Origins of the Venetian Language

The beginnings of speech in Venetian

In its earliest stages in the IX century, the Venetian Language still showed strong resemblance with Latin. One of the most important documental discoveries about that period is the so-called “Veronese Riddle”: a medieval text found in Verona, whose features mark the beginning of the transition period from medieval Latin towards the birth of a new language in the Venetian area. Can you guess which is the solution of the Riddle?

Another precious document, the “Ritmo Bellunese”, demonstrates quite clearly that the process of linguistic birth of the Venetian Language was definitively concluded at least in the XII century.
Provided that, for now, the Ritmo is the oldest document found which already shows several linguistic phenomena still present in nowadays Venetian, it can be said with an high degree of scientific certainty that today the Ritmo Bellunese represents the very first piece of literature in a mature Venetian Language.

“…J’équiperai un autre vaisseau,
J’irai t’attendre à Venise:
c’est un pays libre où l’on n’a rien à craindre …”

Voltaire, “Candide” (Cap.XIX)