Social Question

poofandmook's avatar

Is this a common practice among native Italian speakers?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) July 12th, 2010

I worked with a woman up until last week with a pretty heavy Italian accent, and I noticed that she would just cut off the last part of words. The cold thing that you put food in was a “refrigerate”, “whiskey” was just “whisk”, “pasta” was “past”, and so on.

She’s the only person I’ve ever encountered with an Italian accent though. Is this common?

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10 Answers

cookieman's avatar

My mother in law is a little old lady from Italy – and she does this also.

counter = count
potato = potat

Even names. Frank becomes Fra – Marisa becomes Mari – Christopher becomes Christ

which, frankly is a lot to live up to

poofandmook's avatar

@cprevite: does it drive you nuts?

Jeruba's avatar

Is the ending kind of like swallowed or inhaled, or is it just completely cut off clean, without a breath or a whisper after the last audible syllable?

poofandmook's avatar

@Jeruba: completely cut off.

cookieman's avatar

@poofandmook: No not at all. I grew up around thick Italian accents. I’m used to it.

JLeslie's avatar

I never thought about it before, but it does seem to be true, I can think of a few Italians I know who do it. Do they do it in Italian also?

morphail's avatar

I’m familiar with the Italian accent where a vowel is added to the end of English words that end in a consonant. In standard Italian most words end in vowels. But there are many different kinds of Italian, and it’s possible that some Italian dialects delete final vowels.

Jeruba's avatar

The other night I watched Vittorio de Sica’s 1948 classic The Bicycle Thief. Even though I don’t know Italian, I can make out lot of words and recognize names. With this question in mind, I listened, and it seemed to me that I heard Anton’ for Antonio, Mari’ for Maria, and Brun’ for Bruno.

Thammuz's avatar

Speaking as an italian, it’s probably because of the region she comes from. In some regions it’s a common way of speaking to cut off the last part of people’s names for brevity’s sake, my father used to call his grandma “Marì”, short for Maria, and many people cut short objects’ names as well.

Strauss's avatar

When I worked in an Italian restaurant, it was common for those of recent Italian ancestry to drop the last syllable of many Italian words. Prosciutto became prosciutt’, ricotta became ricott’, and so on. It’s entirely possible that she just carried this speech over to English.

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