By the end of the century, juridical and administrative papers, official and private letters, brief notes were written in Romanian. During the reign of Michael the Brave , writing in Romanian is gradually adopted by the state chancellery in Wallachia. We know that the Romanian administration in Transylvania wrote letters both in Slavonic and Romanian.
In , the first Romanian funerary inscription is recorded. The history of literary Romanian has two main subdivisions: the old and the new epoch. The old epoch last from the 16th to the 18th century, that is, during the interval , which is also divided by some linguists in two periods: before and after The number of 16th century literary texts preserved until today amounts to Most of the literary texts from that period, vanished today, were religious texts only three have a different character: a moral didactic work, a historic fragment, and some medical prescriptions.
Both this text, of which only some fragments remain, and the Lutheran Catechism were meant to attract Romanians to Lutheranism. The first extensive literary texts, approximately as old as the first complete Romanian text, are the rhotacized texts. They are called so because all words. All these texts are preserved in manuscripts.
They are translations of Slavonic religious texts. Some researchers believe the reason for the translation was internal, others external various factors: Bogomilism, Hussitism, Lutheranism, Catholicism. All these works are very important for the revision and the adaptation to the Wallachian idiom of the rhotacized texts. Due to these adaptations, the printed books could be understood more easily by a larger number of readers and thus could lay the foundations for the development of literary Romanian.
Literary Romanian is, then, based upon the idiom spoken in northern Wallachia and south-eastern Transylvania.
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It is one of the most important books from the 16th century due to both the quality of the translation and its originating from a region less well represented Banat — south-western Transylvania. Most of the 16th century Romanian texts were written with the Cyrillic alphabet. However, there are also a few texts with Latin characters.
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A Calvinist anthology of religious songs psalms was printed in Oradea or Cluj Some of them are translations, others are variants of other works. The complete translation of the Bible, owed to the brothers Radu and. In the same period the Wallachian Metropolitan Antim Ivireanul introduces the literary genre of sermons of high rhetoric class Didahiile.
Cazania, printed in a large number of copies, spread in all the regions inhabited by Romanians and thus contributed to the consolidation and unification of literary Romanian. Original history writings, chronicles manuscripts. Hronicul vechimei a romano-moldo-vlahilor by Dimitrie Cantemir was written partly in Romanian, partly in Latin.
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The fact that three grammar books were written in less than three decades shows that need to study and cultivate scientifically the national language. The end of the 18th century was in conclusion a flourishing period for culture in the national language. Only religious books have been printed earlier catechisms, collections of homilies, missals, gospels. Part of the aristocracy and of the clergy, though, prefered Hellenism.
At the end of the 18th century, in Transylvania, part of the Orthodox Romanians accepted the union with the Roman-Catholic church they are the Greek-Catholics hoping they would obtain equal rights with those of other nations. Some of them studied theology and philology in schools from Blaj and in. As a consequence of these new horizons, Romanians began to act to raise their cultural level, in the atmosphere of the Enlightenment.
The new epoch from until today is divided into three stages: — the pre-modern or stage of modernization , with numerous translations and the first linguistic normative works; — the modern stage when a stylistic diversification took place and original literature developed through the writers; — the contemporary stage until today , which begins with classical writers M. Eminescu, I. In the pre-modern period , Romanian culture undergoes a process of rebirth manifested as a tendency to modernize its structures.
The credo of this movement had as principal goal the demonstration of the Latin character of Romanian. The cultivation of everything Latin led to the idea of replacing the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin and the proposed orthography is etymological closer to written Latin , not phonetic. The promotion of Latin elements was to have an important influence on the process of linguistic unification.
The period is also characterized by the presence of numerous works from all fields of written culture. Also at this time the foundations of superior education in Romanian were laid Gh. Asachi in Moldavia and Gh. In order to express heretofore unvoiced notions of material and spiritual life, literary Romanian turned at first to Neo-Greek.
Soon after , the orientation changes fundamentally. It is the beginning of a deliberate process of re-Latinization of the literary language, which would last a century and generate, after , excesses of linguistic purism. In the adaptation of new terms, of neologisms, to the phonetic and morphologic structure of Romanian, hesitations, oscillation and uncertainty are noted that would last several decades.
Finally, in this epoch a process of emancipating the written language from the influence of the language of religious texts began. The modern period brings to an end the modernizing process started in the previous period.
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On the level of linguistics, the period is dominated by the Latinist ideology, whose representatives argued for the elimination of non-Latin elements from the literary language. Although the excesses of linguistic purism were eliminated, the Latin model will have left its permanent imprint on the literary aspect of the language. The unification of the literary language was accomplished according to the norms spelled out by I.
The unified language had to start from the literary norm of religious texts, which had the advantage of being unitary. Most cultural personalities suggested Romanian should resort to Latin, others that it should approach French, in the first place, or Italian the direction promoted by I. There were also people who believed that the renewal of vocabulary should use the internal elements of the language obviously, those of Latin origin.
In parallel with enriching the vocabulary, scholars also thought of purifying it by eliminating terms that were not relevant for the modern aspect of the literary language scholarly Slavonic words or strictly regional terms. The syntax of literary language was renewed as well. The old syntactic structures that copied Slavonic syntax and appeared in the language of the translations were replaced by new ones that took French as a model.
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The simplicity and flexibility specific to the syntax of spoken, common language made its way into the syntax of the texts from this period. The last two decades witnessed the crystallization of literary styles scientific, juridical-administrative and fictional. The fictional style is illustrated in the original literature created by the generation of writers N. Alexandrescu, C.
Negruzzi, A. Russo, V. Also in this period the normative works orthography, grammar book and dictionary of the Romanian Academic Society were issued. These works had a provisional character. The contemporary period from to the present is characterized by the completion of the process of linguistic unification and modernization of the literary language. The Romanian Academy played an important part in this process by publishing in the first official orthography orientated towards phonetism. This was the first breach with Latinism and thus contributed to the decline of this cultural trend.
The Latin model was replaced by the Wallachian one, which had started to gain ground, in some cases, even since This process was accelerated after , when the unitary Romanian state came into existence. The concentration of the most important part of administrative, political, cultural and scientific life in the capital of the country Bucharest was decisive for this process. This is the epoch in which the great classics of Romanian literature created their works: M. Caragiale, M. Sadoveanu, L. Rebreanu, T. In the modern period, literary Romanian has undergone a strong Latin-Romance influence especially French, but also scholastic Latin and Italian;.
The French influence contributed especially to the massive replacement of terms from certain languages e. The number of French borrowings is quite large.
In this sense, we speak of the re-Latinization, re-Romanization or the Westernization. Finally, the neologic derivates can be related to an inherited word, bun cannot be analyzed through it. Romanians, the only Latin people of the Orthodox religion, could not have recourse to Latin, used in the Romance West in schools, administration and of course church.
While the Western neo-Latin people continuously renewed their language s , throughout centuries and especially during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with Latin forms and turns of phrase, Romanians turned to Slavonic, the language of culture here in use. As a result, Romanian became the most Latin of the Romance languages: not through Latin element and accrued through the centuries, but through natural evolution of the Latin tendencies; in the words of the German Romanist E.