Comparison of Venetan with the other Romance languages

by Michele Brunelli
 
 
Main Phonetic features

Venetan, whith its variants, shows some phonetic features which differentiate it from the other Romance languages:

  1. Absence of [] and [] sounds; they are replaced with /ss/ and /s/ (often but not always, they are written "s / x" in Venetan).
  2. Absence of the typical Italian sounds [dz] and [ts]. The softened [] (Italian gli) is replaced with j pronounced like j in the word joy or like y in yard.
  3. The unstressed o vowel is not reduced and is pronounced [o], not [u].
  4. In Venetan, as well as in Italian, there are broad vowels /ò è/ and narrow vowels /ó é/.
  5. Intervocalic l can represent a particular semivocalic sound, similarly (but not the same) to [w] as the Brasilian l and Polish l. However, in many places it sounds just like an l. Its written "l".

  6. (Venetan: la bala = [a baea]. Polish: pisalem = [pisawem]).
  7. Unlike in Italian, there are no double consonants.
  8. The absence of final vowels depends on the Venetan variant.


Notes on the Morphosintactic features

The purpose of this work is to help students to give Venetan its own place among the other Romance languages. For this reason, most of the explanations are replaced with tables.

There are Venetan words similar to Italian ones and others which resemble more to French, Catalan or Spanish ones.
 
It.
 
abbiamo
parlato
col
professore
Cat.
 
hem
parlat
amb
el
professor
Ven.
 
ghémo
parlà
col
profesór
Sp.
 
hemos
hablado
con
el
profesor
F.
Nous
avons
parlé
avec
le
professeur
Port.
 
temos
falado
com
professor
Rum.
 
am
vorbit
cu
 
profesorul

( In Rumanian the article comes after the noun: profesorul )
 
It.
 
abbiamo
parlato
con
due
professori
Cat.
 
hem
parlat
amb
dos
professors
Ven.
 
ghémo
parlà
co
do
profesuri
Sp.
 
hemos
hablado
con
dos
profesores
F.
Nous
avons
parlé
avec
deux
professeurs
Port.
 
temos
falado
com
dois
professores
Rum.
 
am
vorbit
cu
doi
profesori

See the Final notes.

Some words  exist in Venetan and Catala nonly, but no in the other languages. (Consider the pronunciation, too).
 
It.
Prendi
il
bicchiere!
 
padre / madre
 
 
vuole
 
 
cantiamo
troppo
forte
Cat.
Agafa
el
got!
pare / mare
 
vol
 
cantem
massa
fort
Ven.
Ciapa
el
gòto!
pare / mare
el
vol
 
cantémo
masa
fòrte
Sp.
?Coge
el
vaso!
padre / madre
 
quiere
 
cantamos
demasiado
fuerte
F.
Prend
le
verre!
père / mère
il
veux
Nous
chantons
trop
fort
Port.
Pega
o
copo!
pai / mãe
 
quere
 
cantamos
demasiado
forte
Rum.
Ia
 
paharul!
tatå / mamå
 
vrea
 
cântam
prea
tare

However, questions share something with French:
 
It.
Come
parli?
 
Cosa
volete?
 
Cosa
mangiano?
Cat.
Com
parles?
Què
voleu?
Què
mengen? (ells)
Ven.
Come
pàrlito?
Sa (cósa)
volío?
Sa (cósa)
màgneli?
Sp.
Cómo
hablas?
Qué
queréis?
Qué
comen?
F.
Comment
parles-tu?
Que
voulez-vous?
Que
mangent-ils?
est-ce quils mangent?
Port.
Como
falas?
Que
quereis?
Que
comem?
Rum.
Cum
vorbesti?
Ce
vreti? 
Ce
mînîncå?

Note: Rumanian s = [] and t = [ts].

Even the endings of 2nd conjugation resemble those of Catalan-Spanish-Portuguese (-éa vs. ia) :
 
It.
 
volevo
dormire
 
 
avevo
detto
Cat.
 
volia
dormir
 
havia
dit
Ven.
 
voléa
dormir
 
gavéa
dito
Sp.
 
queria
dormir
 
había
dicho
F.
Je
voulais 
dormir
J
avais
dit
Port.
 
queria
dormir
 
dissera
Rum.
 
vream
så dorm
 
zisesem

Though the 3rd p. sing. (like the 2nd sing. and the 3rd plur.) needs an obligatory pronoun like in French:
 
It.
 
voleva
dormire
Cat.
 
volia
dormir
Ven.
El
voléa
dormir
Sp.
 
queria
dormir
F.
Il
voulait 
dormir
Port.
 
queria
dormir
Rum.
 
vrea
så doarmå

This pronoun never disappears, though the subject is already expressed:
 
It.
Il
ragazzo 
 
voleva
dormire
Cat.
El
noi
 
volia
dormir
Ven.
El
tóxo
l
voléa
dormir
Sp.
El
chico
 
quería
dormir
F.
Le 
garçon
 
voulait 
dormir
Port.
O
moço
 
queria
dormir
Rum.
 
Båiatul
 
vrea
så doarmå

The conditional, sometimes, behaves as in Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese:
 
It.
 
penserei
 
penserebbe
Cat.
 
pensaria
 
pensaria
Ven.
 
pensarìa
el
pensarìa
Sp.
 
pensaría
 
pensaría
F.
je
penserais
il
pensarait
Port.
 
pensaria
 
pensaria
Rum.
 
a$ gîndi
 
ar gîndi

Sometimes, its just similar to them, and other times its different:
 
It.
 
penseremmo
 
saprei
Cat.
 
pensaríem
 
sabria
Ven.
 
pensarìsimo
 
savarìa
Sp.
 
pensaríamos
 
sabria
F.
nous
penserions
je
savrais
Port.
 
pensaríamos
 
saberia
Rum.
 
am gîndi
 
as stie

And possessives? They can be used without article:
 
It.
 
ho
visto
 
tua
sorella
Cat.
 
he
vist
la
ta
germana
--
teva
Ven.
 
visto
 
sorèla
Sp.
 
he
visto
a tu
hermana
F.
J
ai
vu
 
ta
sur
Port.
 
tenho
visto
tua
irmã
Rum.
 
am
våzut
 
pe
sora
ta

In Roumanian the article and the possessive come after the noun: sorå + a + ta = sora ta.

Prepositions a in Spanish and pe in Rumanian introduce the object and are not articles; on the other hand in Portuguese, a is an art.: a tua = "the" your.

Even in the plural the article can be omitted, differently from Italian:
 
It.
 
ho
visto
i
miei
fratelli
Cat.
 
he
vist
els
meus
germans
--
mos
Ven.
 
visto
i
fradèli
--
Sp.
 
he
visto
 
a tu
hermanos
F.
J
ai
vu
 
mes
frères
Port.
 
tenho
visto
os
meus
irmãos
Rum.
 
am
våzut
 
pe
fratii
mei

However, generally the article is used :
 
It.
 
ho
visto
i
suoi
amici
 
 
conoscono
la 
mia
città
Cat.
 
he
vist
els
seus
amics
 
coneixen
la
meva
ciutat
Ven.
 
visto
i
amisi [a'misi]
I
conóse
la
sità
Sp.
 
he
visto
 
a sus
amigos
 
conocen
 
mi
ciudad
F.
J
ai
vu
 
ses
amis
Ils
connaissent
 
ma
ville
Port.
 
tenho
visto
os
seus
amigos
 
conhecem
a
minha
cidade
Rum.
 
am
våzut
 
pe 
prietenii 
såi
 
cunosc
 
 
orasul
meu

In Spanish and Rumanian, the prepositions a and pe introduce the object.

Respect to tonic pronouns, Venetan, like French, does not distinguish complements and subjects (Catalan only makes difference between jo / mi):
 
It.
io
 
penso
a ti
 
tu
 
pensi
a me
Cat.
jo
 
penso
en tu
tu
 
penses
en mi
Ven.
mi
 
pènso
a ti
ti
te
pènsi
a mi
Sp.
yo
 
pienso
en ti
 
piensas
en mi
F.
moi
je
pense
a toi
toi
tu
penses
a moi
Port.
eu
 
penso
en ti
tu
 
pensas
en mi
Rum.
eu
 
gîndesc
la tine
tu
 
gîndesti
la mine

Unaccented pronouns, too, show many features similar to those of Catalan, Spanish, French, Rumanian and Portuguese:
 
It.
 
ti
ascolto
 
 
ci
ha
parlato
di
te
 
 
ti
ascolti
Cat.
 
t
escolto
 
ens
ha
parlat
de
tu
 
t
escoltes
Ven.
 
te
scólto
el
ne
parlà
de
ti
te
te
sculti
Sp.
 
te
escucho
 
nos
ha
hablado
de
ti
 
te
escuchas
F.
je
t
écoute
il
nous 
a
parlé
de
toi
tu
t
écoutes
Port.
 
te
escuto
 
nos
tem/ha
falado
de
ti
 
te
escutas
Rum.
 
te
ascult
 
ne
a
spus
de
tine
 
te
asculti

See the Final notes.

Only in two cases, Venetan has its own forms: the indirect obj. of 3rd pers. sing/plur (ghe) and the reflexive of 1st plural (se) which is the same of the reflexive of 3rd pers. sing /plur. :
 
It.
 
gli
parlate
 
 
ci
guardiamo
 
 
si
guardano
Cat.
 
li
parleu
 
ens
mirem
 
es
miren (elles)
Ven.
 
ghe
parlè
 
se
vardémo
Le
se
varda
Sp.
 
le
habláis
 
nos
miramos
 
se
miran
F.
Vous
lui
parlez
Nous
nous
regardons
Elles
se
regardent
Port.
 
lhe
falais
 
nos
miramos
 
se
miram
Rum.
 
îi
vorbîti
 
ne
privim
 
se
privesc

All these languages show similar structures, respect to subordinate clauses:
 
It.
 
so
che
 
hai
mangiato
Cat.
 
que
 
has
menjat
Ven.
 
so
che
te
ghè
magnà
Sp.
 
que
 
has
comido
F.
je
sais
que
tu
as
mangé
Port.
 
sei
que
 
tens/has
comido
Rum.
 
stiu
 
ai
mînîncat

However, Venetan is more regular and never omitts che but needs this particle even in the other subordinate clauses (come che / quando che / chi che)

Italian speakers often think this is an error because they base themselves upon the Italian grammar. From a linguistic point of view, the particle che (called complementizer) is always present in the deep structure of every language, and some idioms "suppress" it when speaking:
 
It.
 
so
dove
 
hai
mangiato
Cat.
 
on
 
has
menjat
Ven.
 
so
ndo
che
te
ghè
magnà
Sp.
 
donde
 
has
comido
F.
je
sais
ou
tu
as
mangé
Port.
 
sei
onde
 
tens/has
comido
Rum.
 
stiu
unde
 
ai
mînîncat

Respect to auxiliaries, Italian and French use verb to be with reflexives and agree the past participle with the subject (masc./ fem./ sing./ plur). On the contrary, Catalan, Spanish and Venentan, retain the auxiliary to have:
 
It.
 
si
è
svegliata
Cat.
 
s
ha
despertat (ella)
Ven.
la
se
svejà
Sp.
 
se
ha
despertado
F.
elle
s
est
reveillée
Port.
 
se
tem
despertado
Rum.
 
s
a
trezit

No doubts, however, that some sentences can vary very much according to the language:
 
It.
Il
negozio 
 
è
chiuso
Cat.
La
botiga
 
està
tancada
Ven.
La
botéga
la
sarà
Sp.
La
tienda
 
està
cerrada
F.
Le
magasin
 
est
fermé
Port.
A
loja
 
esta
fechada
Rum.
 
magazinul 
 
este
închis

And with regard to some sintactic constructions near every language follows its own rules:
 
It.
Non
ridere!
 
(no + inf.)
Cat.
No
riguis!
(no + Subj.)
Ven.
No
stà
rìdar(e)!
(no + aux. + inf.)
Sp.
¡No
rias!
 
(no + Subj.)
F.
Ne
rie
pas!
(ne + imp. + pas )
Port.
Não
rias!
 
(no + Subj.)
Rum.
Nu
rîde!
 
(nu + inf.)

Continuous actions are expressed as follow:
 
It.
 
state
 
scrivendo
molte / tante
lettere!
Cat.
 
esteu
 
escrivint
moltes
cartes!
Ven.
 
drio
scrìvar(e)
tante / un saco de
létare!
Sp.
 
¡estáis
 
escribiendo
muchas
cartas!
F.
Vous 
ètes
en train de
écrire
beaucoup de
lettres!
Port.
 
estais
a
escrever
muitas
cartas!
Rum.
 
stati
 
scriînd
multe
scrisori!

Final Notes

N.B.: The Venetan words we have used appear in the most geografically widespread variant. So we used profesór whereas dialects of central Venetan have the form profesóre. On the other hand the plural is profesuri as you hear in the central provinces of Pàdova, Vicenza, Rovigo and in eastern Veronese (the ending i produces the narrowing of ó, é and sometimes unaccented o which become u, i).

In the same way, in central Venetan the plural of fiór (=flor) is fiuri but in Venice, western Verona and southern Treviso people say fióri and in Belluno and northern Treviso people say even fiór (like in the singular).

The choice of the variants has not been based upon the language of big towns because, due to reasons of prestige, they use Italian forms or words of Venice and they do not represent the dialect of their own territories.

Here you have some examples of the different variants: the plural form tuxi [tuzi] becomes tóxi in Venice, western Verona, southern Treviso, and tós in Belluno and in a part of Treviso territory.

So, te sculti becomes te scólti in Venice, in western Verona and southern Treviso, and te scólta in Belluno and northern Treviso.

The phrase te vidi may be replaced by te vedi, te vede, te ved, te vet

In the same way te ghè becomes te gà.

Words like rìdare can have forms like: ridre, rìdar, rìder(e)

Respect to the other languages, I based myself upon my own knowledge ("stored up" by reading hither and thither) and I had the sentences corrected by native Spanish, French etc. speakers.

Respect to Catalan, Im learning it at the University.
 



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