Diacronia 1, January 13, 2015, art. A8 (p. 1–15)

The signified as a reflex of language contacts

Enikő Pál


Faculty of Economic and Human Sciences, Sapientia University, Piața Libertății 1, 530104 Miercurea Ciuc, Romania


Received May 30, 2014
Accepted June 29, 2014
Published January 13, 2015

Key words

language contact
lexical borrowing
Old Romanian literary language


“If you look closely at a grain of wheat you shall find the face of Jesus in it”, as an old saying goes (Izvorul. Revistă de etnografie și folclor, nr. 30, Giula, 2009, p. 22). Just as spiritual life and death are encapsulated in the simplicity of a wheat grain, one single word may spread out a whole universe of thoughts and feelings.


The present study joins the series of works aiming to bring up to date, within Romanian linguistics, the theories concerning (Romanian-Hungarian) linguistic interferences manifested in bilingual communities and the research of lexical properties which have entered the Romanian written language either by the influence of the Hungarian dialects, spoken in different regions of the country, or by the translation of Hungarian texts into Romanian. The study will focus on Hungarian loanwords in old Romanian language which are discussed in terms of their changes in meaning. The inventory of the Hungarian loanwords’ meanings listed here was made based on a corpus of old Romanian texts, taking into account the material provided by various dictionaries with etymological concerns. As the few examples analysed in this study show, lexical meaning is impregnated with both intellect and emotional sensibility. The emotional universe, however, is rarely taken over along with the loanword. The emotional content is most often adapted, in its turn, to the sensitivity and spirituality of the speakers who borrowed the word.


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    Text:Pál, E. (2015). The signified as a reflex of language contacts, Diacronia 1 (January 13), A8 (1–15),
     author = {Enikő Pál},
     title = {The signified as a reflex of language contacts},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2015},
     month = {January},
     number = {1},
     eid = {A8},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–15)",
     url = {}


© 2015 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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