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Romagnol language: Wikis


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Spoken in  Italy
 San Marino
Total speakers 1 million
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 roa
ISO 639-3 rgnRomagnol

Romagnol is a Romance language mostly spoken in Romagna (Northern Italy, part of the region Emilia-Romagna, Italy), Republic of San Marino and Northern Marche.



Romagnol is a New Latin language; it's contemporary with Tuscan (which became, in the 13th-15th centuries, the basis of Italian language).

Vulgar Latins evolved through precise phonetical and morphological rules. They all had in common the disappearance of declension.

What distinguishes Romagnol from other languages of Northern Italy is a whole of historical, geographical and cultural conditions:

  • Greek-Byzantine heritage during 6th, 7th and 8th centuries;
  • a different exposure to Germanic influence (before and after the Migration Period);
  • the different features of Latin spoken in the Italian peninsula north and south of the Northern Apennines;
  • the existence of a "Celtic background" (according to historical linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli (19th century), spread in all tongues northwards to the Apennine Mountains (with the only notable exception being the Venetian language).

Geographic distribution

Western border

West of Romagna Emilian language is spoken. The border with Emilian land is torrent Sillaro, who runs 25 km East from Bologna: to the west (Castel San Pietro Terme) Emilian is spoken, to the East Imola, the language is Romagnol.
In Emilia-Romagna, Emilian language is spoken in all the rest of the region moving from Sillaro to the west, up to Piacenza.

Northern border

Reno River is the border between Romagnol and the dialect of Ferrara.
Romagnol is spoken also in some villages northwards Reno river, as Argenta and Filo, where people of Romagnol origin are living close people of Ferrarese origin.
Ferrara goes into Emilian language territory.

Southern border

Outside Emilia-Romagna, Romagnol is spoken in the Republic of San Marino ("sammarinese"), in the Marecchia Valley, in the Conca Valley (Montefeltro) and in all the Pesaro e Urbino province.



16th to 19th Century

The first appearance of a Romagnol literary work is "Sonetto romagnolo" by Bernardino Catti, from Ravenna, printed 1502. It's written in Italian mixed with Romagnol.
The first Romagnol poem dates back to the end of 16th Century: E Pvlon matt. Cantlena aroica (Mad Nap), a mock-heroic poem based on "Mad Orlando" (Orlando Furioso) and written by an anonymous author from San Vittore di Cesena. XII cantos made up the poem, of which only four first survived (1848 lines).

The first Romagnol poet to won fame was clergy Pietro Santoni, (Fusignano, 1736-1823). He was teacher of Vincenzo Monti, one of the most famous Italian poet of his times.
In 1840 the first Dictionary Romagnol-Italiano was released by Antonio Morri, printed in Faenza.

20th Century

20th Century was absolutely the best for Romagnol literature. Theatre plays and poems reached top level quality.
The best authors to be mentioned are:

The main living Romagnol poet is Tonino Guerra (1920).


Romagnol language has some features that make it different from other Gallo-Italic languages:

  • A strong importance of consonants in the word. Some words that in Latin were trisyllabic or tetrasyllabic (where the 'u' final is atonic) are reduced in Romagnol to monosyllable. The atonic syllable is cut off:
Latin Romagnol Italian
1) Genuculu ZNOC ginocchio
2) Tepidu TEVVD tiepido
3) Oculu OC occhio
4) Frigidu FREDD freddo
  • A very large number of vowels, (about 20, in comparison with Italian vowels, that are only seven).

There is lexical and syntactic uniformity, while the pronunciation changes when moving from Po Valley to the hills.


  • Anonimo, Pvlon Matt, Cantléna aroica, (1591) (edited by Gaspare Bagli), Bologna: Zanichelli, 1887
  • Ercolani, L., Vocabolario romagnolo-italiano (Ravenna, 1963).
  • Morri, A., Vocabolario romagnolo-italiano (Ravenna]], 1970 - riprinted from the original, Faenza, 1840).
  • Polloni, A., Toponomastica romagnola (Olschki, 1966).
  • Gregor, D. B., Romagnol. Language and Literature (1971)
  • Schurr, F., Romagnolische Mundarten (Sitz.d.kais.Ak.d.W., Vienna, 1917).
  • Schurr, F., Romagnolische Dialektstudien, Lautlehre (1918); Lebende Mundarten (1919).
  • Schurr, F., «II Plaustro», December 31, 1911 (Anno 1, n. 6), Forlì.

External links


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