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Elision in Italian

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Necsus, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    From the thread 'Apocope':
    Here the translation of my post in SI (or at least my attempt of it):

    The elision occurs when last unaccented vowel of a word is cutted off before initial vowel of following word, and it must be marked with the apostrophe. It is normal to have it with singular articles and respective prepositions combined with an article (l'uomo, dell'altro, un'amica), with singular demonstrative adjectives questo, questa, quello, quella (quest'uomo, quell'amica), with bello, bella (bell'uomo, bell'amica), with santo, santa (Sant'Antonio, Sant'Anna), with di in d'accordo, d'epoca, d'oro (but optional before a verb: d'essere o di essere), with come and ci before the verb essere (com'è successo, c'è) and with some idioms: a quattr'occhi, l'altr'anno, tutt'altro, senz'altro, nient'altro, nessun'altra, tutt'al più, mezz'ora, buon'anima, quand'anche. In other cases the elision is always optional, it occurs especially with the monosyllables, particularly with the preposition di, and it is more frequent when the initial vowel of the following word it is the same and it is unaccented (mi importa => m'importa), or when they follow another monosyllable with same vowel (lo ho detto => l'ho detto). It's not possible to elide the preposition da, except in the expressions d'ora in poi, d'ora in avanti, d'altronde, d'altra parte.
     
  2. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    The elision occurs when last unaccented vowel of a word is cut off before initial vowel of following word, and it must be marked with the apostrophe.

    It is normal to have it with singular articles and respective prepositions combined with an article
    l'uomo, dell'altro, un'amica

    with singular demonstrative adjectives questo, questa, quello, quella quest'uomo, quell'amica

    with bello, bella
    bell'uomo, bell'amica

    with santo, santa
    Sant'Antonio, Sant'Anna

    with di in
    d'accordo, d'epoca, d'oro

    but optional before a verb:
    d'essere o di essere

    with come and ci before the verb essere
    com'è successo, c'è

    and with some idioms:
    a quattr'occhi, l'altr'anno, tutt'altro, senz'altro, nient'altro, nessun'altra, tutt'al più, mezz'ora, buon'anima, quand'anche.

    In other cases the elision is always optional, it occurs especially with the monosyllables, particularly with the preposition di, and it is more frequent when the initial vowel of the following word it is the same and it is unaccented (mi importa => m'importa), or when they follow another monosyllable with same vowel (lo ho detto => l'ho detto).

    It's not possible to elide the preposition da, except in the expressions d'ora in poi, d'ora in avanti, d'altronde, d'altra parte.
    ***********************************
    Bravo! Bravo! Forza Necsus!

    1 - Is it ever possible to have an elision without the double "l"?

    I always make mistakes with "dall'Italia"
    I used to think of "da il Italia" = "dal Italia" = "dal'Italia"

    2 - Does "buon'amica" work?

    Grazie MILLE!
     
  3. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
     
  4. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    Buonasera,

    Does le experience contraction like la and lo when using double pronouns? For example:

    I teach the lesson to you. [voi] => Ve insegno la lezione. => Ve l'insegno.

    I teach the lessons to you. [voi] => Ve insegno le lezioni. => Ve le insegno or Ve l'insegno?

    Grazie, :)

    Alex
     
  5. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    No, Alex, mostly there is not elision with plural of articles.
     
  6. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    I teach the lessons to you. [voi] => Ve insegno le lezioni. => Ve le insegno :tick:

    Necsus, thanks once again for your help. I do note that in the case of Ve le insegno, le is an object pronoun and not an article. So I am assuming that the "no elision" rule applies to le both as an article and as a direct object pronoun.

    Alex
     
  7. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Yes, Alex, I'm sorry, I've mentioned only plural articles, you're right.
    Regarding atonic pronouns we usually have the elision with mi, ti, vi, si and with lo, la when there is not possibility to confuse them with the articles; with le, li and ne generally we have not elision.
     
  8. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish

    Tiny change ;)

    Alex
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  9. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Thank you, Alex!
    (because it isn't 'there is not', but 'no elision', right?)
     
  10. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Necsus,
    On this topic there is just one point which puzzles me a little - well you know how pedantic I am!
    Masculine nouns beginning with a vowel have "lo" as the definite article and the "o" can be elided:
    e.g.
    l'ambasciatore - for lo_ambasciatore
    So far, so good.
    Is it the case that, where the definite article is "lo", the corresponding indefinite article should be "uno"?
    If the answer is yes, are my Italian friends right, when they tell me not to use an elsision-indicating apostrophe after such an "un(o)"?
    In other words, which is correct (or, perhaps I should say,, more correct)?
    (1) un'amico
    (2) un amico.

    I have so far followed my Italian friends' advice but I don't quite see the logic behind it. Can you help.
    Many thanks

    Best wishes

    Virgilio
     
  11. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Hi, Virgilio. Yes, your friends are right, because with 'uno' we have no elision, but apocope (truncation), that generally doesn't require apostrophe. From the thread about apocope:
    [...] the apocope is obligatory (or usual): [...]
    - with article uno and indefinite adjectives compounded with uno before vowel and single consonant (except/save z and x) => un uomo, nessun pudore
     
  12. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Thank you very much, Necsus.

    I keep confusing elision with apocopé. I must stop!

    Best wishes

    Virgilio
     
  13. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    You're welcome, virgilio. But don't worry, it's not so easy to to tell them apart. There are also some apocopes (syllabic) that require apostrophe... :)
     
  14. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    OK Necsus, in the first case: there is not possibility you could say there is not any possibility (nessuna possibilità?). I wish I could explain it better. When you insert any then you can use not.

    In the second case: generally we have not elision you would more normally see generally we do not have elision or generally there is no elision. I can think of times when you would use "we have not" but only as part of a compound verb tense: We have not been to Venice yet.

    Maybe other English speakers will care to expand on my explanation.

    Alex
     
  15. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Thanks for your explanation, Alex. I'll open a new thread about this issue (off topic... :)).
     
  16. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    Dear Virgilio,

    Strictly from Italian 101, which is my level at the moment ;) "words that have uno for 'a' have lo for 'the', as well as words beginning with 'z' such as lo zucchero"

    RE uno => un:

    Il TRONCAMENTO si deve attuare nei seguenti casi:

    1. Con uno e suoi composti (alcuno, ciascuno, ecc):
    un uomo, alcun luogo

    Obviously in the case of leaving out letters it becomes truncation rather than elision.

    Alex
     
  17. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    Oh dear, mea culpa :eek:

    Di niente.

    Alex
     
  18. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    LOndoner06,
    Yes, thank you very much. I keep on confusing the two. With my etymology-obsession, I ought not to do it, after all.
    "Elision" from the Latin "elidere" (to knock, force or squeeze out) is a quite different metaphor from the Greek "apocopé" (a cutting off").
    The one vowel gets "squeezed" out by the 'collision' of two words , whereas for the other it's the old surgeon's knife!
    I'll look for the other thread.
    All the best
    Virgilio
     
  19. Wolfling Teo Junior Member

    Dublin
    Italy, Italian
    Be carefull:

    In the frase: Vi insegno la lezione => la is an article, singular (and if instead of lezione you had archeologia: Vi insegno l'archeologia)

    In the frase: Ve la (yuo don't know what) insegno => la is a pronoun, singular (correct translation of this is: I teach (insegno) it (la) to you (plural, Ve). No elision.

    Same for the plural:
    Ve le insegno => I teach those to you (sorry couldn't find a better translation) No elision.

    Similar case:
    ne inumidirei la fronte => I'd wet his/her forehead(...she/he is ill)
    NO elision.
     
  20. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Well, like so actually one might think that the elision is not possible with pronoun la, whereas you can ever always elide mi, ti, vi, si, lo, la, whatever the first vowel of following word is. It's just better not to do it when the elision can be the cause of ambiguity. ;)
     
  21. Giovanna-Ipazia Junior Member

    DC area
    USA - English
    When I first learned Italian some decades ago, I was taught to elide di before vowels. Nowadays on the internet it seems like I never see it elided, even before initial i-. For example, "di Italia" instead of "d'Italia." Has something changed over the years? (I hate feeling like I missed something when I wasn't paying attention.)
     
  22. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Germany
    Italian, Italy
    The elision of di before a noun beginning with vowel is optional. I'll also add that when the noun begins with a vowel other than i, it's possible and correct to do it, but uncommon.
    However, we only say d'Italia. :)
     
  23. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    I agree with MF, but of course the option goes mainly for written language, because when we speak we often elide all we can..! :);)
     
  24. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    In his first post Necsus quoted three cases (from Serianni's grammar, I believe) where elision is mandatory: d'accordo, d'oro, d'epoca. Can anyone think of other similar cases? Right now I can only think of lettera d'amore.
     
  25. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Ciao, giovannino. Ehm, actually I didn't say that its is mandatory, but normal... ;)

    However if you mean when the following noun begins with a vowel other than 'i', for instance 'a', then: (lettera) d'addio; (campo) d'allenamento; (esame) d'ammissione; (vino) d'annata; (linea) d'arrivo; (sala) d'aspetto; (squadra) d'assalto; (giocare) d'astuzia; (sala) d'attesa; (biglietto) d'auguri...
     
  26. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Thanks for the additional examples, Necsus.

    I think that with d'accordo, d'epoca, d'oro elision is indeed mandatory. From Serianni's Grammatica:

    I would definitely add lettera d'amore to cases of mandatory elision. I don't think anyone would ever say lettera di amore.
     
  27. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Yes, you're absolutely right, Serianni says that it is mandatory, I've also quoted it somewhere. But as other text, like Grammar of Dardano Trifone or Treccani, don't mention explicitly this obligatoriness, here I preferred not use this term. :)
     
  28. Giovanna-Ipazia Junior Member

    DC area
    USA - English
    Viola d'amore?
     
  29. Tristano Senior Member

    Philidelphia
    English - USA
    Non capisco... io avrei detto "gli inumidirei la fronte" piuttosto che "ne"

    Tristano
     
  30. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH


    Giovannino!:D

    Elisir d'amore?
    Bramosia d'amore?
    Frenesia d'amore?
     
  31. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    E avresti (avuto) ragione...! :);)
     

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