|Native to||Italy, San Marino|
|Region||Primarily Emilia-Romagna, San Marino|
|Ethnicity||1.1 million (2008)|
|Unknown, c. 430,000, assuming Romagnol and Emilian retained at same rate (2006)|
Geographic distribution of Romagnol (shown in dark pink)
Linguistic map of Romagna and neighbouring regions
Romagnol dialects (rumagnòl) are a group of closely-related dialects of Emilian-Romagnol that are spoken in the historical region of Romagna, which is now in the southeastern part of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The name is derived from the Lombard name for the region, Romagna. Romagnol is also spoken outside the region, particularly in the Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino and in the independent country of San Marino. The Emilian-Romagnol language is classified as endangered because older generations have "neglected to pass on the dialect as a native tongue to the next generation".
Romagnol is one of the two branches of the Emilian-Romagnol language, one of unstandardized Gallo-Italic languages. The Romagnol dialects naturally form a dialect continuum with the bordering Romagnol varieties, while the more distant dialects might be less mutually intelligible. Besides Emilian-Romagnol, the Gallo-Italic family includes Piedmontese, Ligurian and Lombard, all of which maintain a level of mutual intelligibility with Emilian-Romagnol, the latter further influenced by Italian.
West of Romagna, the Emilian language is spoken. The border with Emilian-speaking areas is the Sillaro river, which runs 25 km east from Bologna to the west of Castel San Pietro Terme. Romagnol is spoken to the east of this river and to the south of the Reno river. In Emilia-Romagna, Emilian is spoken in all the rest of the region moving from the Sillaro river to the west, up to Piacenza, and to the north of the Reno, up to the Po.
The Reno River is the border between Romagnol and the dialect of Ferrara. Romagnol is spoken also in some villages northwards of the Reno River, such as Argenta and Filo, where people of Romagnol origin live alongside people of Ferrarese origin. Ferrara goes into Emilian language territory.
Outside Emilia-Romagna, Romagnol is spoken in the Republic of San Marino ("Sammarinese") and in two municipalities located in the province of Florence, Marradi and Palazzuolo sul Senio.
Romagnol's first acknowledgement outside regional literature was in Dante Alighieri's treatise De vulgari eloquentia, wherein Dante compares “the language of Romagna” to his native Tuscan dialect. Eventually, in 1629, the author Adriano Banchieri wrote the treatise Discorso della lingua Bolognese, which countered Dante's claim that the Tuscan dialect was better, arguing his belief that Bolognese (an Emilian dialect influenced by Romagnol that saw wide use in writing) was superior in “naturalness, softness, musicality, and usefulness.” Romagnol received more recognition after Romagna gained independence from the Papal States.
The first appearance of a distinct Romagnol literary work is "Sonetto romagnolo" by Bernardino Catti, from Ravenna, printed 1502. It is written in a mixture of Italian and Romagnol.
The first Romagnol poem dates back to the end of the 16th century: E Pvlon matt. Cantlena aroica (Mad Nap), a mock-heroic poem based on Orlando Furioso and written by an anonymous author from San Vittore di Cesena. The original poem comprised twelve cantos, of which only the first four survived (1848 lines).
The first Romagnol poet to win fame was the cleric Pietro Santoni, (Fusignano, 1736–1823). He was the teacher of Vincenzo Monti, one of the most famous Italian poets of his time.
In 1840 the first Romagnol-Italian Dictionary was published by Antonio Morri, printed in Faenza.
The 20th century saw a flourishing of Romagnol literature. Theatrical plays, poems and books of a high quality were produced. Some of the best known Romagnol authors are:
Unlike Standard Italian, not all nouns end in a theme vowel. Masculine nouns lack theme vowels, and feminine nouns typically (but not always) terminate in a. Masculine nouns and adjectives undergo lexically-specified ablaut to form the plural, and feminine nouns and adjectives form the plural by a becoming i or being deleted after a consonant cluster or a double consonant.
|Sacrêri (m. sg.)||Sacréri (m. pl.)||Sacrario||Sacrari|
|grând (sg.)||grènd (pl.)||grande||grandi|
Both languages derive their lexicon from Vulgar Latin, but some words differ in gender.
|la risa||il riso||risus (masc.)||rice|
|la sècia||il secchio||siclum (masc.)||bucket|
Italian and Romagnol share much of the same features when it comes to verbs. Both languages use subject-verb-object in simple sentences for their word order. Verbs are conjugated according to tense, mood, and person. Romagnol also has four conjugations, compared to Standard Italian's three: the first, -êr; the second, -ér; the third, -ar; and the fourth, -ìr. Marked differences in Romagnol from Standard Italian are that personal pronouns are required, and some verbs in Romagnol use a reflexive construction even if the speaker is not the second argument of the verb although Italian uses an intransitive construction.
|Me a'm so lavê||(Io) mi sono lavato||I washed myself|
|Me a sò||(Io) sono||I am|
|Me a j'ò||(Io) ho||I have|
Impersonal verbs, which lack a canonical subject, in Romagnol use "avèr" but in Standard Italian use "essere." Even though the subject is null, an expletive pronoun is inserted in the specifier position, much like "it" in English.
Also, whereas Standard Italian and other northern dialects omit the definite article before "singular names and names of relatives", Romagnol keeps it.
Romagnol has lexical and syntactic uniformity throughout its area. However, its pronunciation changes as one goes from the Po Valley to the hills.
It has an inventory of up to 20 vowels that contrast in the stressed position, compared to 7 in Italian. They are marked in the orthography by using diacritics on a, e, i, o and u.
The absence of an official institution regulating its orthography often leads to ambiguities in the transcription of vowel sounds.
Some words that in Latin are trisyllabic or tetrasyllabic in which u is not stressed are reduced in Romagnol to being only monosyllabic. An atonic syllable is dropped.
These three tables list the vowel inventory of the "classical" version of the northern macro-dialect of Romagnol.
The following table lists the vowels above alongside their relative orthography:
|Dialectal pronunciation||Example in Romagnol||Comparison with Italian||English meaning|
|ë||ɛə̯||ɛæ̯||bël||bello||"nice" (masculine singular)|
|è, e||ɛ||ɛ~ɜ||bèl||belli||"nice" (masculine plural)|
|à, a (when stressed)||a||äː||fàza||faccia||"face"|
|ù, u (when stressed)||u||ʊu̯||dur||duro||"hard" (masculine singular)|
|ì, i (when stressed)||i||iː~ɪi̯||partìr||partire||"to leave"|
|Stop||p b||t d||k ɡ|
|Fricative||f v||θ ð||(s z)||ʂ ʐ|
The letter z is always pronounced as either [θ] or [ð] and not [t͡s] or [d͡z] as in Standard Italian.
[ŋ] occurs only before velar stops.
Romagnol, in addition to its larger inventory of vowels, also has more consonants compared to Standard Italian. Additionally, consonants have these differences from Standard Italian: