JLPT1 G7 S8 F1884
The present style is based on a bronzeware inscription form combining 夭 (a running figure) + 歮, a variant of 歰 meaning "be stopped." However, neither 夭 nor 歮 can be the phonosemantic element in 奔, and the meaning of 奔 (*run*) does not square with the sense "be stopped." Other bronzeware forms show 夭 plus an obsolete element of unknown signification. As 奔 conveys the concept "spread" in derivative characters such as 賁 and 鼖, the obsolete element may be posited to have been connected with the idea of legs spread in running.
[Full Kanji Etymology List]