sîntem?

wanipa

Senior Member
deutsch - deutschland
Salut!

I've got to know today that "sîntem" is the other way of "suntem" (a fi).

But nowhere can I find the usage in dictionaries.

Does it happen to be a misprint?

Mulțumesc mult!
 
  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    This is a highly controversial topic :)

    The Romanian Academy considers sunt/suntem/sunteţi as the only acceptable form today. Sînt/Sîntem/Sînteţi was considered ok up until mid-1990s, however many linguists do not agree with the return to the form sunt which was used up until mid-1950s.

    Bottom line, use sunt/suntem/sunteţi and you'll be ok.

    Best,
    f.
     

    wanipa

    Senior Member
    deutsch - deutschland
    Thanks!

    It really seems that what I've learned is old-fashioned. ;-(

    Nice weekend!
     

    naicul

    Member
    Romanian
    I wouldn't say it's old fashioned. There are many places where the old form is still used. An example is Dilema Veche (Dilema Veche). Colloquially, everyone would understand any of the two forms. But in official situations (like for an exam) I would stick to the new ("suntem") form.
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Yes, that's right, both forms are in use because linguistic changes always take time to pin down. We still talk using 'sîntem', but the new generation writes 'suntem'.
     

    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    It's an "u" -for those who are familiar with the language and the sounds, it's easy to note the distinction. I can't tell you now the phonetic spelling but there is a difference, rather subtle, in the way the two words are pronounced because of the U vs. Î change.

    Later,
    farscape
     

    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Sălut!
    Might one say sunt/suntem/sunteţi are cultisms, striving to be closer to the Latin roots, and imposed by scholars? Or were these forms used in Romanian language from old times (side by side with sînt/sîntem/sînteţi)? I read something about the conscious effort made by Romanian writers and scholars, in ends of XIX century, on order to privilege the words from Latin roots instead of later accretions from Slavic, Turkish and other languages around, and I wonder if this particular issue is related with some similar goal (cherishing Latin roots and heritage).
    Mulţumesc.
     

    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    This is a highly debated topic and in general you are correct however the norms set forth by the Romanian Academy and its Linguistic Institute require the spelling sunt/suntem.

    There are many places and publications nowadays which continue to use the spelling from before the last change (circa 1995) and that is sînt/sîntem.

    Given that this topic is more related to ethimology and the history of the Romanian language I urge you to open a thread in that forum to continue the discussion.

    farscape - moderator
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    <edited to avoid topic drift. farscape, moderator>

    (...) I don't believe that anyone can give a fair answer to this question about the latest evolution of the Latin verb 'esse' in Romanian, and all the 'â' sounds replacing 'î' as well after 1993.
     
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    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    @farscape: may I rephrase my question to a more practical, simple level? If so, I would ask (because my learning of Romanian language is mostly trough written form): are there people, today, who actually pronounce sunt and the other forms with an actual u sound? Were there in recent past (before last changes) people who actually pronounced u? Or would it sound artificial?

    Regarding the other connected issues, that have philosophical-political-ideological ramifications, I for sure will leave them to another forum. I hope this question is appropriate and, if not, I will gladly delete or edit it.

    Thank you.

    <edited to avoid topic drift. farscape, moderator>
     
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    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I suppose that it's artificial.
    We say 'sînt' and write 'sunt', etc.

    Why?
    Due to those generations that they used to utter and write down only 'sînt' and 'sîntem'.:) And who cares about the rules at home?!

    ...which makes of your question a very interesting idea to think of :thumbsup:.

    Other than that, there were people in the country pronouncing 'u' before the nineties, which was considered regional. Urban areas were not used to these forms.
     
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    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    @farscape: may I rephrase my question to a more practical, simple level? If so, I would ask (because my learning of Romanian language is mostly trough written form): are there people, today, who actually pronounce sunt and the other forms with an actual u sound? Were there in recent past (before last changes) people who actually pronounced u? Or would it sound artificial?

    It mainly depends on when the speakers went to school and to a lesser extent (as irniet implies) on their location - but I don't support the split in urban vs. non-urban idea. In general, people who went through high-school before the "reform" (circa 1955) and almost all printed media where using the form sunt/suntem and where pronouncing the same way (my parents and grandparents). Over the years (by 1980s) I think sunt/suntem all but disappeared from the written and spoken language of the newer generations.

    To be honest, I like it better the way it sounds with u instead of î in sunt and at times it's rather hard to distinguish one from the other unless it's in written form. But this is just me, I also like novelists like Camil Petrescu and Albert Camus :)

    Later,
     
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    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Thank you very much for both answers, they are clear enough. I was under the impression that sînt was a kind of regional, country dialect, but I see this impression is wrong. As for the deep old etymologies, I will leave them for another forum and another occasion.
    And as for me, I too like more saying sunt, both because its pronunciation is easier and more natural for us, as well it sounds more familiar: a stronger likeness to Latin somewhat makes it closer to Portuguese, too. And the harder thing in Romanian phonetics, as for me, is the "î"-"â" sound! :)
     

    naicul

    Member
    Romanian
    There are people that pronounce "sunt" as there are people that still use the - older - "sînt" form. I agree with farscape that this mainly depends on when they went to school. I think the younger generation (people who went to school after 1995) prefers using the "sunt" form.
     

    Caktus

    Member
    Romania - Romanian
    Sălut!
    Might one say sunt/suntem/sunteţi are cultisms, striving to be closer to the Latin roots, and imposed by scholars? Or were these forms used in Romanian language from old times (side by side with sînt/sîntem/sînteţi)? I read something about the conscious effort made by Romanian writers and scholars, in ends of XIX century, on order to privilege the words from Latin roots instead of later accretions from Slavic, Turkish and other languages around, and I wonder if this particular issue is related with some similar goal (cherishing Latin roots and heritage).
    Mulţumesc.
    I don't think that sunt/suntem/sunteţi are cultisms. My grand-parents and the older people from the vilage where they live in southern Romania use sunt and it's not influenced by school. As far as I know these forms are also recorded in the Romanian Linguistic Atlas.
     

    jimmyy

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    In every language there are changes that occur over time. In French they had as well some reforme of the ortographe some time ago. The same in Romanian.
    Languages evolve.

    Then it's only a matter of preference for the spoken language (both the old and the new forms will be accepted in the spoken language). Whereas in the written form of any language, the new rules are enforced in school, thus the new generation will not know the old form, thus in a matter of years, the old form will disappear (only present in old books). The pronunciation of "suntem" can be found here: www.learnro.com/be-have-conjugated-romanian
     
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    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    In every language there are changes over time. but normally the written form of a language should follow the spoken form and not the opposite.
    Historically the form 'sunt' has no merit in Romanian.
    Oldest surviving Romanian document ('Neacsu's letter' - 1521) has the form 'sînt': Neacșu's letter - Wikipedia (at the end of line 9 in the letter's text)

    Alexandru Rosetti, the best Romanian linguist, wrote in his life masterpiece Istoria limbii romane ('History of Romanian language') - last edition of 1986, page 147: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_Z89zncYF2-Qmc5ejRxZTNZeEk
    'sunt este o forma savanta, introdusa de scoala latinista in secolul al XIX-lea' ('sunt is a savant form invented by the Latinist School in 19th century')

    At singular (Rom. eu sînt < Lat. ego sum) the 'î' could have been influenced by Bulgarian 'aз cъм' (I am), while the final 't' could be influenced by the plural form 'ei sînt' (same book, same page).

    Regarding the orthographic reform of 1993, it's worth mentioning this paragraph: (See: Ortografia limbii române - Wikipedia)

    "În 1993 Academia Română a decis printr-un vot revenirea la grafia cu litera  în loc de Î în anumite poziții ale cuvintelor și la scrierea formelor sunt, suntem, sunteți în loc de sînt, sîntem, sînteți. La vot au participat toți membrii Academiei, indiferent de specialitate. La momentul respectiv Academia avea doi membri lingviști: Ion Coteanu, care s-a abținut, și Emanuel Vasiliu, care a votat împotrivă."

    Translation:
    "In 1993 Romanian Academy has decided by vote reinstating the orthography with  instead of Î in certain positions and the forms sunt, suntem, sunteți instead of sînt, sîntem, sînteți.
    All academicians have participated to the vote, no matter their specialty. At that moment the Academy had 2 linguists: Ion Coteanu, who refrained from voting, and Emanuel Vasiliu who voted against."

    ------------
    Regarding the adoption of the pronunciation 'sunt' with 'u' I will give a conclusive example:
    my son, born in 2007, spoke with 'sînt' with me in the house and with his friends outside, until he went to school. In the 2nd grade the teacher insisted the pupils should pronounce 'sunt' at school and since a year my son pronounces 'sunt' even in the house, to avoid troubles at school. I pronounce 'sînt' everywhere - I hear people of my generation pronouncing 'sînt'. Only politicians or TV presenters make effort to pronounce 'sunt' in public speeches.

    And this is how a language could be changed by the 'leaders', not by the people...

    ----------------------
    Regarding changes of the language made 'by the people':
    Since 18th century, accelerating in 19th century, the definite masculine article with the termination '-ul' has been reduced in pronunciation to the termination 'u'.
    Example:
    lupul (French 'le loup') - is pronunced lupu'

    In public speeches, on TV, political discourses etc. - people make effort to pronounce 'correctly', but in private... people changes the language.
    Since the 18th century the family names have gradually changed and now their vast majority are spelled with final 'u', although a final 'ul' would be etimologically correct.
    E.g. Mihail Eminescu, Nicolae Ceausescu

    In 19th century lived people like Dimitrie Onciul, Aron Pumnul.

    We could expect in 100-200 years an orthographic reform for common names like
    lupu = the wolf.
     
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    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I am a bit amazed of your persistence to giving up the definite article 'l' in common nouns in favour of the 'u' ending.

    What would be the linguistic explanation for 'u' to exist by itself: what would it stand for? Gender?
    With proper nouns, gender distinction is made by the given names.

    In English, for instance, we have 'should've done' pronounced as one word. Does this pronunciation allow us to consider that in future, the verbal group will become one word only?

    The same happens to the definite article 'an elephant', 'an egg', etc. In French, we have 'c'est', which definitely sounds like one word, but it's not. When speaking, we tend to give up either sounds or 'to swallow' others just to speed up the message. What does this mean for future: for instance, changing the entire worldwide Lexicography?

    And definitely, that's off topic here.
     
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