Slavic Features in the History of Rumanian
Peter R. Petrucci
Northeastern State University, Tahlequah
This dissertation examines the role of Slavic phonological and morphological features in the history of Rumanian. Data are limited to those phonological and morphological features purportedly attributable to early Slavic language contact and which are present in all or most of the Rumanian dialects--Rumanian, Arumanian, Megleno-Rumanian, and Istro-Rumanian.
Two basic questions are asked: First, which structural features should or should not be attributed to Slavic language contact? This question is significant because Slavic language contact features in the history of Rumanian have been disputed among Romance and Slavic linguists for a long time. Some linguists have proposed a wide range of Slavic features in Rumanian whereas others have proposed a much more limited set of features. Second, of those features which are indeed Slavic in origin, what is the exact nature of the language contact process by which the features were incorporated into Rumanian? Regarding this issue, the Slavic contact features are analyzed by means of Thomason and Kaufman's (1988) theory of language contact, which identifies two distinct processes by which a foreign feature can spread to another language: borrowing, initiated by native speakers of the language incorporating the non-native feature; or language shift, introduced by native speakers of the language wherein the feature originated. The dissertation demonstrates that this model of language contact can efficiently account for the Slavic structural features that appear in Rumanian. Also, four general criteria are proposed which give an indication of which process(es) can account for how a given language contact feature was incorporated into a language.
ISBN 9783895865992. LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 08. 200pp. 1999.