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The Wallachian dialect (subdialectul/graiul muntean/muntenesc) is one of the several dialects of the Romanian language (Daco-Romanian). Its geographic distribution covers approximately the historical region of Wallachia, occupying the southern part of Romania, roughly between the Danube and the Southern Carpathians. Standard Romanian, in particular its phonology, is largely based on Wallachian.[1]

As with all other Romanian dialects, Wallachian is distinguished primarily by its phonetic characteristics and only marginally by morphological, syntactical, and lexical features.

The Wallachian dialect is the only member of the southern grouping of Romanian dialects. All the other dialects and speech varieties are classified in the northern grouping, whose most typical representative is the Moldavian dialect.

The Wallachian and the Moldavian dialects are the only two that have been consistently identified and recognized by linguists. They are clearly distinguished in dialect classifications made by Heimann Tiktin, Mozes Gaster, Gustav Weigand, Sextil Pușcariu, Sever Pop, Emil Petrovici, Romulus Todoran, Ion Coteanu, Alexandru Philippide, Iorgu Iordan, Emanuel Vasiliu, and others, whereas the other dialects and speech varieties have proven to be considerably more controversial and difficult to classify.

Geographic distribution

The Wallachian dialect is spoken in the southern part of Romania, in the region of Wallachia. More accurately, it covers the following counties:

The most typical features of the Wallachian dialect are found in the central part of this area, specifically in the following counties: Argeș, Călărași, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Ialomița, Olt, and Teleorman.

Influences from the neighboring areas

The dialects spoken in the neighboring areas have influenced the Wallachian dialect, thus creating transition speech varieties, as follows:


Some researchers further divide the Wallachian dialect into finer speech varieties. This division, however, can no longer rely on clear and systematic phonetic features, but on morphological, syntactical, and lexical differences.

For instance, Sextil Pușcariu and others consider a separate speech variety in Oltenia. This has very few distinct features – such as the extensive use of the simple perfect tense – and is most often considered a transition speech variety from the Wallachian to the Banat dialect.

Even less distinct is the particular speech variety of Dobruja. This too is often considered a transition variety, between the Wallachian and the Moldavian dialects.


Phonetic features

The Wallachian dialect has the following phonetic particularities that contrast it with the other dialects and varieties. Many of these phonetic features are also found in the pronunciation of Standard Romanian.

Morphological and syntactical features

Lexical particularities


Wallachian dialect: [sə ˈdut͡ʃe pəˈrint͡sɨ koˈpiluluj la ˈmo̯aʃə ku koˈpilu ˈdut͡ʃe ploˈkon ˈpɨjne vʲin ˈkarne t͡sujkə ʃɨ ˈmo̯aʃa ɨj ˈpune kʷoˈvriɡ ɨŋ kap ʃɨl ˈsaltə̃ sus ɨl ˈɡrinda ˈkasɨ ʃɨ zɨt͡ʃe trəˈjaskə neˈpotu ʃɨ pəˈrint͡sɨ][citation needed]

Standard Romanian: Se duc părinții copilului la moașă cu copilul. Duc plocon pâine, vin, carne, țuică. Și moașa îi pune un covrig în cap și-l saltă-n sus, îl dă de grinda casei și zice: Să trăiască nepotul și părinții![citation needed]

English translation: "The child's parents go to the midwife with the child. They bring as a present bread, wine, meat, țuică. And the midwife puts a pretzel on his head and hoists him up, touches him to the house's girder, and says: Long live the child and his parents!"[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Mioara Avram, Marius Sala, May we introduce the Romanian language to you?, The Romanian Cultural Foundation Publishing House, 2000, ISBN 973-577-224-8, ISBN 978-973-577-224-6, p. 111
  2. ^ Matilda Caragiu-Marioțeanu, Compendiu de dialectologie română, 1975, p. 173