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However, Romance vernacular as language spoken in the Apennine peninsula has a longer history.In fact, the earliest surviving texts that can definitely be called vernacular (as distinct from its predecessor Vulgar Latin) are legal formulae known as the Placiti Cassinesi from the Province of Benevento that date from 960–963, although the Veronese Riddle, probably from the 8th or early 9th century, contains a late form of Vulgar Latin that can be seen as a very early sample of a vernacular dialect of Italy.The incorporation into Italian of learned words from its own ancestor language, Latin, is another form of lexical borrowing through the influence of written language, scientific terminology and the liturgical language of the Church.

Mutual intelligibility with Italian varies widely, as it does with Romance languages in general. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City and western Istria (in Slovenia and Croatia).It used to have official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, and some parts of France (such as Corsica, Nice, Savoie), Greece (Ionian Islands and Dodecanese), and Montenegro (Kotor), where it is still widely spoken, as well as in former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa regions where it plays a significant role in various sectors.In the Italian peninsula, as in most of Europe, most would instead speak a local vernacular.These dialects (as they are commonly referred to) were born from Vulgar Latin over the course of centuries, evolving naturally unaffected by formal standards and teachings.

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