Definitions

Romanian language

Romanian language

Romanian language, member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is spoken by about 22 million people in Romania, where it is the official language, by 3 million people in Moldova, and by perhaps another 1 million persons scattered in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Hungary. At the present time Romanian is written in the Roman alphabet, to which have been added the symbols ă, â, ǐ, ş, and ţ. In Moldova under Soviet rule, however, Cyrillic characters were used for Romanian. A distinctive feature of Romanian is the attachment of the definite article to the noun as a suffix, as in omul (literally, "man-the"). The oldest surviving Romanian texts are from the 16th cent., and there are four major dialects of the language.

See J. E. Augerot and F. D. Popescu, Modern Romanian (1971); E. Vasiliu and S. Golopentia-Ertescu, Transformational Syntax of Romanian (1973).

Romance language spoken mainly in Romania and Moldova. The name Romanian is usually identified with Daco-Romanian, one of the four major dialects of Balkan Romance. Other dialects are Aromanian (Macedo-Romanian), spoken in scattered communities in Greece, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria; the nearly extinct Megleno-Romanian, spoken in northern Greece; and Istro-Romanian, spoken on Croatia's Istrian Peninsula. The earliest known continuous text in Romanian dates from 1521. Romanian's phonology, grammar, and vocabulary reflect its relative isolation from other Romance languages and its close contact with the Slavic languages. Written in the Cyrillic alphabet until the 19th century, Romanian now uses the Latin alphabet.

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