Keywords: Southern Italian Dialects; Apulian Dialect; Etymology.
Ribezzo's "Il dialetto apulo-salentino di Francavilla Fontana" (1911-1912) is one of the first scientifically significant papers about dialects of Southern Italy. His paper is devoted to historical phonology and, as a consequence, to the etymological profile of the dialect spoken in Francavilla Fontana, an important centre between Brindisi and Taranto, in Southern Apulia. A critical revision of Ribezzo's etymologies is carried out here: most of his etymologies are significantly correct (and several etymological explanations constitute convincing alternatives to other more familiar, modern explanations) even though he did not have access to the first edition of Meyer-Lübke's REW (1911). Alongside the critical revision, a reconstruction is attempted of the scientific and cultural framework (beginning of 20th century) in which Ribezzo worked.