Deutsches Wortgut in rumänischen Pflanzennamen. Ein Bericht aus der rumänischen Wörterbuchpraxis

Radu Drăgulescu


German Vocabulary in Romanian Plant Names. A Report of Romanian Lexicographic Practice.

This paper examines an important but insufficiently investigated phenomenon — lexical innovation as a result of plant naming and the expression of national customs and traditions — by showing various linguistic influences in common plant names. E. Coşeriu considers this phenomenon to be given insufficient importance by linguists, given that fact that individual speakers became creators of language/poetry whenever they named a plant. I am of the opinion that a botanical lexicon of a particular region, once known, is not only a thesaurus, but can also be regarded as a document of a resident population or place in the past. First and foremost, botanical folk terminology has a practical value in that it identifies, distinguishes and categorizes members of the plant kingdom within a given natural realm. It, however, also has great theoretical significance for linguists, both with regard to the etymons from which they are derived, and to the metaphorical meanings that the phytonyms usually have. The article focuses on a selected area of Romanian specialized lexicography and offers an insight into the most recent lexicographic recording of Romanian plant names. Since, however, the German vocabulary in the commonly used plant names has been rather marginalized in the Romanian specialized literature, and since its characteristics have only been recorded and described loosely, the explanations are based solely on borrowed and/or adapted Romanian plant names of German origin. Other extraneous correspondences, mix-ups, erroneous assignments, other plant species or formations with the terms German/nemţesc (‘deutsch’) or Transylvanian-Saxon/săsesc (‘sächsisch’) etc., were not considered here. In my paper this rich inventory of plant names will be presented and exemplified using the German vocabulary listed here.


lexicographic practice; meaning explanation; specialized dictionary; phytonyms; loan process; calque; linguistic influence; German; Romanian; Transylvanian Saxon idiom

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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