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Thread: Romanian o

  1. #1
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    Romanian o

    Hello!

    It's been a long time since I learned Romanian, but I still have an unanswered question which just occurred to me:

    The word o in Romanian, does it have Latin origins or not?
    I'm wondering because it doesn't look similar to una or la in other Romance languages.

    Multsumesc!!


    Ostsee
    Last edited by 0stsee; 9th December 2007 at 5:01 PM. Reason: correction

  2. #2
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    Re: Romanian o

    O comes from Latin "unam". Thus we have this indefinite feminine form:

    Spanish/Italian: una
    French: une

    Strangely Portuguese has "o" as a male definite form while "un" (Romanian, Spanish) came from unus.

    I'm wondering because it doesn't look similar to una or la in other Romance languages.
    La is definite. Romanian is the only Romance language which uses the definite article at the end therefore "la" = -a.
    Last edited by SerinusCanaria3075; 9th December 2007 at 5:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Romanian o

    Nice explanation, Serinus. But I'm afraid that the Romanian definite article has got lesser to do with Latin "la". It is more related to Slavic feminine form, which ends with termination "a".
    Regarding the Romanian "o", it is more related to feminin pronoun ea than to Romance una.
    Last edited by OldAvatar; 10th December 2007 at 8:57 AM.

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    Re: Romanian o

    Quote Originally Posted by OldAvatar View Post
    Regarding, the Romanian "o", it is more related with feminin pronoun ea than with Romance una.
    Actually, o seems like it came out of the blue (sort of) since it doesn't look anything like una[m] while niste (ne scio), un (unum), unui (unius), unei (unae) and unor (unorum) all have some resemblance to their Latin origins.

    It's something that caught my attention too (the o).

    (Thanks for the info on the Slavic termination)

  5. #5
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    Re: Romanian o

    Well. I do have a supposition, but I can't guarantee for it. It may have something to do with Hungarian influence. We've got îl for masc. and o for feminine accusative and dative. Since îl comes from el and o comes from ea and considering that Hungarian influence changes a into o, it is possible to have some sort of relation with Hungarian accents.

  6. #6
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    Re: Romanian o

    Strangely Portuguese has "o" as a male definite form while "un" (Romanian, Spanish) came from unus.
    I don't think it's strange. If illa evolved to a, the feminine article, it wouldn't be surprising if it masculine article were o. Lupus - lobo, lupa - loba; illa - a, ille - o.
    Jazyk

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    Re: Romanian o

    Quote Originally Posted by OldAvatar View Post
    Nice explanation, Serinus. But I'm afraid that the Romanian definite article has got lesser to do with Latin "la". It is more related with Slavic feminine form, which ends with termination "a".
    Regarding the Romanian "o", it is more related with feminin pronoun ea than with Romance una.
    That's actually something still discussed about by many linguists. According to the Wikipedia article about Romanian grammar, the definite articles in Romanian are indeed of Latin origin. Take a look and let us open a new thread about it, so that we can discuss it more freely (without stepping on any moderator's toes ).

    robbie

  8. #8
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    Re: Romanian o

    Quote Originally Posted by SerinusCanaria3075 View Post
    O comes from Latin "unam". Thus we have this indefinite feminine form:

    Spanish/Italian: una
    French: une

    Strangely Portuguese has "o" as a male definite form while "un" (Romanian, Spanish) came from unus.


    La is definite. Romanian is the only Romance language which uses the definite article at the end therefore "la" = -a.
    I compared o and la because o also functions as object pronoun.

    O vezi pe Alina?
    La ves a Alina?

    Saludos,


    Ostsee

  9. #9
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    Re: Romanian o

    An interesting transformation takes place in regions where both Hungarian and Romanian are frequently spoken.
    For example, Romanians from Transylvania and, more recently, even from Moldova use o instead of a when they're using the perfect compus (composed perfect) tense:

    A mers la şcoală. O mers la şcolă.

    Perhaps similar mechanism worked out for the other o. It could have been an a in ancient times but it got changed into o.
    Last edited by OldAvatar; 10th December 2007 at 8:56 AM.

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