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Course Introduction

Geographically placed at the extremities of the Romance area, Romanian and Portuguese have a series of particularities which give them an outstanding originality among the Romance languages. M. Bartoli, the founder of neolinguistics, placed I eria and !acia in the lateral areas of the Romance territory, relying on the areal norms significant for the opposition conservation"innovation. #hus the linguist pointed out the conservative character of the respective languages illustrated y the preservation of some terms such as formosus, mensa, feruere, equa, magis. $amous Romanian linguists % such as Iorgu Iordan and Marius &ala % proved that, through their distance from the centre and through the faint pressure exerted y the norm, the lateral areas represented a land favoura le to innovation. &ome facts which support the validity of the lateral areas norm were presented from this perspective. 'e shall give one example( in point of mood as a ver al category, Romanian is individualised y the Prezumtiv )which also appears as a modal value in other Romance languages where it has, however, specific forms*, while Protuguese appears as the only Romance language in which the Infinitive has personal forms )which function at the same time with the non"personal ones +nown in all the neo",atin languages*. Professor -ugeniu Co.eriu pointed out the identity etween the extremity areas. #he Portuguese students should get familiar with Romanian culture earing in mind this identity. #he language they will assimilate during this lecture will pave their way towards the culture of a community which is not alien from their experience. /lthough we are at a distance from one another in space, we are yet very close in spirit. #hus another diagnostic context of the saying 0extremes attract each other1 is re"confirmed. #he lecture which is opening today is all the more necessary as it also rings to the pu lic attention the matter of the Romance lateral areas asserting as centre. /lthough it sounds li+e an oxymoron, this assertion actually facillitates a certain type of communication which is free of any social and political iases and stresses the perennial dimension of cultural values. In an open -urope, language is the tool which can support an open and constructive dialogue. In fact, Romania has manifested its wish to enefit from the Portuguese experience oth in the cultural and political field, having in view its own accession to the -uropean Community. It is eyond any dou t that, in order to enefit fully from the Portuguese cooperation, we should define ourselves as a people and culture which can guarantee our affirmation as an e2ual and competent partner. #he aim of this lecture is to enlighten the students upon the historical and cultural dimension of a nation which has constantly een placed at the crossroads of the great powers.

#he Romanian language ears the sign of history. Its literary and cultural dimension is the reflection of a tragic effort to win and ac2uire an identity. #he meaning of our history is tragic in its dynamism. Its sym olical expression can e found in the tale of the /rge. Monastery. It is in this tale that we can find the effort of our history to win through the affirmation of this aesthetic myth in which oth ethnicity and ethics are melted. #he myth of the creative sacrifice lies in fact at the asis of Romanian history and culture. Many wor+s which have surpassed the oundaries of Romania spea+ a out the identity of Romanian culture within the -uropean and world space. $or illustratring this idea I shall appeal to two temporal faults( Romanian Middle /ges and the 33th century. Romanian Middle /ges imposed itself through the wor+ of Prince !imitrie Cantemir, a mem er of the /cademy of Berlin, an intimate counsellor of the tsar Peter I and an imperial senator. #he prince is also responsi le for the foundation of #ur+ish musicology as well as for writing the first great o 4ective history of the 5ttoman -mpire, a wor+ which was edited in ,atin and su se2uently translated in $rench, -nglish and German. In the 33th century, the affirmation of Romanian spirituality was +nown y the contri utions of Mircea -liade, -mil Cioran, -ugen Ionesco and -ugeniu Co.eriu. #hey proved the validity of a culture, although they have not all the time written in our language. #hrough learning Romanian, the students will have the opportunity to understand how some masterpieces were orn and then gained the recognition of humanity. /nd that is not all. 6. #his lecture starts from the premise that Romanian can e successfully learned through a simultaneous ac2uisition of all the language compartments( phonetics )pronunciation and spelling*, voca ulary ) asic voca ulary, semantic fields, affixation*, grammar )morpheme structures, syntactical com inations, word order*, phraseology. 7sing teaching aids which com ine traditional and modern methods )e.g. tapes that illustrate various phonetic characteristics and phonological oppositions in Romanian, allowing the students to ac2uire pronunciation( diphthongs, inter"vowel consonants, hiatus etc.*, we consider it necessary to learn a language structure y relating it to another, that is to perceive the language system as a se2uence of interdependent structures. 5ur aim is to create the specific competence for the use of Romanian language in various communicational situations, for oth current and professional usage. #herefore, we try to settle down a alance etween the four asic a ilities( listening, reading, spea+ing and writing, with an initial stress on listening and reading, on the principle of gathering information efore starting to produce language. It is only after this first stage that the spea+ing and writing a ilities will e practised.

#he use of direct communication will aim at each individual8s independence and will ta+e into account the various learning methods. #he o 4ectives of the course will vary according to the teaching stage( language acts, grammar, voca ulary, phonetics, writing, culture. /ll these converge towards gaining a competence adapted to the re2uirements of situational communication. In fact, this year8s activity of the first cultural ilingual Romanian"Portuguese maga9ine Romanian and Moldavian Diaspora has rought to the attention of the Portuguese pu lic personalities such as Mihai -minescu, :icolae Iorga and Mircea -liade. It is eyond any dou t that the appeal to ilingual Romanian"Portuguese texts will ma+e it easier to accept a culture y understanding the structures that generated it. ;ere we shall activate the principle of analogy which is extremely important in practising some language patterns felt as a ilities together with the so"called asic sentences. Progressive teaching of language patterns, developed in gradual, cumulative stages, is ased on teaching some sentences through the presentation of their su " structural elements, which are constantly added to some previously learned constructions. #he language practice and translation will e supported through dialogue and illustrative material corresponding to the respective situation. #his material must provide information on Romanian culture and society. #herefore we shall select articles from the main newspapers and maga9ines, with a specific interest in editorials, political, social, literary and religious articles. /s representative samples at this point, we shall also present fol+lore and etnographical pages. /ll these will provide authentic opinions on actual values and matters. /s far as Romanian literature is concerned, our main o 4ective is to teach the way of estimating literary wor+s, in other words the a ility of 4udging literature through personal experience. 'e shall descri e the ideological and cultural ac+ground that generated the respective wor+s, providing the analysis of representative literary excerpts. #hus we shall reveal the mechanisms of Romanian literariness in a variety of genres and species included in a history of Romanian literature. 'e shall propose the study of some literary wor+s elonging to outstanding creators of Romanian culture and literature. &ome landmar+s( !imitrie Cantemir imposes a literary order in an age ruled y 0Br<ncoveanu1 artistic style as well as y the 5ttoman and tsarist empires. I. Budai !eleanu goes eyond the -nlightenment ac+ground of his age y creating a aro2ue literature which +nows the influences of an open contemporary culture. B. P. ;asdeu, through the encyclopedic +nowledge of his wor+ due to the flourishing cultural period, associates in a Biedermeier sense the scholar demonstration to the militant anti"pedantry. #he pea+ of Romanian literature will stress the trends of a late plenary Romanticism )Mihai -minescu* which will not neglect the gods8 sardonic laughter )I. ,. Caragiale* sometimes manifested through a stylistics of motivated orality )I. Creang=*.

,. Re reanu, ;ortensia Papadat"Bengescu, :. Crainic a.o. will e placed at the confluence of the rural democracy of Viaa Romneasc maga9ine, the aestheticism of !urtorul maga9ine, the re ellious modernism of "ontimporanul maga9ine and the orthodox traditionalism of #ndirea maga9ine. #he Romanian literature of o stinate nonresignation spea+s out a out the communist space in which the constrained individual ta+es the li erty of ehaving as his mind tells him. Romanian postmodernism imposes through theoretical and methodological landmar+s, as well as through important literary manifestations. 'hat we attempt is an approach to Romanian literature and culture seen as a historical whole. 'e also ta+e into account the situational and linguistical approach through the choice of such items that will test the ac2uistion of language units and structures. 'e shall gradually select the wor+s and, respectively, the literary excerpts which meet with the linguistical a ilities of the students, preparing them to get familiar with certain texts through a previous contextual presentation of the terms that raise comprehension pro lems. >. #o conclude with, in order to support a spiritual identity, I shall 2uote a Romance saying which can e found in the two cultures and spea+s a out the Portuguese as well as Romanian generosity( ?Mai ine s= dai, dec<t s= cape@i1 )0Aou8d etter give than e given1* % ?Mais caro e o dado 2ue o comprado1. /ctually, this saying has een unanimously accepted confirmed as valid oth for a philanthropist and a oxer... ecause it has een

!r. ,aura B=descu /ssociate Professor $aculty of ,etters, 7niversity of Pite.ti