Herrscherschaft and herrschersuffix in Central-East European languages


  • Sorin Paliga University of Bucharest




Herrscherschaft and herrschersuffix in Central-East European languages


The paper resumes a topic the author approached in severa[ instances beginning with 1987: some specific terms referring to the semantic sphere Herrscherschafi. In Romanian, ban, jupîn, stăpîn and probably also cioban reflect the indigenous Thracian substratum; these forms also reflect the archaic Indo-European Herrschersujfzx -n-. In Slavic, their equivalent forms ban, župan and stopan reflect either a Late Thracian or (Proto-)Romanian influence. Equally Rom. vătaf reflects the substratum influence, whereas Slavic vatah, vatak, vataš reflects the same borrowing. On the other hand, Slavic gospodƄ, belongs to the archaic Proto-Slavic core elements, while cěsaŕƄ, reflect a Germanic influence. Finally, Rom. boier is an East-Romance innovation derived from bou 'ox' and initially meant 'owner of cattle = rich man', a traditional association between cattle-owners and richness. The word had a large distribution from the early Middle Ages until late in the 20th century.

In a paper written some 15 years ago (Paliga 1987, in Linguistica, Ljubljana) 1 dared suggest that a series of Romanian and Slavic terms referring to social and political organisation, specifically ban (1) 'master, local leader' and (2) 'coin, money' (2nd sense derived from the lst one),jupîn (formerly giupîn) 'a master', 'a master, a lord', cioban 'a shepherd', rather reflect a compact etymological group of Pre-Romance and Pre-Slavic origin (including cioban, incorrectly considered a Turkish influence, seemingly starting from the erroneous, but largely spread hypothesis that intervocalic -b- in Romanian would rather suggest a newer origin 1 ). To these, on another occasion, I added the form vătaf,vătah (also with parallels in some Slavic languages, Paliga 1996: 34-36) and on another occasion 1 analysed the form boier, also spread in many neighbouring languages, which has often been considered either of unknown origin or again of Turkic (not Turkish, i.e. Ottoman) origin (Paliga 1990; see also our main studies gathered together in a single volume, Paliga 1999).


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1. 12. 2002




How to Cite

Paliga, S. (2002). Herrscherschaft and herrschersuffix in Central-East European languages. Linguistica, 42(1), 9-18. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.42.1.9-18