Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 450s

450: La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales


450: Hales, Dianne. La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language. New York: Broadway Books, 2010. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0-7679-2770-3.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 400: Language
  • 450: Italian, Sardinian, Dalmatian, Romanian, and Rhaeto-Romanic languages

Italian really is one of the world’s most enchanting languages. Dianne Hales’s La Bella Lingua takes the reader on a sumptuous journey through the words of Michelangelo, Dante, and Verdi. Although Italian only has about a third of the words that English has, their meanings are more precise and more elegant. Each word becomes a story. Take “furbo” for example. It means a small deception, but a furbetto is a small child who gains through deception, a furbastro makes money through trickery, and a furbizia is a clever use of deception in language. Only Italian could pull off these hidden layers.

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457: The Higher Functional Field by Cecilia Poletto

457.1: Poletto, Cecilia. The Higher Functional Field: Evidence from Northern Italian Dialects. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 175 pp. ISBN 0-19-513356-0.

Dewey Construction:

  • 400: Language
  • 450: Italian, Romanian, Rhaeto-Romanic languages
  • 457: Historical, geographic, and modern non-geographic variations of standard Italian
  • 457.1: Northwestern Italy

In my almost 27 years of recreational reading, I have never come across a book as tough to read this one. Now, to be fair, I will assume 95% of the blame for this. Books on syntactical analysis are inherent dry and I do not have the requisite background to understand the complex field of comparative linguistics. BUT—I have to read a book in this section. So, much to my chagrin, this is what I found.

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