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Subject: Sicilian Language
Question: Researching Sicilian language (not dialects), I have found two ''sub-groups'': 1) Sicilian of the Italo-Dalmatian parent sub-group (also referred to as Calabro-Sicilian or Sicilianu or Siculu) and 2) Sicilian of the Ligurian-Sicilian sub-group. Both are from the Indo-European or Indo-Hittite family. Questions: 1. What is meant by ''parent sub-group''? 2. Is Indo-European the same as Indo-Hittite? 3. Elsewhere, I've found ''Gallo-Sicilian'' listed as a language. Is Gallo- Sicilian the same as Ligurian-Sicilian?
Reply: This is an especially tardy answer, but since there aren't too many other replies, I thought I would add to the discussion. As Dr. Sampson noted, Italian and Sicilian are both descended from Latin and Latin is part of the Indo-European or Indo-Hittite family (depends on your terminology) along with Greek, Sanskrit, Russian, English, German and many other languages. The linguistic situation of Italy is challenging because there are several closely related languages which are often called "dialects." They are generally descended from Latin, but classifying them within that can be controversial. When languages don't have a written standard, linguistic boundaries can be very fluid, especially when languages have been in the same region for many centuries. As far as I can tell, "Calabro-Sicilian or Sicilianu or Siculu)" are alternate names for "Sicilian." One source includes Italian and Sicilian in the "Italo-Dalmatian" family which includes the extinct language of Dalmatian (in the former Yugoslavia) as well and many forms of Southern Italy. Languages in Northern Italy though can show affinities with French ("Gallo") though. So, the analysis of how dialects map gets complicated. You can get one version listing the languages of Italy at
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
Date: 18-Sep-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Sicilian Language    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (13-Aug-2012)

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