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Old 07-30-2020, 03:10 PM   #31
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Romanian and the loving kindness of the Slavs


Christopher Culver

In my study of the Romanian language I have been amazed at how much of the original Romance lexicon for matters of love and affection have been replaced by loans from Common Slavonic. Off the top of my head I can name:

Rom. a iubi, OCS любити ‘to love’
Rom. prieten, Bg. приятел ‘friend’
Rom. drag, OCS драгъ ‘dear’, whence comes Rom. dragoste ‘love’ and drăguț ‘nice, cute’
Rom. milos, OCS милостивъ ‘merciful, compassionate’
Rom. a gâdila, Bg. гъделичкам ‘to tickle’
Rom. nevastă, Bg. (archaic) нвеста ‘wife’

One must rethink the stereotype of the early Slavs as bloodthirsty barbarians sweeping down upon civilisation with other uncouth tribes of the Age of Migrations. They obviously knew something about teaching people to care about and appreciate each other. They should get an early-morning children’s television programme.

Concerning happy nice words in Romanian from Slavonic, one might also mention Rom. zâmbește ‘smile’, from OCS зѫмбъ ‘tooth’.

Aromanian liturgy


Christopher Culver

This post might not interest readers who don’t know the Romanian translation of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, but a video posted on YouTube of the liturgy (specifically the Great Litany) in Aromanian makes for a convenient comparison of Romanian and Macedo-Romanian. There’s not much recorded material in Aromanian on the internet, especially of material that one would be likely to already be familiar with. So here are my superficial observations:

- Imperative in verbs borrowed from Slavonic seems to be in -ia rather than -ește: Aromanian Doamne miluia ‘Lord have mercy’ ~ Ro. Doamne miluiește. The formation of the imperative is frustratingly missing from the handful of Aromanian grammars on the internet.

- The initial blessing in Aromanian ends with tora sh-tu tută eta a etilor, showing that the language preserves Latin aetas, -ātis ‘age’. Romanian, on the other hand, has replaced it with Common Slavonic věkŭ: și acum și pururea și în vecii vecilor.

- One notices Aromanian’s greater reliance on Greek for loanwords, e.g. basilia ‘kingdrom’ versus Ro. împărăția, piste ‘faith’ < Gr. πίστη versus Ro. credință. I would imagine that what sounds like pălăcaldzim ‘we pray’ is from Greek παρακαλώ, compare Ro. rugăm.

- Aromanian maintains a Latin root in ascapă-nă ‘save us’ while, as I was surprised to learn just a few days ago, Romanian uses of all things a Hungarian loanword: mântuiește-ne < Hu. menteni.

The pronunciation of Aromanian here is so remarkably close to Romanian that, were I to hear anyone having a conversation in this language, I would be more inclined to think them speakers of some highly provincial form of Romanian than guess that they were Aromanians.

This recording appears to have been made by the Aromanian community in the Romanian city of Constanta. Unfortunately, that similarity between the two languages makes Aromanian’s ultimate survival among immigrants to Romania unlikely, just as Finnic-speaking refugees to Finland have not preserved their own languages but assimilated to Finnish.
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