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Intemelio dialect

Native to Monaco, France, Italy
Native speakers
approximately 10,000  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Linguasphere 51-AAA-ohb (Imperia)
File:Le comté de Nice et Oneille.jpg
Monaco -with Menton- was the extreme western area of the Republic of Genoa (green color) in 1664. Intemelio was spoken in this area, primarily between Monaco and Sanremo.

Intemelio is a Ligurian dialect spoken historically from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian province of Imperia.


Since before the Renaissance the Ligurian language was spoken in all the territories of the Republic of Genoa : in the western area of this republic one of its groups (spoken mainly on the coast between Monaco and Sanremo) was called Intemelio and was centered around Ventimiglia[1]

Indeed, Monaco and Menton (then called "Mentone") were part of the Republic of Genoa, of which were the extreme western point on the Mediterranean coast.:[2] the dialect spoken in this area in those centuries and until the 19th century was Ligurian, mainly on the coast (with some influences from occitan).

Only after 1861 the French language has started to influence the Monegasque and Mentonasc dialect (actually the scholar Werner Forner believes Mentonasc is part of a Ligurian dialect called Intemelio[3]).

In the actual Italian area of Ventimiglia there it is the most renowned Intemelio: the "Ventimigliese", that stretches from the coast until Piedmont.

The Brigasc dialect is connected to the "Ventimigliese", as a mountainous version of the intemelio that has some occitan influences. This Brigasc dialect has reduced its area in the last centuries, but was present in the hinterland of Nice from La Turbie up to Escragnolles during the late Middle Ages.

In Sanremo the local intemelio dialect is heavily influenced by the Genoese dialect.

Actual use

Intemelio is used by nearly 10,000 people in the area of Ventimiglia of the province of Imperia, but other 40,000 are able to understand it and speak a few sentences of this dialect in western Liguria.

A few thousands speak fluently the local variants of intemelio in France and Monaco: Monegasque, Mentonasc and Brigasc.


The Ligurian area of Seborga speaks the "ventimigliese" dialect Intemelio and the so-called Principality of Seborga considered the possibility to use this dialect as official language.[4]

See also


  1. ^ The counts of Ventimiglia (in Italian)
  2. ^ Giuseppe Palmero. Mentone (in Italian)
  3. ^ Werner Forner.À propos du ligurien intémélien - La côte, l'arrière-pays, Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Nice, 7-8, 1986, pp. 29-62.
  4. ^ Seborga official site


  • Azaretti, Emilio. L'evoluzione dei dialetti liguri. Sanremo: Edizioni Casabianca, 1982. Pp. xxii + 416.
  • Dalbera, Jean-Philippe. Les Ilots Liguriens de France, dans Les Langues de France sous la direction de B. Cerquiglini. (Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France). Presses Universitaires de France. Paris, 2003. pp. 125–136
  • Devoto, Giovanni. I Dialetti delle Regioni d'Italia. Sansoni Editore. Florence, 1971
  • Toso, Fiorenzo. Liguria linguistica. Dialettologia, storia della lingua e letteratura nel Ponente. Philobiblon. Ventimiglia, 2006
  • Werner Forner. À propos du ligurien intémélien - La côte, l’arrière-pays. . Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Nice, 7-8, 1986, pp. 29–62.
  • Magazine Intemelion. Edited in Sanremo by Brigati Glauco, from Review La voce intemelia.

External links