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the language of the Moldavians. It is spoken in the Moldavian SSR and several other republics of the USSR by more than 2.5 million persons (1970 census). Moldavian belongs to the Northern Danubian group of Eastern Romance languages and is divided into four dialect groups: northwestern, northeastern, central, and southwestern. Unlike most other Romance languages, Moldavian contains Slavic elements. The phonetic features of Moldavian include the presence of the vowels ë and ū, which are pronounced in a special way; rising and falling diphthongs; and a shifting phonological stress. The morphology is inflectional with some analytic elements. Moldavian has four types of articles: definite, indefinite, adjectival, and pronomial.
The first texts in Moldavian, dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, were translations of Slavonic religious books. The writing system was based on Cyrillic until the 19th century and later on the Russian Civil alphabet. The literary language began to evolve in the 16th and 17th centuries but was not fully formed until the second half of the 19th century. During the Soviet period the language has been enriched, a scientific and technical vocabulary has been created, and the grammar and orthography have been standardized.
REFERENCESVoprosy moldavskogo iazykoznaniia. Moscow, 1953.
Korletianu, N. G. “Moldavskii iazyk.” In the collection lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1966.
Korletianu, N. G. Limba moldoveniaske literare kontemporane, fascs. 1–2. Kishinev, 1969–70.
Ocherk sovremennogo moldavskogo literaturnogo iazyka. Kishinev, 1967.
“Moldavskii iazyk.” In the collection Zakonomernosti razvitiia literaturnykh iazykov narodov SSSR v sovetskuiu epokhu, vol. 3. Moscow, 1973.
N. G. KORLETIANU