Publication details [#14616]

Costantini, Fabio. 2019. “Left” in Romance languages: history of a taboo interdiction. Philologica Jassyensia XV (2) : 161–172. 12 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


The article explores the etymological origin of the terms “right” and “left” in Romance languages. Particularly, the contribution aims to explain the taboo surrounding the various concept of “left” from Indo-European culture to the formation of Neo-Latin languages. In fact, the concept of left has been metaphorically associated (both linguistically and cognitively) to the weak, the obscure, the evil. This semantic shift is thoroughly explained with plenty of examples and a convincing historical reconstruction that encompasses (beside linguistics) also cultural semiotics. However, the paper suffers from a lack of structure: not being subdivided in paragraphs renders the logical thread of the author more difficult to follow for the non-specialist reader.