Roumania, alligators, "this here" (was: Just a Little Taste ...)
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 12, 1999, 16:10|
Raymond A. Brown wrote:
> In unstressed syllables the pattern was simpler, but the details differ for
> western & eastern Romance.
This seems like a good place to ask: is there any accounting for
the form "Roumania/Rumania" in English, from the French "Roumanie"?
In other words, why the [u] in the first syllable?
The Romanian spelling has been "Romania", with a-circumflex (meaning
a high central vowel normally written i-circumflex) since the
adoption of the Latin alphabet in the 19th century.
> pretty sure there was a bit of Arabic influence in getting the Italian 'il'
> and Spanish 'el' instead of 'lo' [I know the latter is used in Spanish as a
> neuter article :) ], so this is maybe not implausible).
If so, why were all those Arabic nouns borrowed with al- prefix intact?
Apparently al- was not felt by Old Spanish speakers as an article,
any more than "el/al" was felt by English speakers as an article in
"alligator" < "el lagarto".
(And then there's American slang *hoosegow* 'prison' < "juzgado".)
> colloquial English "this 'ere").
Pronounced [DISj@R] in my dialect.
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)