Re: Walachians are placed far North the Danube in Nestor

From: g
Message: 35650
Date: 2004-12-25

> If I remember correctly, the Atlas evidence is held to show
> convincingly that Daco-Rumanian dialects spoken in mountainous areas
> have fewer Slavic loans than those spoken in the lowlands.

I haven't read Gamillscheg's paper myself, but I know his & others'
theory via presentations (such as the one by Chr. Schneider). IMHO,
it is relevant regarding other aspects, esp. the spreading of
Romanian speakers in the territory of today's Romania (ie, North
of the Danube). Those words preserved in Western and South-
Western Romania and virtually not in use in other regions seem
to support the idea that Western Transylvania and the Banate
can be seen as the primeval North Danubian areas for the
Romanian-speaking population (no matter whether the
ethnogenesis took place in Northern or Southern Serbia plus
Bosnia plus Western Bulgaria). The finds of the Romanian
Linguistic Atlas refer to things exclussively belonging to the
area North of the Danube (plus Vojvodina and Timoc -- as well
as to Hungary East of Tisa and Transcarpathia Ukraine North
of Tisa, since the (now tiny) Romanian minorities over there
belong to the subdialects that provide the phenomena
described by Gamillscheg, phenomena that are valid up today.).

So, the words <ai>, <pedestru>, <arina> etc. as well as the
resolving of the a-typical initial cluster sl- with the adding of
a [k] > scl- (sclab, sclanina, scluga, for which Romanians of
all other, "younger", Romanian provinces as well as in standard
Romanian use slab, slanina, sluga) are to be found only in these
subdialectal areas (and I confirm this strongly out of my own
native-speaker competence, since my own subdialect belongs
to the kernel that caught Gamillscheg attention. And toponymical
features, such as Ohaba, Ohabitza, esp. the way how (direction
etc.) they spread, give hints as to how some population moved
in some epochs. (E.g., for <ai> and <pedestru>, Romanians
from other provinces have had solutions also from the
Romance vocabulary). I for one would add the now vanishing
<placã> (1. "I beg your pardon?", 2. "here you are" / "1. wie
bitte?", "2. bitte") < a plãcea/plãcére < Lat placere. It belongs to
my own subdialect, but I myself don't ever use it - unless I'd be,
as a visitor, in a suitable environment in an area around the
Western Mountains (where Pu$cariu's and Gamillscheg's theory
put that one "Urheimat"). Outside of this subdialectal area, you'll
always hear the synonym <poftim>, which is of Slavic origin.

IMHO, these things fit both theories saying Romanians
came from remote areas in the South of the Balkans (but I
strongly doubt Romance ethnogenesis South of the Skok and
Jirecek lines) and from adjacent areas (namely from the former
provinces the Romans once called Dacia mediterranea, Dacia
ripensis, Moësia superior, Dardania and, farther in the N-W,

> Wouldn't that be a weird world? Not only is the evidence irrelevant
> (because the geographical distribution of Italian loans is totally
> unproblematic on the basis of the migration hypothesis too), but the
> adherents of the autochthony thesis persistently refuse to discuss
> the difficulties their stance raises, e.g. how to explain the greater
> dialectal variety of Slavic outside Croatia, or the clear connection
> with Baltic, or the external evidence for migrations of Slavs to the
> Balkans, or whatever.

Well, then we should admit that in the Romanian "realm" of
activity, linguistic speculations and intepretations of any kind
really stay within a less disturbing frame, don't they? :^)

> To give an example of an issue that should be addressed: what
> adherent of the transdanubian continuity thesis has ever provided a
> plausible motivation for the presence of Arumanian in northern Greece
> and southern Albania?

The continuity thesis fans have been much farther than that - since
the 19th c. now. Namely saying that the area for the Romanian
ethnogenesis was until the Skok and/or Jirecek lines. And that part
of Romaniandom once moved thither just because of the impact
caused by the Slavic... "asteroid". (This also fits the other direction
of movement: the numeric concentration North of the Danube,
where the Slavic element was in the end indeed vanquished by
the Romanian-speaking one. In fact, in Eastern Europe there are
three "oases" of non-Slavicity: the Albanian, the Romanian and
the Hungarian - if we leave aside the extremities (Greece, the
Baltics and the Uralic group).)

> On the basis of the Ohrid thesis it is easy: Arumanian has remained
> closest to what one might call the Urheimat, whereas more northerly
> dialects have moved out to take advantage of opportunities offered
> elsewhere, e.g. the lush soils of Muntenia.

The linguistic phenomena mentioned by Gamillscheg (there are more, but
his paper is a good introduction though) shows that Muntenia wasn't the
primeval area. Moreover, the internal oldest chronicles and traditions
also say that Muntenia got more and more Romanian ethnicity coming from
elsewhere, and that "elsewhere" was rather from the North and West (and
of course from the South: Serbia and Bulgaria). Even the founding
ruling dynasty seems to have moved from within the Hungarian kingdom to
Muntenia's capital. What's more, towards the end of the long migrations
(chiefly Turkic) period and even afterwards, the main plain of Muntenia
was rather a steppe than an intensely used surface for agriculture
(even the toponymy scattered all over it is to an important extent of
Turanic extraction).

Ohrid seems to have had a great importance from a different point of
view: the Church; there was the primordial see of the local highest
hierarch of the Orthodox Church. All Romanians belonged in the
beginning to this diocese; the North Danubian Romanians got their own
metropolitan sees much-much later on.

> Willem

Froehliche Weihnachten,

PS: Inter alia, North Romania has lost the Romance word for "plough"
<aratru>; this has been preserved by Aromanians living in Greece, FYROM
and S-Albania. These also preserved <cãmpãnile> for "bells", which is
also lost to N-R. The N-R also lost <ma> (cf. with Italian <ma>), ie,
this has been preserved only in (approx.) Oltenia in the interogatory
locution "Machea?" which is dwindling and unknown to an overwhelming
majority of Romanians (native-speakers of the "Dacoromanian" dialect).
So, these and myriads of other cases illustrate that the carriers of
the DR were once thoroughly exposed to a coexistence with both
south-Slavic branches: the Serbo-Croatian and the Bulgarian. And where
could that have happened? Of course to a far less extent in those
"Walachias" mentioned by Greek chroniclers in Greek regions for the 9th
c. (those must've been only the outer waves after the Slavic impact).