Some Aromanian writings dating from the end of the XVIIIth century--the Vocabulary that Cavalioti attached to his Prima învăţătură “Primer” (Prwtwpeiria) – Venice, 1770, the four-language Lexicon of Daniil the Moscopolean, included in his Învăţătura introducătoare „Introductory Knowledge” (Eisagwgikg didaskalia) – Venice, 1794 and, particularly, Noua Învăţătură sau Abecedar uşor „The New Learning or The Easy Primer” (Nea Paidagwgia) – Vienna, 1797, written by Constantin Ucuta--are extremely important to A(R)omanian culture in general, and to Romanian south-Danubian dialectology and the history of Romanian in particular.
Of the relevant phonetic aspects of the Aromanian dialect that these writings ascertain, the realization and distribution of -u in final position is of particular importance. The above-mentioned works testify to three different realizations of this vowel, which are characteristic of Aromanian, namely:
- a syllabic –u, after a group of consonants;
- a whispered –u, after a consonant (m excluded);
- the disappearance of -u after m-.
The fact that -u in final position, after m-, was not pronounced (unlike Dacoromanian) distinguishes the idiolect of the Aromanian from Moscopolis, the native place of the three authors, which gives evidence, in addition to other phonetic, morphological and lexical phenomena, of the primordial unity of Romanian.
In this article, we examine several samples of usage from these works and confront the opinions that numerous linguists, such as as Th. Capidan, Matilda Caragiu Marioţeanu, Petru Neiescu, Nicolae Saramandu etc., have expressed about this phenomenon, in time.