Banat Romanian Dialect
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Banat Romanian Dialect

The Banat dialect (subdialectul / graiul b?nean) is one of the dialects of the Romanian language (Daco-Romanian). Its geographic distribution extends over the Romanian Banat and parts of the Serbian Banat.

The Banat dialect is a member of the northern grouping of Romanian dialects, along with the Moldavian dialect and the group of Transylvanian varieties. Features of the Banat dialect are found in southern dialects of Romanian: Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian.

The Banat dialect has been long classified separately from the Transylvanian varieties, but in early studies such as those by Mozes Gaster[1] these were sometimes grouped together as a single variety. The Banat dialect was considered separately by Heimann Tiktin, Gustav Weigand, Sextil Pu?cariu (in his latter studies), Emil Petrovici, Romulus Todoran, Ion Coteanu, Alexandru Philippide, Iorgu Iordan, and others.

Geographic distribution

The dialect is spoken in southwestern Romania, in the following counties: Cara?-Severin, Timi?, the southern part of Arad, and the southern part of Hunedoara. It is also spoken in the Serbian Banat.

Transition areas

A transition area towards the Wallachian dialect is found in the northwestern of Oltenia, in the counties of Gorj and Mehedin?i. Mixtures with the southern and central Transylvanian varieties are found in northeastern parts of Banat, where such a transition area is in the Ha?eg Country and another one extends towards southern Cri?ana.


Phonetic features

The Banat dialect differs from the others by the following phonetic particularities:

  • The unstressed mid vowels /e, ?, o/ close to [i, ?, u], respectively, and open /a/ to : [p?'puk, pli'kat, ru'pat] for standard papuc, plecat, îngropat.
  • Dentals /t, d/ become [t, d], respectively, and consonants /n, l, r/ are palatalized when followed by [e, i, e?a]: [dimi'n?at?s?, 'frunte, 'bade, 'vin?e, 'l?emn?e, 'mar?e] for diminea, frunte, bade, vine, lemne, mare.
  • Affricates /t, d/ become the palatalized fricatives [, ], respectively: [as, 'in?, in, 'fue, 'inere, 's?ne] for ceas, cin?, cinci, fuge, ginere, sânge.
  • In some varieties, the diphthong /o?a/ is realized as [wa]: ['swarje, 'mwarte] for soare, moarte. In other varieties /o?a/ becomes the monophthong : ['k, '?l?] for coaj?, oal?.
  • The stressed vowel /e/ becomes [j?] when followed by another [e] in the next syllable: [mu'j?r?e, 'fj?te, po'vj?st?, 'vj?rde, 'pjte] for muiere, fete, poveste, verde, pe?te.
  • After labials, /je/ reduces to : ['fer?e, 'merkur?, 'pel?e, pept] for fiere, miercuri, piele, piept.
  • After the fricatives [s, z, ?, ?], affricates [t?s, d?z], and the sequence [st], /e/ becomes [?], /i/ becomes [?], and /e?a/ reduces to [a]: ['sar?, s?mn, 'sur, d?z?r, d?z?d, p?'m, d, r, , ko'?ask?, ?n't?sap?, s?m't?s?sk, pr?'?ask?, povjes't?sk, sta?] for sear?, semn, singur, zer, zid, pim, ?ed, jir, ?i, cojeasc?, în?eap?, sim?esc, pr?jeasc?, povestesc, steag.
  • Labials remain unchanged when followed by [e, i, e?a]: [pept, 'bivol, o'be?al?, fer, 'verm?e, 'merkur?] for piept, bivol, obial?, fier, vierme, miercuri.
  • Etymological /n/ is preserved and palatalized, such as in Latin-origin words where it is followed by [e] or [i] in hiatus, words with inflection endings in [i], Slavic borrowings with the sequence [nj], as well as Hungarian borrowings with [n?]: [kun?, k?l'k?n?, k?p?'t?n?, tu r?'m?n?, 'klan?e, s?'krin?] for cui, c?lcâi, c?p?tâi, tu r?mâi (from Latin cuneus, calcaneum, capitaneum, tu reman?s), claie (from Slavic *klanja, cf. Serbian and Bulgarian kladnja), sicriu (from Hungarian szekrény). This phenomenon is distinct from the simple palatalization of /n/ when followed by a front vowel, which is newer, even though the two phenomena can now appear in very similar contexts: [tu 'spun?] contains an etymological [n?], whereas [jel 'spun?e] contains a more recently palatalized [n].[2]
  • The voiced affricate is preserved in words believed to be of substrate origin: ['br?nd?z?, 'bud?z?, ?ru'mad?z?, m?nd?z] for brânz?, buz?, grumaz, mânz. It is also preserved in Latin-origin words that contain a /d/ followed by a long [e] or [i], by an inflectional [i] or by [e] or [i] in hiatus: ['d?ze, a'ud?z, 'frund?z?] for zece, auzi, frunz? (Latin: decem, aud?s, frondea).
  • The monophthong [?]: ['k?n?e, 'm?n?e, 'p?n?e] is old. In standard Romanian, the palatalization is anticipated, and a metathesis occurs : câine, mâine, pâine are best explained as /'k?n?e/ > ['kne] (anticipation of palatalization).

Morphological features

  • Feminine nouns ending in -? tend to form the plural in -i instead of -e: cas? - ci ("house(s)", compare with standard cas? - case). This may be explained, in the case of nouns with roots ending in a fricative or an affricate, by the fact that the plural ending -e would be realized as -? (see the phonetic features above), which would produce a homonymy between singular and plural.
  • Genitives and datives in nouns are often built analytically: piciorul de la scaun ("the chair's leg", compare with piciorul scaunului), dau ap? la cal ("I give water to the horse", compare with dau ap? calului).
  • The possessive article is invariable: a meu, a mea, a mei, a mele ("mine", compare with standard al meu, a mea, ai mei, ale mele) as in most Romanian dialects.
  • The simple perfect of verbs is actively used in all persons and numbers, a feature the Banat dialect shares with the western areas of the Wallachian dialect.
  • The auxiliary verb used for the compound perfect in the 3rd person has the forms o and or: o m?rs, or m?rs ("he went", "they went", compare with standard a mers, au mers).
  • The newer extended conjugation does not replace the older forms in the 1st and 4th conjugation groups: el lucr?, ea înfloare ("he works", "it blooms", compare with standard el lucreaz?, ea înflore?te, with -izo and -isko suffixes borrowed by Late Latin from Greek).[]
  • In indicative forms of verbs of the 4th conjugation group, homonymy is found between the 1st person singular and the 3rd person plural: eu cobor, ei cobor ("I come down", "they come down", compare with standard eu cobor, ei coboar?).
  • Periphrasis is used to express the pluperfect: am fost avut, m-am fost dus, o fost mâncat ("I had had", "I had gone", "he had eaten", compare with standard avusesem, m? dusesem, mâncase).
  • The negative plural prohibitive (not imperative)[clarification needed] continues the Latin imperfect subjunctive: nu fugire? (< lat. ne fugiretis), nu mâncare? ("don't run", don't eat", compare with standard nu fugi?i, nu mânca?i).
  • The auxiliary fi used in the past subjunctive is variable: eu s? fiu mâncat, tu s? fii mâncat, el s? fie mâncat ("that I / you / he ate", compare with standard eu s? fi mâncat, tu s? fi mâncat, el s? fi mâncat).
  • In some areas, the auxiliary verb used to construct the conditional is a vrea: eu vrea? face, tu vreai face, el vrea face ("I / you / he would do", compare with standard eu a? face, tu ai face, el ar face). Sometimes the v of the auxiliary is dropped: rea?, etc.
  • In south-western areas, under the Serbian influence, signs of a verbal aspect are found, relying on the use of prefixes: a dog?ta ("to finish completely", from a g?ta), a z?uita ("to forget completely", from a uita), a se proînsura ("to marry again", from a se însura).

Lexical particularities

  • The demonstrative articles are: ?l, a, ?i, ale ['al?e] (standard cel, cea, cei, cele).
  • Specific indefinite pronouns and adjectives are found: ['alte] ("something", standard ceva), [m?'kar 'n?e] ("anyone", standard oricine), tot natul ("each one", fiecare).
  • Other specific words: ?c?tul? ("box", standard cutie), ?naid?r ("taylor", croitor), ai ("garlic", usturoi), farb? ("dye", vopsea), golumb ("pigeon", porumbel), cozeci ("measles", pojar), etc.


Banat dialect: [?nt?m'plare?a o fost a'?a ? lã lu'vat de lant?s ? jel mo pus 'kap? spi'nare ?o ple'kat ku 'min?e dm p?'rj?tem p?'rte ? jam pus 'm?nantru? k?orn '?ajlalt?n'tralt k?orn mo tr?n'tit ?os]

Standard Romanian: Întâmplarea a fost a?a: l-am luat de lan?. El mi-a pus capu-n spinare ?i-a plecat cu mine din perete în perete. I-am pus mâna într-un corn ?i cealalt? într-alt corn ?i m-a trântit jos.

English translation: "It happened like this: I took (the bull) by the chain. It pushed its head into my back and drove me from a wall to another. I grabbed its horn with one hand and its other horn with another, and it knocked me down."


The Banat dialect is further divided into several areas, based on finer distinctions in linguistic facts:

  • south-western varieties, with particularities such as:
    • /?/ becomes [?]: [f?'kut, p?'m?nt] for f?cut, p?mânt;
    • becomes [v]: [lu'vat] for luat;
    • a verbal aspect appears: am dog?tat, am z?uitat, s-a pronsurat (see morphological features above);
  • eastern varieties;
  • northern varieties, where [?] becomes more frontal, between [?] and [i], in words like [r?d] (in varieties around Lugoj);
  • north-eastern varieties, in the Ha?eg Country.


  1. ^ Mozes Gaster, Chrestoma?ie român?, vol. I, Leipzig - Bucure?ti, 1891, pp. XC-CVIII, cited by Vasile Ursan, Despre configura?ia dialectal? a dacoromânei actuale
  2. ^ Matilda Caragiu-Mario?eanu (1975). Compendiu de dialectologie român? (in Romanian). p. 172.


See also

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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