Napolità: All You Need to Know About It

Napolità: All You Need to Know About It

The Napolità (Napulitano) is a Romanesque language spoken in Campania (Italy) and in some neighboring regions. Although Napolità is often spoken as a dialect, most linguists consider it a language. It is spoken in Campania and more specifically in the city of Naples and its immediate radius of influence.

These claims, on the other hand, are unacceptable for those who maintain that local dialects spoken outside the Campania (and even outside the direct area of Naples) cannot be assimilated under the name of Napolità.

All these dialects are generally mutually intelligible, but they have fallen into localism victims of diglossia in a language without prestige with respect to standard Italian.

Whatever the case, it has been the grammatical, lexical and syntactic richness of the Napolità which has motivated UNESCO to make good the definition of Neapolitan language.

Historically, the Napolità had been the official language of the Kingdom of Naples since 1442 by Decree of Alfonso I of Naples. In 1554, Cardinal Girolamo Seripando replaced it with the Tuscan or Italian.

In popular literature, the quintessential character of the Napolità fable is Pulcinella. A comic, epicurean and sexually ambiguous character who ridicules the powerful.

Currently, the Napolità language is alive mainly in the world of song. The Napoletan Canzone, with world-known examples such as’ O Sole Mio, ‘or Surdato’ nammurato or funiculì Funiculà.

Historical, social and cultural aspects


Like all Romance languages, the Napolità derives from Latin. People have also supposed that the Oscan and Greek languages were spoken in Naples until the second and third centuries AD.

In the course of its history, the Napolità has been influenced by the peoples who have inhabited or dominated Campania and focused on Italy: the Greek settlers. The Roman merchants of the East at the time of the Duchy of Naples (until the 9th century ). And, in more recent times, the Normans, the French, the Spaniards, and even the Americans. Who during World War II and the subsequent occupation of Naples, have contributed to some voices.

In the Catalan-Aragonese crown, they proposed Napolitan as a language for administration without ever imposing Aragonese or Catalan, but the attempt failed with the deposition of Frederick III of Naples in 1501, and the viceroyalty began. In the first half of the nineteenth century, in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Italian was de facto as an administrative and literary language, so the Napolità never enjoyed the condition of an official language.


Although Napolità and Italian are close relatives, sometimes the differences in pronunciation hide the similarities. The most noticeable difference for non -Napolitàs is the weakened pronunciation as a neutral vowel of many atonic consonants.

  • The Napolità has seven vowel phonemes: a, e, ɛ, i, o, ɔ, u. In an atonic position, you can find only four of these vowels: a, i, u, and a neutral vowel [ə]. Which can sometimes become silent in certain contexts, as in Catalan. The vowels A become neutral vowels, either open or closed. But those in protonic atones (ahead of the accentuated syllable) remain as [a].
  • The bending or gemination of initial word consonants according to the preceding word: ‘or ttaliano (‘ The Italian language ‘). There are significant grammatical alternations, e.g: ‘E Guagliune =’ The boys ‘, but’ e gguaglione = ‘the girls’ (with gemination in front of the plural feminine article).
  • Betacism, confusion of /b /and /v /.
  • The standard Italian groups -gi-, -Ci- that represent Africa relax to become simple fricative, [ʒ] and [ʃ], respectively.
  • / D / intervocalic eroticism: Maronna (‘Madonna’), or also by syntactic phonetics Roje (‘two’).
  • The consonant velar /g /becomes fricative [ɣ], or even dumb, at the beginning of the word in the groups /gw- /o /gr- /, or followed by the vowels [a] or [u].
  • Assimilation of the groups [MB] or [nd] a [mm] and [nn], respectively: Munno (‘world’), quantno (‘when’).
  • The fricative alveolar deaf /s /, is in an initial position followed by consonant velar or labial. It becomes postalveolar fricative [ʃ], p. Ex., spagnolo [ʃpa’ɲolə].
  • The Latin group has given [ʃ] in Napolità: SCIUMMO (<FLUMEN), SCIOR (<FLOREM).

The Napolità has incorporated words from many languages: Arabic, Greek, French, Catalan, Spanish, Tuscan, and English.

Jawad Sharif

Hello, this is Jawad. Welcome to my blog. I'm covering all the latest news including technology and multiple other categories. I'm a Professional content creator and internet researcher for the last 5 years. Keep reading for more Geek knowledge & the latest news. Cheers!

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