Sicilian Origins Of Italian Language Recognised
words by Carol King The origins of the Italian language may owe more to Sicilian writers than previously thought. Research conducted by a specialist in philology, Doctor Giuseppe Mascherpa of the University of Siena, has brought to light information that has reignited the debate regarding the origins of the Italian language. While carring out his research in a library in Lombardy, Mascherpa discovered texts by four Sicilian poets from the 13th century that were written around the sentences against some Guelph families. This was quite common at the time, as the notaries tried to leave no empty spaces on official documents. His research flies in the face of the traditional view that regards the Tuscan poet Dante Alighieri as the “father” of the Italian language. Such a viewpoint may have come about not just because of a lack of evidence to the contrary but perhaps because of the bias of later academics and scholars against Sicilian culture. The earliest written record of Italian poetry dates from the 1200s. The poetry was produced by the Sicilian School that flourished under King Frederick II at his court in Palermo and then that of his son Manfred. The recent research uncovered fragments of works by members of the Sicilian School, including Giacomo da Lentini, Percivalle Doria and Paganino da Sarzana, in Lombardy proving that their influence on the development of Italian poetry and language extended further north than previously thought. Their writing likely influenced that of subsequent north Italian poets and writers. Dante himself recognised Da Lentini as a master of the Sicilian School of lyrical poetry.