Vlach and related words

Outsider

Senior Member
Portuguese (Portugal)
This thread is a remark about some off-topic posts made in this one. Perhaps the moderators would like to move those other posts here.

By coincidence, I was recently reading this essay by Tolkien (pdf; see page 13 and the following), where he mentions the etymology of the words "Welsh", "Vlach", etc. in passing. According to him, the Germanic peoples used the same term to refer to the Celts and to the Romans, because they found their languages relatively similar to each other. Presumably, the Slavs learned this distinction from the Germans.
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    A Latin speaking family in Macedonia would thus be people whose language would eventually evolve into the Romance languages called "Vlach" south of the Danube and, north of the Danube, Romanian.
    What about Dalmatian?
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Dalmatian had little to do with Romanian. Eastern Romance languages have had two main branches: Dalmatian and Balkan Romance languages. Romanian is considered as being a sub-division of Balkan Romance languages.
    Dalmatian is nearly extinct, anyway, except the language spoken by the population of Krk Island, probably.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    What I meant was that Justinian was from Illyria. So, wouldn't his native language have been a predecessor to Dalmatian, rather than Romanian? Forgive me if I'm being terribly ignorant; I don't know much about the history of the eastern branch of the Romance languages.
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    You don't need to be sorry. :)
    I am learning too. I think the author just made a figure of speech. Sometimes when he says Romania he means the Eastern Roman Empire and not the actual Romania.

    I don't want to be accused of launching nationalistic theories... However, in this case, according to some, Justinian was born in a village named Tauresium, actual Gradishte, very closed to the actual capital of FYROM, Skopje. Aromanian is still spoken in FYROM (aprox. 8500 speakers in 1994). I also do not think that Dalmatian was spoken in that region.

    Edit: Well, let me be clear about that. Justinian could not have been Romanian, since we can not speak about Romanians at that time, so I don't claim that at all. He was just a Latin speaker. But he could be a member of the population that in next centuries formed the Aromanians, for example.
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi,
    Is "Vlach" related in any way with the "Balkans"? What about *val-/var- (PIE *wel-) "to cover, to enclose" ? (in regard to the geography of the region )

    Asgaard
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Dalmatian had little to do with Romanian. Eastern Romance languages have had two main branches: Dalmatian and Balkan Romance languages. Romanian is considered as being a sub-division of Balkan Romance languages.
    Dalmatian is nearly extinct, anyway, except the language spoken by the population of Krk Island, probably.

    Unfortunately, it's been totally extinct for more than a century. Its last speaker from Krk died in 1898. I think it can be safely said that Dalmatian Romance dialects, in the sense of languages descended directly from the dialects of the Latin-speaking population of Dalmatia in Roman times, are nowadays all completely dead.

    The only Romance languages spoken in coastal Croatia nowadays are Italian and the nearly extinct Istro-Romanian. Neither is a continuation of local Latin from the Roman period, but rather imported in more recent historical times.
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi,
    In Wikipedia, Vlach is given a Germanic etymology: "a name used by ancient Germanic peoples to refer to (mainly) Romance-speaking neighbors"?? In Polish, Italy is called Włochy, in Hungarian - Olaszország ("Olasz country").

    One source claims that Vlach is derived from the name of the ancient celtic tribes "The Volcae". Proto-Celtic - "volkio" - river people?

    I also find this explanation quite interesting:
    Celticists tend to agree that the tribal name Uolcae is related to Welsh gwalch "hawk" (and they compare the Gaulish personal name Catuuolcus to Welsh cadwalch "hero", literally "battle-hawk"), though some prefer to translate Gaulish *uolco- as "wolf" and, by semantic extension, "errant warrior"

    What do you think?


    Nice day
    Asgaard
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    By coincidence, I was recently reading this essay by Tolkien (pdf; see page 13 and the following), where he mentions the etymology of the words "Welsh", "Vlach", etc. in passing. According to him, the Germanic peoples used the same term to refer to the Celts and to the Romans, because they found their languages relatively similar to each other. Presumably, the Slavs learned this distinction from the Germans.

    I've moved my post on the other thread to this one where it is somehow on topic, also it's about the etymology of "Welsh":
    As far as I know, the term Walch > Wlach was first used by German tribes to name some of the Romanized Celtic populations and then by Slavics to name any sort of Romanized population. (...)
    The ethymology is another one: the Germanic root "welsh" just means "foreign", not of Germanic origin. It was used in Austria and Switzerland to name the romanised Celtic population, and it was used in the same way to give a name to the Welsh people (they themselves have a different name - Cymru for the nation).

    The root for "welsh", according to the Kluge, does not go back to an old IE stem but the name of a Celtic tribe which lived near Germanic tribes and then changed meaning to simply "foreign". (Such changes of semantics are rather common - see for example the French name 'Allemagne' after the Alemannen.)

    The reason for the Slavic names of "vlach-" (or similar) for Rumanian (Aromunian, etc.) tribes might really be borrowing from German - this indeed would be the logical explanation, but of that I am not sure.

    And by the way, "welsch" in Austria too has slightly negative connotations, especially in the west (Tyrol), but this is not so in Switzerland. It is nothing out of the ordinary to have mistrust in things that are foreign.
     

    Goerzer

    Member
    Italian (North-eastern Italy)
    The only Romance languages spoken in coastal Croatia nowadays are Italian and the nearly extinct Istro-Romanian. Neither is a continuation of local Latin from the Roman period, but rather imported in more recent historical times.



    If you mean Italian as a literary language I agree with you, but this is true also for everywhere in Italy outside Tuscany :) but if you mean Istrioto and/or Istroveneto I disagree with you.
     
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