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Urbino is one of the southernmost towns in the Gallo-Italic area.

Urbinate verb morphology permits distinction between 3SG and 3PL, as it provides for two different endings marking the two number values singular and plural. However, under specific conditions (in the sense of Corbett 2006: 176), Urbinate displays formal identity between 3SG and 3PL verbal endings: in all intransitive constructions, and regardless of definiteness, verbs do not agree with plural lexical postverbal subjects ((1) vs (2); see also Manzini and Savoia 2005, I: 49). In interrogatives (3), agreement is optional if the subject is interrogated (Manzini and Savoia 2005, I: 627).

(1) d eˈstaːt  aˈriːva i prim foreˈstjeːri 

of summer arrive.prs.3sg the first tourist(m)pl

‘During the summer the first tourists arrive’

(2) ki borˈdɛːi aˈrivne ˈsɛmpr ˈtardi boy(m)pl arrive.prs.3pl always late

‘Those boys are always late’

(3) ˈkwanti burˈdɛ:i ˈvɛŋgne / vjen ? boy(m)pl come.prs.3pl / 3sg

How many boys are coming?’
In a comparative perspective, it is worth mentioning that Urbinate is not an unicum in the Italo-Romance panorama, as it shares similar context-sensitive agreement patterns with some other northern-Italian and Tuscan varieties (Manzini and Savoia 2005, I: 37; Peverini 2011: 2-3). However, in the broader coastal strip that goes from Venetian and eastern Lombard down to Romagnol - namely just north to Urbino - and then again from southern Marchigiano to Abruzzese, the identity of 3SG and 3PL is not due to syntactic conditions, yet to morphological syncretism (Rohlfs 1966-69, § 532).

Furthermore, Urbinate displays the ending -le (< illae) on adjectives and quantifiers in predicative position (4), as well as on the past participle of compound tenses. Otherwise, adjectives, quantifiers, and participles (5) are syncretic with (6). Something similar happens with -i - at least for quantifiers (Balducci 1977: 22; Manzini and Savoia 2005, III: 615).

(4) ɛn ˈvɛcle


‘They(f) are old’
(5) dle ˈkɛz ˈvɛc house(f)pl old

‘Some new houses’
(6) kl omne ˈvɛc man(m)sg old

‘That old man’

For a more detailed description of Urbinate and its relevance to the study of agreement, please refer to the overview written by Serena Romagnoli.


  • Balducci, S. 1977. Fasce isoglottiche nell’area urbinate. Urbino: Accademia Raffaello
  • Balducci, S. 1989. I dialetti nella provincia di Pesaro e Urbino. Pesaro-Urbino: Amministrazione provinciale di Pesaro e Urbino
  • Corbett, G. 2006. Agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Manzini, R.M. and L.M. Savoia 2005. I dialetti italiani e romanci. Morfosintassi generativa. 3 vols. Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso.
  • Peverini, C. 2011. Verbal system phenomena: evidence from Sassoferratese. Paper presented at «Giornata di studio sui dialetti delle Marche», University of Padua, 16 December 2011.
  • Rohlfs, G. 1966-1969. Grammatica storica della lingua italiana e dei suoi dialetti. 3 vols. Torino: Einaudi.



  • Romagnoli, S. In preparation. Morfosintassi storica dell’urbinate – con particolare riferimento ai fenomeni di accordo. PhD Thesis.
  • Romagnoli, S. 2017. 'Verb (un)agreement in the variety of Urbinate.' workshop Unlocking new data: Linguistic typology as a key to agreement variation, University of Zurich, 9 October 2017.