Emilian dialects

  (Redirected from Piacentino dialect)

Emilian dialects (Emilian: emigliàn, emiliân; Italian: emiliano) are a group of closely-related dialects spoken in the historical region of Emilia, the western portion of today's Emilia-Romagna region, in Northern Italy.

emigliàn, emiliân
PronunciationIPA: [emiˈʎaːŋ]
Native toItaly
RegionPrimarily Emilia
Ethnicity3.3 million (2008)[1]
Native speakers
Unknown, c. 1.3 million (2006 estimate) (2006)[2]
DialectsBolognese, Ferrarese, Modenese, Reggiano, Parmigiano, Piacentino, Mantovano, Carrarino, Vogherese-Pavese
Language codes
ISO 639-3egl
Linguasphere51-AAA-oka ... -okh
Emiliano-Romagnolo area.jpg
Geographic distribution of Emilian (shown in light pink)
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There is no standardised version of Emilian.

Emilian has a default word order of subject–verb–object and both grammatical gender (masculine and feminine) and grammatical number (singular and plural). There is a strong T–V distinction, which distinguishes varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity or insult. The alphabet uses a considerable number of diacritics.


Emilian language is one of the two branches of the Emilian-Romagnol language, today an obsolete term to define the Emilian and Romagnol languages, considered as separated, one of unstandardized Gallo-Italic languages. The Emilian dialects naturally form a natural dialect continuum with the bordering Romagnol varieties, while the more distant dialects might be less mutually intelligible. Besides Emilian-Romagnol, the Gallo-Italic family includes Piedmontese, Ligurian and Lombard, all of which maintain a level of mutual intelligibility with Emilian and Romagnol, the latter further influenced by Italian.


There is no widespread standard orthography. The words below are written in a nonspecific Emilian script.

Words in Emilian[3][4]
Emilian IPA English
êit, èlt [ɛ:jt] high
lêregh [ˈlɛ:rɐg] wide
longh, loangh [loŋg] long, tall
tōl, tegh [to:l], [teg] to take
fâṡ, fâż [fa:z] / [fa:ð̠] beech
bdoall [b.dœl] birch
znêr, żnèr [ð̠nɛ:r] January
fervêr [fɐrˈvɛr] February
ed, ad [ɐd] and
dîṡ [di:z] to say, ten (only in Bolognese)
ê, é [e] (he/she) is
aloura [ɐˈlɔu̯rɐ] so, then


Linguasphere Observatory recognises the following dialects:[5]

Other definitions include the following:[citation needed]

  • Massese (mixed with some Tuscan features)
  • Casalasco, spoken in Cremona, Lombardy.



Consonants in the Bolognese dialect
Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (t͡s) t͡ʃ
voiced (d͡z) d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless f θ s
voiced v ð z
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Rhotic r
Approximant central j w
lateral l ʎ
  • Affricates [t͡s, d͡z] are heard as alternates of fricative sounds /θ, ð/ particularly among southern dialects.
  • In the Piacentino dialect, an /r/ sound can be heard as either an alveolar trill [r], or as a uvular fricative [ʁ] sound.


Front Central Back
Close i y u
Mid e ø ə o
ɛ œ ʌ ɔ
Open æ a
  • Rounded front vowel sounds /y, ø, œ/ and a mid-central vowel sound /ə/ are mainly common in the Piacentino and western dialects.
  • In the Piacentino dialect, five vowel sounds being followed by /n/, are then recognized as nasalized [ĩ ẽ ã õ ũ], unless /n/ occurs between two vowel sounds.
  • Vowel length is also distinguished for the following vowels [iː eː ɛː aː ɔː oː uː].[6][7][8]

Writing systemEdit

Emilian is written using a Latin script that has never been standardised. As a result, spelling varies widely across the dialects. The dialects were largely oral and rarely written until some in the late 20th century; a number of written media in Emilian have been made since World War II.


  1. ^ ISO change request
  2. ^ La lingua italiana, i dialetti e le lingue straniere Anno 2006
  3. ^ Lepri, Luigi; Vitali, Daniele (2007). Dizionario bolognese-italiano, italiano bolognese (in Italian). Edizioni Pendragon. ISBN 978-88-8342-594-3.
  4. ^ srl, Netribe. "Vocabolario reggiano-italiano - Biblioteca Panizzi". panizzi.comune.re.it (in Italian). Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  5. ^ "51-AAA-ok. emiliano + romagnolo". Linguasphere.
  6. ^ Foresti, Fabio (2009). Profilo linguistico dell'Emilia-Romagna. Roma: Laterza.
  7. ^ Lepri, Luigi; Vitali, Daniele (2009). Dizionario bolognese-italiano, italiano bolognese. Bologna: Pendragon.
  8. ^ Hajek, John (1997). Emilia-Romagna. The dialects of Italy: London: Routledge. p. 275.


  • Colombini, F. 2007. La negazione nei dialetti emiliani: microvariazione nell’area modenese. University of Padua, MA Thesis.

Further readingEdit

  • Pietro Mainoldi, Manuale dell'odierno dialetto bolognese, Suoni e segni, Grammatica – Vocabolario, Bologna, Società tipografica Mareggiani 1950 (Rist. anast.: Sala Bolognese, A. Forni 2000)
  • Fabio Foresti, Bibliografia dialettale dell'Emilia-Romagna e della Repubblica di San Marino (BDER), Bologna, IBACN Emilia-Romagna / Compositori 1997
  • E. F. Tuttle, Nasalization in Northern Italy: Syllabic Constraints and Strength Scales as Developmental Parameters, Rivista di Linguistica, III: 23–92 (1991)
  • Luigi Lepri e Daniele Vitali, Dizionario Bolognese-Italiano Italiano-Bolognese, ed. Pendragon 2007

External linksEdit