[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [HMK Home] THE ORIGINS OF THE RUMANIANS

K. The Rumanian religious terminology

 

During the last centuries of the Roman Empire, the most important socio-cultural influence on the Romanized populations was without doubt exerted by the Christian religion. This could not, of course, happen without a lasting effect upon the language. In the 3rd century, most of the fundamental terms of Christianity began to be created, mainly on a Greek and Latin basis. In many cases, the new faith required new expressions: AThe new system of thought called for and created not quite a new language, but certainly new forms of expression.@

Repeated many times on different occasions during the religious services, the new terms were adopted by the language of the people. In the Romance languages about 30 religious terms were borrowed directly from Greek. From the viewopoint of Rumanian, the Greek terms which were transferred to Balkan Latin are to be considered Latin words. Some examples of Rumanian religious terms directly inherited from Latin are:

 

 

Latin

 

Arumanian

 

North. Rum.

 

meaning

 

altarium

 

C

 

altare

 

altar, sanctuary

 

angelus

 

C

 

înger

 

angel

 

baptizare

 

p|te u

 

boteza

 

baptize, to name

 

basilica

 

b|searec|

 

biseric|

 

church

 

*blastemare

 

blastimu

 

blestema

 

to curse, to excommunicate

 

carnem legare

 

cârleag|

 

cârneleag|

 

last but one week of Advent fast

 

caseum legare

 

cleadze, cleag|

 

Õlegi

 

carnival

 

commendo

 

C

 

comânda

 

to make a sacrifice (relig. sense only in Rumanian )

 

comunicare

 

C

 

a cumenica

 

to give (or receive) the Eucharist

 

crux

 

cruÛe

 

cruce

 

cross, Crucifix

 

deus

 

C

 

zeu

 

god

 

draco

 

 

 

drac

 

devil

 

paganus

 

pîngînu

 

p|gân

 

heathen

 

Paschae

 

paÕte

 

paÕte

 

Easter

 

peccatum

 

C

 

p|cat

 

sin; guilt; misfortune

 

quadragesima

 

C

 

p|resimi

 

Lent

 

sanctus

 

C

 

sânt

 

saint

The religious terms show the changes of Late Latin in all Romance languages, including Rumanian. In Rumanian, they also show some Balkan Latin features, such as the d > dz (z) change (Latin deus > Arumanian dzeu, N. Rum. zeu) and the word basilica > biseric|. This word Ais preserved in the Rumanian, Dalmatian, and Albanian languages, which proves that it was a popular and widely spread word@. Although the word itself is not entirely unknown in the western Romance languages, its use in the sense of ´church´is a peculiarity of Balkan Latin.

A number of Christian terms of Greek origin are found equally in Albanian, Bulgarian, and Rumanian; some were also borrowed by Serbo-Croatian:

 

 

Greek

 

meaning

 

Albanian

 

Rumanian

 

Bulgarian

 

agiasma

 

holy water

 

ajazmë

 

agheasm|

 

agiazma, ajazma

 

acaQistoV

 

prayer for the dead

 

C

 

acatist

 

akatist

 

anajora

 

wafer, Eucharist bread

 

naforë

 

anafur|

 

nafora

 

ajorizw

 

to excommunicate, to curse

 

C

 

afurisi

 

aforesvam

 

eikona

 

icon; image, picture

 

ikonë

 

icoan|

 

ikona

 

leitourgia

 

lithurgy, mass

 

(Tosc) liturgji

 

liturghie

 

liturgija

 

kalogeroV

 

monk

 

kallojér, kallogjër

 

c|lug|r

 

kaluger

 

hgoumenoV

 

prior

 

igumén, gumén

 

igumen

 

igumen

Remark: akatist, napora, kaluger, and igumen are found also in Serbo-Croatian.

 

It is obvious that the religious terms of Latin (and Greek) origin concern many BASIC NOTIONS of the Christian faith. Another, larger, group of religious terms in Rumanian, those of SOUTH SLAVIC ORIGIN, pertain mainly to the ORGANIZATION of the Church. The exact age of these loanwords cannot always be determined, but they are earliest from the end of the 9th century, when the Bulgarians adopted the Christian faith (cf. above, p. 22). Most of these terms were, of course, borrowed later, during the 11th and the following centuries. Many of the corresponding Old Slavic words are found in texts. The direct continuation of Old Slavic (Old Bulgarian) is Middle Bulgarian, the most important variant of Slavonic (in French, slavon, in German, Kirchenslavisch), which dominated in Muntenia and Moldavia during the 14thB16th centuries. The Slavonic texts perserve in general the Old Bulgarian forms.

Mih|il| presented 79 examples of Rumanian religious terms originating from this source. They are divided into the following groups: (1) fundamental notions of Christianity, (2) evil spirits and heathen gods, (3) designations of the saints, (4) Church hierarchy, (5) monastic life, (6) church, monastery, and (7) divine service. Thirtythree of these examples are of Greek origin, 2 are loan translations from Greek, and one derives from Latin.

Some examples: duh ´soul; spirit; ghost´, rai ´paradise´, idol ´idol, image´, iad ´hell´, sobor ´synod, group of priests; prayer, service´, episcop ´bishop´, vladic| ´bishop´, pop| ´priest´, m|n|stire ´monastery, cloister´, jertf| ´offering, sacrifice´, prohod ´funeral service, requiem, burial´.

It must be added that, besides the rich Christian terminology, several words concerning popular heathen beliefs of the South Slavic populations were also borrowed by Rumanian: N. Rum. vraj| ´charm, spell: magic, witchcraft´, basm ´fairy-tale´ (cf. Slavic bajati ´to conjure´), moroi ´ghost, phantom´, vârcolac ´werwolf; vampire; ghost´, zmeu ´dragon´.

 

The Christian terms of Northern Rumanian are divided into two distinct groups: (1) those adopted by the ancestors of the Rumanians during the period of the Roman Empire, latest in the 5th or 6th century, and (2) a larger group, borrowed from Bulgarian much later. This must have a counterpart in the socio-political conditions of the speakers of Rumanian. The existence of the Latin Christian terms indicates that they were Christianized already during the Roman age, before the 6th century; (a rich religious life, with several dioceses, bishops, churches, etc. is attested from those centuries in the Roman provinces of the Balkan peninsula). The enormous impact of Bulgarian terms pertaining predominantly to church organization indicates that the Vlachs were organized into the Greek Orthodox Church by the Bulgarians. This cannot have occurred but after the end of the 9th century, since the Bulgarians were Christianized in 865 AD.

This is a very significant socio-cultural fact and completes the picture of an intensive symbiosis with the Bulgarians, which is shown by the Rumanian language in general. The connections between the Church and the state were intimate in those days. The strong Bulgarian influence on the Vlachs´ religious terminology would therefore be very difficult to explain if one assumed that the Vlachs, in a period starting with the 10th century, lived outside the Bulgarian state.

Northern. Rumanian cârneleag|, Arum. cârleag| ´last but one week of Advent fast´ and Õlegi ´carnival´ testify to connections also with the Albanians as regards religious terms. Cârneleag| (< Latin carnem-ligat) means literally ´the binding of meat´; these words must be connected with Albanian e lidhura (Gheg e lithmeje) ´carnival´, from lidh ´to bind´.

 

 

 

L. Common Rumanian (româna comun|)

 

This ancient period of the Rumanian language has been referred to in the preceding presentation, among other things, in the context of Arumanian and the other dialects.

The Northern Rumanian, Istro-Rumanian, Arumanian, and Megleno-Rumanian dialects once formed a single language without any significant dialectal divergences. This language, which is not documented in written texts, was reconstructed on the basis of the present day dialects; it is called Ancient Rumanian (str|român|), Primitive Rumanian (român| primitiv|) or Common Rumanian (român| comun|). The latter term is used here, since it conveys the most important information about this stage of the language.

The starting point of the common period is the age when the Balkan Latin dialect from which Rumanian developed, started to show its own, specific features, distinct from the rest of the Balkan Latin idioms. The common period ended when the originally homogenous population, living in a relatively small area in close contact with each other started to separate. It is generally considered that this was caused by the Arumanians migrating towards the south. There is some disagreement among different authors over this question: the beginning is assumed by Coteanu (ILR 1969, p. 15) to be the 5th century, by Weigand the 7th century, by Stati (in Dacoromania 1973, p. 213) the 8th century. Weigand puts the end of Common Rumanian in the 9th century, Stati, in the 11th century.

There are some data which help to define the end of the common period: one is the report by the Byzantine chronicler Cedren about some Vlach wayfarers, who in 976 AD killed David, the brother of Samuil, the Bulgarian co-regent, between Kastoria and the lake Prispa. These Vlachs were southern Rumanians. The other circumstance is the presence of Hungarian words in Northern Rumanian, which do not exist in Arumanian. Assuming that a Hungarian influence was not possible before the 12th century, Coteanu considered that Athe separation of Arumanian from Dacorumanian could not have occurred before the 12th century@.

According to Rosetti, the common Rumanian period started in the 7th and 8th centuries, when it is generally agreed that Latin gave way to the Romance languages, and it ended in the 10th century. This seems to be the most plausible thesis.

Common Rumanian was reconstructed on the basis of the present day Rumanian dialects B primarily Northern Rumanian and Arumanian. Every old element found in at least one of the dialects is considered to have been part of the common idiom. Some characteristic features of it will be summarized here, mainly on the basis of descriptions given by Rosetti ILR 1986, pp. 321B159, ILR 1969, pp. 189B212, Tagliavini Lingu Neolat 1969, pp. 365B374, and Caragiu-MarioÛeanu Dialectologie 1975, pp. 86B124.

 

Phonetics

The vowel system

Unstressed Latin a > Rumanian |: Lat. camisia > Arum. câmeaÕ|, N. Rum. c|maÕ| ´shirt´. Also unstressed Latin o changed to | in monosyllabic Latin grammatical words, such as Lat. quod > N. Rum, Arum. c|, Latin contra > Arum. cîtrî, N. Rum. c|tr|. In words borrowed from Slavic, -o also changed to | : Old Slavic sito > Arum., N. Rum. sit|, sßto > sut|. As Aa characteristic feature of the Balkan languages@, | appears also in Albanian, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian dialects.

Stressed e (Latin ) was diphthongized: ye:

 

 

Latin

 

Arumanian

 

N. Rumanian

 

meaning

 

heri

 

a(i)eri

 

ieri

 

yesterday

 

ferrum

 

h´er

 

fier

 

iron

This change is spontaneous (i.e., it is not caused by the influence of another sound on e). It seems to appear in grammar books in the 5th century AD.

In contrast to Arumanian, Northern Rumanian diphthongized also e in the position as the first sound in a syllable: ieftin ´cheap´. This occurred later than the above-mentioned change and under the influence of South Slavic.

Stressed o followed in the following syllable by e or a was diphthongized: oa . Latin coda > Arum., N. Rum. coad|; also in early Slavic loanwords: Old Slavic kosa > Arum., N. Rum. coas|. Stressed e followed in the next syllable by a (|) or e was diphthongized after the 6th century: Latin herba > Arum., N. Rum. iarb|, Latin petra > Arum. k´atr|, N. Rum. piatr| (Rosetti, 1986, p. 329). These diphthongs Aconstitute the originality of Rumanian, in which e and o have the role of semivowels, as i for example in ia´@.

Later, diphthongs with i as the second element appeared: ai, îi, ei, oi, ui.

The vowel system of Common Rumanian was as follows:

 

i | u

e o

a

The an > |n, am > |m change precedes rhotacism and with some exceptions of very early borrowings from Slavic, does not affect the Slavic loanwords. Later, this | developed into î : Latin manus > Arum., N. Rum. mân|, (but Istrorum. m|r|), Latin angelus > N. Rum. înger, etc.

Unstressed Latin o showed a tendency to change to u already inVulgar Latin (o and u are confounded in many texts). This continued in Rumanian: Vulgar Latin oricla > Arum. ureacl´a , N. Rum. ureche ´ear´, Latin romanus > N. Rum., Arum. rumân, Arum. also r|mân, arr|m|nu, armân.

Of consonants, the following may be mentioned:

Latin d followed by i in a hiatus changed in the Latin period; in Latin grammar books from the 5th century AD it is written dz, z, or i . In Arum., d > dz if followed by ia, or by unstressed io, iu. In N. Rum. (except a few sub-dialects) dz later changed to z: Latin medius > Arum. ´nedz, N. Rum. miez, Latin hordeum > Arum. ordzu, N. Rum. orz. If followed by stressed io, iu d changed to  , later j: Latin deorsum > Arum. (n) os, N. Rum. jos. Latin d + e, i changed similarly, after the 6th century: Latin decem > Arum. dzaÛe, N. Rum. zece, Latin deus > Arum. dz|u, N. Rum. zeu.

The change of Latin t + i in a hiatus was recorded from the 5th century on. Later development went in two ways: (1) If followed by ia, or by unstressd iu, t changed to ts: Latin matia > Arum. maÛ|, N. Rum. maÛe. (2) If followed by stressed io, iu, Latin t changed to …: Latin fetiolus > Arum. fi…or, N. Rum. fecior, Latin titionem > Arum. ti…uni, N. Rum. t|ciune. - The assibilation of Latin t + e, i occurred after the 6th century: Latin terra > Arum., N. Rum. Ûar|, Latin teneo > Arum. Ûîn, N. Rum. Ûin.

Latin i (j) followed by stressed o, u > Rumanian   : Latin jocus Arum.  oc, N Rum. joc, Latin adjungere > Arum. a undziri N. Rum. ajunge. In parts of the N. Rum. territory,   changed to j .

Latin k + i in a hiatus was palatalized in the 2nd century AD. Later, it developed as follows: followed by unstressed io, iu, it changed to ts: Latin socius > Arum., N. Rum. soÛ. Followed by stressed io, iu, it changed to … : Latin petiolus > Arum. and N. Rum. picior.

The palatalization of k ´ (+ e, i ) is attested in Latin in the 5th century. In Northern Rumanian, it changed to … : Latin cera > N. Rum. cear|. In Arumanian, the general rule today is ts in this position: Ûear|, Ûer. There are, however, in certain parts of the Arumanian area, reports of the use of … instead of ts, and Rosetti considers that the pronunciation ts is recent.

Latin s followed by i and e in a hiatus, changed to š : Latin camisia > Arum. cîmeaÕ|, N. Rum. c|maÕ|, Latin caseus > Arum., N. Rum. caÕ.

In the Latin group of consonants: br , b changed to u or disappeared: Latin cibrum > Arum. Ûir, Meglenitic …ur, N. Rum. ciur. (This is why Abrud [placename in Transylvania, cf. below, chapter III, p. 181] cannot be inherited from Latin Abruttus but must have been handed down to Rumanian by an other language.)

Latin cl, gl : The l in these groups disappeared in most of the N. Rum. territory, but not in Arumanian and Istrorumanian: Latin clavis > Arum. cl´ae, N. Rum. cheie, Latin glacies > Arum. gl´eÛ, gl´aÛ|, N. Rum. ghiaÛ|.

The Latin group st followed by e or i changed to št: Latin castigare > Arum.Õtigari, N. Rum.Õtiga. Followed by i (e) in a hiatus, st changed to š: Latin pastionem > Arum.Õuni, N. Rum. pune. The word christianus is an exception: Arum. criÕtin, N. Rum. creÕtin, Abecause the word penetrated late into the language and was not adapted to the words from the old stock.@ Intervocalic l > r: Latin mola > Arum., N. Rum., Istrorum. moar|, Latin fil(um) > N. Rum. fir. This change did not affect the Slavic loanwords.

As a result of the action of a iot on the preceding consonant, the following new phonemes appeared: /…,/ / / /Û /, /  / /Õ /, / / /l´/.

The phoneme /h/ probably existed in this period in words from the substratum but had a subordinate role until strengthened by /h/ in several Slavic loanwords.

The consonant system or Common Rumanian had 22 phonemes:

/p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ /c/ /g/ /Û/ / / /…/ / / /f/

/v/ /s/ /Õ/ /n/ /n/ / / /l/ /l/ /l´/ /r/ /r/

 

Morphology

 

The neutre disappeared in Latin and reappeared probably in the period of Common Rumanian. It is expressed with the endings of the masculine nouns in the singular and that of the feminines in the plural, as well as by Latin -ora: N. Rum. scaun ´stool´, scaune ´stools´; ochi B ochiuri.

 

For an exhaustive presentation of Common Rumanian, cf. Rosetti ILR 1986, pp. 321B359.

 

The conclusion is formulated in the following quotations:

 

The comparison of the Daco-Rumanian dialect with Arumanian (because Istro-Rumanian is only a branch of the Daco-Rumanian dialect and Meglenitic is a branch of the Arumanian dialect...) reveals the former unity of the primitive language from which the two dialects developed.

 

The innovations (more than conservation of features) shared by the four large Rumanian dialects are so many and of such importance that it is impossible to attribute them to mere chance, which would have been the case if the four dialects would have developed in the areas they occupy at present, without any contact with one another. Thus, one must admit that the territory of formation of Proto-Rumanian was more or less extensive but uniform.

 

 

M. The dialects of the Rumanian language

 

1. THE FOUR DIALECTS: NORTHERN RUMANIAN, ISTRO-RUMANIAN; ARUMANIAN, AND MEGLENITIC

 

Northern Rumanian

 

Although this term is not unknown (cf., for example, Bourciez, Éléments de lingustique romane, 1967, p. 548: Aroumain du Nord@), the designation ADaco-Roman@ has been used generally when speaking about the Rumanian dialect found north of the Arumanians and the Meglenites. However, this term may cause misunderstanding. It is based on the circumstance that the northern dialect of Rumanian is at present, among other areas, also spoken in the territory which between 106 and 275 AD was Roman Dacia. It is, however, also spoken south of the Danube and during the Middle Ages, its Balkan territory was much more extensive. It included large parts of Serbia and Bulgaria; cf. above, p. 22. The most important reason not to use the designation ADaco-Roman@ is that it can be used (and has been used) with the implication that the northern dialect of Rumanian is based on the Dacian language. Thus, for example, C. Daicoviciu (1969) stated categorically that he regarded the term ADaco-Roman@ not only in its geographical sense and continued: AFor us, the term implies, in the first place, the genetic character of the Daco-Romans, i.e., A ROMANCE POPULATION ON A DACIAN ETHNIC BASIS@ (romanitate pe temelia etnic| dacic|). This cannot be regarded adequate, in the first place because our knowledge of possible Dacian elements in the Rumanian language is very scanty. It is uncertain whether such elements exist at all.

An exhaustive presentation of Northern Rumanian was written by Alf Lombard: La langue Roumaine. Une présentation, 1974. In the following survey this, as well as Matilda Caragiu-MarioÛeanu´s Compendiu de dialectologie român| (nord- Õi sud-dun|rean|), 1975, were used in the first place.

Northern Rumanian is the mother-tongue of more than 20 million people in Rumania, to whom must be added smaller or larger groups living in adjacent countries. It is the most highly developed dialect of the Rumanian language. It is characterized by a tremendous impact of Slavic (cf. above, pp. 98B108). From the 18th and especially the 19th century on, it has absorbed many French, Italian and Classic Latin words. Northern Rumanian also contains, in contrast to Arumanian, a considerable amount of Hungarian and a smaller number of German elements, the result of Rumanian contacts with these peoples in Transylvania. Its Balkan characteristics are the same as those found in the other (southern) Rumanian dialects (cf. above, p. 86). As a result of the various foreign influences, many synonyms are organized to a principle involving a double scale, Latin versus Slavic: timpBvreme ´time´, but there are many words included in the synonymic pattern based on a triple scale, for example repedeBiuteBrapid, three words derived from Latin (inherited), Slavic, and French (which borrowed it from Classic Latin), respectively, to express the notion of ´fast´.

The speakers of Istro-Rumanian are the remnants of the Vlachs whose northwestern migration during the Middle Ages ended in Istria. Their dialect is closely related to Northern Rumanian. Their numbers were very low already in the 19th century. P. Kandler gave the figure of 6.000 in 1846, while in 1862,

Miklosich recorded 2953 Istro-Rumanians. The most recent figure from the years 1959 to 1961 (A. Kova…ec) is 1.250 to 1.500. The Istro-Rumanians are all bilingual and are being increasingly assimilated into the surrounding Croatian and Italian populations. Once, they were shepherds, and vestiges of this fact are left in the language of Croatian shepherds in the region of Zadar, who use Rumanian numerals when counting their sheep: dô, pâto, šasto, šopƒe, zéci. The Istro-Rumanians used to call themselves vlåÕ, vlås; and their language, vlåski. The surrounding populations call them ciribiri.

Arumanian or Macedo-Rumanian, the main southern dialect of Rumanian, is spoken by the Arumanians, who are living on both sides of the Pindus mountains in Greece, in Albania and in Bulgaria. According to the Brockhaus Encyclopedy (1966), their total number in the entire Balkan peninsula is 400.000. Also the number of this population is decreasing, as that of the speakers of the other Rumanian dialects in the Balkan peninsula.

This group of Vlachs call themselves ar(u)mânu, rum|nu, r|m|nu (< Latin romanus). Their neighbours call them Vlachs; the Greeks use the designation Koutsoblacoi, which means ´limping Vlachs´; the Bulgarians say belivlasi ´white Vlachs´. The Albanian name of the Arumanians is rëmër (from Latin romanus) or  oban. The Serbians call them ÛinÛars, probably because of the high frequency of Û (ts) in the Arumanian dialect.

The Arumanians have always been predominantly shepherds. In ancient times, they were moving flocks to an Alpine pasture in the spring and then to nearby lowlands in the autumn, but they were also seminomadic or nomadic (wandering) shepherds. There was still between the two World Wars a group of Arumanians who were nomads.

Arumanian is the only Rumanian dialect south of the Danube with a literature of its own; the first text whose age is known dates from 1731. The Megleno-Rumanians or Meglenites are living in the plain of Meglen north of Thessaloniki, mostly in Greece, partly in Macedonia. This dialect is closely related to Arumanian. The number of the Meglenites was, at the beginning of the 20th century, estimated around 20.000, but emigration, especially to Turkey after the first World War (they are Mohammedans) has reduced their number. Assimilation to the surrounding Greek and Slavic population thereafter has resulted in the practical extinction of this group.

The Meglenites are a group of speakers of Rumanian who lost their name derived from Latin romanus; they call themselves VlaÕi; their neighbours call them VlaÕi or Meglenites.

 

The importance of the southern dialects in the study of the history of the Rumanian language was summarized by Macrea as follows:

 

Being very close to primitive Common Rumanian (româna primitiv| comun|) in several respects, Arumanian, Megleno-Rumanian, and Istro-Rumanian must be regarded living historical documents of our language from the period before our first written documents.

 

Although the theory that the speakers of these dialects originate from the areas north of the lower Danube has been presented (cf., for example, the discussion by Macrea: ADespre dialectele limbii române@, Limba romîn|, V, 1, 1956, pp. 14 B15), there is no evidence for this. It is now generally recognized that they always lived south of the Danube. A survey of the discussion of the question whether Arumanian, Meglenitic, and Istro-Rumanian should be regarded as dialects or separate languages is given by Cazacu (Studii de dialectologie român|, 1966, pp. 9B32). Cazacu´s conclusion is that they must on the basis of genealogic and structural criteria be considered dialects of the same language (Rumanian). Matilda Caragiu-MarioÛeanu (Compendiu dial 1975) also presents them as dialects.

 

 

 

Area

 

Hungarian

 

Saxon

 

Rumanian

 

other

 

total c:a

 

Szekler

 

150.000 93.7%

 

?

 

?

 

B

 

160.000

 

Saxon

 

?

 

65.000 76.5%

 

15.000 17.6%

 

B

 

85.000

 

Counties

 

210.000 52.5%

 

20.000 5%

 

170.000 42.5%

 

?

 

400.000

 

Partium

 

140.000 46%

 

B

 

90.000 30%

 

80.000 26%

 

300.000

 

total c:a

 

500.000 52.3%

 

90.000 9.4%

 

280.000 29.3%

 

85.000 8.9%

 

955.000

Table 3. The ethnic situation of the Transylvanian Principality at the end of the 16th century. Because of the scarcity of data, only approximate figures can be given. (After Erdély rövid története, red. B. Köpeczi, in an article by G. Barta, p. 238.)

 

 

Nationality

 

Counties & Fogaras

 

Szekler

 

Saxon

 

Transylvania total

 

Rumanian

 

781.791 74.5%

 

54.246 14.5%

 

207.810 51.8%

 

1,043.650 57.2%

 

Hungarian

 

159.396 15.2%

 

303.975 81.5%

 

25.063 6.2%

 

488.434 26.8%

 

German

 

49.166 4.7%

 

1.163 0.3%

 

141.425 35.2%

 

191.754 10.5%

 

other

 

58.696 5.6%

 

13.528 3.7%

 

26.953 6.8%

 

99.187 5.5%

 

total

 

1,049.049

 

372.912

 

401.251

 

1,823.025

 

Table 4. The ethnic situation of Transylvania (without the Partium) according to the census made in 1850B1851 (shortly after the Freedom Fight against the Habsburgs, in which very many Hungarians were killed or expelled from the country. (After Erdély rövid története, red. B. Köpeczi, in an article by Zs. Trócsányi & A. Miskolczy, p. 371.) Absolute numbers and proportions are given.

 

2. THE SUB-DIALECTS OF NORTHERN RUMANIAN

 

When discussing the Rumanian dialects in Transylvania, it must be remembered that in this province, the proportion of the Rumanians was earlier much lower (for example, in the 16th century, only around 30%, see Table 3) and they lived mainly in the mountainous areas of the southern Carpathians, the Transylvanian Alps, and Máramaros (MaramureÕ).

The first systematic studies of the sub-dialects of Northern Rumanian spoken north of the lower Danube and in Dobrogea were carried out by Gustav Weigand (1860B1930), whose Linguistischer Atlas des dacorumänischen Sprachgebietes appeared in 1909 in Leipzig. In general, Weigand´s conclusions have been confirmed by more recent research, although the Rumanian Linguistic Atlas, published in the 1930´s, added much new material.

The literary language in Rumania is based on the sub-dialect spoken in Muntenia. On the basis of the Rumanian Linguistic Atlas, Emil Petrovici summarized the phonetic differences of the other sub-dialects as follows:

The different pronunciation of ge (gi) and ci; the preservation of dz (which in Muntenia changed to z), and of -n- in certain words: a încuna instead of a încuia: the change of ia to ie, of -e to -i, and of o to u|; the palatalization of d, t, n in front of e and i . To this, the following may be added: mîine instead of mîini; the velar g in sugit and the velar k in înkid; the palatalization of the velar c in c|lk´îi, etc., the palatalization of f, v (> s, z); the change of -ea to e; the palatalization of the labials; the different treatment of Latin a + n: in Muntenia, îi (cîine), in Moldavia and other areas, î (cîne).

Some commentaries to these differences between the sub-dialects:

(1) a încuna, c|lcâne, etc., are old forms which existed in Common Rumanian and are still found in the dialects south of the Danube. Northern Rumanian, with the exception of the Banat, has innovated (încuia, c|lcâi). This innovation is quite recent: in placenames and personal names found in Latin and Slavic documents written in the 15th century, forms in -n- are the rule.

(2) The palatalization of the dentals had occurred in several areas already in the 15th century. This is shown in Hungarian documents from Transylvania, where some Rumanian placenames are recorded: the Rumanian name of a village in Hunyad county (Rum. Hunedoara), CârneÕti, was written Kernyest (1447 AD); B|deÕti, a former village near Temesvár (Rum. TimiÕoara) > Begyest, etc.

(3) The only phoneme written differently in different areas in the 15th century was, as far as it is known today, z B dz. Documents from Moldavia, the Banat and Transylvania show z , while those from Muntenia have dz.

 

Vocabulary

 

There are many lexical elements which in the southern sub-dialect, corresponding mainly to Muntenia, are different from those used for the same notion in other (nothern) areas, for example:

 

 

Muntenia

 

Northern areas

 

meaning

 

ficat

 

mai

 

liver

 

varz|

 

curechi

 

cabbage

 

gresie

 

cute

 

whetstone

 

n|duÕeal|

 

sudoare

 

sweat

 

z|pad|

 

nea, om|t

 

snow

 

burt|

 

foale, pântece

 

belly

 

rinichi

 

r|runchi

 

kidney

 

porumb

 

cucuruz

 

maize

The following words are considered roughly to delineate the eastern (Moldavian) sub-dialect; although their isoglosses do not coincide:

 

 

Moldavia

 

Muntenia

 

meaning

 

ciolan

 

os

 

bone

 

manc|, mamc|

 

doic|

 

(wet) nurse

 

om|t

 

z|pad|

 

snow

 

cori

 

pojar

 

measles

 

hulub

 

porumbel

 

pigeon

 

pântece

 

burt|

 

belly

 

moÕ with the sense of ´uncle´

 

moÕ

 

gray-headed man; forefather, ancestor

 

a pisca

 

a ciupi

 

to pinch

 

p|puÕoi

 

porumb

 

maize

 

chelbos

 

chel

 

bald(-headed)

 

The following words are characteristic of a northwestern sub-dialect but, as shown on map No. 3 by Petrovici, here too, the isoglosses show wide divergence:

 

 

Northwest

 

Muntenia

 

meaning

 

piÛig

 

pisc

 

peak, summit

 

goz

 

gunoiul din ochi

 

rheumy

 

chefe

 

perie

 

brush

 

prunc

 

b|iat

 

boy

 

sclab

 

slab

 

weak

 

pântece

 

burt|

 

belly

 

Õi

 

s|

 

(sign of the conjunctive)

 

In this area (part of Transylvania) appear a series of lexical elements of Hungarian origin, such as for example:

 

 

Northwest

 

from Hungarian

 

meaning

 

ciont

 

csont

 

bone

 

mai

 

máj

 

liver

 

cuÕt|lesc

 

kóstolok

 

I taste

 

feÕteal|

 

festék

 

colour, paint

 

sab|u

 

szabó

 

tailor

The following words appear characteristic of the Banat, although many of them are used also in other areas:

 

 

Banat

 

Muntenia

 

meaning

 

nea(ua)

 

z|pad|

 

snow

 

uic|

 

unchiu

 

uncle

 

lop|tiÛ|

 

spat|

 

weaver´s reed

 

golumb

 

porumbel

 

dove

 

cozeci

 

pojar

 

measles

 

arghel|

 

herghelie

 

stud (farm)

 

foale

 

burt|

 

belly

 

Of German origin: farb| (< Farbe)´colour,´ Õnaid|r (< Schneider) ´tailor,´ etc.

 

Petrovici concludes that Northern Rumanian may be divided into five subdial-ects: that of Muntenia, Moldavia, the Banat, CriÕana, and MaramureÕ. This division is chiefly based on differences in the vocabulary and phonetics; of the last-mentioned differences, the pronunciation of ge (gi) is considered the most important.

 

THUS, TRANSYLVANIA HAS NO DIALECTAL AREA OF ITS OWN, NOT EVEN ON THE BASIS OF PHONETICS.

 

About the vocabulary, Petrovici stated the following:

 

Regarding Transylvania without the Banat, CriÕana, and MaramureÕ, it is very difficult to find words which would exist in the territory of this province only. Only if we consider Transylvania together with the Banat, CriÕana, and MaramureÕ as a unit, opposing Muntenia and Moldavia taken together, is it possible to find maps on which the former frontier between Transylvania and the Banat on the one hand, and Muntenia and Moldavia on the other, represent a dialectal frontier. The isoglosses, however, do not coincide exactly with the former frontier. Thus, regarding the words ciread|, bolnav, herghelie, the corresponding words beyond the mountains are ciord|, beteag, stav| (in the Banat, arghel|). In such cases, there usually appear new words, of Hungarian origin in Transylvania (for example, ciurd|), and of Turkish origin in Muntenia and Moldavia (herghelie). It should be mentioned that the form arghel| , found in the Banat, passed (from Turkish) into the Banat subdialect through Serbian.

Transylvania forms, in most cases, a single lexical area together with one or two of those four adjacent provinces: once with Moldavia, once with Muntenia, but more often with the Banat, CriÕana, and MaramureÕ. Most often, however, Transylvania is divided into several (three or four) lexical areas, as was also the case on the maps presented here. We all know the dialectal distribution of those three terms z|pad|, om|t, and nea (see maps No. 1, 2, 3, and 4) which divides Transylvania into three areas: one southern in which z|pad| is said, as in Muntenia; one northeastern, where om|t is said, as in Moldavia, and one western, where nea or neaua is said, as also in the Banat and in CriÕana.

 

 

 

 

 

Oltenia, Muntenia

 

Banat

 

CriÕana

 

Possessive article: al, a; ai, ale

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

C

 

 

C

 

C

 

1sr person sing., 1st and 2nd person plural of ´a fi´ :

(eu) mi-s

(noi) ni-s

(voi) vi-s

 

Formation of conditional in r„Õ (obsolete) C

 

 

 

C

 

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

Formation of the past tense of the conditional mood with ´a vrea´

 

Form. of the conjunct-ive with Õi (not s|)

 

Table 6. Morphological peculiarities of the Northern Rumanian sub-dialects. (Transylvania, including MaramureÕ, and Moldavia have no distinctive morphological features.)

(On the basis of Todoran, R., ACu privire la repartiÛia graiurilor dacoromîne,@ Limba român|, V, 2, pp. 38B50.)

 

Petrovici concludes as follows:

 

Transylvania has no sub-dialect of its own, but those four (or five) sub-dialects extend from the south, the east, the southwest and the northwest (the sub-dialect of MaramureÕ from the north) towards the centre of Transylvania.

 

On the basis of phonetic peculiarities in texts from the 16th century, two sub-dialects may be distinguished within Northern Rumanian: a northern area with northern Transylvania, MaramureÕ, and Moldavia, and a southern area, comprising southern Transylvania and Muntenia. Texts written in the Banat coincide partly with the northern and partly with the southern sub-dialect. The differences in phonetics were in that period probably somewhat more pronounced than today. An investigation of the vocabulary used in the 16th century texts resulted in the delineation of essentially the same areas as those established by phonetic criteria.

The absence of dialects in Northern Rumanian is remarkable and unique among the Romance languages:

 

The Rumanian language, in contrast to other Romance languages, has a much more unitary character, a fact which has been emphasized repeatedly.

 

In a note, Cazacu quotes the observation of J. Boutière:

 

Ce qui frappe dès l´abord, lorsqu´on examine ces cartes (de l´ALR) ... c´est leur unité, au moins relative, qui confine parfois à la pauvreté; nous sommes, la plupart du temps bien loin de l´exubérante richesse que présentent d´autres atlas linguistiques, et notamment celui de Gilliéron.

 

 

 

N. The way of life of the early Rumanians as reflected by their language

 

Among lexical elements originating from the substratum of Rumanian, shepherd terms predominate; in the Latin word stock, terms pertaining to urban life are practically non-existent and several Latin words changed their meaning in a direction explicable only in the setting of a shepherd community. This has been shown above, but there are other circumstances also indicating that the Vlachs were mainly shepherds, even after the separation of the dialects.

These circumstances are:

(1) The use of shepherd terms to express general human conditions.

(2) Ancient Vlach placenames and names of mountains in the Balkan peninsula.

(3) Documents on the shepherd Vlach population in Serbia (12thB15th centuries). (4) Considerable numbers of shepherd terms of Rumanian origin in at leat 12 European languages. (This will be discussed below, see AThe wanderings of the Vlachs outside the Balkan peninsula.@)

(1) In the Rumanian language, several expressions connected with general human conditions and activities derive from the shepherd terminology:

(a) ´To wean´ is expressed by a term taken from the realities of shepherd life: a înÛerca lit. ´to put in a fold;´ ´to wean´. This word contains Latin in- and a word from the substratum: Ûarc ´fold, pen´ (cf. above, p. 76). In contrast, in French, for example, ´to wean´ is expressed by a word the sense of which in Latin is ´to separate´: French sevrer ´to wean´ (< Latin se-parare ´to separate´).

(b) arete, from Latin aries ´ram´, may in N. Rumanian signify ´male destined for reproductive function´, for example: cocoÕul acesta l-am l|sat de arete ´we have preserved this cock for reproduction´.

(c) The word strung| ´sheepfold´, from the shepherd terminology, may also be used in the sense of ´gap between two teeth´; (strung|reaÛ| has only this sense).

(d) chiag ´rennet´, from Latin coagulum, is used in such expressions as se închiag| un gând ´a thought is being formed´, lit. ´a thought is being coagulated, clotted´; chiagul unei societi ´the cement of a society´; a prins chiag may be said of somebody who has consolidated his or her economic situation, etc.

(e) To say that two persons are of the same age, one may say suntem de aceeaÕi iarb|, lit. ´we are of the same grass´ B as two lambs which started grazing at the same time. ´Don´t occupy yourself with things you don´t understand´ may be expressed by paÕte iarba pe care o cunoÕti, lit. ´feed upon the grass you know´.

(f) The word for ´to graze, to feed´ B paÕte B is used in several everyday expressions: ce paÕti aici? ´what do you seek here?, m| paÕte moartea ´there is death ahead for me´, m| paÕte norocul ´luck is close at hand´, m| paÕte gândul ´the thought worries me´, etc.

 

Seul un peuple où la vie pastorale a joué un rôle capital peut dire: m| paÕte un gînd litter. ´une pensée me paît´; il y a à la base de cette expression l´image d´un troupeau de brebis qui broute jusqu´au dernier brin d´herbe, jusqu´à ce qu´il ne reste plus rien.

 

(g) Also oaie ´sheep´is used in everyday expressions: o face de oaie ´he makes something foolish´, prea e de oaie ´it is a very stupid thing´, suge la dou| oi is said of somebody who makes a profit out of two sources, etc.

(2) The names of Northern Rumanian origin in the Balkan peninsula of small villages (c|tun-s), as well as the names of mountains of the same origin, must have been left by a population living in the high mountains. These names were found by the Slavs when they populated the area, before the 8th century (cf. above, pp. 29B32).

(3) Although from a later period (the 12th to the 15th centuries), there also are documentary descriptions of this population: they are mentioned in the earliest deeds of gift from Serbian monasteries known today, and are consistently described as shepherds or carters, often living in symbiosis with Serbians or Albanians (cf. above, pp. 26B29, 38).

 

 

O. The wanderings of the Vlachs outside the Balkan peninsula

 

Above, pp. 35B37, the protracted wanderings of the Vlachs in almost the entire Balkan peninsula were described. Here I will present their northward migrations to rather distant territories.

In the course of time, part of the Vlach population settled down as peasants. However, large numbers of them continued to be shepherds throughout the Middle Ages and even later, while migrating to new territories. This is, besides historical records, shown by the Rumanian lexical influence on a series of Europen languages: Slovakian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, and Transylvanian Saxon. This is the result of the migrations of the Vlachs to territories north of the lower Danube; the Carpathian mountains, the MunÛii Apuseni in Transylvania, the sub-Carpathian Ruthenian area, Slovakia, Moravia, southern Poland, the Ukraine, and southern Russia. It must be pointed out that the Vlachs did not borrow shepherd terms from the Slavs or from any other population with the exception of the other par excellence shepherd population of the Balkan peninsula, the Albanians.

The largest semantic category of Rumanian lexical material borrowed by languages of southeastern Europe is that of the shepherd terms. Other groups are: plants, animals, parts of the body, family relations, human qualities and defects, clothes, food and drink, occupations, tools, habits, administrative and military terms, and even abstract notions.

In Hungarian, the oldest Northern Rumanian influence consists mainly of shepherd terms: berbécs ´ram´, brindza ´cheese´, cáp ´he-goat´, cigája ´breed of sheep with prime wool´, esztrenga ´fold, pen´, esztena ´shepherd cottage´, furulya ´flute´, csobán ´shepherd in charge of a sheepfold´, mióra ´sheep´, mokány ´spunky, plucky´, pakulár ´shepherd´, orda ´soft cheese´, etc.

The same is the case with the German language of the Transylvanian Saxons: batsch ´shepherd in charge of a sheepfold´, berbetsch ´ram´, tschurde ´flock´, stine ´shepherd cottage´, strunge ´fold, pen´, prents ´cheese´, zare ´butter milk´, zer ´whey´, flur ´flute´, etc.

In Ukrainian, there are: afyra and afina ´blueberry´, armaš ´provost marshal´, harmasar ´stallion´, arsyca ´intense heat´, bracar ´bracelet´, bryndza ´cheese´, bukata ´piece, bit´, kam (adverb) ´about, around, nearly´, kamašy ´shirt´, kapestra ´halter, bridle´, karuš ´carter´, karuca ´cart, waggon´, kl´ag ´rennet´, kip ´image´, frika ´fear´, kodaš ´last, lagging behind´, fruntaš ´leader´, mai (adverb) ´more´, makriš ´(cock) sorrel, sharp dock´, malaj ´maize flour´, mamaliga ´maize porridge´, merend´a ´victuals, food´, popušoja ´maize´, sapa ´ho´, sapaty ´to hoe, to dig´, tryfoi ´clover, trefoil´, turma ´flock´, cariyna ´tilled land´, vatra ´hearth´, dzama ´juice´, dzer ´whey´, etc.

In Russian: barbos ´bearded´, bryndza and brynza ´cheese´, malaj ´maize flour´, mamaliga ´maize porridge´, placynda ´pancake´, urda ´soft cheese´, cygeika ´sheep´, kalauz ´guide´, papuša ´doll puppet´, carina ´tilled land´, caranin ´peasant´, mors (from Rumanian murs| ´beauty-spot; Schönheits-pflästerchen; Honigwasser´), dñok ´play´, etc.

In Polish: afyra ´blueberry´, jefer ´blueberry´, bacza ´shepherd in charge of a sheepfold´, barda ´hatchet´, berbe… ´sheep´, bryndza ´cheese´, bukat ´piece, bit´, kalarasz ´horseman´, kalcun ´bennet´, koliba ´hut´, kornuta ´(long)horned´, koszar ´barn, stall´, fujara ´flute´, kokonica ´young woman´, domna ´lady´, domnica ´princess; sweetheart´, linta and lenta ´lentil´, maczuga ´club, bludgeon´, malaj ´maize flour´, mamalyga ´maize porridge´, mierynda ´victuals, food´, strygo  ´ghost, phantom´, traista ´bag´, urda ´soft cheese´, dziama ´juice´, dzer ´whey´.

A systematic study showed 30 terms of Northern Rumanian origin used by the Slovakian shepherds in the north and the northeast of Slovakia and Orova. Macrea mentions the following of these: ghaleta and geleta ´bucket´, kl´ag ´rennet´, putyra and putina ´vat´, merinda ´victuals, food´, demikat ´soup with crumbed bread´, kornuta ´(long)horned´, kulastra and kuljastra ´beest(ings)´, carek and carok ´fold, pen´, rumegat´i ´to chew, to rumigate´, meridzat´i ´(from Rumanian a meriza ´to let the cattle rest at noon´), murgana ´ (from Rumanian murgan| ´sheep with black streaks´), cigaja ´sheep with fine, soft wool´, laja (from Rumanian laie) ´black sheep´, strunga ´sheepfold, pen´, bryndza ´cheese´, urda ´soft cheese´, ba…a ´shepherd in charge of a sheepfold´.

Almost all these terms are also found in the Czech language.

In Moravia and in Galicia, personal names of Rumanian origin were found by Dr|ganu: Puyne, Bacs, Cerbul, Gropa; in Galicia: Plina, Runkur, Stremtura, Florea, Pascu, Botez, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Rumanian

 

meaning

 

Rumanian

 

meaning

 

afin|

 

bilberry

 

joc

 

play; pastime; dance

 

arm|sar

 

stallion

 

linte

 

lentil (Lens esculenta)

 

arÕiÛ|

 

intense heat

 

mai (adverb)

 

more

 

baci

 

shepherd in charge of a sheepfold

 

malai

 

maize flour

 

barb|

 

beard

 

m|ciuc|

 

club, bludgeon

 

bard|

 

hatchet, block bill

 

m|m|lig|

 

maize porridge

 

berbece

 

ram

 

merinde

 

victuals; food

 

brar|

 

bracelet

 

mioar|

 

ewe lamb

 

brânz|

 

cheese

 

mocan

 

shepherd; boor, cad

 

botez

 

baptism, Christening

 

murs|

 

mouche, beauty spot

 

bucat|

 

piece, bit

 

p|curar

 

shepherd

 

cam (adverb)

 

about; almost

 

p|puÕoi

 

maize

 

c|l|raÕ

 

cavalry man, horseman

 

pâine

 

bread

 

c|lÛun

 

(herb)bennet (Geum)

 

plin

 

full; compact; fat

 

c|maÕ|

 

shirt

 

putin|

 

vat

 

c|p|stru

 

halter, bridle

 

runc

 

forest pasture

 

c|r|uÕ

 

carter, waggoner

 

sap|

 

hoe

 

c|ruÛ|

 

cart, waggon

 

stân|

 

sheepfold, pen

 

cerb

 

stag

 

strigoi

 

ghost, phantom; wizard

 

chiag

 

rennet

 

strâmtur|

 

narrow passage, gorge

 

chip (< Hung. kép)

 

image, face, shape

 

strung|

 

sheepfold

 

cioban

 

shepherd

 

traist|

 

bag

 

ciurd|

 

herd, flock

 

trifoi

 

clover (Trifolium)

 

coconiÛ|

 

lady

 

turm|

 

flock

 

codaÕ

 

last; lagging behind

 

Ûap

 

he-goat

 

colib|

 

cabin, hut, hovel

 

Ûarin|

 

field under cultivation

 

cornut|

 

mouse ear (Cer- astium arvense)

 

Ûigaie

 

breed of sheep with prime wool

 

coÕar

 

barn; stall; hovel; hut

 

urd|

 

soft cow cheese

 

floare

 

flower

 

vatr|

 

heart; house; home

 

fluier

 

whistle, pipe

 

zar|

 

butter milk

 

fric|

 

fear, anxiety

 

zeam|

 

juice; souce; soup

 

groap|

 

pit, cavity

 

zer

 

whey

Table 7. List of Rumanian lexical elements transferred to Hungarian, Transylvanian Saxon, Ukrainian, Slovakian, Czech, Polish, and Russian.

The total number of Rumanian words in the Slavic languages is about 400. The highest number is found in Bulgarian (almost 200); this language also shows phonetic and structural changes of Rumanian origin (cf. above, pp. 108B110). The Slavic languages north of the Danube show lexical influence only.

Some suggestions regarding the age of these words are given (a) by the rhotacized forms putyra (< putin|), afyra (< afin|) in Ukrainian, Polish, Slovakian, and Czech. Rhotacism was probably widespread in the 10th to the 13th centuries; later, it was restricted to certain smaller areas; (b) by the forms kl´ag in Ukrainean, Polish, and Slovakian, gl´ag in Czech: cl in Latin words changed in N. Rum. to before the 16th century; (c) dz in dzeama, dzer, in Ukrainian and Polish, bryndza in all northern and eastern Slavic languages. In Northern Rumanian, the dz > z change was, as shown by the first written texts, almost complete in the 16th century. It should be pointed out that these criteria are not unequivocal, both rhotacism and dz existed also after the 16th century in certain areas of Northern Rumanian. Historical records may give some help: Vlachs are first described in the Balkan peninsula at the end of the 10th century, in Moldavia, at the end of the 11th century, and in Muntenia, somewhat later; in Transylvania, beginning with the 13th century. In Slovakia, Vlach shepherds appeared, according to Dr|ganu, already during the 10th to the 11th centuries (via Pannonia), but their presence there (and in Moravia) is attested by Czech and Slovakian historians only from the 16th century on.

According to Macrea, these Rumanian terms were borrowed Ain the period of great dispersion@ of the Vlachs, Abetween the 10th and the 13th centuries.@

That the Vlachs came to the above mentioned areas as wandering shepherds is obvious; no peasant population could have made such extensive migrations. This appears also from the analysis of the Rumanian loanwords from the semantic viewpoint: the largest single group of these words belongs to shepherd terminology and of the rest, a large part, names of plants, animals, tools, etc., are connected with shepherd´s way of life.

The Vlach population had its own organization, led by its own leaders (cneji, c|tunari, celnici), and had with them everywhere the jus valachicum, developed in Serbia. In the Balkans, many of their leaders attained high ranks in society as administrators, clerks, church leaders, and also as chiefs of their own local state organizations : cf. the AValachies@ described in Byzantine sources, as well as the As|neÕti-family, the founders of the second Bulgarian empire. The rank and file were, however, mainly shepherds. In the course of time, more and more of them settled down as peasants. In Slovakia, Bohemia, Poland, the Ukraine, and Russia, they were eventually assimilated into the surrounding Slavic populations. The above mentioned Rumanian impact upon the language of these populations is the only memento of them today.


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