Something about Friulian speaking

Although I live in Friûl and know many people who consider themselves Friulian-speakers, I noticed that not all of us have the same knowledge of our native language. Many grammar rules of the original language have been forgotten, replaced by rules taken from the Italian language. The same happened to the vocabulary. Some words, mostly those that differ significantly comparing the two languages, disappeared in common use during the last thirty years. On the other hand, Friulians speaking Italian usually mistake because they use words and grammar rules from their native language. In the end, most of us is no more able to speak both languages correctly.

I will in this short article, and some following, highlight few examples of this phenomenon.

Troi: it is the original Friulian word for “path”. It sounds so different from the Italian word “sentiero”, that in the end most Friulians are using a sort of corrupted version of the latter, that sounds like “sintîr”. This is quite a good example of the lost of words in our native language through a process of naturalization of foreign words. The word “troi” disappeared from common use (only few people still use it, even if many people can still understand its meaning) while the word “sentiero” was corrupted following some basic rules of Friulian phonology. First of all, the final vocal disappeared, and “sentiero” became “sentier”. But the word then had not a friulian sound, so needed some adjustment. The dipthong “ie” is not common in Friulian and does not sound well. So it was turned into the most common long I creating “sentîr”, but still there was a problem: the word “sente” means “a place to seat”, sometimes is used for “armchair”. So the first E was changed into I, making a more friulian-sould like word “sintîr”.
It is a pity that one of the most mysterious and ancient words of our language is disappearing because of this process. Probably “troi” is an ancient pre-roman word for “road”, as it is used in most Ladin languages and has some similar equivalent in other languages in Europe.


2 Risposte to “Something about Friulian speaking”

  1. Scintilena Says:

    Lo stiamo perdendo!

  2. Gabriele Says:

    You’re right, Giuseppe it’s a pity. Anyway languages are always on progress and influenced by any kind of internìmissions. I’m back from Canada where most of the Friulan-origin- population speaks a sort of “FURLISH” (furlan-english) very nice sound and funny too, but for sure so dangerous!


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