Which language is most similar to Italian?

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Saim
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2014-03-12, 11:29

PiotrR wrote:
hāozigǎnr wrote:Portuguese (...) distinguishes /b/ /v/ sounds

Not the northern dialects of European Portuguese. Besides, native speakers of Spanish from, for example, Valencia or Paraguay also distinguish these.


Wouldn't those be native speakers of Catalan or Guaraní, though?

On a similar note, I know native speakers of Catalan from the Balearics who maintain the /b/-/v/ distinguish in their Catalan but not in their Spanish. Wouldn't it be the same for those Valencian accents?

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby OldBoring » 2014-03-12, 13:26

I heard that some speakers in Mexico also make the /v/ sound (I know a Mexican who does), and that many singers do it in songs. Also, some schools teach that the /v/ should be the "correct" sound, although teacher don't make it in their natural speech either.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby TeneReef » 2014-03-12, 13:46

PiotrR wrote:
TeneReef wrote:
PiotrR wrote:Lenition is quite widespread in EP

It is not, read what native speakers say:

You mean one native speaker, an anonymous guy from a discussion board. I'd approach his post with caution, we don't even know where he's from and how exactly he came to his conclusions.

I'll believe what he wrote when I see a proof - a study where speakers from the whole Portugal are examined with professional equipment, or at least another kind of a reliable source.



I believe the person posting there was Luís, the moderator of our Portuguese forum here.
As for the source, try this: http://www.wook.pt/ficha/fonetica-do-po ... id/2212810

The author of this book uses no lenition in transcribing Portuguese words,
discussing the pronunciation of Standard/Lisbon Portuguese with J C Wells on his blog: http://phonetic-blog.blogspot.com/2010/ ... guese.html

Lenition of b, d, g in Continental Portuguese is like non-dropping of yod in words like new or stupid in American English, it's not the predominant variant and it's only sporadically heard (more so in overly careful, if not contrived speech)
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Luís » 2014-03-13, 21:19

TeneReef wrote:I believe the person posting there was Luís, the moderator of our Portuguese forum here.


That's not me... I'm not even registered in that forum...

I think it depends on the speaker and/or region you come from, but I tend to agree with him that at least in Lisbon [β] and [ɣ] aren't that common. I just had a look at my Introdução à Linguística Portuguesa and they don't mention them either. Same thing on Instituto Camões' very complete guide to European Portuguese pronunciation. But some older books I have clearly mention them, so I guess it's not that consensual.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby PiotrR » 2014-03-23, 1:36

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Last edited by PiotrR on 2014-04-01, 23:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby loqu » 2014-03-23, 1:58

PiotrR wrote:
Saim wrote:Wouldn't those be native speakers of Catalan or Guaraní, though?

On a similar note, I know native speakers of Catalan from the Balearics who maintain the /b/-/v/ distinguish in their Catalan but not in their Spanish. Wouldn't it be the same for those Valencian accents?

Sorry, I don't have anything to back up what I said, and I don't really know the details. I think we should ask loqu.

In my experience (anecdotal evidence, I know) you can't generalize like that in either way. I mean, native speakers of Valencian who distinguish b/v may distinguish them in Spanish or not depending on their Spanish command. Most of them will not maintain the distintion in Spanish, though.

It's like Catalan speakers who actually pronounce ll as [ʎ] in Spanish (when it's virtually an alien sound); not every Catalan speaker does that, but the ones who speak Spanish less usually, often do.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-03-23, 8:24

Can someone split this thread?

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Itikar » 2014-03-23, 13:41

loqu wrote:It's like Catalan speakers who actually pronounce ll as [ʎ] in Spanish (when it's virtually an alien sound);

¿Y cómo lo pronunciáis entonces? :shock:
Las gramaticas y los cursos de español para italianos a menudo recomendan que evitemos el yeísmo.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby TeneReef » 2014-03-23, 15:34

Itikar wrote:Las gramaticas y los cursos de español para italianos a menudo recomendan que evitemos el yeísmo.

Por esto tenéis un acento fuerte al hablar. :mrgreen:
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2014-03-23, 16:42

loqu wrote:It's like Catalan speakers who actually pronounce ll as [ʎ] in Spanish (when it's virtually an alien sound); not every Catalan speaker does that, but the ones who speak Spanish less usually, often do.


I dunno, practically every Catalan-speaker who distinguishes the ʎ and j and who I've heard speak Spanish makes the same distinction in Spanish. I can't think of any counter-examples...

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby JackFrost » 2014-03-23, 17:21

Itikar wrote:
loqu wrote:It's like Catalan speakers who actually pronounce ll as [ʎ] in Spanish (when it's virtually an alien sound);

¿Y cómo lo pronunciáis entonces? :shock:
Las gramaticas y los cursos de español para italianos a menudo recomendan que evitemos el yeísmo.

No creguis tot el que els llibres et diuen.

Perquè el ieisme és seriosament la norma en castellà.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2014-06-05, 2:59

I have new backup for my previous statement on Portuguese being closer:

My friend texted me a paragraph in Portuguese and I've been trying to translate it. With difficulty on some of the words, I have most of it translated; I used Italian to help me. The parts I can't figure out are due to false friends and Spanish influences.

Port.- era Eng.- I was/ it was
Ital.- era Eng.- it was (imperfetto)

Port.- sobreviver Eng.- to survive
Ital.- sopravivere Eng.- to survive

Port.- orgulho Eng.- proud
Ital.- orgoglioso Eng.- proud

Both- se Eng.- if

Port.- responder Eng.- to answer
Ital.- ridpondere Eng.- to answer

(I don't know how, but "pudesse" reminded me of a conditional form of Italian "potere." It is a conditional "to be able to" though :D )

Port.- com Ital.- con Eng.- with

What does the verb "ten(h)er" mean in Portuguese? It seems to tenere which is "to remain/stay/keep" in Italian. He told me the sentence Tenho orgulho disto. means I am proud of this.



I think that adds to my evidence. But it wasn't too difficult to translate what I did. ;)

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2014-06-05, 6:23

Orgulho means "pride" in Portuguese. Orgulhoso is "proud". The verb "to have" is ter, not tenher (that would be Spanish tener).

This ad-hoc list doesn't really prove anything but just keep in mind that with a list of the same words in Spanish you'd reach exactly the same conclusion:

[flag=]pt[/flag] - [flag=]es[/flag] - [flag=]it[/flag]
era - era - era
sobreviver - sobrevivir - sopravivere
orgulhoso - orgulloso - orgoglioso
responder - responder - ridpondere
com - con - con
pudesse - pudiese - potesse

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2014-06-05, 7:29

I don't know Spanish, so… I also didn't know the infinitive of tenho.

He translated Tenho orgulho disto as I am proud of this. So I guessed it had some connection to tenere. It seems, though, that ter, tener, and tenere have no connection. The former two mean "to have" the latter does not.

Thank you, :) though, for pointing that out. (not sarcastic. if you hadn't it, I would look stupid ^^)

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby loqu » 2014-06-05, 7:37

Itikar wrote:
loqu wrote:It's like Catalan speakers who actually pronounce ll as [ʎ] in Spanish (when it's virtually an alien sound);

¿Y cómo lo pronunciáis entonces? :shock:
Las gramaticas y los cursos de español para italianos a menudo recomendan que evitemos el yeísmo.

I'm sorry I hadn't seen this before.

Jack is right: yeísmo is the norm in Spanish. Virtually every Spanish speaker is yeísta, except for Catalan native speakers, and the dialects of some areas close to Portugal, notably the city of Salamanca. Yeísmo is also the norm in America.

The books often recommend not to do yeísmo because it's theoretically the "good" pronunciation. But, in the real world, being yeísta will make you sound natural, while pronouncing [ʎ] will make you sound pedantic to some people (other people won't even notice).
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Dormouse559 » 2014-06-05, 7:44

Koko wrote:He translated Tenho orgulho disto as I am proud of this. So I guessed it had some connection to tenere. It seems, though, that ter, tener, and tenere have no connection. The former two mean "to have" the latter does not.
They are connected; they all descend from Latin teneo, but semantic drift has caused them to be used in different ways.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2014-06-05, 8:05

Sorry, I should try to be a little more clearer. I meant no connection in usage. ;)

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't teneo/tenere mean to alarm? Or do I have it mixed up with moneo? (both seem familiar, and I have a strong feeling one is "to alarm")

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2014-06-05, 8:39

In Neapolitan (and I imagine some other languages of Italy) there is also tenè meaning "to have", just like in Spanish and Portuguese (but not Italian).

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Dormouse559 » 2014-06-05, 8:49

Koko wrote:If I'm not mistaken, doesn't teneo/tenere mean to alarm? Or do I have it mixed up with moneo? (both seem familiar, and I have a strong feeling one is "to alarm")
"Teneo" means "to hold". "Moneo" means "to remind, to warn".
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby OldBoring » 2014-06-06, 4:11

Saim wrote:In Neapolitan (and I imagine some other languages of Italy) there is also tenè meaning "to have", just like in Spanish and Portuguese (but not Italian).

Yes, pretty much all the "Neapolitan" and the "Sicilian" languages IIRC. Pretty much the whole peninsula south of Rome.


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