Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Dialectologia et Geolinguistica

Journal of the International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics

Ed. by Nahl, Astrid

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.071
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.194

CiteScore 2017: 0.29

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.118
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.639

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Sammarinese, the Endangered Language of the Republic of San Marino: A Preliminary Study of Documentation and Description

Simona Montanari
Published Online: 2018-11-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dialect-2018-0004


This paper presents the results of a preliminary study of documentation and description of Sammarinese, a peripheral variety of Romagnol spoken in the Republic of San Marino. Despite having been the country’s primary oral language for almost 1,000 years, Sammarinese is on the verge of extinction today as universal education and economic development have caused language shift to Italian beginning from the 1960s. A corpus of primary oral language data was collected from 17 informants in the form of semi-structured interviews with the goal of creating an archive of oral language histories in Sammarinese. These data, together with a corpus of vernacular and folkloric literature, served as the database for a descriptive analysis of some of the major phonological and morphosyntactic traits of the language. The results confirm Sammarinese’s status as a borderline Romagnol variety. However, the findings also reveal a language that stands apart from neighboring varieties due to complex historical and geographical factors, including a Celtic substratum from the pre-Roman and Roman times, a Byzantine Greek heritage and Lombard/ Germanic influence from the second half of the first millennium, and a geographic position that resulted in linguistic isolation from the vernaculars spoken in the Central Romagnol plain.

Keywords: Sammarinese; Romagnol; Italian dialectology; endangered languages; language documentation and description


  • Bent, James Theodore. 1970 [1879]. A freak of freedom; or, the Republic of San Marino 1879. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat.Google Scholar

  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Michele Loporcaro. 2005. The sound pattern of Standard Italian, as compared with the varieties spoken in Florence, Milan and Rome. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35: 131–151.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Calvetti, Anselmo. 1999. Romagna celtica. Ravenna: Longo.Google Scholar

  • Delmonte, Rodolfo. 1983. Le parlate romagnole di confine: Analisi fonetica e fonologica. Lingua e Contesto 6: 157–261.Google Scholar

  • Estivalet, Gustavo L. & Fanny Meunier. 2016. Stem formation in French verbs: Structure, rules, and allomorphy. Languages 1: 13. http://www.mdpi.com/2226-471X/1/2/13 (acc. April 20, 2017).

  • Foresti, Fabio. 1998. Quella nostra sancta libertà: Lingue, storia e società nella Repubblica di San Marino. San Marino: AIEP.Google Scholar

  • Foresti, Fabio. 2010. Profilo linguistico dell’Emilia Romagna Roma: Editori Laterza.Google Scholar

  • Grementieri, Serena. 2012. The Romagnolo dialect. A short study on its history, grammar and how it still survives. Exeter: University of Exeter unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 1986. Umag ma la mi tèra. Poesie dialettali [Homage to my country. Dialectal poetry]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 2002. I mi Casétt. Rime e ricordi d’infanzia. [My Casétt. Rhymes and childhood memories]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 2004. Modi ‘d dí. Raccolta di modi di dire e detti popolari in vernacolo sammarinese [Idioms. Collection of idioms and proverbs in Sammarinese vernacular]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 2006. Chent antigh. Poesie dialettali e racconti [Old songs. Dialectal poetry and tales]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 2010. Modi ‘d dí. Raccolta di modi di dire e detti popolari in vernacolo Sammarinese. Parte Seconda [Idioms. Collection of idioms and proverbs in Sammarinese vernacular. Second Volume]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Francesco. 2012. E’ post dli violi bienchi. Poesie dialettali [Old songs. Dialectal poetry]. Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Guidi, Giuseppe. 1979. El dialèt d’la Repôblica d’San Marèin: Grammatica, prosa, poesia [The dialect of the Republic of San Marino: Grammar, prose, poetry]. San Marino: A.T.E.Google Scholar

  • Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2006. Language documentation. What is it and what is it good for. In Essentials of language documentation (Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs 178), 1–30, eds. Jost Gippert, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann & Ulrike Mosel. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Lazard, Sylviane. 1980. Grecismi dell’Esarcato di Ravenna. Studi Romagnoli 31: 59–74.Google Scholar

  • Maiden, Martin. 1991. Interactive morphonology: Metaphony in Italy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Maioli, Marcello. [n.d.] Corso multimediale di dialetto romagnolo. Retrieved from http://marcelpachiot.altervista.org/Dialetto/Indice.htm

  • Michelotti. Alexander. 2008. The position of the Sammarinese dialects in the Romagnol linguistic group. Toronto: University of Toronto doctoral dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Miller, William. 1901. The Republic of San Marino. The American Historical Review 6: 633–649.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pelliciardi, Ferdinando. 1977. Grammatica del dialetto romagnolo: La lèngva dla mi tëra [Grammar of the Romagnol dialect: The language of my country]. Ravenna: Longo.Google Scholar

  • Perea, Maria Pilar. 2007. Dedialectalization or the death of a dialect: The case of the Catalan subdialect spoken in the Costa Brava. Dialectologia et Geolinguistica 15: 77–89.Google Scholar

  • Pioggia, Davide. 2016. Dialetti romagnoli. Pronuncia, ortografia, origine storica, cenni di morfosintassi e lessico, confronti coi dialetti circostanti (2nd ed.). Rimini: Pazzini Editore.Google Scholar

  • Quondamatteo, Gianni & Giuseppe Bellosi. 1977. Romagna civiltà. Imola: Galeati.Google Scholar

  • Renzi, Lorenzo & Laura Vanelli. 1983. I pronomi soggetto in alcune varietà romanze. In Scritti linguistici in onore di G.B. Pellegrini 121–145, ed. Giovan Battista Pellegrini. Pisa: Pacini.Google Scholar

  • Schürr, Friedrich. 1971. Probleme und Prinzipien romanischer Sprachwissenschaft (Tübinger Beiträge zur Linguistik 24). Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar

  • Schürr, Friedrich. 1974. La voce della Romagna: Profilo linguistico-letterario. Ravenna: Il Girasole.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-11-15

Published in Print: 2018-11-27

Citation Information: Dialectologia et Geolinguistica, Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 57–95, ISSN (Online) 1867-0903, ISSN (Print) 0942-4040, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dialect-2018-0004.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in