.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Italian. (April 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Italian article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 694 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Italian Wikipedia article at [[:it:Dialetto faetano]]; see its history for attribution. You may also add the template ((Translated|it|Dialetto faetano)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Faetano and Cellese Francoprovençal
Native toItaly
Native speakers
< 1,000 (2010)[1]
Early forms
Latin (no official orthography)
Official status
Official language in
Franco-Provençal protected by statute in Italy[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottologfaet1240  Faeto and Celle San Vito Francoprovencal
External videos
Faedar/Cellese speech
video icon “Cellese - 4 Oral Histories”, May 2, 2016, Endangered Language Alliance of Toronto.

Faetar, fully known as Faetar–Cigliàje (Italian: Faetano–Cellese), is a variety of the Franco-Provençal language that is spoken in two small communities in Foggia, Italy: Faeto and Celle di San Vito, as well as émigré communities in Ontario, Canada (primarily Toronto and Brantford).

Although Faetar shares many similarities with other varieties of Franco-Provençal, as well as Italian, it is distinct from both. Because Faeto and Celle di San Vito have been isolated from the rest of Italy by the Daunian mountains, and also due to the influence of Irpinian dialects (spoken in almost all neighboring villages),[4] Faetar has evolved and changed over the centuries into a distinct language.

After a large wave of emigration from Italy after the Second World War, many Faetano and Cellese settled in North America; with a relatively large group immigrating to Toronto, Canada. The language has been studied both in its native Italy, and in Toronto, because of its small number of speakers, its unique blend of Italian and Franco-Provençal features, and its changes brought on by language contact.

Although not given a distinct language code from Franco-Provençal, it is listed by UNESCO as "definitely endangered".[5]


The Faetar language has its beginnings in the 13th century.[6] A Franco-Provençal group of soldiers was sent to the district of Apulia in the Kingdom of Naples to fight the battle of Benevento of 1266. After the battle, some soldiers remained and established communities in the region. Celle di San Vito was founded as a monastery on the mountainside to avoid an outbreak of malaria down the mountain, and Faeto was founded either on 8 July 1268, or 20 October 1274 by an edict from Charles of Anjou.

In the 20th century, hundreds of Faetano and Cellese people left Italy and settled in the Toronto area of Canada, and in small pockets of the United States, such as upstate New York (The demonyms for the people from Faeto and Celle di San Vito are Faetani and Cellese, respectively).[citation needed] The Toronto community has been studied recently to examine the effects of language contact, and to study the differences between the language in Toronto and in Italy.[1]


There have been at least two dictionaries and one grammar published since 2000 that describe the Faetar language in Italian.[7] It has also been studied extensively in English,[8] French,[9] and Italian [10] as a minority language, a language in contact, and for comparison with other Franco-Provençal languages.[11]

Faetar's grammar is similar to most other Romance languages with articles that agree with masculine and feminine nouns, and verbs that are inflected with different endings for person, number, and tense. Because of these inflected verbs, pronouns are not necessary. However, Faetar has a unique pronoun characteristic in that it has two versions of each pronoun. There is a "strong" pronoun and a "weak" pronoun. In conversation, both the strong and the weak can be used together (the strong always comes first), or only the strong, or only the weak, or no pronoun at all. The weak can also appear after a noun. For example:

(1) No overt subject pronoun

lu dʒórɛ Ø stav a la kaz/

and that day, [Ø=I] was at the house

(2) Weak pronoun

/e i stávo vakánt/

and it was vacant

(3) Strong pronoun

/no íʎɛ sta tútːo/

No, he was always…

(4) Strong + Weak pronoun

/íʎɛ i e lu me prɛfɛríːtə/

She-strong she-weak is my favourite [12]

This case of strong and weak pronouns has been the source of much study as to what constrains, if anything, the choice of pronouns in a given phrase.[11] This also makes Faetar a partial pro-drop language.


  1. ^ a b [1] Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nagy, N. Lexical change and language contact: Francoprovençal in Italy and Canada. in M. Meyerhoff, C. Adachi, A. Daleszynska & A. Strycharz (eds.) The Proceedings of Summer School of Sociolinguistics 2010, Edinburgh.
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (24 May 2022). "Glottolog 4.8 - Oil". Glottolog. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Archived from the original on 11 November 2023. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  3. ^ Norme in materia di tutela delle minoranze linguistiche storiche (in Italian), Italian Parliament
  4. ^ Dieter Kattenbusch (1982). Das Frankoprovenzalische in Süditalien (in German). Tübingen.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ [2], UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.
  6. ^ [3] Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Accenti provenzali sui monti Dauni, by Antonio Ricucci, April 30, 2012 (in Italian).
  7. ^ Rubino, Vincenzo et al. 2007. Dizionario Italiano-Francoprovenzale (F-I) di Faeto. Sportello Linguistico Francoprovenzale. Foggia, Italy.
  8. ^ Perta, Carmela. 2008. Can language politics ensure languages survival? Evidence from Italy. Language and Linguistics Compass 2.6: 1216-1224.
  9. ^ Colecchio, Linda & Michele Pavia. 2008. Les patrimoines linguistiques dans le cadre du développement local: enjeux seulement symboliques ou également économiques? la situation de Faeto. Abstract for a paper presented at Les droits linguistiques: droit à la reconnaissance, droit à la formation. Université de Teramo.
  10. ^ Bitonti, Alessandro. 2012. Luoghe, lingue, contatto: Italiano, dialetti, e francoprovenzale in Puglia. Tesi. Università di Lecce.
  11. ^ a b Heap, D. & N. Nagy. 1998. Subject pronoun variation in Faetar and Francoprovencal. Papers in Sociolinguistics. NWAVE-26 a l'Universite Laval. Quebec: Nota bene. 291-300.
  12. ^ Nagy, N.; Iannozzi, M.; & D. Heap. In Press. Faetar Null Subjects: A Variationist Study of Heritage Language In Contact. International Journal of the Sociology of Language.