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Historical Implications of a Romanian Lexical Family of Old Germanic Origin (ban, banat, bani, banui, bântui)

Adrian Poruciuc


Published: 2008/03/01


One can rarely find a series of cognates as significant, for both the Old Germanic domain and for the post-ancient history of Southeast-Central Europe, as the ban family of words, to be found in Romanian and in several neighbouring languages. It may now appear as quite surprising that no one has proposed Old Germanic origins for those ban cognates. Such a situation was, in my opinion, caused by the fact that some earlier etymological explanations regarding the ban family were considered to be definitive solutions, so they became a kind of “etymological legends” transmitted from author to author until the present day. Those legends encouraged a perpetuation of confusing references and missing links, which could have been solved by new approaches to otherwise well-recorded lexical materials.

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