l'Italia s'è desta
I have never met before such grammar form as here in this sentence. Also I have not been able to find anything similar. We can say L'Italia si desta and it is present indicative for a reflexive verb. Italy is waking up.
L'Italia si è/s'è destato/destatosi The past/Perfect tense Italy woke up / Italy has woken up.
But this sentence l'Italia s'è desta really is confusing me.
It's from the Italian national hymn , but this is from 1848, so some words are a bit old. "S'è desta" is the same of "si è destata", passato prossimo. Destare is like svegliare, transitive: so you can use it with the pronominal particle "SI". Io mi sono destato, tu ti sei destato, lei si è destata, noi ci siamo destati, voi vi siete destati, essi si sono destati. Passato prossimo.
"Desta" is simply the ancient past participle of destare: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/destare_%28Enciclopedia-Dantesca%29/
Destato is more common nowadays. Note that it was originally pronunced "désto" (e.g. http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/destare, https://dizionari.corriere.it/dizionario_italiano/D/desto.shtml) but it's currently usually pronunced "dèsto" (e.g. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/desto#Italian); https://www.dizionario-italiano.it/dizionario-italiano.php?parola=desto supports both.
That's an interesting note on the sound of the 'e' in desto!
Being a contraction of destato (in which the 'e' is unstressed, therefore with a close sound), it should remain close in the contracted form, as well, despite taking the stress; instead, in time it changed sound.
A similar case is, for instance, pestato → pesto, in which the 'e' maintains the close sound in the contracted form.
Desta is a contracted (and obsolete) form of the past participle destata.
So in modern Italian one would say: l'Italia si è destata.
The same verb destarsi is dying out, or is already virtually obsolete, so it would never be used in conversation, replaced by svegliarsi or risvegliarsi → l'Italia si è (ri)svegliata.
I agree. It's a very interesting question you asked. I like listening to the Italian Anthem a lot and I was wondering about this for a long time actually.
Thanks to all who provided those insightful answers!
Ciao Mario. Italy has awakened! (L'inno migliore di sempre?). Over to Civis o Piero ;-)
I know, Italy has awakened or has woken up is irrelevant for my question. My problem is the grammar as explained above..
You hadn't mentioned "awakened itself", I was merely using it to continue your post by passing it on to a madrelingua who will explain everything. Just being friendly.
We can say Si innamora, he/she is falling in love or S'è innamorato/a He/she has fallen in love. but to say S'è innamora...can't grasp.
Mario. Now we know - as I thought, it is "old" Italian, similar to some opera lyrics. We live and learn. Mille grazie Civis e Piero. Ti do entrambi un lingotto, anche a f.formica:-)
Yes, the Italian style used in opera lyrics is definitely 'old'.
It often includes curious verbs such as gire (for andare), obsolete articulated prepositions such as pel / pei (for per il / per i), non-standard spellings (e.g. cor / core for cuore) and unusual word orders (e.g. Poichè quell'occhio al core onnipotente va, what is called an anastrophe), which for non-native speakers can be very confusing.
It is possibly shortened to s'è = si è just to fit the lyrics, as they do in certain opera lyrics. Or it could be grammatically correct. I too am interested to know. Aspettiamo eh! Ciao;-)