Re: Roumania, alligators, "this here" (was: Just a Little Taste ...)
|From:||Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 12, 1999, 20:40|
At 12:10 pm -0400 12/4/99, John Cowan wrote:
>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?
Early borrowings, before Arabic was widely known or understood, maybe. A
true Arabic influence would come later when Arabic was wstablished in parts
of the peninsular. But I'd not press this - but I think it can't be
dismissed as a possibility either.
I think the Italian one is clearer - IIRC the arabic article comes across
as 'il' in Maltese & in Egyptian Arabic.
>> colloquial English "this 'ere").
>Pronounced [DISj@R] in my dialect.