Re: sunt & sint

From: Georg S t a n a
Message: 15041
Date: 2002-09-03

>I was referring to:
>"în lucrarea de fata voi folosi forma <sânt>, cu <î> din <a>, si nu <sînt> cu
><î> din <i> si cu atât mai putin forma <sunt> care este livresca de inspiratie
>latina si care nu corespunde limbii vorbite.

Oh, I see. Well, he's right as far as pronunciation is concerned (even
etymology). But this is unwarranted, since Romanian orthography is
a... convention in this respect: everybody wrote "sunt" until April 1954.
Afterwards, according to the rule of the new ortho reform, the spelling
was "sînt". Until 1992. (These, as I said, conventions also have had some
political causes.)

>Forma <sânt> provine din traco-daca, nu din latina.

Hehe, atta tough assertion! ">Sânt< is of Thracian-Dacian, not Latin,

>This is plain silly. Nobody knows how "they are" was said in Daco-Thracian
>(note that Vinereanu also avoids giving a specific form).

He argues, if this form were of Latin origin, then the vowel would
have been kept as a "rounded" one. (But he very well knows that in Romanian
there are numerous cases where un > ân.)

>The Skt. for "they
>are" is <sánti>, not *<santhi>. It is not true that rounded vowels never
>unrounded in Romanian (u > i after palatalized consonant: [in]clu:do: >
>[in]kl^ud > Arom. kl^id, Rom. închid). The form sînt (old Rom: sîntu)

Oh, BTW: there is a (masc.) "sânt" (fem. "sântã") = "saint", which is
seen as the Latin word, whereas "sfânt" the Slavic borrowing. "Sânt" is
rather regional and archaic, but re. orthography OK.

>is indeed unexpected,

Some scholars have tried to explain it by the Latin subjunctive.
But I think Lat. sunt > Rum. sânt is quite natural. On top of that,
in all Romanian texts written with cyrillic characters the word is
constantly spelled "sãnt". Note that the Romanian cyrillic alphabet
had 3-4 characters for "î" - but none was used in "sãnt". I don't
know what highly specialized people in Romania have to say in
this respect, but I'd dare assume that few centuries ago it might've
been pronounced /s@.../. This would also warrant the transition
to /s1nt/.

>but Aromanian has <suntu>, as expected (is Vineranu implying that
>Aromanian is Romance, but Romanian not?).

Maybe Alex knows, but I expect V. to imply that Aromanian isn't
Romance either.

>For <sînt(u)>, Bourciez suggests influence from Slavic <so~t(U)>
>"they are", which I guess is possible.

But why should the present the 1st pers. singular, 1st pers. plural
and 3rd pers. plural be borrowings from Slavic, while the rest
being Latin? What sense would make such a "split"?

>Miguel Carrasquer Vidal