZZO, a town of Sicily, in the province of Catania, at the Northern foot of Mount Etna, 43 m. ... Categories: Stub | Bront sisters ... Paternò is a town in Catania, Sicily. ... Flag Ratio: 1:2 The Northern Leagues proposed Padanian flag, the Sun of the Alps, an ancient Celtic symbol, very common in Northern Italy Padania is an alternative name for Northern Italy, which was sparingly used until the beginning of the 1990s, when the Northern League political party (in...

  • soggiru - father-in-law (from suoxer)
  • cugnatu - brother-in-law (from cognau)
  • figghiozzu - godson (from figlioz)
  • orbu - blind (from orb)
  • arricintari - to rinse (from rexentar)
  • unni - where (from ond)
  • the names of the days of the week:
    • lùniddia - Monday (from lunes)
    • màrtiddia - Tuesday (from martes)
    • mèrcuriddia - Wednesday (from mèrcor)
    • jùviddia - Thursday (from juovia)
    • vèniddia - Friday (from vènner)

The origins of another Gallic influence, that of Old Provençal, had three possible sources. Provençal (Provençau) is one of several dialects of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in southern France and other areas of France and Italy. ...

  1. As mentioned above, the number of actual Normans in Sicily (from Normandy) are unlikely to have ever numbered much higher than 5,000 at any time. Their numbers were boosted by mercenaries from southern Italy, but it is also possible that mercenaries came from as far away as southern France. The Normans made San Fratello a garrison town in the early years of the occupation of the north-eastern corner of Sicily. To this day (in ever decreasing numbers) a Siculo-Gallic dialect is spoken in San Fratello that is clearly influenced by Old Provençal, leading one to the conclusion that a significant number in the garrison came from that part of France. This may well explain the dialect spoken only in San Fratello, but it does not wholly explain the diffusion of many Provençal words into the Sicilian language. On that point we are confronted with a further two possibilities.
  2. Some Provençal words may have entered the language during the regency of Margaret of Navarre between 1166 and 1171 when her son, William II of Sicily, succeeded to the throne at the age of 12. The Queen's closest advisers, entourage and administrators were from the south of France, and many Provençal words entered the language during this period.
  3. The Sicilian School of poetry (discussed below) was strongly influenced by the Provençal of the troubadour tradition. This element is deeply embedded in Sicilian culture, for example, the tradition of Sicilian puppetry (opira dî puppi) and the tradition of the cantastorii (literally sing stories). There is no doubt that Provençal troubadours were active during the reign of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and that some Provençal words would have passed into the Sicilian language via this route.

Some examples of Sicilian words derived from Provençal: Flag of Normandy Normandy (in French: Normandie, and in Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region in northern France. ... Provençal (Provençau) is one of several dialects of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in southern France and other areas of France and Italy. ... Marguerite of Navarre (April 11, 1492 - December 21, 1549), also known as Marguerite of Angouleme and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of King Henry II of Navarre. ... // Events Marko III succeeds Yoannis V as patriarch of Alexandria. ... Events Saladin abolishes the Fatimid caliphate, restoring Sunni rule in Egypt. ... William II crowned by Christ, mosaic in Monreale Cathedral. ... In a literary context, the term Sicilian School identifies a small community of Sicilian, and to a lesser extent, mainland Italian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. ... A troubadour composing lyrics, Germany c. ... Frederick II (December 26, 1194 – December 13, 1250), of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was a pretender to the title of King of the Romans from 1212 and unopposed holder of that monarchy from 1215. ...

  • addumari - to light (from allumar); but also "to turn sthg. on"
  • aggrifari - to kidnap, abduct (from grifar)
  • banna – side, place (from banda)
  • burgisi - landowners, citizens (from borges)
  • lascu - sparse, thin, infrequent (from lasc)
  • lavanca - precipice (from lavanca)
  • paraggiu - equal (from paratge)

Sicilian School of Poetry

It was during the reign of Frederick II (or Frederick I of Sicily) between 1198 and 1250, with his patronage of the Sicilian School of poetry, that Sicilian became the first of the Italic idioms to be used as a literary language. The influence of the school, and the use of Sicilian itself as a poetic language, was acknowledged by the two great Tuscan writers of the early Renaissance period Dante and Petrarch. The influence of the Sicilian language cannot be understated in the eventual formulation of a lingua franca that was to become modern Italian. The victory of the Angevin army over the Sicilians at Benevento in 1266 not only marked the end of the 136 year Norman-Swabian reign in Sicily, it effectively ensured that the centre of literary influence would eventually move from Sicily to Tuscany. While Sicilian, as both an official and literary language would continue to exist for another two centuries, the language would soon follow the fortunes of the kingdom itself in terms of prestige and influence. Frederick II (December 26, 1194 – December 13, 1250), of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was a pretender to the title of King of the Romans from 1212 and unopposed holder of that monarchy from 1215. ... Events End of the reign of Emperor Go-Toba of Japan Emperor Tsuchimikado ascends to the throne of Japan January 8 - Pope Innocent III ascends Papal Throne Frederick II, infant son of German King Henry VI, crowned King of Sicily Births August 24 - Alexander II of Scotland (d. ... // April 30 - King Louis IX of France released by his Egyptian captors after paying a ransom of one million dinars and turning over the city of Damietta. ... In a literary context, the term Sicilian School identifies a small community of Sicilian, and to a lesser extent, mainland Italian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. ... A literary language is a register of a language that is used in writing, and which often differs in lexicon and syntax from the language used in speech. ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... From the c. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Angevin (IPA: ) is the name applied to the residents of Anjou, a former province of the Kingdom of France, as well as to the residents of Angers. ... Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. ... For broader historical context, see 1260s and 13th century. ...


As a side note, there are some Germanic influences in the Sicilian language, and many of these date back to the time of the Swabian kings (amongst which Frederick enjoyed the longest reign). Words that probably originate from this era include:

  • arbitriari - to work in the fields (from arbeit)
  • vardari - to watch over (from wartên)
  • guastari or vastari - to waste, use up (from wastjan)
  • guddefi - forest, woods (from wald, note resemblance to Anglo-Saxon wudu)
  • guzzuniari - to wag, as in a tail (from hutsen)
  • lancedda - terracotta jug for holding water (from Old High German lagella)
  • salaguni - willow (from Old High German salaha)
  • sparagnari - to save money (from Old High German sparen)

Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ...

Catalan influence

Following the Sicilian Vespers of 1282, the kingdom was to come under the influence of the Aragonese, and as a result, the Catalan language would add a new layer of vocabulary in the succeeding century. For the whole of the 14th century, both Catalan and Sicilian were the official languages of the royal court. Sicilian was also used to record the proceedings of parliament (one of the oldest parliaments in Europe) and for other official purposes. While it is often difficult to determine whether a word has come to us directly from Catalan (as opposed to Provençal or Spanish), the following are likely to be such examples: Sicilian Vespers (1846), by Francesco Hayez The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to a rebellion in Sicily in 1282 against the rule of the Angevin king Charles I, who had taken control of the island with Papal support in 1266. ... Categories: Pages containing IPA | Language stubs | Romance languages | Languages of Spain ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of... A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modelled after that of the United Kingdom. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ...

  • accabbari - to finish, end (from acabar)
  • addunarisi - to notice, realise (from adonar-se)
  • affruntarisi - to be embarrassed (from afrontar-se)
  • ammucciari - to hide (from amagar)
  • arruciari – to moisten, soak (from arruixar)
  • criscimogna - growth, development (from creiximoni)
  • muccaturi - handkerchief (from mocador)
  • nzirtari - to guess (from encertar)
  • priàrisi - to be pleased (from prear-se)
  • taliàri - to look at somebody/something. (from talayar; but Arab tali'a)

Spanish period to the modern age

By the time the Aragonese crown was joined with the Spanish realm in the late 15th century, the tuscanisation of written Sicilian in the parliamentary and court records had commenced. By 1543 this process was virtually complete, the new lingua franca of the Italian peninsula had supplanted written Sicilian – for good. Capital Zaragoza Official language(s) Spanish Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 4th  47,719 km²  9. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... // Events February 21 - Battle of Wayna Daga - A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeat the armies of Adal led by Ahmed Gragn. ...


Spanish rule had hastened this process in two important ways:

  • unlike the Aragonese, almost immediately the Spanish placed viceroys on the Sicilian throne. In a sense, the diminishing prestige of the Sicilian kingdom reflected the decline of Sicilian from an official, written language to eventually a spoken language amongst predominantly illiterates; and
  • the expulsion of all Jews from all Spanish dominions in 1492 altered the population of Sicily. Not only did the population decline, many of whom were involved in important industries, but some of these Jews had been in Sicily for 1,500 years and Sicilian was their mother tongue which they used in their schools. Thus the seeds of a possible broad based education system utilising books written in Sicilian was lost to Sicily forever.

Spanish rule lasted over three centuries (not counting the Aragonese and Bourbon periods on either side) and had a significant influence on the Sicilian vocabulary. The following words are of Spanish derivation: A viceroy is a royal official who governs a country or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. ... Not to be confused with 1492: Conquest of Paradise. ... Also see:  Early Modern France The House of Bourbon is an important European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. ...

  • arricugghirisi - to return home; (from arrecogerse; but Catalan recollir-se)
  • balanza – scales (from balanza)
  • filiccia - arrow (from flecha)
  • làstima – lament, annoyance (from lástima)
  • pignata – pan (from pinada)
  • pinzèddu – brush (from pincel)
  • ricivu – receipt (from recibo)
  • spagnari - to be frightened ( cross over of Sic. appagnari with Sp. espantarse)
  • spatari - to impede or disarm someone of his sword (from espadar)
  • sulità or sulitati – solitude (from soledad)

Since the Risorgimento (1860-1861) the Sicilian language has been significantly influenced by Italian. This process has quickened since World War II due to improved educational standards and the impact of mass media, such that increasingly, even within the family home, Sicilian is not necessarily the first language of choice. The Sicilian Regional Parliament recently voted in legislation to make the teaching of Sicilian a part of the school curriculum at primary school level, but at this moment only a small fraction of schools teach Sicilian. There is also virtually no form of mass media offered in Sicilian. The combination of these factors means that the Sicilian language continues to adopt Italian vocabulary and grammatical forms to such an extent that many Sicilians themselves cannot distinguish between correct and incorrect Sicilian language usage. Italian unification (called in Italian the Risorgimento, or Resurgence) was the political and social process that unified disparate states of the Italian peninsula into the single nation of Italy. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Distinguishing features of Sicilian

Unique sounds

Sicilian has a number of consonant sounds which, if not unique to Sicilian, certainly set it apart from the other major romance languages. The most unique sounds are the retroflex sounds or cacuminals. The "-LL-" sound (in words of Latin origin, for example) manifests itself in Sicilian as a voiced retroflex plosive with the tip of the tongue curled up and back, a sound which is not part of Standard Italian. In Sicilian, this sound is written simply as "-dd-" although the sound itself is not [d] but rather [ɖ]. For example, the Italian word bello is beddu in Sicilian. The voiced retroflex plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ...


The trigraph <str> in Sicilian is quite different to the Italian form of the trigraph. The "t" is not pronounced at all and there is a faint whistle between the "s" and the "r", the latter not being trilled as would be the case in Italian.


The other unique Sicilian sound is found in those words that have been derived from Latin words containing "FL". This has generally become "FI" in Italian, for example, fiume from Latin flumen (river). In Sicilian, the sound is rendered as "CI" (representing the sound [ç]), e.g. ciumi or /hjumi/, (but can also be found in written form as "SCI", "X" or "ÇI"). The sound approximates to an allophone of English /h/ in words like huge.


One obvious difference from Italian is that unstressed o in Italian becomes unstressed u in Sicilian. One upshot of this is that u is far more common than o in Sicilian, whereas the opposite is true in Italian. Also, unstressed e in Italian becomes unstressed i in Sicilian, and i is more common than e in Sicilian.


Gemination and contractions

Rarely indicated in writing, spoken Sicilian exhibits what is called raddoppiamento (Borelli, 2002), which means that the first consonant of a word is lengthened when it is preceded by a vowel in the preceding word, e.g. è bonu /ebbonu/. This process of lengthening is also called gemination, which is a general term used for the lengthening of any sound. Syntactic doubling is an external sandhi phenomenon in Italian and some other Italo-Western languages. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


Alternatively, the letter "j" at the start of a word can have three separate sounds, depending on what precedes the word. For instance, in jornu (day), the "j" is pronounced [j] as in English "y", however, un jornu is pronounced /unnjornu/. Tri jorna (three days) is pronounced /triggjorna/, the "j" effectively becoming [g], like English "g" in "again."


Another difference between the written and spoken languages is the extent to which contractions will occur in everyday speech. Thus a common expression such as avemu a accattari (we have to go and buy...) will generally be reduced to amâ ccattari when talking to family and friends.


The circumflex is commonly used in denoting a wide range of contractions in the written language, in particular, the joining of simple prepositions and the definite article. Examples: di lu = (of the), a lu = ô (to the), pi lu = (for the), nta lu = ntô (in the), etc.


Gender and the formation of plurals

Generally speaking, Sicilian has the same ending for feminine nouns (and their adjectives) as does Italian, that being the [a], for example: casa (house), porta (door), carta (paper), but there are exceptions to this rule, for example, soru (sister), ficu (fig). Whereas Italian uses [o] as the ending for masculine nouns, Sicilian generally uses [u], for example: omu (man), libbru (book), nomu (name). The ending i can be either masculine or feminine (whereas in Italian the ending "e" can be either gender).


Unlike Italian, Sicilian uses one letter, "i", to denote the plural for both masculine and feminine nouns, for example: casi (houses), porti (doors), tauli (tables). There are also many exceptions to this rule which are not always shared by Italian, for example: òmini (men), libbra (books), jorna (days), jòcura (games), manu (hand/hands), vrazza (arms), jardina (gardens), scrittura (writers), signa (signs).


Omission of initial Latin "i"

In the vast majority of instances where the originating Latin word has had an initial "i", the Sicilian has dropped it completely. This can also happen occasionally where there was once an initial "e", and to a lesser extent "a" and "o". Examples: mpurtanti (important), gnuranti (ignorant), nimicu (enemy), ntirissanti (interesting), llustrari (to illustrate), mmàggini (image), cona (icon), miricanu (American).


Verb "to have"

Unlike Italian, Sicilian only has one auxiliary verb, aviri, to have. This is a characteristic that it shares with Spanish, Catalan and Romanian. Sicilian also uses the verb "to have" to denote obligation (as is used in languages like English, German and in Spanish, which uses the respective verb tener. For example: havi a jiri (pronounced /avi agghiri/ — English: "[he/she] has to go"; German: "[er/sie] hat zu gehen"; Spanish: tiene que ir). As also occurs in English and Spanish, a preposition is required before the verb in this specific construction. In linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a verb functioning to give further semantic or syntactic information about the main or full verb following it. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Tenses and moods

The main conjugations in Sicilian are illustrated below with the verb èssiri, "to be".

Infinitive èssiri
Gerund essennu
Past participle statu
Indicative ju tu iddu nuiàtri vuiàtri iddi
Present sugnu esti semu siti sunnu / sù
Imperfect era eri era èramu èravu èranu
Preterite fui fusti fu fumu fùstivu furu
Future¹ - - - - - -
Conditional² ju tu iddu nuiàtri vuiàtri iddi
  fora fori fora fòramu fòravu fòranu
Subjunctive ju tu iddu nuiàtri vuiàtri iddi
Present fussi fussi fussi fùssimu fùstivu fùssiru
Imperfect fussi fussi fussi fùssimu fùstivu fùssiru
Imperative   tu vussìa³   vuiàtri
    fussi   siti

1. The Simple Future tense in Sicilian is no longer in use. However the Sicilian language employs several possible methods of expressing the future tense:

1) by simply using the present indicative, usually preceded by an adverb of time:
Stasira vaiu ô tiatru — This evening I [will] go to the theatre.
Dumani ti scrivu — Tomorrow I [will] write to you.
2) by using a compound form consisting of the appropriate conjugation of aviri a ("have to") in combination with the infinitive form of the verb in question:
Stasira aiu a jiri ô tiatru — This evening I will [/must] go to the theatre.
Dumani t’aiu a scrìviri — Tomorrow I will [/must] write to you.
In speech the contracted forms of aviri often come into play:
aiu a; ai a, avi aavâ, avemu ahamâ; aviti ahatâ
Dumani t'hê scrìviri — Tomorrow I will [/must] write to you.
3) by using a compound form consisting of the appropriate conjugation of jiri a in combination with the infinitive form of the verb in question:
Stasira vaiu a jiri ô tiatru — This evening I'm going to the theatre.
Dumani ti vaiu a scrìviri — Tomorrow I’m going to write to you.

2. The Conditional tense has also fallen into disuse. The Conditional has two tenses:

1) The Present tense, which is replaced by either:
i) the Present Indicative:
Cci chiamu siddu mi duni lu sò nùmmaru — I [would] call her if you [would] give me her number, or
ii) the Imperfect Subjunctive:
Cci chiamassi siddu mi dassi lu sò nùmmaru — I'd call her if you would give me her number; and
2) the Past tense, which is replaced by the Past Perfect Subjunctive:
Cci avissi jutu siddu m’avissi dittu [/diciutu] unni esti — I’d have gone if you would have told me where it is.
Note that in a hypothetical statement, both tenses are replaced by the Imperfect and Past Perfect of the Subjunctive:
Siddu fussi riccu m’accattassi nu palazzu — If I were rich I would buy a palace.
Siddu avissi travagghiatu nun avissi patutu la misèria — If I had worked I wouldn’t have suffered the misery.

3. The 2nd person singular (polite) of the Imperative does not follow the same pattern as the rest of the tense. The 2nd person singular and plural employ the Present Indicative in place of the Imperative, while the 2nd person singular (polite), because of its formality, employs the Present Subjunctive, which makes it less of a command and more of a request.


Examples of the written language

A range of extracts are offered below to illustrate the written form of Sicilian over the last few centuries, starting with a translation of the Lord's Prayer, through to extracts from three of Sicily's more celebrated poets: Antonio Veneziano, Giovanni Meli and Nino Martoglio. The Lord's Prayer is written with three variations: a standard literary form from the island of Sicily, a southern Calabrian literary form and a southern Apulian literary form. The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch. ... Antonio Veneziano (Monreale, 1543 - Castellammare del Golfo, 19 August 1593) was a Sicilian poet who wrote mainly in Sicilian. ... Giovanni Meli (Palermo 1740 - 1815) was a Sicilian poet and man of letters. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... This article is about the Italian region. ...


Lu Patri Nostru

Sicilian (Sicily) Calabro-sicilian (southern Calabria) Salentino (southern Apulia, around Lecce) Italian Latin
Patri nostru, ca siti ntrô celu, Patri nostru ca siti 'nto celu Sire nesciu ca stai an cielu Padre nostro, che sei nei cieli, Pater noster, qui es in caelis,
Santificatu fussi lu Vostru nomu. Fussi santificatu u nomu vostru. Cu'bbessa santificatu lu nume tou. Sia santificato il tuo nome. Sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Viatu vinissi lu Vostru regnu. Venissi prestu lu regnu vostru. Cu'bbegna 'mprima lu regnu tou. Venga il tuo regno. Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fatta fussi la Vostra Vuluntati Fussi sempri faciùta a Vuluntà Vostra Cu'bbessa sempre fatta la Vuluntate toa Sia fatta la tua volontà Fiat voluntas tua
Comu ntrô celu accussì ntra terra. Comu 'ndo celu cusì 'nta terra. Comu an cielu cussì an terra. Come in cielo così in terra. Sicut in caelo et in terra.
Dàtini sta jurnata lu nostru panuzzu, Ratandìllu sta jurnata u pani quotidianu, Dànnilu osce lu pane quotidianu nesciu, Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano, Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
E pirdunàtini li nostri piccati E pirdunatindi i nostri piccati E perdunanni li peccati nesci E rimetti a noi i nostri debiti Et dimitte nobis debita nostra
Accussì comu nuiàtri li pirdunemu ê nostri nìmici. Cusì comu nui i rimentimu ê nemici nostri. Cussì comu nui li rimentimu a li nemici nesci. Come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori. Sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
E nun lassàtini cascari ntrâ tintazzioni, E non 'ndi rassàti mi carimu ntâ tentazzioni, E nu' lassare cu cadimu 'n tentazzione, E non ci indurre in tentazione, Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
Ma scanzàtini dû mali. Ma levatindi r'avanzi u mali. Ma 'lléandenni te lu male. Ma liberaci dal male. Sed libera nos a malo.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Extract from Antonio Veneziano

Antonio Veneziano (Monreale, 1543 - Castellammare del Golfo, 19 August 1593) was a Sicilian poet who wrote mainly in Sicilian. ...

Celia, Lib. 2

(~1575-1580) Year 1575 was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... Events March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. ...

Sicilian Italian English
Non è xhiamma ordinaria, no, la mia, No, la mia non è fiamma ordinaria, No, mine is no ordinary flame,
è xhiamma chi sul'iu tegnu e rizettu, è una fiamma che sol'io possiedo e controllo, it's a flame that only I possess and oversight,
xhiamma pura e celesti, ch'ardi 'n mia; una fiamma pura e celeste che dientro di me cresce; a pure celestial flame that in me grows;  
per gran misteriu e cu stupendu effettu.   da un grande mistero e con stupendo effetto. by a great mystery and with great effect.
Amuri, 'ntentu a fari idulatria, l'Amore, desiderante d'adorare icone, Love, wanting to worship idols,
s'ha novamenti sazerdoti elettu; è diventato sacerdote un'altra volta; has once again become a high priest;
tu, sculpita 'ntra st'alma, sì la dia; tu, sculpita dientro quest'anima, sia la dia; you, sculpted in this soul, are the goddess;
sacrifiziu lu cori, ara stu pettu. il mio cuore è la vittima, il mio seno è l'altara. my heart is the victim, my breast is the altar.

Extract from Giovanni Meli

Giovanni Meli (Palermo 1740 - 1815) was a Sicilian poet and man of letters. ...

Don Chisciotti e Sanciu Panza (Cantu quintu)

(~1790) Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Sicilian English
Stracanciatu di notti soli jiri; Disguised he roams at night alone;
S'ammuccia ntra purtuni e cantuneri; Hiding in any nook and cranny;
cu vacabunni ci mustra piaciri; he enjoys the company of vagabonds;
poi lu so sbiu sunnu li sumeri, however, donkeys are his real diversion,
li pruteggi e li pigghia a ben vuliri, he protects them and looks after all their needs,
li tratta pri parenti e amici veri; treating them as real family and friends;
siccomu ancora è n'amicu viraci since he remains a true friend
di li bizzarri, capricciusi e audaci. of all who are bizarre, capricious and bold.

Extract from Nino Martoglio

Briscula 'n Cumpagni

(~1900; trans: A game of Briscula amongst friends) Äž: For the film, see: 1900 (film). ...

Sicilian Italian English
— Càrricu, mancu? Cca cc'è 'n sei di spati!... — Nemmeno un carico? Qui c'è un sei di spade!... — A high card perhaps? Here's the six of spades!...
— E chi schifiu è, di sta manera? — Ma che schifo, in questo modo? — What is this rubbish you're playing?
  Don Peppi Nnappa, d'accussì jucati?   Signor Peppe Nappa[5], ma giocate così?   Who taught you to play this game?
— Misseri e sceccu ccu tutta 'a tistera, — Messere e asino con tutti i finimenti, — My dear gentlemen and donkeys with all your finery,
  comu vi l'haju a diri, a vastunati,   come ve lo devo dire, forse a bastonate,   as I have repeatedly told you till I'm blue in the face,
  ca mancu haju sali di salera!   che non ho nemmeno il sale per la saliera!   I ain't got nothing that's even worth a pinch a salt!

Influences on the Italian language

As one of the most-spoken languages of Italy, Sicilian has notably influenced the Italian lexicon. In fact, there are several Sicilian words that are nowadays part of the Italian language; they usually refer to things closely associated to Sicilian culture, with some notable exceptions.

  • arancino (from arancinu): arancino, a Sicilian cuisine specialty;
  • canestrato (from 'ncannistratu): a cheese typical of Sicily;
  • cannolo (from cannolu): cannolo, a Sicilian pastry;
  • cannolicchio (from cannulicchiu): razor-clam;
  • carnezzeria (from carnizzeria): butcher's shop;
  • caruso (from carusu): boy;
  • cassata: cassata, a Sicilian pastry;
  • cirneco (from cirnecu): a small breed of dogs common in Sicily;
  • cosca: a small group of criminals affiliated to the Sicilian mafia;
  • curatolo (from curatulu): watchman in a farm, with a yearly contract;
  • dammuso (from dammusu): stony habitation typical of the island of Pantelleria;
  • intrallazzo (from 'ntrallazzu): illegal exchange of goods or favours, but in a wider sense also cheat, intrigue;
  • marranzano (from marransanu): jew's harp;
  • marrobbio (from marrubbiu): quick variation of sea level produced by a store of water in the coasts consequently to either wind action or atmospheric depression;
  • minchia: penis in its original meaning, but also stupid person, is also widely used as interjection to show either astonishment or rage;
  • picciotto (from picciottu): boy, but also the lowest grade in the Mafia hierarchy;
  • pizzino (from pizzinu): small piece of paper;
  • quaquaraquà: person devoid of value, nonentity;
  • scasare (from scasari): going out of home in bulk;
  • stidda: lower Mafia organization;

Classical Arancini Arancini from Ragusa zone (South-Eastern Sicily) Arancini are a typical speciality of Sicilian cuisine. ... Cannoli are Italian pastry desserts. ... Jodie and Gemma made a cassata once. ... The word cosca (pl. ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Trapani (TP) Mayor Salvatore Gabriele (since May 17, 2005) Elevation 5 m Area 83 km² Population  - Total (as of December 31, 2004) 7,679  - Density 73/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Coordinates Gentilic Panteschi Dialing code 0923 Postal code 91017 Patron St. ... Note: the information below is a summary of a single source, two April 2006 articles by Discovery Channel News, which in turn source the Italian daily La Stampa Pizzino (pl. ...

Language situation today

Sicilian is estimated to have millions of speakers. However, it remains very much a home language spoken among peers and close associates. The regional Italian dialect has encroached on Sicilian, most evidently in the speech of the young generations.


Poets in Sicily sometimes write in Sicilian. However, most speakers (especially the youngest ones) are literate just in Italian, not Sicilian; this implies a poor knowledge of the written language in all its grammar and spelling rules, in contrast to a still wide diffusion of spoken Sicilian in the island.


The education system does not support the language. Local universities do not carry courses in Sicilian, or where they do it is described as dialettologia, that is, the study of dialects.


See also

  • Sicily, a panorama of history, geography, and art
  • Sicilian School, on 13th century courtly-love poetry
  • Gallo-siculo
  • Siculo Arabic
  • (Sicilian) A summary of Sicilian grammar
  • (Sicilian) Pitrè's theory of sounds - a study of the main sound changes between Latin and Sicilian

Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... In a literary context, the term Sicilian School identifies a small community of Sicilian, and to a lesser extent, mainland Italian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. ... The gallo-siculo dialects represent a group of dialects found in central-eastern Sicily that date back to migrations from Northern Italy during the time of Roger I of Sicily and which continued after his death under his successor Roger II (from around 1080 to 1120). ... Siculo-Arabic was a dialect of Arabic spoken in Sicily between the ninth and the fourteenth centuries. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Ethnologue (2005) Source
  2. ^ Privitera, Joseph (2004) Sicilian: The Oldest Romance Language
  3. ^ a b Ruffino, Giovanni (2001) Sicilia
  4. ^ Heather, Peter, 1998, The Goths, pp. 219, 263 & 269.
  5. ^ Peppe Nappa is a character of the Commedia dell'arte, similar to Pulcinella o Arlecchino.

Karel Dujardins set his closely-observed scene of a traveling troupes makeshift stage against idealized ruins in the Roman Campagna: dated 1657 (Louvre Museum) Commedia dellarte (Italian: play of professional artists also interpreted as comedy of humors), also known as Extemporal Comedy, was a popular form of improvisational... Pulcinella, often called Punch in English, is a classical character that originated in the Commedia dellarte of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. ... Arlecchino (also known as Harlequin in English, Arlequin in French) is the most popular of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dellArte. ...

External links

Wikipedia
Sicilian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1058x1058, 477 KB) aa Wikipedia logo, version 1058px square, no text Wikipedia logo by Nohat (concept by Paullusmagnus); compare Wikipedia File links The following pages link to this file: Arabic language Talk:Anarcho-capitalism Talk:Algorithm Talk:Anno Domini Talk:The... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ...

References

  • Arba Sicula Volume II, 1980 (bilingual: Sicilian and English).
  • Bonner, J K (2001) Introduction to Sicilian Grammar, Legas, New York.
  • Camilleri, Salvatore (1998) Vocabolario Italiano Siciliano, Edizioni Greco, Catania.
  • Centro di Studi Filologici e Linguistici Siciliani (1977-2002) Vocabolario Siciliano, 5 volumi a cura di Giorgio Piccitto, Catania-Palermo.
  • Cipolla, Prof. Gaetano, "U sicilianu è na lingua o un dialettu? / Is Sicilian a Language" in Arba Sicula Volume XXV, 2004 (bilingual: Sicilian and English).
  • Cipolla, Prof. Gaetano, (2005) The Sounds of Sicilian, Legas, New York.
  • Giarrizzo, Salvatore, Dizionario Etimologico Siciliano, Herbita Editrice, Palermo.
  • Hull, Dr Geoffrey (1989) Polyglot Italy:Languages, Dialects, Peoples, CIS Educational, Melbourne.
  • Pitrè, Giuseppe (1875) Grammatica Siciliana, Edizioni Clio.
  • Ruffino, Giovanni (2001) Sicilia, Editori Laterza, Bari.

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Sicilian Langauge (1080 words)
While that claim may not apply to the Sicilian language of today, it probably does apply to the language originally spoken by the Sikels.
The article, entitled The Origin of the Sicilian Language: The uniqeness of a language and a people, may be of interest to you.
As far as the question of whether Sicilian is a language or a dialect, the answer may be more a matter of politics than of linguistics.
Sicilian language, alphabet and pronunciation (272 words)
Sicilian is a Romance language with about 5 million speakers in Sicily and in parts of Calabria and Puglia in southern Italy.
Sicilian is a descendant of Latin brought to Sicily by the Romans after they annexed the island in about 261 BC.
Sicilian was first used in writing during the reign of Frederick II (a.k.a.
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