Romagnol dialect

Rumagnôl [rumə'ɲoə̯l]
Native to Italy, San Marino
Region Italy:
(Province of Ravenna, Province of Rimini, Province of Forlì-Cesena, part of the Province of Ferrara and around Imola in the Province of Bologna)
Marche (part of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino)
Tuscany (a few communes in the Province of Florence)
Outside of Italy:
San Marino
Ethnicity 1.1 million (2008)[1]
Native speakers
ca. 430,000, assuming Romagnol and Emiliano retained at same rate (2006)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rgn
Glottolog roma1328[3]
Linguasphere 51-AAA-oki ... okl

Romagnol is a dialect of Emiliano-Romagnolo, a Romance language, mostly spoken in Romagna (Northern Italy, part of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy), Republic of San Marino, northern Marche, and a few communes in northern Tuscany.


Romagnol, like other Romance languages, is descended from the Vulgar Latin spoken in the Roman Empire. It evolved alongside the Tuscan, which would form the basis of Standard Italian. Although Romagnol is often described as a dialect, it is not a variant of or descended from Italian.

What distinguishes Romagnol from other languages of Northern Italy is a complex set of historical, geographical and cultural factors:

Geographic distribution

Geographic distribution of Romagnol (shown in dark pink)

Western border

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) Emilian is spoken, to the East, in Imola, the language is Romagnol. In Emilia-Romagna, Emilian is spoken in all the rest of the region moving from the Sillaro river to the west, up to Piacenza.

Northern border

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, Emilia–Romagna and Filo, where people of Romagnol origin live alongside people of Ferrarese origin. Ferrara goes into Emilian language territory.

Southern border

Outside Emilia-Romagna, Romagnol is spoken in the Republic of San Marino ("Sammarinese"), in the Marecchia Valley, in the Conca Valley (Montefeltro) and in all of the Pesaro e Urbino province.


16th to 19th century

The first appearance of a Romagnol literary work is "Sonetto romagnolo" by Bernardino Catti, from Ravenna, printed 1502. This is written in a mixture of Italian and Romagnol.

The first Romagnol poem dates back to the end of 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.

20th century

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:

Distinguishing characteristics

The Romagnol language has lexical and syntactic uniformity throughout its spoken area. However, its pronunciation changes away from the Po Valley to the hills.

Romagnol has some features that make it different from other Gallo-Italic languages:

Latin Romagnol Italian English Emilian
geniculum znöc ginocchio knee znoc
tepidus tèvvd tiepido tepid tevad
oculus öc occhio eye oc
frigidus frèdd freddo cold fredd



The following table sums up the nasal vowels, oral vowels and diphthongs that can be found in the northern (around Lugo) variety of Romagnol.

IPA symbol Orthography Example in Romagnol IPA pronunciation English meaning
ɛɐ̯~ɛː ë bël [ˈbɛɐ̯l] "nice" (masculine, singular)
ɛ~e̞ è bèll [ˈbe̞lː] "nice" (masculine, plural)
eə̯ ê [ˈfeə̯] "to do"
eɪ̯ é méla [ˈmeɪ̯lɐ] "apple"
ɔɐ̯~ɔː ö cöl [ˈkɔɐ̯l] "neck"
oə̯ ô rôda [ˈroə̯d̪ɐ] "wheel"
ɔ~o̞~o ò òng [ˈo̞ɲd͡ʒ] "eleven"
oː~oʊ̯ ó sól [ˈʂoʊ̯l] "sun"
æ̃ɪ̃~ɛ̃ɪ̃~ɛ̃ː ẽ,èn bẽ [ˈbæ̃ɪ̃] "fine"
ɘ̃ː ã [ˈkɘ̃ː] "dog"
ɔ̃w~õw õ,on [ˈbɔ̃w] "good"
äː à fàza [ˈfäːθɐ] "face"
ɐ~ə a mnëstra [ˈmnɛɐ̯ʂt̪rɐ] "pasta"
uː~ʊu̯ u, ù dùr [ˈd̪uːr] "hard" (masculin, singular)
iː~ɪi ì finì [fiˈniː] "ended"
i i zinqvãnta [θiŋ̩ˈkvɘ̃ntə] "fifty
ĩː ĩ [ˈpĩː] "full"


Bilabial Labio-Dental Dental Alveolar Palato-Alveolar Palatal Retroflex Velar
Nasal m (m) n (n) ɲ (gn) (ŋ)
Stop p (p) b (b) t (t) d (d) k (c,ch) ɡ (g,gh)
Affricate (c) (g)
Fricative f (f) v (v) θ (z) ð (ẓ) ʂ (s) ʐ (ş)
Approximant j (j)
Lateral l (l)
Trill r (r)


For a list of words relating to Romagnol dialect, see the Romagnol language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. La lingua italiana, i dialetti e le lingue straniere Anno 2006
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Romagnol". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Romagnol dialect test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
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