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Neapolitan language

From Academic Kids

Neapolitan (Nnapulitano in Neapolitan and Napoletano in Italian) is a Romance language spoken in the city and region of Naples, Campania (Neapolitan: Napule, Italian: Napoli), and in all or parts of the surrounding regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Lazio, Marche, Molise, and Puglia in southern Italy. As of 1976, there were 7,047,399 native speakers (some recent estimates range as high as 7,800,000). For geographical, historical, and political reasons, "Neapolitan" is also the name given to the Italiano meridionale-interno group of dialects in southern Italy. The many dialects of this language group include the dialect of the center city of Naples, and the surrounding dialects of northern Calabrese, Lucano, northern Pugliese, Molisan, and Abruzzese. The language as a whole has often fallen victim of its status as a "language without prestige".

It is generally considered a western Romance language, although some postulate a southern Romance classification. There are some differences among the various dialects, but they are all mutually intelligible with Naples as the hub city. However, there are notable grammatical differences between standard Italian and Neapolitan, such as nouns in the neuter form, no distinct plural articles, and unique plural formation. Its evolution has been similar to that of Italian and other Romance languages from their roots in Vulgar Latin. It has also developed with a pre-Latin Oscan influence, which is noticeable in the pronunciation of the d sound as an r sound (rhotacism) (eg.- vere (to see), care (to fall), Maronna (Madonna)). Neapolitan has many loanwords from Arabic and Spanish. There have never been any successful attempts to standardize the language (eg.- consulting three different dictionaries, one finds three different spellings for the word for tree, arbero, arvero and varo).

Neapolitan has enjoyed a rich literary, musical and theatrical history (notably Giambattista Basile, Eduardo de Filippo, and Tot).

The language has no legal status within Italy and thus may not be taught in state run schools. Efforts are being made to change this, including a bid in 2003 to have a Neapolitan curriculum offered at the Universit Federico II in Naples. This attempt was defeated with the comment that Neapolitan was a "low-class" language. There are also ongoing legislative attempts at the national level to have it recognized as an official minority language of Italy. It is however an officially recognized ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee language with the language code of NAP.

For comparison, The Lord's Prayer is here reproduced in the Neapolitan dialects of Naples and northern Calabria, as well as in standard Italian.

Neapolitan (Naples) Neapolitan (northern Calabria) standard Italian
Pate nuoste ca staje ncielo, Patre nuorru chi sta ntru cielu, Padre Nostro, che sei nei cieli,
santificammo 'o nomme tujo chi sia santificatu u nume tuoio, sia santificato il tuo nome.
faje ven 'o regno tujo, venisse u riegnu tuoio, Venga il tuo regno,
sempe c' 'a vulunt toja, se facisse a vulunt tuoia, sia fatta la tua volont,
accuss ncielo e nterra. sia ntru cielu ca nterra. come in cielo, cos in terra.
Fance av 'o ppane tutt' 'e juorne Ranne oje u pane nuorro e tutti i juorni, Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano,
lvece 'e ribbete perdunacce i rebita nuorri, e rimetti a noi i nostri debiti,
comme nuje 'e llevamme all'ate, cumu nue perdunammu i rebituri nuorri. come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori.
nun nce fa spantec, Un ce mannare ntra tentazione, E non ci indurre in tentazione,
e llevace 'o male 'a tuorno. ma liberacce e ru male. ma liberaci dal male.
Amen. Ammn. Amen.

External links

it:Lingua napoletana nl:Napolitaans pl:Język neapolitański

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