Alternative names: Aromani, Cincari, Karakachani, Koutsovlachs
Location: Greece, Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria
Population: Not possible to estimate reliably
Religion: Eastern Orthodox Christian
WEIGAND, Gustav: Die Walachen in Musakié (The Vlachs of Musakié; German)
The Albanian Aromanians´ Awakening:Identity Politics and Conflicts in
Post-Communist Albania Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers at:
The Vlachs are a latin-speaking people — they speak a distinctive form of Romanian — living south of Danube in Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia (predominantly in Serbia and Vardar Macedonia) and primarily in Greece. They are an historically old people who ante-date the more modern arrivals to the Balkan Peninsula like the Slavs and Turks. Perhaps because of this they, unlike other minorities, do not appear to live in particularly concentrated areas, with the exception of the “Vlach capital” Aminciu (Metsovon) in the Pindus mountains at the headlands of the five rivers of the Pindus range in Greece.
Assessing their numbers is difficult and compounded by a lack of separatist current among Vlachs which has resulted in their apparent peaceful assimilation into majority ethnic groups. In this the shared religious faith of Eastern Orthodoxy has been an important factor. The Vlachs in Yugoslavia live in Serbia and especially Macedonia and around Bitola, Resen and Krusevo. There are Vlach societies in Bitola and Skopje and these societies have pointed to the lack of language rights for Vlachs in schools and in religious matters — e.g. the appeal in February 1988 by the Pitu Guli Cultural Association in Skopje to the Foreign Ministers of Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey who were meeting in Belgrade — but with little apparent effect. Successive censuses has shown a gradual decline in their numbers.
In Bulgaria the Vlachs have been subjected to the same “Bulgarization” process as the country’s other minorities (excepting the small number of Jews and Armenians) and it appears that the assimilatory pressures are such that the language will soon die out. There is very little information available on the situation of Vlachs in Albania.
In Greece where the largest community lives, the censuses of 1935 and 1951 recorded 19,703 and 39,855 Vlachs respectively although the classification as Greek of all those who use Greek as “language of daily use” has tended to greatly underestimate the number of minorities like the Vlachs who tend to be hellenophile and are almost entirely Orthodox Christian by religion (hence Greek Orthodox). The number of Vlachs in subsequent censuses has not been recorded. Some emigré Vlach sources claim an exaggerated figure of 600,000 in Greece.
Vlachs tend to live in mountainous regions especially in the Pindus mountains. The area north-west of Polikastrion has a population of Meglen Vlachs who speak a Slav language as their mother-tongue. The Vlachs are similar to the Sarakatsani — Greek-speaking transhumant shepherds — but less mobile and are seasonally nomadic as shepherds in the mountains while pursuing other fields of employment like medicine, law, taxi-driving etc.
Traditionally the Vlachs have held an important position in inland Greece and under Ottoman domination they, due to their traditional occupations of shepherding and transport of goods by caravan, tended to control overland trade in the Greek provinces of the Ottoman empire while the Greeks controlled the sea trade. Many Vlachs identified themselves with Greeks, due to having received Greek education in Greek schools, and took a leading role in the struggle for Greek independence. However some, influenced by the Romanian national movement and the close similarities between their languages, attempted to have church services and schooling in their vernacular — a move which was strongly resisted by the Greek Orthodox hierarchy. This latter strand of Vlach distinctness from Greeks was soon patronized by the new Romanian state leading to the creation of Romanian churches and schools in Macedonia, which was then still part of the Ottoman empire, funded by the Romanian state. In these schools children were taught Aromanian in the lower grades and then later Romanian, as it was a recognized literary language. By 1912 the Romanian state was subsidizing over 30 such schools in Macedonia. The savage internecine warfare in Macedonia from the 1890s to 1914 by rival armed bands of Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks as the new national states competed for the decaying Ottoman empire was especially hard on the Vlachs who for the most part could not defend themselves well and there were massacres of Vlachs with churches and villages burnt by Greek nationalists. This bleak period finished after the settlement of the Balkan Wars and even in 1913 the Greek Prime Minister Venizelos signed an agreement with the Romanians to officially allow Romanian schools for Vlachs in the Greek state. The Vlach nationalist movement continued under Romanian tutelage but never recovered from the violence late in the nineteenth century.
The rise of fascism in Italy and Romania led to attempts, especially during the Italian occupation of parts of Greece during the Second World War, to harness the Vlachs to the fascist cause and an autonomous “Principality of the Pindus” was even declared by an extremist named Alcibiades Diamandi of Samarina consisting of Epirus, Macedonia and all of Thessaly with Diamandi as Prince and a compatriot as head of the “Roman Legion” — an army of Vlach fascists. After the end of World War II the new Romanian state chose not to carry on financing the schools and churches in Greece.
The majority of Vlachs who saw themselves as distinct from Greeks tended to emigrate with the result that separatist feeling is much stronger in the diaspora than in the homeland. There is no apparent nationalist or separatist feeling among the Vlachs of Greece despite the occasional hostility towards them from the more nationalistic sections of Greek society usually manifested in objecting to the use of the Vlach language — it is frequently used in public places in Metsovon and elsewhere. Such pressure has in the past tended to intimidate Vlachs living in the cities in mixed communities from speaking their own language and under the dictatorship of the Colonels from 1967 to 1974 Vlachs were even threatened with imprisonment for speaking Aromanian. However since the 1980s the situation has improved as the Greek government apparently recognizes that the Vlachs, unlike the Turks or Macedonians constitute no threat, real or potential, to the Greek state and many “Vlach Cultural Societies” have come into existence and since 1984 there has been a huge annual festival for all Vlach villages of Greece. Despite this improvement the Greeks are still very wary of acknowledging any minorities and hold to the position that the Vlachs are Greeks who speak an unusual dialect. When Vlach activists in Germany contacted the European Community’s Bureau of Lesser Known Languages which resulted in the European Community enquiring of Greece the position of the Vlachs there was a strong reaction within Greece, involving leading Vlachs like Evangelos Averoff, against this outside intervention and a corresponding criticism of the burgeoning local cultural efforts. This has led to a severe limitation of activities along previous lines by Vlachs in Greece.
Among the large numbers of Vlachs who emigrated during the course of the century there is some pro-Romanian feeling (due to linguistic and cultural similarities) and conversely some anti-Greek or anti-Yugoslav feeling. These emigres have formed Vlach associations in a number of places, France, USA, West Germany etc, and have held two international Vlach congresses in West Germany in September 1985 in Mannheim, and in August 1988 in Freiburg. A central question at these conferences has been the lack of a defined Vlach language (there is however a Vlach-Romanian dictionary) and Vlachs from Greece pressed for the use of the Greek alphabet so as not to antagonize the Greek authorities. However the other participants preferred the more obvious choice of the Latin alphabet — the antagonism between “Panhellenes” and “Superromani”, often becoming a struggle between Vlachs in Greece and those in the diaspora, is a constant factor in Vlach issues.
Moravian Wallachia (Czech: Valašsko) is a mountainous region located in the easternmost part of Moravia, Czech Republic, near the Slovakian border. The name Wallachia was formerly applied to all the highlands of Moravia and neighboring Silesia, although in the nineteenth century a smaller area came to be defined as ethno-cultural Moravian Wallachia. The traditional dialect (rarely heard these days) represents a mixture of elements from Czech and Slovak, and has a distinct lexicon of Romanian and Balkan origin relating to the pastoral economy of the highlands.
The name comes from the exonym of the Romanian shepherd migrants (see Vlachs), who advanced along the Carpathian range between the 14th and 17th centuries. On their way they gradually lost their original language with the exception of some Romanian words they use in their Czech and Slovak dialect, but they preserved much of their culture (especially folklore, songs and costumes) and economic base, namely sheep breeding.
A remarkable aspect of Vlachs found everywhere along the western Carpathian Mountains is that the traditional Romanian culture remained the same despite the evolution in language, especially the traditions regarding sheepherding and rural architecture, essentially identical along the entire belt of the Carpathian Mountains from Moravia to Romania and then along the adjacent mountains into Serbia and Bulgaria. As with those aspects of language associated with animal husbandry, this cultural aspect of the Vlachs likely did not change because there was no competing culture. Although animal husbandry was long associated with agriculture practiced in the lowlands adjacent to the Western Carpathians, the Vlach methods and associated rituals of sheep and goat tending were unique and newly introduced by them, as were the introduction of grazing in the highlands and the emphasis upon the production of milk and cheese (bryndza). Variants of the traditional Romanian costume are still important elements of the ethnography of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The music of the area was also influenced by the Vlachs (e.g. see Lachian Dances).
A clear example of the influence of the Vlachs on Slovak culture is the 1755 didactic poem Valašská škola (Wallachian School) of the Franciscan monk Hugolín Gavlovič. It offered a Christian-Catholic moral perspective on the lives and the interaction with God and society. Three themes dominate the poem: Slovak national consciousness, eighteenth century religious and secular culture, and pastoral life as a life model. It is in the third theme that the Wallachian legacy appears, giving the poem particular significance.
Since they appeared, in the Late Middle Ages, the Valachs continued to have a separated political life than that of the rest of the population. An example of this is the use of the so called Lex Antiqua Valachorum (the "Ancient/Old Wallachian Law"). The first widespread reference to Valachs occurred during the Thirty Years' War, when these privileges were in danger of being abolished. The subsequent events profoundly changed the Vlach culture, and would set the stage for the next wave of Valach immigration, following the ones of the 14th and 15th century. Jan Amos Comenius wrote in 1620: "Moravians of the mountains around Vsetín, called Wallachians, are a warlike people… they refused to accept the Habsburg yoke and for three whole years defended their freedom with the sword". Later, in 1624, he wrote: "the inhabitants of the lordship of Vsetín and the mountains thereabout (who are called Wallachians) continued to resist with arms and could not be brought to deny their faith or offer submission". Some continued to practice Orthodox Christianity, most converted to Protestantism, while on the whole, resisting any attempts of the Jesuit missionaries to convert them to Catholicism. Due to this politics, in 1632 the Catholic Church and the Habsburg Empire took coercive measures: "the inhabitants of Valašsko were Valachs and hence utterly infractory". Zlín town records from 1621 refer to "the Wallachians, who are the local rabble". Albrecht von Wallenstein, Habsburg Military lord of Vsetín, wrote in 1621 about the expected uprising and referred to them as Wallachians against whom he did not have sufficient support to mount a campaign. A Habsburg commissioner in 1622, writing about the local Moravians, stated that: "the people are inclined more to the enemy and the Wallachians". Valach warfare against the Habsburgs consisted of raids, including those against Malenovice, Zlín, and Valašské Meziříčí. Wallenstein stated that the Valachs fought as a “horde” and Valach forces were victorious against the Habsburgs during the initial years of the war. During portions of these initial years as well, Valachs were joined by Protestant Hungarians, and by 1621 all of Moravia east of the Morava River was controlled by Valachs. Hungarian forces, however, were defeated by the Habsburgs at Olomouc in late 1621 and withdrew from Moravia in 1622. Valach forces were subsequently subdued in 1623, accompanied by a series of public executions.
Renewed Valach attacks on Vsetín occurred in late 1623. The Hungarians, now aided by the Ottomans, reentered the War, and fighting occurred as far west as Brno. However, the Valachs did not join their former allies, the Hungarians because the Turks were an older enemy of the Valachs, from as early as the 14th and 15th century, when the first Ottoman attacks took place against Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania, their original homes. A second peace between Hungary and the Habsburgs was signed in 1624. The Habsburgs seized this opportunity to attack the Vlachs in March 1624 in the mountains west of Vsetín, but the Valachs prevailed in what was described as a "slaughter" of Habsburg forces. Valachs captured Lukov in 1626, and joined by Danes, who had entered the war against the Habsburgs, also captured Hranice in 1626.
In 1627, Wallenstein’s counter-attack forced the withdrawal of the Danish army from Moravia, and sent the Valachs into retreat. By 1630, Valachs controlled only their Carpathian strongholds. The final Valach uprising occurred in 1640 when the Swedes invaded Moravia to do battle with the Habsburgs. Combined Valach-Swede forces won back portions of Moravia, but then the Swedes withdrew in 1643 to concentrate on a war with Denmark.
In January 1644, a massive Habsburg raid was conducted against the Valachs in the mountains east of Vsetín, The Habsburg rout was completed by this time with a battle that culminated in the burning of Valach villages (e.g. Hovězí, Huslenky, Halenkov, and Zdechov), disarming of the Valachs, destruction of the fields and livestock, and an estimated 20 percent of the males of Vsetín were killed or later executed. Valachs who fled the area were pursued by the Habsburgs as far as into Hungary. Ultimately, about one third of the total Valach population was killed. With the Conscription of Valašsko on February 16, 1644, a complete registration of the remaining Valachs occurred. Execution or oath of allegiance to Habsburg and conversion to Catholicism were the choices. Many Valachs were executed during the infamous executions of 1644 in Vsetín. By March 1644, essentially all the remaining Valachs who had taken refuge in the high Carpathians had been pursued and killed. Plague then struck the region in September 1644.
|armãneashce, armãneashti, limba armãneascã.|
|Spoken in||Greece, Albania, Romania, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria|
|Writing system||Latin alphabet (Aromanian variant)|
|Official language in|
recognised as minority language in parts of:
Republic of Macedonia 
|Regulated by||No official regulation|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.|
|Part of a series on|
List of Aromanians
|By region or country|
|Greece · Albania|
Republic of Macedonia
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|Moscopole · Kruševo|
Muzachia · Pindus
Grammos · Pharsala
|Alphabet · Dialects|
|Romanians · Morlachs|
Aromanian (limba armãneascã, armãneshce or armãneashti), also known as Macedo-Romanian, Arumanian or Vlach in most other countries, is an Eastern Romance language spoken in Southeastern Europe. Its speakers are called Aromanians or Vlachs (which is an exonym in widespread use to define the communities in the Balkans).
It shares many features with modern Romanian, having similar morphology and syntax, as well as a large common vocabulary inherited from Latin. The most important dissimilarity between Romanian and Aromanian is the adstratum vocabulary: While Romanian has been influenced to a greater extent by the neighbouring Hungarian and Slavic languages, Aromanian has borrowed some vocabulary from the Greek language with which it has been in close contact throughout its history.
The Aromanian language and people are officially recognised as a minority in the Republic of Macedonia, but large Aromanian communities are also found in Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia as well as in Romania, where some Aromanians having migrated from the Balkans after the destruction of the Aromanian centers of Moscopole and Gramostea (Grammos region-Western Macedonia) in the northern Pindus Mountains.
The Aromanian language has a degree of official status in the Republic of Macedonia where Aromanian is taught as an optional subject in some primary schools (in Skopje, Kruševo and Bitola) and Aromanian speakers have the right to use the language in court proceedings. Since 2006 the Aromanian language became the second official language (after standard Macedonian) in the city of Kruševo (Crushuva).
The language is similar to Romanian and its greatest difference lies in the vocabulary. There are far fewer Slavic words in Aromanian than in Romanian, and many more Greek words, a reflection of the close contact of Aromanian with Greek through much of its history.
It is generally considered that sometime between 800 and 1,200 years ago, the Vulgar Latin spoken in the Balkan provinces of the Roman Empire split into four languages: Daco-Romanian (today's Romanian language), Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian. One possibility for the origin of Aromanian is that in the same way standard Romanian is believed to be descended from the Latin spoken by the Dacians and Roman settlers in what is now Romania, Aromanian descended from the Latin spoken by Thracian and Illyrian peoples living in Northern Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace.
Greek influences are much stronger in Aromanian than in other East Romance languages, especially because Aromanian used Greek words to coin new words (neologisms), while Romanian based most of its neologisms on French.
The Aromanian language has several distinct dialects. There are dialects named after places that were home to significant populations of Aromanians (Vlachs); nowadays located in Albania and Greece: the Moscopole dialect (from the Metropolis of Moscopole, also known as the "Aromanian Jerusalem") and the Gramustean dialect (from the Gramostea/Grammos region of Western Macedonia). There are also the Farsherotii dialects. Many linguists think that the language spoken by the Farsherots differs significantly from the other Vlachs and therefore it should be considered as a separate dialect. Also distinguished as distinct are dialects in the region of Bitola; Malovište, Gopeš, Gorna Belica (Aromanian: Beala di Supra) near Struga, Krusevo (Aromanian: Crushuva), and the dialects east of the Vardar River in Macedonia.
An aromanian dictionary currently under development can be found here (it still needs lots of work before it becomes actually usable).
Aromanian differs little from standard Romanian in its phonology, although it does have spirants /ð/ and /ɣ/ which do not exist in Romanian, probably due to influence from Greek, which has those sounds. It is written with the Latin and Greek alphabets, with an orthography which resembles both that of Albanian (in the use of digraphs such as dh, sh, and th) and Romanian (in its use of c and g, which it also shares with Italian), along with the letter ã, used for the sounds represented in Romanian by ǎ and â/î.
The grammar and morphology are very similar to those of the Romance languages:
The Aromanian language has some exceptions from the Romance languages, some of them are shared in Romanian: the definite article is a clitic particle appended at the end of the word, both the definite and indefinite articles can be inflected, and nouns are classified in three genders, with neuter in addition to masculine and feminine.
Aromanian grammar does have some features that distinguish it from Romanian, an important one being the complete disappearance of verb infinitives which clearly puts it in the lower part of the Balkans. As such, the tenses and moods that in Romanian use the infinitive (like the future simple tense and the conditional mood) are formed in other ways in Aromanian. For the same reason, verb entries in dictionaries are given in their indicative mood, present tense, first person, singular form.
Aromanian verbs are classified in four conjugations. The table below gives some examples, indicating also the conjugation of the corresponding verbs in Romanian.
(ind. pres. 1st sg.)
(ind. pres. 1st sg.)
|a cânta I|
a da I
a lucra I
|a vedea II|
a şedea II
a rămâne III (or a rămânea II)
|a duce III|
a cunoaşte III
a arde III
|a muri IV|
a fugi IV
a îndulci IV
The future tense is formed in the same way as in archaic Romanian, using an auxiliary invariable particle "va" (derived from the verb "to go") and the subjunctive mood.
|va s-cãntu||va să cânt||I will sing|
|va s-cãntsã||va să cânţi||you (sg.) will sing|
|va s-cãntã||va să cânte||he/she will sing|
|va s-cãntãm||va să cântăm||we will sing|
|va s-cãntats||va să cântaţi||you (pl.) will sing|
|va s-cãntã||va să cânte||they will sing|
Whereas in Romanian the pluperfect tense (past perfect) is formed synthetically (as for instance in Portuguese), Aromanian uses a periphrastic construction with the auxiliary verb am (have) as the imperfect tense (aveam) and the past participle, as in French, except that French replaces avoir (have) with être (be) for intransitive verbs. Aromanian shares this feature with Megleno-Romanian as well as other languages in the Balkan linguistic union.
Only the auxiliary verb inflects according to number and person: aveam, aveai, avea, aveamu, aveatã, avea, whereas the past participle doesn't change.
|avea mãcatã||vea mancat||mâncase||(he/she) had eaten|
|avea durnjitã||vea durmit||dormise||(he/she) had slept|
The gerund which exists in Aromanian is only applied to some verbs, not all. These verbs are:
Even before the incorporation of various Aromanian-speaking territories into the Greek state (1832, 1912), the language was subordinated to Greek, traditionally the language of education and religion in Constantinople and other prosperous urban cities. The historical studies cited below (mostly Capidan) show that especially after the fall of Moscopole (1788) the process of Hellenisation via education and religion gained a strong impetus mostly among people doing business in the cities.
The Romanian state began opening schools for the Romanian influenced Vlachs in the 1860s, but this initiative was regarded with suspicion by the Greeks , who thought Romania was trying to assimilate them. 19th century travellers in the Balkans such as W M Leake and Henry Fanshawe Tozer noted that Vlachs in the Pindus and Macedonia were bi-lingual, reserving the Latin dialect for inside the home. A notable and perhaps not so well known (outside Greece) fact regarding the Greek Aromanian speakers is the contributions made by the community to the evolution and institutions of the Greek state during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Athens Polytechnic- known as "Metsovion" (of Metsovo) - the Greek Vlach village in the Pindus from where its two main benefactors originated (Nikolaos Stournaras and Michail Tositsas), The Zappeion megaron, and the foundation of the Bank of Greece to name but a few were realised by the donations of notable Greek-Vlach benefactors. The fact that this occurred at a time when the majority of Vlachs resided outside the then Kingdom of Greece served to seriously undermine any Romanian claims that they constituted a persecuted minority group. The balkans are a well known test bed for theories that assert language is a poor determinant of national consciousness. (see Bosnia, Albania etc.)
Romanian interference in the first half of the 20th century eventually led to antagonism between Aromanians with a Hellenic national consciousness (pejoratively known in Romania as grecomans) who rejected what they perceived as Romanian propaganda, and those who espoused a Latin identity as promoted in the Romanian schools. According to the Romanian nationalist point of view the "grecomans" and the Greek militia (known as "andarti") "terrorized" the Pindus region between 1903–1912 leading to a diplomatic crisis with Romania in 1911 (see Adina Berciu, Maria Petre: 2004). The Greek point of view maintains that the newly incorporated Romanian state was seeking to divert attention from more serious territorial disputes with Russia and Bulgaria by using Greek Vlachs as leverage. It is noteworthy that Romanian nationalists touring the Greek Vlach villages were invariably struck by the locals' lack of interest in the Romanian cause.
By 1948, the new Soviet-imposed communist regime of Romania had closed all Romanian-run schools outside Romania and since the closure, there has been no formal education in Aromanian and speakers have been encouraged to learn and use the Greek language. This has been a process encouraged by the community itself and is not an explicit State policy. The decline and isolation of the Romanian orientated groups was not helped by the fact that they openly collaborated with the Axis powers of Italy and Germany during the occupation of Greece in WWII. Notably the vast majority of Vlachs fought in the Greek resistance and a number of their villages were destroyed by the Germans.
The issue of Aromanian-language education is a sensitive one, partly because of the resurgence in Romanian interest on the subject. Romanian nationalism maintains that Greek propaganda is still very strong in the area, inferring that Greeks define Aromanians as a sort of "Latinized Greeks". The fact remains that it is the majority of Greek Vlachs themselves that oppose the Romanian propaganda (those that espouse it having emigrated in the early 20thC), as they have done for the past 200 years. The Greek Vlachs oppose the introduction of the language into the education system as EU and leading Greek political figures have suggested, viewing it as an artificial distinction between them and other Greeks. For example, the former education minister, George Papandreou, received a negative response from Aromanian mayors and associations to his proposal for a trial Aromanian language education programme. The Panhellenic Federation of Cultural Associations of Vlachs (Πανελλήνια Ομοσπονδία Πολιτιστικών Συλλόγων Βλάχων) expressed strong opposition to EU's recommendation in 1997 that the tuition of Aromanian be supported so as to avoid its extinction.. On a visit to Metsovo, Epirus in 1998, Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos called on Vlachs to speak and teach their language, but its decline continues.
A recent example of the sensitivity of the issue was the 2001 conviction (later overturned in the Appeals Court) to 15 months in jail of Sotiris Bletsas , a Greek Aromanian who was found guilty of "dissemination of false information" after he distributed informative material on minority languages in Europe (which included information on minority languages of Greece), produced by the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages and financed by the European Commission. His conviction met with broad condemnation in Greece  and it emerged that his case was zealously pursued by Aromanian leaders who viewed themselves as patriotic Greeks and felt affronted by the suggestion that they belonged to a "minority". Bletsas was eventually acquitted .
The following text is given for comparison in Aromanian and in Romanian, with an English translation. The spelling of Aromanian is that decided at the Bitola Symposium of August 1997. The word choice in the Romanian version was such that it matches the Aromanian text, although in modern Romanian other words might have been more appropriate. The English translation is only provided as a guide to the meaning, with an attempt to keep the word order as close to the original as possible.
|Vocala easti un son dit zburãrea-a omlui, faptu cu tritsearea sonorã, libirã sh-fãrã cheadicã, a vimtului prit canalu sonor (adrat di coardili vocali shi ntreaga gurã) icã un semnu grafic cari aspuni un ahtari son.||Vocala este un sunet din vorbirea omului, făcut cu trecerea sonoră, liberă şi fără piedică, a vântului prin canalul sonor (compus din coardele vocale şi întreaga gură) sau un semn grafic care reprezintă un atare sunet.||The vowel is a sound in human speech, made by the sonorous, free and unhindered passing of the air through the sound channel (composed of the vocal cords and the whole mouth) or a graphic symbol corresponding to that sound.|
|Ashi bunãoarã, avem shasili vocali tsi s-fac cu vimtul tsi treatsi prit gurã, iu limba poati si s-aflã tu un loc icã altu shi budzãli pot si sta dishcljisi unã soe icã altã.||Aşa bunăoară, avem şase vocale ce se fac cu vântul ce trece prin gură, unde limba poate să se afle într-un loc sau altul şi buzele pot să stea deschise un soi sau altul.||This way, we have six vowels that are produced by the air passing through the mouth, where the tongue can be in one place or another and the lips can be opened in one way or another.|
|Vocalili pot s-hibã pronuntsati singuri icã deadun cu semivocali i consoani.||Vocalele pot să fie pronunţate singure sau deodată cu semivocale sau consoane.||The vowels can be pronounced alone or together with semivowels or consonants.|
|Aromanian (person)||(m.) Armãn, (f.) Armãnã||(m.) Aromân, (f.) Aromână|
|Aromanian (language)||Limba armãneascã, Armãneashce||Limba Aromână|
|Greetings!||Buna dzuã!||Bună ziua!|
|What's your name?||Cum ti chljamã?||Cum te cheamă?|
|How are you?||Cum hits? (formal) Cum eshci? (informal)||Ce mai faci?|
|What are you doing?||Tsi fats? Tsi adari? (popular)||Ce faci?|
|Goodbye!||S-nã videm cu ghine!||La revedere!|
|Bye!||Ciao!||Salut!(informal), La revedere!(formal)|
|Please.||Vã-plãcãrsescu. (formal) Ti-plãcãrsescu (informal)||Te rog.|
|I don't understand.||Nu achicãsescu.||Nu înțeleg|
|Where's the bathroom?||Iu easte toaletlu?||Unde este baia?|
|Do you speak English?||Zburats anglicheashce?||Vorbiți engleză?|
|I am a student.||Mine escu studentu.||Sunt student.|
|You are beautiful.||Hii mushatã.(gramostean dialect) Eshci mushatã.(official)||Ești frumoasă.|
|Vulgar Latin language|
|Romanian (Moldovan, Vlach)|
Numbers | Phonology | Lexis
00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 04.8=C
03.2 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 00.0=E1-M33
09.7 =13.9 =17.9 =15.8 =18.6 =18.5 = 07.1=E3b1-M78
00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =02.3 =00.0 = 00.0=E3b2-M81
00.0 =02.8 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 00.0=E3b3-M123
12.9 =08.3 =10.3 =00.0 =07.0 =00.0 = 00.0=G-M201
00.0 =02.8 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 00.0=H-M69
41.9 =38.9 =17.9 =42.1 =20.9 =16.9 = 19.0=I-M170
00.0 =02.8 =02.6 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 00.0=J(x2)-12f2
06.5 =16.7 =46.2 =05.3 =11.6 =20.0 = 33.3=J2-M172
00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 09.5=K(xP)-M9
00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 =00.0 = 00.0=R1∗-M173×(R1a,R1b)
09.7 =05.6 =02.6 =00.0 =11.6 =21.5 = 02.4=R1a1-M17 0
16.1 =08.3 =02.6 =36.8 =27.9 =23.1 = 23.8=R1b-PN25
ARC, Romanians from Constanta; ARP, Romanians from Ploiesti; ARD, Aromuns from Dukasi in Albania; ARP, Aromuns from Andon Poci in Albania; ARK, Aromuns from Krusevo in Macedonia; ARS, Aromuns from the Stip region in Macedonia and ARR, Aromuns from Romania.
This analysis of 11 Alu human-specific polymorphisms in the Balkans has shown that the allele frequencies found in these populations are very similar to other European populations. The Aromuns, an isolated linguistic group, are not an exception to the high homogeneity of European populations (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994).
AMOVA has shown that the Aromuns do not represent a differentiated group compared to the rest of Balkan populations, and even when grouped by language no clear stratification exists. This result is in agreement with other studies that have failed to correlate genetic diversity with the linguistic affiliation at a regional level (for example, Comas et al. 2000b, using mtDNA), possibly because language replacement may be a much faster process than gene flow.
Although the Aromuns are a small linguistic and cultural isolate, their Alu insertion gene diversity is not reduced compared to the rest of European samples, as would be expected if they were also a genetic isolate.
Although the gene diversity found may seem low (from 0.292 in Albanian Aromuns to 0.314 in Romanian Aromuns), it is similar to what is described for other Balkan populations, and it is worth noting that biallelic markers such as Alu insertion polymorphisms show diversity with a maximum of 0.5. However, a slight reduction may still be present and detectable with more sensitive systems, such as uniparentally transmitted mtDNA and the Y chromosome, which evolve with roughly one quarter of the effective population size of autosomal loci.
Three different scenarios have been postulated in order to explain the origin of the Aromuns. Each scenario would have led to a different genetic structure of the extant Aromun populations, which allows us to determine which is the most plausible scenario supported by the present Alu data.
Scenario 1: Aromuns are Latinised Greeks
The origin of the Aromuns could be traced to a group of Greeks who changed their language and adopted Latin after the arrival of Romans into the Balkans.
This assumption would imply that Aromuns should be genetically more similar to Greeks than to the rest of neighbouring populations. In the present analysis, Northeastern Greeks have been shown to be genetically differentiated from the rest of the Balkan populations (see also Huckenbeck et al. 2001). This agrees with the results shown by classical genetic markers in other
Greek samples (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994; Schmidt & Scheil, 2001). The Aromun samples differ from Greeks in the PC analysis and also presented considerable genetic distances from them. Moreover, the genetic distances found between Greeks and each Aromun sample are not significantly shorter than the distances found, for instance, between Aromuns and Romanians.
Within this scenario, a possible explanation for this difference found between Greeks and Aromuns would be that the origins of Aromuns could be traced back to Greeks who extensively interbred with Romans. This hypothesis would imply that the Aromuns present intermediate genetic features between Greeks and Southern and Western Romance populations. Since Alu allele frequencies are not available for Italians, Western Romance populations (represented in the present analysis by French, Catalans and Andalusians) can be used as proxies. The genetic position of Aromuns was not intermediate between Greeks and the Western Romance speakers, which, with the caveat that the latter are not necessarily descendants of Romans, would be incompatible with Aromuns being the result of an admixture between Romans and Greeks.
Thus, the present data seems to refute this first hypothesis of the Aromuns being Latinised Greeks.
Scenario 2: Aromuns and Romanians are descendants of Dacians
This second scenario postulates that the Aromuns and Romanians have the same origin. Both may be descendants of ancient inhabitants living north of the Danube and mixed with Romans. This scenario would imply a close genetic relationship between Aromuns and Romanians.
The present analysis shows that there is no close relation between the samples north of the Danube river (Romanians and Hungarians) and the Aromun samples, which agrees again with the results shown by classical genetic markers (Schmidt et al. 1998).
Even Romanian Aromuns are very differentiated from Romanians, as shown by genetic distances and PC analysis. This could be explained by the fact that after 1920 many Aromuns coming from the south of the Balkans emigrated to Romania, where they settled in the Dobruja region and near Bucharest. This second hypothesis for the same origin of the Aromuns and Romanians, as descendants of the inhabitants north of the Danube and mixed with Romans, can also be rejected.
Scenario 3: Aromuns are Descendant of Thracians
The last hypothesis tested is the origin of the Aromuns as descendants of Thracians, who inhabited the region south of the Danube, and afterwards mixed with Romans.
This scenario would be difficult to test since no extant population can be identified with the ancient Thracians. Nevertheless, this hypothesis would imply a close genetic relationship between Aromuns and the rest of the populations living in the Balkans south of the Danube. The present analysis has shown a close relationship between Balkan populations and Aromuns, although Aromuns of any given geographical region or political country do not present closer genetic distance to their neighbours, as seen in theAMOVA analysis. The genetic similarity of Aromuns to other Balkan populations could be compatible with the present scenario, but it is worth noting that Balkan populations do not differ distinctly from the other European populations. This is in agreement with the high homogeneity of European populations as shown by classical markers (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994) and mitochodrial DNA lineages (Simoni et al. 2000).
Nonetheless, a single origin for the Aromuns cannot be confirmed by the present data, given that the genetic heterogeneity found among Aromun samples is similar to that found among a set of linguistically unrelated Balkan populations. This pattern could be explained if Aromun populations had, in fact, different origins scattered in the Balkans, and had converged linguistically by adopting and preserving a Romance language. Or, alternatively, genetic drift could have erased the traces of a putative common origin. Alu insertion polymorphisms represent multiple independent autosomal loci, and the general trends observed in them escape the random
specificities of each single locus, a feature that makes them useful in population genetics. However, they lack the well-defined phylogeographic structure of variation at the mtDNA or the Y chromosome, which may provide more precise details to the intriguing question of the origin of the Aromuns.(04e)
Origins of the Aromuns
Several hypotheses have been proposed for the origin of the Aromuns (Schmidt, 2000; Comas et al. 2004): i) Aromuns are Latinised Greeks; ii) Aromuns (and present Romanians) are descendants of Dacians (who lived north of the Danube), or iii) Aromuns are descendants of Thracians (who lived south of the Danube).
Moreover, all three scenarios could have introduced different degrees of Roman admixture. All three scenarios might have produced different genetic outcomes, with being Aromuns being genetically closer to Greeks, Romanians, or other populations from the south of the Balkans, respectively. However, the possibility of testing these hypotheses depends on these populations being genetically differentiated. While Y chromosome variation has been previously reported as being very well structured geographically (Rosser et al. 2000; Semino et al. 2000), mtDNA lineages are believed to be much more homogeneous between geographically close populations (Simoni et al. 2000). Besides, our ability to discern the possible genetic origin of the Aromuns also depends on the action of drift, as this may have erased such traces or their origins.
As shown in the AMOVAs (Table 4), Aromuns as a group were not significantly different either from Romanians or from Greeks, considering both haplotypes and haplogroups for both uniparental markers.
The comparison of genetic distances among the different Aromun groups and their surrounding neighbours, when using mtDNA sequences, revealed great genetic homogeneity in the Balkan peninsula and in particular no significant differences (P < 0.05) among Greeks, Italians, Romanians and Bulgarians or Macedonians (the last two being taken as proxies for other southern Balkan populations). This result implies that the power to test the proposed hypotheses is not sufficient, at least for the maternal lineages. The Balkan region also appears relatively homogenous when using both Y chromosome STRs or haplogroup frequency data. The comparison of RST distances when using Y chromosome 9-STR haplotypes displayed no significant differences (P > 0.05) among Greeks, Romanians, Macedonians or Bulgarians implying that we cannot distinguish between the second and third hypotheses.
However, we did have enough statistical power to test a Roman (Italian) paternal contribution in the Aromun populations. Therefore, we could only distinguish the first hypothesis if “Latinised Greeks” implied a major Roman (Italian) contribution to the Aromuns.
Y STR based RST distances between most Aromun groups and Italians were shorter than those between Italians and Greeks, although all Aromuns groups are much closer to Greeks than to Italians. Visual inspection revealed that the only Y chromosome lineage that had frequencies in the Aromuns that were closer to those in Italians than in the rest of the Balkans was P∗ (×R1a). These frequencies were between 0.057-0.279 in the Aromuns, 0.083–0.161 in the rest of the Balkans and 0.240-0.630 in Italy. This situation could indicate paternal gene flow mediated by the Romans, as foreseen by the first hypothesis. However, when the YHRD database was queried for the nine-locus “minimal haplotype” (DYS19, DYS389I/II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS385I/II) corresponding to the P∗ (×R1a) Y chromosomes found in the Aromuns, it showed few instances of matches in Italians but not in the Balkans.
On the contrary, nine P∗ (×R1a) Aromun minimal haplotypes, belonging to a total 18 individuals, had no matches in the YHRD. This indicates that the increased frequencies of P∗ (×R1a) Y chromosomes in the Aromuns seem to be due to drift rather than to external gene flow.
The present study provides an insight into understanding the genetic structure of the Balkans. Although the linguistic and cultural diversity found in the region could have acted as an important genetic barrier, Balkan populations have been shown to be genetically homogenous, and in concordance with the European genetic continuum, using both autosomal and uniparental markers even with the deep levels of resolution conferred by the large set of markers we typed. Linguistic and other cultural differences were probably introduced into genetically homogeneous groups and/or these cultural barriers were not strong enough to prevent genetic flow between populations. However, genetic evidence shows an exception to this pattern: in some particular cases cultural isolation seems to have given rise to small population groups that have become different through drift from the common genetic substrate. This may be the case for some, but not all, Aromun populations.(05b)
SITES: http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaEthno/maps/hungary.htm http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaHistory/vlachoutofromania.htm
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