Hlewagastiz wrote:Hlewagastiz wrote:the other names (i.e. ianuarie, februarie etc.) entered Romanian via Church Slavonic (which accounts for the presence of an odd -m- in the name for October: Octombrie!).
Quoting myself, I'd like to write something about that "odd -m-" in the name for October; I think it's a very interesting case.
This "odd -m-" is present only in languages spoken by people who are mainly "Orthodox" (or other Eastern-rite) Christians. Cf. Bulgarian: oktomvri; Romanian: octombrie; Armenian: ogtomper/oktomber; Georgian: oktomberi; Russian: oktjabr' (where -ja- comes from a Slavonic nasal, thus originally "oktombrie"). The most interesting case is that of Modern Greek (which maybe the key to the "mystery"): Although the correct (and accepted) form is "Oktovrios" (i.e. without any -m-), many people say "Oktomvrios"; in Byzantine times this was also written in the latter form! This is an error made by Byzantines (and then passed into Church Slavonic), due to analogy with other month names containing -m-, i.e. Dekemvrios, Septemvrios, Noemvrios. From Byzantine "pseudo-savant" Greek it passed to Church Slavonic (and thence to other Balkan languages), Armenian and Georgian. I say "pseudo-savant" because the natural Greek pronunciation (ever since) didn't tolerated the sequence [mv]; Greeks always said [mb] or just [b] (Southern Modern Greek). Greek "savants" consider sequences such as [mv], [nδ] as more elevated . So, many laymen imitated them in thinking that "Oktovrios" (without -m-) was a ... rustic pronunciation (poor guys!). Bulgarian seems to have taken the word directly from Greek rather than from Church Slavonic.
Sometimes this Board offers more than a dozen etymological dictionaries can. Thanks, Hlewagastiz, I have always wondered about the reason for the -ja- in the Russian form, now I know!