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Termeni religioşi “passe-partout” în limbile romanice (română, franceză, italiană şi spaniolă) (V) (Alţi câţiva termeni care desemnează noţiuni creştine de bază: baptizare, christianus şi crux)

Publication: Studii și cercetări lingvistice, LXII (1), p. 83-96
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:The aim of this paper is the manner in which some words of the Christian vocabulary (a boteza «to christen», creştin «Christian», cruce «cross») pass in the secular language, especially in the popular usage (including familiar style and slang); phenomena belonging to the cultural level are only occasionally discussed. We have been interested in the mere migration of these words in the general usage, but we have also considered their lexical derivation and phraseological development, and we have endeavoured to explain, when possible, the mechanism of their semantic conversion. Many of these semantic and syntactic structures, in which we have to do with secondary meanings of words originally belonging to the Christian vocabulary, are valuable as testimonies of a rich popular treasure.
The comparative analysis of the distribution of the three terms in the profane area of the vocabulary shows mostly the unit in Romance context, but also some particular phenomena. Generally, the „semantic innovations” are found both in Romanian and in the Western area of Romania: from ‘christen’ to ‛surname’, „to sprinkle”, „to dilute”; from ‘Christian’ to „nobody”; from ‘cross’ to a remarkable polysemia, responsible for an impressive number of phraseological units (occurring mostly in folklore, but also on the level of the non-artistic language). The comparison we have undertaken enabled us to identify some common cultural sequences in which many Romance languages employ the word meaning «christening»: rom. botezul focului, fr. baptême du feu, it. battésimo del fuoco, sp. bautismo de fuego.
Other linguistic facts are reduced to two or three of the languages we analysed: identification of nationality with religion (‘Christian’ used for Romanian, French, Spanish); migration of the religious terms towards the vocabulary of the names of relationship (cf. old rom. creştină and sp. cristiano); the semantic degradation of the descendants of the lat. christianus (cf fr. crétin and it. cretino); some semantic extension in the same direction, as that which leads from «christian» to «human; loyal»: it. cristiàno, fr. Chrétien, rum. creştin; many parallel semantic and phraseological developments, as that which uses the initially «Christian» for «diluted drinking»: fr. du lait trois fois chrétien, sp. vino cristiáno; we have also the same evolution from «cross» to «very precious, very dear (about a person)»: rom. a fi crucea cuiva, it. tu sei la mia croce; or from «to make the sign of the cross about oneself» to «to be greatly impressed or surprised, to wonder»: rom. a-şi face cruce, fr. se faire un grand signe de la croix, sp. hacerse cruces. The same word meaning «cross» may arrive to the sense «spelling book» in the expressions it. croce santo, fr. croix de (par) Dieu, or to that of «achievement» in rom. a face cruce asupra unui lucru «to think no more about something», it. farci una croce sopra «idem». There are, on the contrary, phraseological coincidences without semantic equivalence, as in rom. a fi botezat cu zeamă de varză (literally: to be christened with cabbage juice) «to have a vicious temper», fr. être baptisé d’eau de morne (literally: to be christened with stone-drawn water) «to be unlucky» and others.
Language: Romanian

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