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Romanian, Rumanian, Roumanian
the language of the Rumanians; official language of the Socialist Republic of Rumania (SRR). Also spoken in several regions of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Greece, the USA, Canada, and several other countries. There are about 18 million speakers of Rumanian in the SRR (1973, estimate).
Rumanian belongs to the Eastern Romance subgroup of the Romance languages. Its dialects in Rumania are Banat, Crişana, Walachian, and Moldavian (spoken along the right bank of the Prut River; close to Moldavian). Rumanian was formed from the colloquial Latin dialect spoken by the colonists who settled in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula after its conquest by Rome. This language was exposed to the substratum influence of the local languages (Dacian and Thracian) and, later, to the adstratum and superstratum influence of modern Greek and the Slavic languages.
The phonetic features of Rumanian are distinction of Latin ŏ and ŭ; the an >în shift before a vowel and consonant, and also am+ consonant > îm (except in words of Slavic origin); and the development of a new morphological vowel alternation—for example, the forms tot and toată “all” (masculine and feminine, respectively). An opposition developed between palatalized and nonpalatalized consonants; the intervocalic l > r change is specific; and qu > p and qu > b labialization is observed. Combinations of consonants with a following i develop in a particular way—for example, t + i > ţ and d + i> dz> z.
Typologically, Rumanian has much in common with other languages of the Balkan Peninsula, such as loss of the infinitive and presence of a periphrastic form of the future tense and of a suffixed article. The gender and number forms of the noun, adjective, and pronoun and the conjugational system, however, basically preserve the morphological features of Vulgar Latin. The numerals from 11 to 19 are formed according to the Slavic model. The vocabulary contains many Slavic and Greek borrowings. Written records (translations of Old Church Slavonic texts and business documents) in Rumanian date from the 16th century. The formation of the Rumanian literary language was completed in the 19th century. The Cyrillic writing system was replaced by a Latin-based alphabet in the 19th century.
REFERENCESIordan, I. Grammatika rumynskogo iazyka. Moscow, 1950. (Translated from Rumanian.)
Budagov, R. A. Etiudy po sintaksisu rumynskogo iazyka. Moscow, 1958.
Repina, T. A. Rumynskii iazyk: Grammaticheskii ocherk, literaturnye teksty s kommentariiami i slovarem. Moscow, 1968.
Rumynsko-russkii slovar’, 2nd ed. Edited by E. A. Andrianov and D. E. Mikhal’chi. Moscow, 1954.
Gramatica limbii române, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Bucharest, 1966.
Macrea, D. Limbă şi lingvisticărom ână. Bucharest, 1973.
Lombard, A. La Langue roumaine: Une présentation. Paris, 1974.
Dictionarul limbii romîne literare contemporane, vols. 1–4. Bucharest, 1955–57.
T. V. VENTTSEL’