how did the four main Romance languages develop?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by science man, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    Actually there is -- the first note in the solfège. But I'm sure Fraggle meant something else.

    Or maybe Vlad Tzepesh? I usually find the "Ț" letter transliterated as "TZ", not "TS", though both variants should have a similar pronunciation.

    For the record, the correct Romanian spelling is Vlad Țepeș.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    I think it comes from țeapă (large, wooden stake) which he used a lot to impale his enemies.

    You can read a lot more about him on this page: Vlad the Impaler.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    He probably told you "Două zeci de grame", which means the stamps were good for letters up to twenty (două zeci = two-tens) grams. However, I can totally understand how an untrained ear will take "două" for "do", since the final two vowels are rather soft in that word.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    Up there? Well, well, well... Satu Mare could indeed be considered "up" (meaning North) there on the Romanian map, but Târgu Mureș not really. In fact, Târgu Mureș is pretty darn close to the center of the country (as far as I know, Sighișoara is considered to be the closest city to the center of Romania, and both these cities share the same county, Mureș, meaning they are rather close to each other -- 50km or so.)

    I was borned in Tîrgu Mureș (noticed the î?), probably around the time Fraggle was testing his motorcycle, and then spent the first 18 years of my life in a town nearby, so I goddam know where it is

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Lubeniță (lebeniță)? I know this is how they call it around Târgu Mureș and also in Oltenia. Maybe Banat, too, since the word sounds a lot like being imported from Serbian.
  8. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    Well, I lived for many years in Romania and never met anyone able to speak Esperanto fluently. Or at least anyone advertising his abilities as such.

    In my early teens I was actually subscribed to an Esperanto magazine (edited and printed in China) for a couple years, and I do remember seeing some Romanian addresses advertised in the corner where people were looking for pen-pals, but in everyday life I never met anyone interested in the subject.

    So I'm somehow surprised by your claim that Esperanto is more widely spoken in Eastern Europe (Romania included), since my personal experience tells me that it is rather an exotic subject at best.

    (If anything, I'll rather bet that out of a random group of people in the streets of Bucharest, the ratio of those who have not a clue what Esperanto is to those who are actually able to say "Hello" in it, is at least 50-to-1. Mircea might want to try this experiment

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    And it still is Florența in Romanian today.
  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member


    And, admittedly a 1926 survey, but...
    Europe: 120,020
    America: 7,331
    Asia: 7,832 speakers distribution&f=false
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But you have to be very careful. In English you can't reverse "Dogs eat snails." You can't even totally reverse "I like dogs." You have to say something on the order of "Dogs, I like."
    The point I was trying to make is that since Latin is such a highly inflected language, the fine points of word order that we have to observe faithfully in modern languages is practically absent. To a large extent you can mix up the words in a Latin sentence any way you want without losing meaning. Obviously you have to keep an adjective near its noun, but you can rearrange subject, verb and object in any order to stress your point.

    Yoda's quirky speech was crafted to be understandable to anglophones. "This you shall have" sounds odd but we get it. A Roman could say "this shall have you" without ambiguity.
    That's not a true pluperfect. It's the past perfect, using an auxiliary verb. In Latin the pluperfect tense is expressed by its very own series of suffixes.
    There isn't much to Vatican City except religious institutions where everyone who works there has had a religious education in a Catholic school and is fluent in Latin. It is the official language of the city, and residents are expected to know it. I'm sure the janitors and chefs don't all speak Latin, but they probably commute from Rome, which completely surrounds it.
    No, he said do. The minimum postage rate was for ten grams, not twenty. I had studied enough Romanian to recognize the word două.

    I did not mean to imply that there were Esperanto speakers in every building so you would hear them talking in the street. You had to wear the green star and hope to encounter someone who recognized it, and that only happened to me a couple of times, once in Hungary and once in Czechslovakia. But the movement was much stronger in eastern Europe than the west, perhaps because under communism they needed very inexpensive hobbies. I still have more pen pals in eastern Europe than the entire rest of the world.

    At the time I had one in Romania, but for reasons I don't remember we did not visit her. I've lost touch with her over the years. Frankly many of my old correspondents were older than me and have died. I haven't been very active in the movement so I have not replaced them with new ones.

    You could walk around in a larger-than-life full-body green star costume in America and in your whole life you'd probably never meet anyone who even knows what it stands for.
    Not as exotic as it is in America, where very few people have even heard of it. In our country you can drive for four days and still end up in a place where everyone speaks English--even if you happen to be in northern Mexico. In eastern Europe you only have to go a couple of hundred miles to encounter a language that makes no sense to you at all.

    The reason for having an international language is stronger there than elsewhere.
    In Los Angeles that would be about 50,000-to-1.
    I thought she was living in the USA?
  11. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    It makes no sense then. "Do" in Romanian is used exclusively in music (see the dictionary explication if you can manage your way with a Romanian one), and I highly doubt it the clerk was trying to sing you his answer

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Looking back at how you phrased it:

    Well, the first thing to notice is that zece is for precisely ten, while zeci is for multipliers of ten (20=două zeci, 30=trei zeci, and so on).

    Then, there's no grama in Romanian. It's either gram if it's precisely one, or grame if it's more than one.

    Therefore, if you addressed the clerk with "zeci grama" he was basically faced with one word that referred to any multiple of ten, and another one that does not exist in the language but which is really close to both the singular and plural form for gram. If I were him I'd probably infer that you were asking for something like 20, 30, ... grams. So from this perspective it makes perfect sense if his answer included a reference to twenty (două zeci).

    One final word: somewhere around 50% of the residents in Tîrgu Mureş are speaking Hungarian as their mother tongue (the one learned at home, before going to school) and many of them retain a particular accent that sometimes is difficult to comprehend even for Romanians. If the clerk happened to be one of those then his pronunciation of două might not have been the best there is. One more reason to assume that no matter what sounds came out of his mouth, he probably meant two.

    EDIT: There's also the possibility that he actually said "Da" (meaning "Yes") as in "Da, zece grame" (Yes, ten grams). But to my ears there's a much bigger difference between "Do" and "Da", than between "Do" and "Două".

    He. Mircea is a name used by males in Romania. (As in Mircea the Elder or Mircea Eliade).
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There's that Slavic superstrate again--or perhaps Dacian. In Russian, Nikita is a male name and male nicknames like Misha (Little Mikhail) and Yasha (Little Yakov) routinely end in A. In the other Romance languages A is almost invariably a feminine ending, with the major exception of Greek words with their different paradigm, like phantasma, systema and the suffix -ista.
  13. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    Are you talking about nouns in general or names specifically?

    Anyway, in regards to Romanian names you'd be right.
    • Most names ending in "a" are feminine; in fact, I can't remember any other masculine name, besides Mircea, ending in "a".
    • At the same time, the great majority of feminine names are ending in "a"; I know only one exception to this rule: Carmen.

    So I guess you made the right suppositions; it just so happened that you stumbled upon one of the few exceptions.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


Share This Page