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The Insubric language is spoken in Lombardy (Italy), in province of Milan, Monza, Lodi, Pavia, Como, Varese, Lecco, Verbania, Novara, a part of Cremona and in Valsesia, and in Canton Ticino and some valleys of Grigioni (Switzerland).

There are many local variants, sometimes with big differences of pronunciation and lexicon from the central and literary variety, the Milanese dialect or Meneghin. The dialects are quite intercomprehensible.

The dialects of Insubric are very heterogeneous, so their cataloguing is fairly difficult. A more scientific system consists in grouping them in four macro-sections: lombardo alpino (provinces of Sondrio and of Verbania, Sopraceneri of Canton Ticino, Grigioni), lombardo-prealpino occidentale (provinces of Como, Varese and Lecco), basso-lombardo occidentale (Pavia and Lodi), and macromilanese (provinces of Milan, Monza and Novara). The traditional catalogue is based on historical-geographical factors mor then purely linguistic: Milanese or Meneghin, Bustocco-Legnanese, Brianzolo, Comasco-Lecchese, Ticinese, Varesino or Bosin, Lombardo Alpino, Basso-Lombardo Occidentale.

In this course we will ever refer to Milanese dialect, while sometimes indicating some notable dialectal variant.