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At 23:33 +0200 2003-03-31, Havard Hjulstad wrote via [log in to unmask]:

> >As far as I know (I may be wrong!) Moldavian and Romanian are even
> >closer from a linguistic point of view. These two languages are two
> >languages primarily because the two governments have decided that
> >they are. (I know of course the historical differences in writing
> >system.)

In message  <p05200a1ebaae69ff2260@[195.218.110.253]>
Michael Everson writes via [log in to unmask]:

> They are the same language, and as far as I know the only use for the
> word Moldavian is for Romanian written in Soviet Cyrillic (as opposed
> to medieval Romanian written in Cyrillic), which probably had a
> number of Russian loanwords. See
> http://www.indiana.edu/~libslav/slavcatman/langcode.html

Actually, the situation for Moldavian is far more complex than that.
There are of course different loanwords in each also deriving from
(recent) historic influences of Hebrew and Turkish speakers in the
area, and more importantly considerably different local lexical and
grammatical usage (which don't relate to loanwords from Hebrew,
Turkish or Russian) in each case, particularly in older times, and
mutual intelligibility could not always be guaranteed, even among
relatives living in different parts of Romania and Moldova, even when
Bessarabia was part of Romania, and decidedly so after the two areas
were separated.

The official language of Moldova is now of course Romanian, in Latin
script, and I imagine that there may be similar cross-border
initiatives to allow for standardization while recognizing potential
different local uses, as still exist between the Netherlands and
Belgium for standardizing the use of Dutch.

Best regards

John Clews

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John Clews,
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