Romanian Words of Slavic Origin

LilianaB

Banned
Lithuanian
I am interested which commonly used Romanian words are of Slavic origin. I am not sure if I posted it in the right forum but I hope so. If not, please kindly transfer it to the right place.
 
  • robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I think this subject has been discussed earlier but I don't remember where.

    Have you tried searching through old threads?

    Best Regards,

    :) robbie
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Yes. I did, but I did not find anything. Thank you.
    Ok, since I'm unsure if lists are promoted (I seem to recall several threads being closed because of this), would you like me to send you a PM instead?

    Just send me a message and let me know ;)

    Best Regards,

    Robbie
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Thank you. Robbie. I don't see a reason why this thread should be closed. Maybe they were in the wrong forum. I am just interested in some basic words, commonly used, not necessarily the whole vocabulary.

    Apparently there are not too many words of Slavic origin in Romanian. This is why I thought I could post such a thread.
     
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    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Thank you. Robbie. I don't see a reason why this thread should be closed. Maybe they were in the wrong forum. I am just interested in some basic words, commonly used, not necessarily the whole vocabulary.
    Ok, here's a very basic list from the top of my head:

    a iubi (sl. ljubiti) = to love
    a opri (sl. opreti) = to stop
    a (se) trezi (sl. trĕzviti) = to wake up
    a primi (sl. prijęti, priimą) = to receive
    a lovi (sl. loviti) = to hit
    obicei (sl. obyčaj)= habit
    boală (sl. bolĭ) = illness, sickness
    grijă (sl. gryža) = worry, care
    sticlă (sl. stklo) = glass
    război (sl. razboj) = war
    daltă (sl. dlato) = chisel (N.B. one of the earliest attested Slavic loans; before the 11th century)
    vină (sl. vina) = fault, guilt
    milă (sl. milŭ) = pity

    Words that entered Romanian have undergone a form of "Latinisation" when it comes to syntax, grammar and spelling.

    Also worth noticing is that the meanings have changed as well. For instance grijă (< Bulgarian) had the original meaning of "dysentery" and a lovi (< Slavic) meant "to capture, to hunt".

    Hope this helped!

    Best Regards,


    Robbie
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Thank you Robbi. This is very interesting. Do you feel like there are a lot of words of Slavic origin in Romanian or just some sporadic loans?
    I think (actually, I know) that Romanian had more Slavic words before, but that is not the case anymore. Studies have shown that appr. 10 % of contemporary vocabulary is of Slavic origin, in other word 1 in ten words. These words are often used so this group might not change that much even though linguists have seen a tendency in contemporary Romanian to favour words of Romance origin.

    I personally don't mind them, but they don't always feel "natural", if you know what I mean. They sometimes have an archaic tone and neologisms are preferred.

    When it comes to the sporadic nature of these loans, I don't believe them to be sporadic at all.

    For instance many taxonomic names for fish, especially the ones found in the Danube, have names borrowed from Bulgarian since Bulgarian fishermen used to sell fish in Romanian markets (e.g. știucă "pike"). The same thing happened to some vegetables like castravete ("cucumber") which also is from Bulgarian, since they were grown in Bulgaria and sold in Romanian markets. I believe that this has happened in every language, even in the other Romance languages (mostly loans from Arabic).

    When it comes to basic words like a iubi "to love", the logic explanation is that the Latin verb amō was far too close to the Romanian verb a avea "to have" (< lat. hăbēre), which is declined as (eu) am. Linguists presume that many Latin words were present in early Romanian, but disappeared early on because of their propensity of being confusing. The solution was to adopt words that weren't prone to confusion, and since Romania was and still is bordered by mostly Slavic speaking people the source of these words is natural.


    Robbie
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Thank you. This is very interesting. Romanian is definitely similar to Latin, since I understand a lot of written Romanian as I know basic Latin and Spanish. I just made this discovery today. I had some strange idea that Romanian was a Romance language, yet totally incomprehensible to someone who knows Latin or Spanish, except for some individual words.

    * sorry about the double written. It cannot be edited
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Accordingly to this "roughly a fifth of spoken Romanian vocabulary is based on common Slavic roots".
    Hulalessar, this article has been criticised for being strongly influenced by the political atmosphere of the 1950's which was excessively Soviet friendly.

    For instance: tata is derived from latin tata and only coincides with the Slavic counterpart.

    Many of the words mentioned are also really old and have fallen out of use, thus hinting that the 20 % Slavic vocabulary is not nearly as high today as it was 200 years ago.

    Robbie
     

    tFighterPilot

    Senior Member
    Israel - Hebrew
    I wonder, is a distinction made between words that are originally part of the language and loanwords? For example, are "Mersi" (from French Merci) and Adorabil (from French "Adorable") counted as Romanian words of Latin origin?
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I wonder, is a distinction made between words that are originally part of the language and loanwords? For example, are "Mersi" (from French Merci) and Adorabil (from French "Adorable") counted as Romanian words of Latin origin?
    Usually these are generally considered to be of Latin origin even if they aren't directly inherited. In dictionaries both sources are usually cited.

    Robbie
     

    Hulalessar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hulalessar, this article has been criticised for being strongly influenced by the political atmosphere of the 1950's which was excessively Soviet friendly.
    I have nothing like the expertise to comment on that. However, I have referred to Blackwell's Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe and the same figure of 20% is given with the observation that some estimates put the percentage appreciably higher. Apart from that I restrict myself to the general observation that the number of words of X origin in language Y depends on who is doing the counting.
     

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Human Language
    My guess is that in colloquial speech, the Slavic ratio is high, whereas in formal or scientific register, Latin words are predominant, since most professional terms are coined with Latin roots.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... When it comes to basic words like a iubi "to love", the logic explanation is that the Latin verb amō was far too close to the Romanian verb a avea "to have" (< lat. hăbēre), which is declined as (eu) am. Linguists presume that many Latin words were present in early Romanian, but disappeared early on because of their propensity of being confusing. The solution was to adopt words that weren't prone to confusion, and since Romania was and still is bordered by mostly Slavic speaking people the source of these words is natural
    I don't believe that in happend this way.

    Some Slavic words may have been also entered the Romanian as "religious terms", e.g. (from the Lord's prayer):

    Şi ne iartă nouă greşelile noastre, precum şi noi iertăm greşiţilor noştri; Şi nu ne duce pe noi în ispită, ci ne izbăveşte de cel rău.
    (I don't know the origin of Şi, iartă, ci and rău)
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... For instance: tata is derived from latin tata and only coincides with the Slavic counterpart.
    It's possible, but it's interesting that in most of the romance languages we have the continuation of the Latin pater and not tata. On the other hand, tata, ata, atta etc. exist independently in other languages, too.

    An other curiosity: The Lord's prayer begins with following words:
    Tatăl nostru, Care eşti în ceruri, ...

    The oldest version (I think) from the 16th century, instead, begins with the following words:
    Parintele nostru ce iesti in ceriu, ...
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    According to Wikipedia (the English version), about 14% of Romanian words are of Slavic origin and about 38% of French and Italian origin:

    "Since the 19th century, many modern words were borrowed from the other Romance languages, especially from French and Italian (for example: birou "desk, office", avion "airplane", exploata "exploit"). It was estimated that about 38% of the number of words in Romanian are of French and/or Italian origin (in many cases both languages)..."

    (There is also a minor number of German, Hungarian, Turkish anf Greek loan words)
     
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    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Could you present the transformation chain?
    By the way, the Welsh hypothese (from Welsh ‘tad’) is another possibility.
    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a suitable transformation chain. However the DEX entry provides us with the Latin origin because of older forms (archaic tatâne), its presence in related languages (tato in several Italian dialects) and the declension of the word which does not coincide with the way Slavic words are declined.

    According to Wikipedia (the English version), about 14% of Romanian words are of Slavic origin and about 38% of French and Italian origin:

    "Since the 19th century, many modern words were borrowed from the other Romance languages, especially from French and Italian (for example: birou "desk, office", avion "airplane", exploata "exploit"). It was estimated that about 38% of the number of words in Romanian are of French and/or Italian origin (in many cases both languages)..."

    (There is also a minor number of German, Hungarian, Turkish anf Greek loan words)
    The same article also estimates that between 75-85 % of modern day Romanian is directly or indirectly of Latin origin.

    Robbie
     
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    Claudiopolis

    Member
    Romanian
    I don't believe that in happend this way.

    Some Slavic words may have been also entered the Romanian as "religious terms", e.g. (from the Lord's prayer):

    Şi ne iartă nouă greşelile noastre, precum şi noi iertăm greşiţilor noştri; Şi nu ne duce pe noi în ispită, ci ne izbăveşte de cel rău.
    (I don't know the origin of Şi, iartă, ci and rău)
    "Şi" - from Latin "sic"
    "iartă, iertare" - from Latin "libertare"
    "ci" - from Latin "quid"
    "rău" - from Latin "reus"
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a suitable transformation chain. However the DEX entry provides us with the Latin origin because of older forms (archaic tatâne), its presence in related languages (tato in several Italian dialects) and the declension of the word which does not coincide with the way Slavic words are declined.



    The same article also estimates that between 75-85 % of modern day Romanian is directly or indirectly of Latin origin.

    Robbie
    In Bulgarian, one of the words for father is tatko.

    By the way, until not long ago liturgy in Romanian churches was done in Old Bulgarian (Church Slavonic) and Bulgarian was the language of administration a couple of centuries ago, thus most of the Slavic vocabulary is a Bulgarian heritage.
     

    Anicetus

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    When it comes to basic words like "to love", the logic explanation is that the Latin verb was far too close to the Romanian verb "to have" (< lat. hăbēre), which is declined as (eu) am. Linguists presume that many Latin words were present in early Romanian, but disappeared early on because of their propensity of being confusing. The solution was to adopt words that weren't prone to confusion, and since Romania was and still is bordered by mostly Slavic speaking people the source of these words is natural.


    I know very little about Romanian, so I apologise if I'm completely wrong, but even that 1st person singular present form (verbs are conjugated, by the way, not declined ;)) of a avea looks like it could be Slavic influence. In classical Latin the 1st person singular present indicative tense of habere is habeo, while habeam is its equivalent in the conjunctive. In fact, the only verb I can think of with -m in the ending for 1st person singular present indicative is esse ~ sum ("to be") with its derivatives, such as posse ~ possum ("to be able to"), but even this has been replaced by the regular ending in Romanian and other Romance languages. The ending -m could have been analogically taken from some other indicative and all conjunctive tenses, but as far as I know, this didn't happen in any other Romance languages or for verbs other than a avea in Romanian. In Proto-Slavic, on the other hand, the equivalent of "to have" -- iměti -- was one of the several verbs with the athematic ending -mь for the 1st person singular present: imamь.

    Anyway, my conclusion is that Romance- and Slavic-speaking communities on the territory of present-day Romania must have been very close to each other and communicated frequently. I don't find it likely that the idea was "these two words are too similar, let's see what words people in neighbouring countries have". :)
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I know very little about Romanian, so I apologise if I'm completely wrong, but even that 1st person singular present form (verbs are conjugated, by the way, not declined ;)) of a avea looks like it could be Slavic influence. In classical Latin the 1st person singular present indicative tense of habere is habeo, while habeam is its equivalent in the conjunctive. In fact, the only verb I can think of with -m in the ending for 1st person singular present indicative is esse ~ sum ("to be") with its derivatives, such as posse ~ possum ("to be able to"), but even this has been replaced by the regular ending in Romanian and other Romance languages. The ending -m could have been analogically taken from some other indicative and all conjunctive tenses, but as far as I know, this didn't happen in any other Romance languages or for verbs other than a avea in Romanian. In Proto-Slavic, on the other hand, the equivalent of "to have" -- iměti -- was one of the several verbs with the athematic ending -mь for the 1st person singular present: imamь.

    Anyway, my conclusion is that Romance- and Slavic-speaking communities on the territory of present-day Romania must have been very close to each other and communicated frequently. I don't find it likely that the idea was "these two words are too similar, let's see what words people in neighbouring countries have". :)
    Scriban (1939) mentions that the Romanian (eu) am is a contraction of avem.

    Concerning your final comment; I don't mean that people just decided to "see what words people in neighbouring countries have" and then adopted them. I believe that both words were used simultaneously by people. However I believe that one went out of use because of it being too similar to another word in circulation. Is this situation implausible?


    Robbie
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I think it has no real sense to to try to guess why this or that word is not used or why another word is used instead, until we have no written document that we could rely on.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Tak. Mulțumesc. Thanks. :) Putting together all my linguistic knowledges and a bit of phantasy, I'm able to understand Romanian texts of this kind (to a certain limit, of course). So thank you once more.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Two observations concerning the verb amare (to love):

    1. In Romanian we have a iubi, while in Spanish and Italian, the Latin "amare" continues to exist, but on the other hand we have "innovative" solutions, too: Italian ti voglio bene (I love you, lit. "I want good to you", from Lat. "velle" and "bene") and Spanish te quiero (I love you, lit. "I want you", from Lat. "quaerere").

    Thus we could hypothesize, that the verb "amare" was suppressed (to a certaine degree) in the colloquial speach (maybe considered too "strong"), and other expressions were used instead in the "everyday situations".

    (This not an "oficial" theory, of course, maybe the absence of te verb "amare" in Romanian has nothing to do with the mentioned Spanish and Italian expressions ...)

    2. It's interesting though that for the noun "love" (It. amore, Sp. amor, Lat. amor), in Romanian we have dragoste and libov (today an archaism), both of Slavic origin.
     
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    Hulalessar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What we need to know when the percentage of words borrowed from one language by another is being calculated is:

    1. If derived forms as well as root words are included.

    2. Exactly what collection of words is being looked at. A small dictionary? A large dictionary? A dictionary that includes obsolete and rare words? Someone's idea of everyday words?

    3. Whether the counting is being done by someone with a vested interest in producing as low a percentage as possible, someone with a vested interest in producing as high a percentage as possible or someone with no vested interest.

    However you look at it the number of Slavic words in Romanian is clearly significant and it seems silly to play a numbers game.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Romanian language has, indeed, a great amount of Slavic words (imported mainly from Bulgarian, but also from other Slavic neighboring languages).

    The lexicon (vocabulary) of a language is very susceptible to changes over the centuries.

    For example, English has a lot of word of Latin origin (some imported from French, some others imported from medieval Latin used in church), but is not a Romance language.
    Albanian has also a lot of words of Latin origin (imported from Balkanic Vulgar Latin), but is not a Romance language (some linguists consider Albanian as a half-Romanised language).

    There was a dispute between Romanian scholars during the 18th century regarding the "percentages" of loans from Slavic and Latin.
    Alexandru Cihac has written an etimologic dictionary of Romanian and concluded that a large percentage (40%, but I am not sure) of the words in it are of Slavic origin, 20% Latin and so on.
    His statistical approach was criticised by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu who developed a "theory of words circulation" remarking that some words are used very often in a language (constituting its core / basic vocabulary) while others are used very seldom.
    Hasdeu has analysed the core vocabulary of Romanian (words designating family members, usual activities and others) and concluded the percentage of Latinisms is much higher.
    He observed that in Romanian it is possible to compose a text based exclusively on Latinisms, but is not possible to compose such a text exclusively with Slavisms (with great effort one could compose a text exclusively on Slavic words, but its meaning would be ridiculous).

    --------
    After 1848 (the year of the nationalistic revolutions in Europe) the vast majority of Romanian scholars has adopted a Latinist view on the language and the process of re-Latinisation (which was already started a century ago by Transylvanian scholars of Romanian origin) has reached its highest level:
    there was a century (1848 - 1945 when the communist regime has been installed) of constant imports of words from French (mainly), Italian and Latin.
    There was a serious gap between the vocabulary used in newspapers (only the upper class was literate at that time) and the vocabulary used by the peasantry (80% of the population).
    The Romanian writer Ion Luca Caragiale made fun of this gap in its writings ('O scrisoare pierduta') where a simple employee reads loudly the newspaper and gives a hilarious "popular etymology" to some words of French origin.
    It is difficult to explain for foreigners, but I will do it if asked.
    Even today the language used in Romanian mass media is more elaborate and with many recent loan words (neologisms) than the language spoken by common people (but I guess it happens all over Europe).

    ----------
    I do believe that during centuries some Romanian words of Latin origin have dissapeared because by phonetic evolution of the language they created confusions (some of them have been replaced by Slavic loans).

    There is one good example:
    - almost all numerals in Romanian are of Latin origin with the notable exception of "hundred" (Romanian: suta < slavic suto; some linguists do not agree).
    The most probable Romanian version of the Latin centum would have been ciânt or țânt (analogy with: lat. ventum > rom. vânt = "wind"). Its plural form would have been cinte / ciânturi or țânte / țânturi.
    The numeral "five" (Romanian: cinci) is very close as pronounciation to the above hypothetical words, so it is very probable the Romanians have imported the Slavic suto for "hundred" to avoid confusions.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Also worth noticing is that the meanings have changed as well. For instance grijă (< Bulgarian) had the original meaning of "dysentery" and a lovi (< Slavic) meant "to capture, to hunt".
    Interesting. In Russian "грыжа" means "hernia".

    Two observations concerning the verb amare (to love):

    1. In Romanian we have a iubi, while in Spanish and Italian, the Latin "amare" continues to exist, but on the other hand we have "innovative" solutions, too: Italian ti voglio bene (I love you, lit. "I want good to you", from Lat. "velle" and "bene") and Spanish te quiero (I love you, lit. "I want you", from Lat. "quaerere").
    There's also "t'estimo" in Catalan, while the reflexive "estimar-se" also means "to make love" in the physical sense.

    "Ti voglio bene" is not quite the same as "ti amo". It has a more "cosy" connotation (native Italians correct me if I'm wrong, please!).

    "Je veux de toi" means "I desire you" or, less sexualyl, "I find you attractive" in French, while "Je t'en veux" means "I wish you ill".
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Romanian: suta < slavic suto; some linguists do not agree).
    The most probable Romanian version of the Latin centum would have been ciânt or țânt (analogy with: lat. ventum > rom. vânt = "wind"). Its plural form would have been cinte / ciânturi or țânte / țânturi.
    The numeral "five" (Romanian: cinci) is very close as pronounciation to the above hypothetical words, so it is very probable the Romanians have imported the Slavic suto for "hundred" to avoid confusions.
    Actually, "suto" doesn't exist: the Old Church Slavonic (10th century) has sъto, whereas reconstructed Late Common Slavic (around the 7th century) had *suta, so the Romanian word looks ideally reflecting the pre-Church Slavonic stage.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Thanks for explanations. The Romanian dictionaries I used do not mention the reconstructed form *suta, but a simple suto (without asterisc). Some other dictionaries give unknown etymology.

    In Romania there is a lack of interest in learning old languages. Today Latin is still taught in some schools at a very basic level. Greek has almost disappeared from schools and probably is taught in some specialized universities.
    We still have Slavists among Romanian scholars, but less and less from generation to generation.
    The Romanian Orthodox Church used to teach Greek and OCS in its religious schools some 70 years ago, today only few basic courses of Greek are still taught and no Slavic courses at all (although OCS was the church language in Middle Ages).
    During WWII in the territories occupied by Romanian army in East (Ukraine and Russia) often happened that Romanian military priests performed religious services in OCS to the local population (in a propagandistic effort to make them accept the occupation).
    Probably there is an anti-Russian reaction of the Romanian intellectuals after the fall of communism or simply the schools are orienting themselves to Western foreign languages as they are more demanded by the population.
    Immediately after the fall of communism the students made written protests to the heads of their universities against the courses of Russian language.
    Today I don't think Russian is taught in any Romanian school (in my city, no) - probably there are some exceptions.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    In Slavistics, the Romanian sută is usually regarded as a reliable loanword. Interestingly — and most probably due to the interrupted contact with Slavs for many centuries — Romanian has very few words preserving i and u in the place of the later Slavic ь and ъ and further e and o (the literature mentions e. g. also sticlă), so the vowels in these loanwords got renewed to reflect the contemporary Slavic pronunciation. I can speculate that the later Slavic сто/sto was too different from sută to be perceived as related.

    P. S. Romania was actually one of the most independent members of the Socialist camp, and I am not sure if she is more independent now than, say, in 1975, so this attitude seems to have deeper roots. As far as I imagine, the re-latinization and the enrichment of Romanian with western Romance loanwords had the purpose to decrease the developmental gap in the situation when the original cultural center, Byzantium, no longer existed. If/when Romania reaches a satisfactory developmental level, she may become more self-sufficient to allow herself to pay more attention to her other ancient connections.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Historically Romanian does not have words ending in -o (I don't remember any from the old vocabulary, while the Romanian words ending in -o that I remember are definitely neologisms).
    So I guess the later Slavic sto was regarded as different than Romanian sută at that time.
    The Slavic words ending in -o have been imported generally with a -ă ending (mark of feminine gender), e.g. old slavic blato > rom. baltă, old sl. dlato > rom. daltă.

    P.S.
    The re-latinization of Romanian was a process promoted by our intellectuals since few centuries. I think it started from 18th century by Romanian intellectuals from Transylvania (part of the Austro-Hungary at that time), as a mean in their political struggle for national awakening and for self-determination (autonomy and later separatism from Austro-Hungary).
    Later the intellectuals from Wallachia and Moldova (unified as Romania since 1861) have continued the idea of re-latinization having in mind the unification of Romania with Transylvania and with Bessarabia (part of Russian Empire). France was the Western country which supported the most these territorial claims.
    During communist regime there was a first phase of obedience to Moscow (1945 - 1964) where Russian was imposed in schools as almost mandatory foreign language, while after 1965 (Ceausescu's regime) Russian language was less taught and the loanwords came mostly from French and American English.
    After 1989 the re-latinization has slowed down (most loanwords are coming from American English).
    Last noticeable effort was made in 1993 when there was an orthographic reform:
    - letter î become â inside the words (usually the Romanian words containing â have an a in their Latin version, e.g. rom. păgân < lat. paganus)
    - the conjugation of the verb a fi ("to be") was changed in writing and in pronounciation as:
    eu sînt > eu sunt (Latin: ego sum); noi sîntem > noi suntem; voi sînteți > voi sunteți; ei/ele sînt > ei / ele sunt
    The historical version (according to the phonetic rules and attested in Medieval writings) is: eu sunt.
    Today in private speech I hear and I use "eu sînt", while on TV the official speeches use "eu sunt".

    I see similar linguistic processes in ex-Yugoslav countries which (after independence) reject the idea of Serbo-Croatian language with some dialects
    and promote "new" languages like Bosnian or Montenegrin with archaic regional words revived and promoted as replacement for the "Serbian" words.
    Macedonians too are since centuries in a process of defining a national and linguistic identity different than Bulgarian.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Historically Romanian does not have words ending in -o (I don't remember any from the old vocabulary, while the Romanian words ending in -o that I remember are definitely neologisms).
    So I guess the later Slavic sto was regarded as different than Romanian sută at that time.
    The Slavic words ending in -o have been imported generally with a -ă ending (mark of feminine gender), e.g. old slavic blato > rom. baltă, old sl. dlato > rom. daltă.
    These again are pre-Church Slavonic borrowings, from Late Common Slavic *balta and *dalta (cp. the Finnish taltta from the same source and the cognate of borrowed Prussian dalbtan). In short, the Late Common Slavic *a, *i, *u > Old Church Slavonic o, ь, ъ; Late Common Slavic *ā, *ī, *ū > Old Church Slavonic a, i, y. Ancient Slavic loanwords (6–8th centuries) to Greek, Romanian, Albanian and Finnic still preserve these a, i and u. The very word sclavī/Slavs vs. the attested Slavic slověne reflects this earlier a… I somehow can't find in the literature I have checked the Romanian words borrowed from the later Slavic o-neutra, only those from e-neutra: vreme, vrabie, though I agree, they had to be borrowed either as feminines with the ă-ending, or masculines with the zero-ending.

    P.S.
    The re-latinization of Romanian was a process promoted by our intellectuals since few centuries. I think it started from 18th century by Romanian intellectuals from Transylvania (part of the Austro-Hungary at that time), as a mean in their political struggle for national awakening and for self-determination (autonomy and later separatism from Austro-Hungary).
    Later the intellectuals from Wallachia and Moldova (unified as Romania since 1861) have continued the idea of re-latinization having in mind the unification of Romania with Transylvania and with Bessarabia (part of Russian Empire). France was the Western country which supported the most these territorial claims.
    During communist regime there was a first phase of obedience to Moscow (1945 - 1964) where Russian was imposed in schools as almost mandatory foreign language, while after 1965 (Ceausescu's regime) Russian language was less taught and the loanwords came mostly from French and American English.
    After 1989 the re-latinization has slowed down (most loanwords are coming from American English).
    Last noticeable effort was made in 1993 when there was an orthographic reform:
    - letter î become â inside the words (usually the Romanian words containing â have an a in their Latin version, e.g. rom. păgân < lat. paganus)
    - the conjugation of the verb a fi ("to be") was changed in writing and in pronounciation as:
    eu sînt > eu sunt (Latin: ego sum); noi sîntem > noi suntem; voi sînteți > voi sunteți; ei/ele sînt > ei / ele sunt
    The historical version (according to the phonetic rules and attested in Medieval writings) is: eu sunt.
    Today in private speech I hear and I use "eu sînt", while on TV the official speeches use "eu sunt".

    I see similar linguistic processes in ex-Yugoslav countries which (after independence) reject the idea of Serbo-Croatian language with some dialects
    and promote "new" languages like Bosnian or Montenegrin with archaic regional words revived and promoted as replacement for the "Serbian" words.
    Macedonians too are since centuries in a process of defining a national and linguistic identity different than Bulgarian.
    That can be also compared with the enrichment of literary Bulgarian with Church Slavonic and Russian words in the 19th century accompanied with the cleansing of the standard language from the Turkish loanwords. Lithuanian had huge amounts of Slavic borrowings until the 19th century: 99% of these were thoroughly exempted from the standard language by the revivalists — what distinguishes the Lithuanian situation is that they quite successfully have managed to replace the loanwords with properly Lithuanian neologisms.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    I would like to discuss an issue:
    - how to estimate the century when the Slavic loanwords has first entered Romanian

    Unfortunately the oldest Romanian surviving text is from 1521, so everything regarding a time estimation should be deduced from comparisson with neighbor languages and internal phonetic rules (with their relative chronology).

    From the literature I read I retain:

    a) South Slavic languages (I don't discuss the other Slavic languages here) have known the metathesis of the groups "or" and "ol" in Common Slavic (Late, I guess).
    E.g. bg. крaва, sr.-cr. krava < c. sl. *кoрва; bg. злато, sr.-cr. zlato< c. sl. *зoлто
    One Slavic word following this metathesis could be dated a little more accurately:
    Karl (name of the German emperor Karl der Grosse = Charlemagne) has evolved to Serbo-Croatian kralj with an intermediary reconstructed Common Slavic *korljь,
    also in Romanian crai (there is a phonetic change in Romanian that justifies the transformation lj > i).

    Knowing the South Slavs have come in big numbers in Balkans from the 7th century (byzantine sources) and Charlemagne has died in 814, it may be inferred that the applicability of the Slavic metathesis was between the 7th century and the end of 8th century.
    Oldest surviving texts in OCS are from 9th century with the metathesis consistently applied.

    b) some neighboring languages have imported Common Slavic words before the metathesis started, thus at an early stage in time than the rest of the loanwords.
    E.g. rom. baltă vs. OCS blato
    Other examples could be find in Albanian, modern Greek, Baltic languages etc.

    The questions I have are:
    - when was estimated the Slavic metathesis of liquids (r, l) have started?
    - was this a pan-Slavic phenomenon and did it occurred at the same historical time in all Slavic languages?

    I would like opinions and references to books or web pages treating the subject.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    The most detailed publication on the history of the Slavic phonology I know is this: Shevelov GY · 1964 · A prehistory of Slavic: the historical phonology of Common Slavic (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_7IkEzr9hyJYUZ1ck5vdWE2Q1U). In particular, the metathesis is discussed on pp. 391–420, and specifically the chronology on pp. 414–417.

    Since this metathesis
    a) is absent in ancient loanwords to such absolutely unrelated languages as Finnic (Finnish and its relatives) in the north and Greek/Romanian/Albanian in the south,
    b) occurred differently in different Slavic branches (the uniform ra/la/rě/lě in South Slavic and Czech/Slovak is an exception: Polish and its related minor neighbors and East Slavic are more diverse in their reflexes), and
    c) beginning with the middle 9th century, Western and Byzantine chronicles start mentioning metathesized forms,
    it appears that this shift took place around the 8th century, probably not quite simultaneously in various Slavic idioms.

    The groups V+r/l+C have preserved, to various degrees, in the speech of Baltic Slavs (Shevelov: 406–407).

    The Baltic evidence is not reliable since Baltic and Slavic are still perceivably (for a scholar) related now, and were obviously (for a layman) related 1500 years ago (to the extent that many words in Baltic and Slavic were pronounced identically or almost identically, e. g. "head": *galu̯ā́, "hand": *rankā́, "hoof/foot": *nagā́, "son": sū́nus/*sū́nu, "mother": *mā́tē/*mā́tī, "daughter": *duktḗ/*duktī́), so
    a) it is impossible to distinguish ancient loanwords from commonly inherited lexemes, and
    b) Baltic was much more active in adapting Slavic loanwords to its phonetic system. For example, "tin" is olovo in attested Slavic, alvas in Old Lithuanian but alavas in modern Lithuanian, with the second a introduced in the last centuries after the Slavic counterpart.

    P. S. As I always warn the readers dealing with this book, Shevelov belonged to those numerous scholars who believe to understand much more than the data alone may suggest, so, while his factual evidence is worthy and interesting, his explanations most often represent just a fraction of the possible variants (and too often not those I personally find plausible). Also, the accentology is completely outdated there.
     
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    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,

    Since the thread here is about the origins of some Romanian words, I have a question here, too. There has been given a list with several Slavic words in Romanian. I wonder what origin is Romania, considering the old attested forms of 'rumŭněskŭ' and 'Rumunense'?

    Also, is it possible for the word Romanian 'român" - 'romanus' (Latin) - 'vallach' - 'rumân' be of a Slavic origin, or is it Latin?
     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Hi,

    Since the thread here is about the origins of some Romanian words, I have a question here, too. There has been given a list with several Slavic words in Romanian. I wonder what origin is Romania, considering the old attested forms of 'rumŭněskŭ' and 'Rumunense'?

    Also, is it possible for the word Romanian 'român" - 'romanus' (Latin) - 'vallach' - 'rumân' be of a Slavic origin, or is it Latin?
    Yes, the word Romania itself comes from the self-appellation of the ancient Romans, it is not a loanword.

    The change om>um is Romanian (and not found in Slavic): nōmen>nume, though very rare, cp. regularly homō>om, pōmum>pom. I can speculate that u in Rumânia was favored to avoid interference with Ῥωμανία "Byzantium" (cp. e. g. the index on p. 307 here: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/ilja.steffelbauer/DAI.pdf — all the instances of this word in the text point to Rome or Byzantium).

    The change an>ân is purely Romanian: lāna>lână, manum>mână, grānum>grâu, veterānum>bătrân, and is not found in Slavic, where ɨ word-internally comes from in inherited words (*dʰūmos>dymъ "smoke") or from ū and ō in early loanwords (Common Germanic *tūnan > tynъ "fence", Gothic motareis > mytaŗь "publican").

    The suffix -esc- may be either Slavic (Old Church Slavonic -ьskъ > later -esk) or (sorry, Balkanic purists) Dacian: we had discussed this a couple of years ago in a separate thread, and then I pointed out that even in the short table B here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reconstructed_Dacian_words#Reconstructed_Dacian_words) we find three words containing what may be interpreted as this suffix: Thibiscum, Tramarisca and Ciniscus. The suffix itself is of PIE origin, so it is perfectly possible that Dacian, like Germanic (ænglisc), Baltic (lietuviškas) and Slavic (slověnьskъ), made a wide use of it in the relational meaning. In any case, Slavic examples should have reinforced its popularity in Romanian.
     
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    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    I agree with most of the above, but with some observations:
    - the word rumân satisfies the phonetic rules applicable on its Latin source: romanus
    The change om > um is also encountered in:
    rom. cumnat < lat. cognatus (the Latin group gn was transformed in Romanian mn, e.g. rom. semn < lat. signum, rom. lemn < lat. lignum)
    rom. Dumnezeu < lat. Domine Deus (Domine is vocative mood)
    rom. a cumpăra < lat. comparare
    and many other examples.
    Romanian language has known a phenomenon of closing the vocals. In some phonetical contexts the Latin vocals evolved to:
    lat. a > ă (unstressed syllable) > â (later) (e.g. lat. camisia > rom. cămașă, lat. paganus > rom. păgân, lat. romanus > rom. rumân)
    lat. e > rom. i (e.g. lat. bene > rom. bine)
    lat. o > rom. u (e.g. lat. accusative montem > rom. munte)

    România
    as a country name did not exist in the Middle Ages, thus no confusion with Ῥωμανία "Byzantium".
    There was the country name Țeara Rumânească (for Wallachia) atested in the oldest surviving document in Romanian: Neacsu's letter (Scrisoarea lui Neacșu din Campulung) 1521 and in many other documents written in Romanian.
    The word român (with o) was first attested in some religious texts printed in the 16th century (Palia de la Orastie) - some linguists believe that it was a latinization of rumân made by the editor.
    Anyway in the Middle Ages român is a rarity, while rumân is the norm.

    român and România have appeared and gradually replaced the -u- forms in the beginning of the 19th century and become the norm after the revolutions of 1848. It is obvious the shift to -o- form is a re-Latinization of the language politically motivated.

    The suffix -esc could be explain by both Latin -esco and Thracian -isko. Some linguists believe it was a coincidence for the Dacian population who learnt Latin to find a suffix very similar in their native language and in Latin, so this is the reason this suffix is very productive in Romanian (and less productive in other Romance languages).
    I don't think the Slavic suffix -ьskъ has influenced a trend which was already in Romanian when the Slavs arrived in Balkans.


     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    I agree with most of the above, but with some observations:
    - the word rumân satisfies the phonetic rules applicable on its Latin source: romanus
    The change om > um is also encountered in:
    rom. cumnat < lat. cognatus (the Latin group gn was transformed in Romanian mn, e.g. rom. semn < lat. signum, rom. lemn < lat. lignum)
    rom. Dumnezeu < lat. Domine Deus (Domine is vocative mood)
    rom. a cumpăra < lat. comparare
    and many other examples.
    I have noticed that these examples concern the originally closed syllables. Is there a rule when we find nōmen>nume, and when homō>om?

    The suffix -esc could be explain by both Latin -esco and Thracian -isko. Some linguists believe it was a coincidence for the Dacian population who learnt Latin to find a suffix very similar in their native language and in Latin, so this is the reason this suffix is very productive in Romanian (and less productive in other Romance languages).
    I don't think the Slavic suffix -ьskъ has influenced a trend which was already in Romanian when the Slavs arrived in Balkans.
    As far as I understand, Latin itself had no suffix -isc-: e. g., in this resource http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?type=end&lookup=iscus&lang=la all the few instances of the suffixal -isc- are of Greek origin. What we find in post-Classical Latin (theodiscus, franciscus), are latinized Germanic adjectives (þiudisk-, frankisk-) — this pattern got some popularity in west Romance but I don't imagine how it could influence Balkanic Latin, which, as far as I know, has no Germanic loanwords. So, we only can expect the Dacian and Slavic origin of -esc.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Well, I am not so good at Latin and I still need to learn some linguistic concepts, in this case the concept of "closed syllable".

    I know to operate with the concepts of stressed and unstressed syllables.

    For the examples you give I don't know the phonetic rules applicable. I revisited quickly the book I use for such cases and I have not found the evolution om > um treated.
    I could improvise now an argumentation by enumerating some relevant examples that I know, but take what I say with reserve:

    The rule lat. om > rom. om in the examples:
    lat. pomus > rom. pom
    lat. homo > rom. om
    lat. dominus > rom. domn (the Vulgar Latin form *domnus is attested in some ancient inscriptions; cf. Appendix Probi: calidus non caldus)

    Seems that the rule lat. om > rom. om was applicable for monosyllabic Romanian words.
    Also I observe the rule above (om > om) is applicable on polysyllabic words derived from monosyllabic ones. E.g.:
    pom - pomișor (diminutive)
    om - omenesc, omuleț (dim.)
    domn - domnesc, domnișor (dim.)
    It seems that the speakers felt the need to preserve the original form of the radical in derived words.


    We know that final -s and -m from Classical Latin have disappeared in Vulgar Latin.
    Also the final -u- (from -us or -um Latin endings) have disappeared from the first stages of proto-Romanian (or common Romanian),
    thus I guess that before the transformation om > um appeared in Romanian words already without their -us or -um endings.

    The rule lat. om > rom. um in the examples:
    lat. romanus > rom. ru-'mân
    lat. Domine Deus > rom. Dum-ne-'zeu
    lat. nomen > rom. 'nu-me
    lat. quo + modo > rom. cum (the old Romanian form cumu ('cu-mu) is attested in some Medieval writings)

    I noted above with (') the beginning of the stressed syllable and I separated the syllables by (-). I don't know the international notation for these things.
    I observe that in polysyllabic Romanian words the transformation om > um is confirmed. I don't find an example where the rule om > om is applicable on polysyllabic words inherited from Latin.

    If you want to verify yourself examples of Romanian words containing the -um or -om group use this dictionary: http://www.dexonline.ro
    where the stressed syllable is noted with an accent on its vocal.
    ------------
    On the issue of -esc suffix in Romanian I agree with your ideas and I was not aware of the origin of -iscus in Latin and the Germanic influence on Western Romance languages.
    Now that you mentioned I remember some Romanian linguists giving the Thracian -isko the merit for Romanian -esc suffix, but I don't remember the argumentation. The argumentation was solid, I exclude a fake one from nationalistic reasons. I will come later, if I find something.
     
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    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Well, I observed such cases in my previous search but I did not discuss them in order to not make a long post.

    The case lat. florem > rom. floare
    is a case of diphthongation of o and e vowels, which is largely treated in the books about Romanian evolution.

    The diphthongation ís produced in stressed syllable and depends by the kind of vowel in the next syllable (if there is a next syllable).
    If the next syllable contains an open vowel the diphthongation is activated.
    Examples:
    lat. domina > rom. 'doam-nă (ă is half-open) -> the diphthong apears.
    lat. rota > rom. 'roa-tă
    lat. accusative forficem > rom. 'foar-fe-că
    lat. autumna > rom. 'toam-nă -> a case of diphthongation of a Latin u, which is very rare (probably there was an intermediary form tomna before toamna)

    Observation: the diphthong oa is pronounced /wa/ (like in fr. trois)

    Diphthongation of e:
    lat. sera > rom. 'sea-ră
    lat. cera > rom. 'cea-ră

    (
    out of topic: Romanian has suffered a phenomenon of monophtongation after the diphthongation of e.
    lat. legem > old Romanian 'lea-ge > modern Romanian 'le-ge)

    This phenomenon on diphthongation in stressed syllable under the influence of a vowel in the next syllable is present in Bulgarian, too:
    bg. мляко cf. serb. млеко
    but bg. млечен has not diphthong.

    I could provide references to books (in Romanian) treating this topic, if asked.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Yes, indeed. I don't know if nume is an exception to the rule or could be explain otherwise.

    P.S.
    I guess you meant foame ("hunger"), because I don't know the word voame.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    A side note about Bulgarian: this я is not a diphthong, but a after a palatalized consonant. Two Slavic languages (Bulgarian and Polish, though not all dialects in case of Bulgarian) have a very open outcome of the Common Slavic *ē before hard consonants but a closed sound before historically palatalized ones, e. g. Polish wiara "faith" but wierzyć "to believe".
     
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