History of the Italian Language 3

Words from other sources

In addition to the Latin heritage, the Italian lexicon has a number of terms from other sources. A number of words became part of the Latin lexicon as a cultural loan (Greek words like simphonya from which zampogna, Celtic words like carrus, osco-umbre like bufalus) or survived in their respective territories when Latin spread to Italy and was accepted from alloglot peoples (a few words from the Mediterranean substratum, prior to the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, some Etruscan, Celtic, Osco-Umbrian).

According to themeparktour, a large group of Latin words was not transmitted with uninterrupted continuity, but was borrowed from the Latin lexicon at a certain moment in the history of Italian: for example, the Latin angustia, transmitted over time and slowly transformed into Italian anguish, was subsequently recovered unaltered, both in form and in meaning, precisely because the transmission was interrupted and at a certain moment it was revived. Many other Italian words are of adoptive and non-hereditary Latin: religious and philosophical words (soul, spirit, genus, species), scholastic terms (book, comma), law (free, office, town hall, jurisconsult).

Especially from the sixteenth century onwards, Italian, like other European languages ​​and in constant exchange with them, drew on Latin and Greek to form many new terms, political, scientific, technical, necessary for the needs of modern life, not infrequently by bending ancient words to new meanings; for example, electric derives from the Greek name of amber (ἤλεκτρον), because the first electrical phenomena were studied on amber.

Many other terms are of Germanic origin, penetrated in small part in imperial Latinity, in greater number as a consequence of the invasions of the Goths, Lombards, Franks: words that refer to military life (guerra, bega, scuffa), to the house (stamberga, bench), clothing (lining) etc. The influence of the feudal-chivalric civilization led to the adoption of Frenchisms: knight, tournament, joust etc. Through contacts with the Islamic civilization in the Mediterranean came Arabic words, some directly, others through Spanish: commercial terms (fondaco, customs, matchmaker), seafarers (admiral), names of plants (artichoke, apricot), games (chess), words referring to the sciences cultivated by the Arabs (algebra, alkali, etc.). The influence of Spain on the Italy, especially in the sec. 16th and 17th, led to the adoption of military terms (rancio, dormitory), maritime (board, boatswain) or referring to social life (brio, casual, stubborn). The discovery of America had many repercussions in the Italian lexicon for the importation of new products. The words potato, chocolate, corn, tobacco descend from indigenous languages ​​of America ; in other cases we have resorted to local formations, shaping words such as tomato and the like. In the Enlightenment age, due to commercial and cultural exchanges, then to military occupation and political predominance during the Napoleonic period, and again throughout the nineteenth century, many Frenchisms entered Italy: in the military field, platoon, stage ; in fashion garter, waistcoat ; in the kitchencutlet, purée, ragù ; in public life check. The influence of English, which began in the 18th century, increased in the 20th century, especially in the period following the Second World War, for the development of industry, tourism, communication systems, scientific and technological sectors., and in general for the increasingly close contacts with Great Britain and the United States. Among the English or Anglo-American words that have penetrated into Italian: in the field of fashion pullover, blue-jeans, casual ; in sport hockey, jogging, windsurfing ; in roast beef gastronomy, hamburger ; in information technology computers, hardware, software ; in the fields of entertainment, advertising, mass media cast, slogans, commercials, sponsors, networks, etc.

Words from various dialects have also been included in the lexicon: from Liguria, terms for seafaring notions, such as dock, pier, hull ; from Venice arsenal, gazette, regatta ; from Naples to haul, anchovies, pizza ; from Rome words like rione, corso etc.

Formation of new words

In addition to hereditary words and words taken from ancient and modern sources, Italian has fashioned countless other words with its own derivative means. We resorted to prefixes (overcooked, ultraviolet), suffixes (artist), parasynthetic formations (with simultaneous application of a prefix and a suffix, for example, messing up), immediate derivation (conspiracy drawn without suffix to conspire), with various types of composition (letter opener); a relatively new procedure is that of prefissoids (electrical engineering, motor boats, television).

Influences on other languages

An important action was exercised by Italian on the languages ​​of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean and on the Western cultured languages. In the Levant the greatest influence is noted in the Greek, but also Serbo-Croatian, Turkish, Arabic, Maltese, modern Hebrew have a certain number of loans due to the long presence of the Maritime Republics in the Mediterranean. The influence exerted on German and, through it, on the Scandinavian languages ​​is partly practical (terms of trade), partly related to the series of notions expressed with Italian terms in all Western languages: voices of fine arts (model, profile, bust), of civil and military architecture (arch, facade,casemate), court life (courtier, favorite), music (opera, piano). These are mostly rumors spread by Italy in the Renaissance; subsequently various other terms were lucky, such as pila, due to A. Volta.

History of the Italian Language 3