Extreme Southern Italian
dialetti italiani meridionali estremi
Native toItaly
RegionApulia (Salento)
Campania (Cilento)
EthnicityItalians, Sicilians
Native speakers
4.7 million (2002)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Extreme Southern Italian dialects

The Extreme Southern Italian[1][2][3] dialects are a set of languages spoken in Salento, Calabria, Sicily and southern Cilento with common phonetic and syntactic characteristics such as to constitute a single group. These languages derive, without exception, from Vulgar Latin and not from Tuscan; therefore it follows that the name "Italian" is a purely geographical reference.

Today, Extreme Southern Italian dialects are still spoken daily, although their use is limited to informal contexts and is mostly oral. There are examples of full literary uses with contests (mostly poetry) and theatrical performances.


The territory where the Extreme Southern dialects are found roughly traces the Byzantine territory in 9th century Italy. In this territory the spoken language was Greek, which still survives in some areas of Calabria and Salento and is known as Italiot Greek (see Greek linguistic minority of Italy).[4]


Phonological features

The main characteristics that the extreme southern dialects have in common, differentiating them from the rest of the southern area dialects are[6]

See also



  1. ^ According to the classification of Giovan Battista Pellegrini, see [1] Archived 26 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Francesco Avolio, Lingue e dialetti d'Italia, 2012, Carocci editore, Roma, ed=2, ISBN 978-88-430-5203-5, page 54.
  3. ^ "Introduzione ai dialetti italiani meridionali estremi (Alessandro De Angelis)" (PDF). Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Story of the Sicilian dialect from the point of view of the linguistics, IRSAP Agrigentum
  5. ^ a b Calabrian in Italian: Calabrese (pl. Calebresi). Synonyms: Calabro, Calabra, Calabri, calabre (m., f., m.pl., f.pl.). Sicilian: calabbrìsi, calavrìsi.
  6. ^ Giovanni Alessio (1964), I dialetti della Calabria, pp. 27–34