Molisan/Manual of Style

The contents of the book will be divided into the sections outlined below under the heading Contents. Initially, the information will be combined on a single page, then on a single page for each section, and finally divided into sub-sections. The book should be organised in such a way as to maintain no more than three headings per page (ex. "Molisan/Verbs/Magnà" but not "Molisan/Verbs/Magnà/Passàt"). Coded headings should be kept to one word (ex. "Molisan/Basics", not "Molisan/The Basics"), despite the page's full title. For templates to use in laying out the book, see Molisan/Templates.


  • The English used in all cases should follow standard Canadian usage, reverting to British usage in cases of contention (ex. "-ise", not "-ize", although both are correct).
  • The Italian used in all cases should follow proper literary standards.

The Molisan used for general examples, readings, and explanations should be of the variety spoken in the lower Biferno River valley, namely in the vicinity of the towns of Larino, Montorio nei Frentani, Casacalenda, Guglionesi, Ururi, Ripabottoni, &c. In all cases, the most "dialectal" forms shall be preferred. In case of disagreement, the forms used by the Larinesi shall prevail.

Although seemingly arbitrary, there are several reasons for this choice. Mainly, however, it is more widely spoken by the authors, while examples in other dialects will depend on outside contributions. Additionally in this area, the dialect is more cohesive and unified than further inland. Moreover, this particular swath of Molise is scattered with pockets of the region's two other linguistic minorities, the Arberesh (in Ururi and elsewhere, concentrated around the Biferno) and the Molise Croats (mostly north of the Biferno). The area around the lower Biferno is contiguous with the larger Adriatic dialect continuum (from roughly Pescara to Northern Puglia), while the dialect further inland is addtionally influenced by Roman/Laziale, Neapolitan, and Calabrian.

There are other differences. Campobasso is largely considered more "urban" than Isernia. This is, perhaps, a result of geography: the Biferno's gently sloping valley allows for larger concentrations of people than the rugged interior mountains, which chop the population up into fragmented hamlets. In any case, it should be explicitly mentioned that this is not a reason for choosing it as the main variety to be used in this book. Contrariwise, it is the reason why every effort should be made to provide examples from throughout Molise, especially from the mountainous interior. The heart and soul of a language, after all, lies not only in its cities, nor only in its hamlets, although some may argue for one or the other.

No, for this book to reach its goal and to be truly rich and fully rounded, it must incorporate the entire scope of the language spoken in Molise, reaching, most importantly, to its deepest roots for the most authentically dialectal forms. In this way, we hope to establish a literary koiné variety of Molisan that will serve as a unified vehicle of the region's rich traditions and culture. It must fully envelop all the possibilities of Molisan speech. Only a standard which liberally includes and generalises regional usages will serve this purpose.