A linguistic history of Italian

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Longman Publishing Group, 1995 - Foreign Language Study - 300 pages
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A Linguistic History of Italian offers a clear and concise explanation of why modern Italian grammar has become the way it is. It focuses on the effects of historical changes on the modern structure of Italian, revealing patterns and structures which are not always apparent to those who are only familiar with modern Italian. Although the book concentrates on the internal history of the language, the emergence of Italian is considered against the wider background of the history of the Italian dialects, and other external factors such as cultural and social influences are also examined.
Surveys of current research are included, covering a wide range of phenomena recently brought to light or re-evaluated. This book includes discussion of some areas relatively neglected by earlier histories of the language, such as the development of Italian outside Italy. Particular attention is paid to the influence of other Romance dialects, the linguistic effects of Italian becoming a literary rather than a spoken language, and structural variations which have resulted from the acquisition of the language by a predominantly dialect-speaking population.
Containing clearly presented examples, the book is designed to be accessible to those with no knowledge of Italian itself. It will therefore appeal to students of general linguistics, history linguistics, and Romance linguistics, as well as those studying Italian. It is the only major 'internal' history of Italian currently available in English.

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Chronology and historical sources
History of the sound system

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About the author (1995)

Martin Maiden is Lecturer in Romance Philology in the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge.

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