|Attestation:||PD·1 (zuφniφanuaφi) (1)|
|Word Type:||proper noun|
|Semantic Field:||personal name|
|Grammatical Categories:||gen. sg. masc.|
|Meaning:||'(son) of Banuabios' or 'of the son of Banuabios'|
The most widely accepted interpretation of the word is the one given by Marstrander 1925: 47–51. Marstrander reads a Celtic compound name in the genitive banu̯abī 'of Banuabios' (*banu̯a-bi-os literally 'pig slayer') with Venetic spelling of phi for /b/, and interprets it as a genitival patronym to dubnī 'son of Banuabios', as known from Cisalpine Celtic, Gaulish and Ogam inscriptions (see the morpheme page). The form may also contain a i̯o-suffix banu̯a-bi-i̯-os, which can either be part of the PN (cf. *lāto-bii̯os Meid 2005: 54) or function as a patronymic suffix. In the latter case, the genitive would be congruent with that in the individual name ('of the son of Banuabios'; thus, if I understand correctly, Prosdocimi in Prosdocimi & Scardigli 1976: 225).
While the name itself is certainly Celtic, we cannot entirely exclude, with regard to the alphabet used, that the ī-genitive and/or the use of patronymic -i̯o are Venetic (cf. Nedoma 1995: 71 f. on -i in harigasti on the Negau helmet B). A third option, that the form is congruent with the individual name but does not contain -i̯o, and functions as an epithet to dubnos 'the pig-slayer' (thus Markey 2001: 116), is formally possible, but unlikely, as we would expect a patronym in any case.
For ⟨a⟩ in place of ⟨o⟩ as the composition vowel, Marstrander compares equivalent formations in Ogam inscriptions; differently Birkhan 1971: 30, who suggests Germanic influence. Considering the easterly find place of the inscription and its possible high dating, the word cannot be certainly identified as Cisalpine Celtic, but may belong to an Ambi-Danubian Celtic (Noric? Tauriscan?) filum.
An alternative (but also Celtic) analysis was suggested by Heiner Eichner (in Nedoma 1995: 20), proposing to analyse -bi as a Celtic dative plural (with the entire sequence in the inscription dubnibanua- as a compound base); cf. also Stifter 2011b: 167, n. 8.
See also Olsen 1903: 29 f. (already with correct analysis of the first element and all three options for the form's interpretation), Prosdocimi 1986c: 32 ff., Prosdocimi & Marinetti 1991: 429 f., Birkhan 1970: 459 f.
|Birkhan 1970||Helmut Birkhan, Germanen und Kelten bis zum Ausgang der Römerzeit, Wien, Graz: Böhlau 1970. (2 volumes, volume 2 not published)|
|Birkhan 1971||Helmut Birkhan, "Die "keltischen" Personennamen des boiischen Großsilbers", Die Sprache 17 (1971), 23-33.|