Italian tutto

Dymn

Senior Member
Hi,

Why is the Italian reflex of tōtum tutto with a u? Wiktionary says in Vulgar Latin it had become tōttum, which explains the double consonant... But what about the /u/? I've checked and in Piedmontese and Lombard it's tüt with /y/, which points to a long u in Latin. Neapolitan and Sicilan also have a u. So apparently it's common in all languages/dialects of Italy. Is there any explanation for this exception? Or is it "just because"?

Thank you
 
  • Dymn

    Senior Member
    But in French tout is the regular outcome of tōttum and in Portuguese tudo is, I surmise, parallel to isto/isso/aquilo, in raising the stressed vowel to denote the indefinite pronoun equivalent.
     

    Riverplatense

    Senior Member
    German — Austria
    Devoto (Avviamento alla etimologia italiana. Firenze: Le Monnier 1968, s. v.) indicates that /u/ is the "urban" correspondent of "rural" /o/. However, I don't know of any other case in which such a distinction could be found; I find this explanation somewhat doubtful. Besides, also *TŬTTUM should have become totto, and that's the etymon both Devoto and Zingarelli indicate.

    Interestingly, in Old Italian, the form totto can be found quite frequently:

    val meglio esser gaudente
    non avendo neente,
    ch'aver lo secol totto
    dimorando a corrotto.
    (Guittone, Rime, XVIII, 29)
    Pur brigale de 'nvenire
    con totto el tuo valore.
    (Jacopone da Todi, Laude, XVII, 62)

    However, it is quite possible that these are simply latinising spellings.
     
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    Riverplatense

    Senior Member
    German — Austria
    The first example does show totto rhymes with corrotto, right?
    Yes, exactly. I also wondered whether or not this might have influenced on the spelling.

    Besides, we also find tutto in Guittone:

    O vero gaudio del mio spirto, gauda
    con tutto piacer di Te l'alma mia,
    sì che Tuo viso veggia e Tua voce auda
    (Guittone, Ballata X, 28)
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    Nocentini (2010) writes:

    Resta da trovare una spiegazione convincente per la -u- dell'it.[aliano] tutto, esito inatteso del lat.[ino] tottu(m), per il quale sono state avanzate diverse congetture, tutte ugualmente insoddisfacenti: un'indicazione ci può venire dal rum.[eno], dove la forma piena e tonica tot alterna con la variante tus- nei comp.[osti] come tustrei 'tutti e tre', per cui tutto potrebbe essere la var.[iante] in posizione pretonica generalizzata in tutte le posizioni.
    So, according to him, tutto is a pretonic variant generalized to any position.
     
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