Tarantino (Tarantino: dialètte tarandíne [taranˈdiːnə]; Italian: dialetto tarantino), spoken in the southeastern Italian region of Apulia, is a dialect of the Neapolitan language, most of whose speakers live in the Apulian city of Taranto. The dialect is also spoken by a few Italian immigrants in the United States, especially in California.
The Tarantino dialect traces its origins into ancient times, when the territory was dominated by the Messapii.
The colonisation by the Greeks founded Taranto not only as the capital of Magna Graecia but as a centre of poetry and theatre. The Greeks had left considerable influence on Tarantino, both in vocabulary and morpho-syntax, and a very peculiar accent that scholars corresponded to Doric. These influences are still found in many Tarantino words of Greek origin.[a]
During the Byzantine and Lombard periods, Tarantino acquired diphthongization: the short o changed to ue and the short e changed to ie; moreover, its vocabulary was further enriched with new words.[c] At the same time, the city became a Saracen domain with the consequent introduction of a small number of Arabic words.[d]
With the arrival of the Normans in 1071 and the Angevins all the way through to 1400, the dialect lost much of its Eastern influences and was influenced by the French and Gallo-Italic elements.[e] In 1502, the city went under Catalan-Aragonese rule.
In 1801 the city was once again under the dominion of French troops, who left their mark with their Franco-Provençal language.
Taranto has long been linked to the Kingdom of Naples, which would explain some words in common with the Neapolitan dialect. French, Latin and Arabic influences led to a massive desonorisation of vowels, which caused a significant increase of the consonant links.[clarification needed]
The Tarantino versions are compared to the Italian ones.
- Tarantino words with Greek origins:
- celóne "tortoise" < χελώνη chelṓnē (It. tartaruga);
- cèndre "nail" < κέντρον kéntron (It. chiodo);
- ceráse "cherry" < κεράσιον kerásion (It. ciliegia);
- mesále "tablecloth" < μεσάλον mesálon (It. tovaglia);
- àpule "soft" < ἀπαλός apalós (It. molle);
- tràscene "weeverfish" < δράκαινα drákaina (It. tracine).
- Some Tarantino vocabulary with Latin origins:
- díleche "skinny" < dēlicus (It. mingherlino);
- descetáre "to wake up" < oscitāre (It. svegliare);
- gramáre "to bemoan" < clāmāre (It. lamentarsi);
- ’mbise "bad, cruel" < impensa (It. cattivo, malvagio);
- sdevacáre "to empty, deprive" < devacāre (It. svuotare);
- aláre "to yawn" < hālāre (It. sbadigliare).
- Tarantino words of Lombardic origin:
- schife "skiff" < skif (It. piccola barca);
- ualáne "yokel" < gualane (It. bifolco).
- Tarantino vocabulary of Arabic origin:
- chiaúte "coffin" < tābūt (It. bara);
- mascaráte "laughter" < masḵarāt (It. risata).
- Tarantino vocabulary of French origin:
- fesciùdde "fichu" < fichu (It. coprispalle);
- accattáre "to buy" < acheter (It. comprare);
- pote "pocket" < poche (It. tasca);
- ’ndráme "guts" < entrailles (It. interiora).
- De Cuia, Claudio (1976). U Mbiérne de Dande. Taranto: Editrice Tarentum.