Italian Language/apocope

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the “apocope” (troncamento).

I understand that the apocope can only be used under the following circumstances  -  There must be a  “l”   “r”   “n”   or “m”  before the syllable or vowel that is dropped, and the next word cannot start with an “s” followed by a consonant , “ps” , “gn”, or “z”.

But, I am wondering if the “apocope” is mandatory, sometimes mandatory, or left up to the preference of the speaker/writer.

For example, in a recent answer to one of my questions you used the expression “pantaloni color verde chiaro”.  

I was wondering if the word “color” is an apocopation of “colore”.  

If “yes” can you please tell me if this is a mandatory apocopation or if it would also be acceptable to say or write -   “pantaloni colore verde chiaro” where the word “colore” is used rather than “color”.

Thank you so much for all of your help with my questions.  I always so very much appreciate your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

As you say, the "apocope" (aka “troncamento”) can only be used under the following circumstances : there must be a  “l”   “r”   “n”   or “m”  before the syllable or vowel that is dropped, and the next word cannot start with “ps” , “gn”,  “z” or  an “s” followed by a consonant (the so- called "s impura" in Italian).

The “apocope” is  mandatory in expressions such as "San Francesco","San Giovanni", "Sant'Andrea", "Sant'Anna",  i.e. with the adjective "santo/santa" which omits the last syllable or last vowel before a consonant or vowel respectively.

But, the adjective "santo/santa" does not omit the last syllable before an “s” followed by a consonant (the so- called "s impura" in Italian).See for example "Santo Stefano" where the "s" is followed by "t".

Also, the "apocope" is mandatory in "Che buon pane!", "Di gran carriera!", "Che bel tempo!", "Buon anno", "E' un buon uomo", where the adjectives "grande", "bello" and "buono" omits the last syllable or vowel before a consonant or vowel.

But the "apocope" can be sometimes mandatory, or left up to the preference of the speaker/writer as in e.g. "Amor materno" /"Amore materno" or "Far niente" /"Fare niente".

As for the expression “pantaloni color verde chiaro” where the word “color” is an "apocope" of “colore”, it is better to say "color verde chiaro" instead of "colore verde chiaro" where the word “colore” is used rather than “color”.

Best regards,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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