Throughout the centuries Romanians have employed various terms as designations for Bulgarians. Some of these terms are restricted within specific timeframes but it seems that Romanians at all times had alternative terms at their disposal. Whenever there is terminological choice, it becomes possible to express additional characteristics of the referents in question. Thus, according to the locals both 'Bulgarians' and 'Serbs' reside in the village Ciorog√Ęrla on the outskirts of Bucharest. The Bulgarians arrived in Ciorog√Ęrla from the Elena Region at the beginning of the twentieth century whereas the Serbs, who also came from northern Bulgaria, had settled one century earlier (–ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 30).
The ethnic term bulgari, sg. bulgar is very old in Romanian. It is mentioned as a geographic term in Romanian territory in Wallachian Bulgarian documents from the first quarter of the fifteenth century and is used in Romanian literature from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century as well as in folklore and, occasionally, in geographic terminology (Iordan, I. 1963: 262‚Äď264; –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 29‚Äď30; VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005: 144). This ethnic term is current today not only as a designation for Bulgarians but also with the meaning ‚Äėmarket gardeners‚Äô, a trade many Bulgarians in southern Romania practice (Weigand, G. 1900: 120; MihńÉilńÉ, G. 1960: 68; –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 26; VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005: 149). If a given ethnic group has a preference for a certain occupation, speakers may denote the occupation with this group‚Äôs name and, vice versa, use the occupational term as an ethnic term; cf. for instance the contemporary Albanian terms arixhinj lit. ‚Äėbear-ward‚Äô but also ‚ÄėRoma‚Äô, √ßob√ęn lit. ‚Äėshepherd‚Äô but also ‚ÄėAromanian‚Äô (Kahl, T. 2012).
Romanian Ňüchei, sg. Ňücheau, was inherited from Vulgar Latin *sclavus, a variant of slavus ‚ÄėSlav; slave‚Äô, also borrowed in the Balkans in Albanian shqe, sg. shqa. Romanian Ňüchei refers sometimes to Slavs in general, or to Serbs but most often to Bulgarians. The meaning ‚Äėslave‚Äô is preserved in Albanian along with the other meanings of the word which can also denote Orthodox Bulgarians or Serbs or Orthodox Christians in general, including Greeks (VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005: 146‚Äď149). Based on the Romanian literature of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, we can conclude that, by that time, the Romanian Ňüchei was already rare. However, it was and continues to be well documented in geographic terminology (Brezeanu, S. 2002).
The Romanian slovean ‚ÄėSouth Slav‚Äô is only used in old Romanian literature (VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005: 146).
The ethnic term s√Ęrbi, sg. s√Ęrb is employed in Romanian to refer to Serbs but since the seventeenth century also to In a characteristic fashion it may be used simultaneously with the ethnic term bulgari to refer to a population of the same type. Here is an indicative example from the end of the nineteenth century: ‚ÄúOnly Romanians live in the county [VlaŇüca] with the exception of the villages Udeni, DrńÉghineŇüti, IepureŇüti-S√Ęrbi, where one encounters Serbs. There is a large number of Bulgarians on the Danube River bank in the villages Malul, Slobozia, Paraipani, GńÉojani, Bila, Ňěop√ĘrleŇüti and GurgueŇ£i, who are considered today simply Romanian. Many of them have forgotten their language and do not preserve even their traditional Bulgarian costumes‚ÄĚ (Lahovari, G. I., C. I. Bratianu, G. Tocilescu 1898-1902, 5: 766). As the texts in this Corpus demonstrate, the same Bulgarian Bjala-Slatina dialect is spoken in the villages Udeni, DrńÉghineŇüti and Bila. Bulgarians (–ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 25). It also is frequent in For a map of the distribution of micro-toponyms with the component s√Ęrbi see –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 445, and also Donat, I. 1962.geographic terminology, precisely in the territory inhabited by Transdanubian settlers. The Transdanubian settlers themselves, as the recordings in this Corpus amply indicate, also use this term for Some reasons why Transdanubian Bulgarians go along with this practice are presented in –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú., –Ď. –Ě—Ź–≥—É–Ľ–ĺ–≤, –Ě. –Ė–Ķ—á–Ķ–≤ 1994: 380. self-identification, concurrently with the ethnic term –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ł. ‚ÄėBulgarians‚Äô. Moreover, (–°–Ľ–į–≤–ļ–ĺ–≤–į, –ú. 2005: 281). regarding KruŇ°eto, Gorna Orjaxovica Region also see –Ē–ĺ–Ĺ—á–Ķ–≤–į, –Ę. –ė. 2005: 44. According to Vasilka Aleksova, fieldwork among Romanian-speakers in Letnica and Aleksandrovo, Loveńć Region(2009) and DuŇ°evo, Sevlievo Region (2010) has confirmed this usage. the Romanian-speaking minority population in eastern Bulgaria (the so-called —Ä—É–ī–į—Ä–ł) also refers to their Bulgarian neighbours as s√Ęrbi or —Ā—ä—Ä–Ī–ł. The Romanian Dialect Atlas shows that the ethnic term s√Ęrb in Muntenia, where Transdanubian settlers reside, may also mean ‚Äėmarket gardener‚Äô (VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005: 149).
In the Romanian context, one also may find that the term greci ‚ÄėGreeks‚Äô refers to ethnic Bulgarians (–†–ĺ–ľ–į–Ĺ—Ā–ļ–ł, –°. 1914: 56; –í–Ķ–Ľ–ł–ļ–ł, –ö. –Ě., –í. –Ę—Ä–į–Ļ–ļ–ĺ–≤ 1980: 10; –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 25, 27).
The listed ethnic terms can be divided into two groups according to their taxonomic level. By this criterion the hypernyms Ňücheau and slovean contrast with the hyponyms bulgar, s√Ęrb and grec.
|hypernyms||Ňücheau / slovean|
If the use of more general terms as designations of specific referents (such as bird instead of skylark) raises no questions, the expansion of terms of the same rank (such as nightingale instead of blackbird) requires special attention. For an overview of the proposals made see –ú–Ľ–į–ī–Ķ–Ĺ–ĺ–≤, –ú. –°. 1993: 25‚Äď26, 29‚Äď30 and VńÉtńÉŇüescu, C. 2005. The explanations proposed so far are not completely satisfactory. According to one hypothesis, rural Romanians see no difference between Serbs and Bulgarians, perhaps because they cannot distinguish between their languages. Another proposal claims that Romanians forgot about the existence of Bulgarians after the Second Bulgarian Empire fell under Ottoman rule. In the opinion of some scholars, the ethnic term s√Ęrbi started gradually to replace the ethnic term bulgari as a designation for Bulgarians because, on the one hand, Serbs preserved their influence in Wallachia during the Ottoman period and, on the other hand, after the sixteenth century Slavic literature in Resava orthography predominated in the Romanian principalities. Others point out that Bulgarians were not included among the ethnic groups in the Romanian lands whose members held tax and other privileges. Yet another explanation attaches significance to the proliferation of the meaning of bulgar as ‚Äėmarket gardener‚Äô and attributes the preference for the ethnic term s√Ęrbi as a designation of Bulgarians to an attempt to avoid confusion. And finally, it is assumed that, since descendants of Proto-Slavic *s—Ćrb—ä may designate different Slavic groups (as for example the Sorbians in the eastern part of Germany), speakers of Romanian treated s√Ęrbi as a hypernym on par with Ňücheau and slovean.
Among the information provided above about the Romanian ethnic terms used to designate Bulgarians there are facts that contradict the proposed explanations. In addition, some arguments may be dismissed: could it be that Bulgarians were not included in legal documents granting privileges for certain groups precisely because the authors of these documents knew them under a different name ‚Äď s√Ęrbi? Other arguments such as the visible physical and cultural Serbian presence in Wallachia cannot serve as a sufficient justification for the presumed lexical change s√Ęrbi ‚ÄėSerbs‚Äô ňÉ ‚ÄėSerbs; Bulgarians‚Äô. Yet other arguments face obstacles of chronological nature.
We believe that the option to attach a broader meaning to the Romanian ethnic terms s√Ęrb and grec and the lack of such an option in regards to bulgar depend on the self-identifications of these nations: Serb –°—Ä–Ī–ł–Ĺ, Bulgarian –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ł–Ĺ and Greek őąőĽőĽő∑őĹőĪŌā. An ethnic term as a denotation of a given group consists of a complex of specific distinctive features. These complexes may display different structures. For instance, religious affiliation and language may be assigned different slots in an ethnic term‚Äôs semantic structure. Religious affiliation is not a core feature of the ethnic term –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ł–Ĺ ‚ÄėBulgarian‚Äô, as shown by the existence of terms such as –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ĺ-–ľ–ĺ—Ö–į–ľ–Ķ–ī–į–Ĺ–ł–Ĺ ‚ÄėMoslem Bulgarian‚Äô and –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ł –ļ–į—ā–ĺ–Ľ–ł—Ü–ł ‚ÄėCatholic Bulgarians‚Äô. In other words, one need not be Orthodox Christian in order to be considered Bulgarian. On the other hand, language is not a core feature of the ethnic term őąőĽőĽő∑őĹőĪŌā ‚ÄėGreek‚Äô, cf. őąőĽőĽő∑őĹőĶŌā ŌÉőĽőĪő≤ŌĆŌÜŌČőĹőŅőĻ ‚ÄėSlavic-speaking Greeks‚Äô. This means that one need not be a native speaker of Greek in order to be considered Greek.
The characteristics of the ethnic term –°—Ä–Ī–ł stood clearly out in the context of the mass displacements of population caused by the disintegration of Yugoslavia (1991‚Äď2006), the military actions that accompanied this process and the replacement of The Ň†tokavian Serbo-Croatian dialect, the basis of both the former Serbo-Croatian language and the standard languages that replaced it, was named after the interrogative pronoun Ň°to, Ň°ta, ‚Äėwhat‚Äô to which in other dialects ‚Äď the ńĆakavian and the Kajkavian in Croatian territory and the Ň†ńáakavian in Croatia and Bosnia ‚Äď correspond the pronouns ńća, kaj and Ň°ńáa, respectively. The second isogloss, used in the classification of Serbo-Croatian dialects, distinguishes them according to their descendants of Proto-Slavic *ńõ. For our purposes here it suffices to mention the relevant subdivision of Ň†tokavian into Ekavian, traditionally spoken in Serbia (cf. mleko ‚Äėmilk‚Äô ňā *mlńõko), and Ijekavian, represented in Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia (cf. mlijeko ‚Äėmilk‚Äô ňā *mlńõko). For a more detailed classification of the Serbo-Croatian dialect continuum from a diachronic perspective see Popovińá, I. 1960. the relatively uniform Serbo-Croatian standard language with the Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and, most recently, Montenegrin languages. As an outcome of the migration processes from the end of the twentieth century, large groups of Croatians and Serbs moved from Serbia and Bosnia to Croatia and from Croatia and Bosnia to Serbia. Since neither Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia, nor Croatians from Serbia and Bosnia differ in linguistic terms from their Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian neighbours, the resettled refugees faced difficult choices in their new places of residence when trying to decide whether to preserve their customary speech patterns or adopt those accepted in their new homeland by the locals denoted by the same ethnic terms as the refugees. While Ekavian pronunciation is unanimously perceived in Croatia as Serbian and therefore avoided, both Ekavian and Ijekavian pronunciation are treated as Serbian in Serbia (Petrovińá, T. 2006; ŇĹmegańć, J. ńĆapo 2007: 21, 35 note 17).
Attempts at an alternative use of the ethnic term –°—Ä–Ī–ł based on language and regardless of the religious affiliation of referents, such as that undertaken by Vuk KaradŇĺińá in his article ‚ÄúSrbi svi i svuda‚ÄĚ (–ö(–į—Ä–į—ü–ł—õ), –í. –°. 1849: 1‚Äď27) did not take root. Religious affiliation is at the core of the ethnic term –°—Ä–Ī–ł (one must be Orthodox Christian to be considered Serbian), whereas language takes a peripheral position, allowing for a great deal of variation. Such a structure of the ethnic term makes it possible to encompass Orthodox Bulgarians under –°—Ä–Ī–ł.
Apparently, the Romanian counterparts s√Ęrb, bulgar and grec of the ethnic self-identifications –°—Ä–Ī–ł–Ĺ, –Ī—ä–Ľ–≥–į—Ä–ł–Ĺ and őąőĽőĽő∑őĹőĪŌā reflect the heterogeneous structures of their complexes of distinctive features. This is what makes these Romanian terms capable of designating partially overlapping groups of referents.