Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of a word or phrase

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13
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0answers
2k views

Italian number words from eleven to nineteen - history of a bizarre, inconsistent construction [duplicate]

Let's count in Latin from one to twenty: ūnus/ūna/ūnum, duo/duae/duo, trēs/tria, quattuor, quīnque, sex, septem, octō, novem, decem, ūndecim, duodecim, tredecim, quattuordecim, quīndecim, sēdecim, ...
5
votes
2answers
564 views

Does the name “Alfero” mean anything?

I know some people who use it as a first name and others who use it as a last name. There is also a place in Italy called Castell'Alfero which I understand to mean "The castle of Alfero".
5
votes
1answer
735 views

How was the double meaning/use of “prego” in the sequence “prego-grazie-prego” born?

How come in Italian the same word is used to express the action of offering/inviting and afterwards to respond to the person who thanked you. What's the origin of it and how come the verb "to pray" is ...
4
votes
2answers
323 views

Overuse and overload of “schifo”, “fa schifo”. Is it a recent thing?

It came to my attention very fast the extensive use of "schifo", "fa schifo" in everyday language and TV, mostly in situations that actually don't cause disgust. I connected immediately to the same ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Who decided the switch from “voi” to “Lei” in the 20th century?

I know from older and southern Italian friends that in their childhood they used the "voi" pronoun (like "vous" in French) as a polite form to address other persons. So how come this switched nowadays ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why was the Florentine Vulgar Latin chosen as the basis for standard Italian?

Standard Italian, the official language of Italy and the one Italian people speak (often along with their own local languages -or dialects-), derives from the Florentine subset of Vulgar Latin. With ...
10
votes
1answer
10k views

Is Latin to Italian what Ancient Greek is to Modern Greek? [closed]

It would seem like an obvious (and superficial) generalization: Italian's "obvious" ancestor is Latin, Modern Greek's obvious ancestor is Ancient Greek, Latin and Ancient Greek were used (very loosely)...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Can Dante Alighieri be compared to Shakespeare as both fathers of their respective languages on the lexical level?

Many people say that Dante Alighieri is "the father of Italian" and his name is widely known and appreciated. Motivated by Does the German language have a Shakespeare?, asked on the German SE, which ...
4
votes
3answers
298 views

Creatività e dinamismo nella lingua italiana [closed]

Ogni lingua evolve. Misurare la creatività di una lingua non è impresa facile, ma l'apparire di neologismi nel lessico ne è un buon estimatore. Non conosco quale sia la regola dietro la scelta di ...

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