The study examines the evolution and linguistic history of some 165 Italian terms for different vines and wines. Proceeding on the assumption that the culture-historical significance of wines and vines is only poorly reflected both in the vocabulary of standard Italian and of many Italian dialects, the author draws on a broad variety of sources to substantiate the existence of these proper names as far back as the 12th century and proceeds contextually in proposing etymologies hitherto either unknown or considered uncertain. The description of the historical development of these terms demonstrates that a number of proper names is still restricted to specific idioms and that it is both necessary and desirable for this sub-lexicon to be integrated more firmly if this legacy is not to be lost for good in the medium term. The corpus the study is based on is also designed as an encouragement and potential basis for a comprehensive description of wine and vine names in Italian.
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