Talk:History of the Spanish language

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Not what I expected[edit]

This article is almost entirely about the spread of the Spanish language, as opposed to the history of the Spanish language (what I expected was an article about how the language evolved over time, both in written and oral form, starting from the fusion of the native culture and Latin, to elements of modern society that are influencing the development of Spanish (i.e. technology, the academy that presides over standard Spanish, etc...); and distinct historical versions of Spanish, like old Spanish, middle Spanish, etc... (if such things do exist); not that the information in here isn't useful, but unless it has information about how the spread of the Spanish language influences the Spanish language (which isn't in this article yet), it may be better to place it in a different article, entitled "The spread of the Spanish language" --Confuzion 11:26, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Perhaps we could move this to the History of Spanish. It's shorter and means the same thing. it came from my mom which came from spain which came from my mom's mom which came from my mom's mom's mom

Pre-modern Spanish orthography[edit]

I've been doing some reading which includes excerpts of old documents between about the time of the Conquest of Mexico until about 150 years ago. I'm seeing both systemtic and random differences to modern Spanish orthography. I cannot find anything on Wikipedia about anything but the current orthography. I would like to know if there were previous reforms, what those changed, or if Spanish orthography was unruly until recently. Any details greatly appreciated!

Examples of systematic differences:
  • á for modern a
  • muger for modern mujer
  • coraçon for modern corazón
  • dixo for modern dijo
  • ansí or assí for modern así
  • mas for modern más
  • double s in some verb forms
Examples of non-systematic differences:
  • é or i for modern y
  • io for modern yo
  • Letter v in many places taken by modern b
  • Letters u and v are interchangeable
  • Many missing modern acute accents

I am aware of some of the historic sound changes and that the u/v distinction goes back to Latin, but I am most interested in standardization issues. When was the spelling first standardized? What specific things were standardized at that time? How many times has this standard been reformed since? What were the specific changes made in those reforms? This related to work on Wiktionary where I would like to distinguish spellings which were considered correct at any point in history from non-standardized spellings, and possibly also from poor spelling.

In some parts of the Dominican Republic (The South Region, Azua province, etc) some people do say 'ansi' instead od asi. Just wanted to put it out there Omar (talk) 02:49, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm cross-posting this question from Talk:Writing system of Spanish and Talk:Spanish language where I reveived some useful responses but was directed here. — Hippietrail 14:50, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

History of Spanish[edit]

  • I too am dissatisfied with the history of Spanish on wiki and I'd like to do something about. The existing article is good enough for the purpose of tracking the world-wide spread of Spanish, but gives little info on phonological changes/ changes in orthography, etc. I have a book from an upper-level undergrad course titled "From Latin to Spanish" by Paul M. Lloyd. (ISBN 0-87169-173-6) It covers everthing all the way back to Classical Latin and has nearly 200 pages in the sections I intend to cover (Late Latin to Old Spanish & Old Spanish to Modern Spanish). This will be quite an undertaking that will take weeks at a minimum and I'd like some feedback before I start. Namely, how do I connect it to everything else? I think this current page should be moved to a title more appropriate to its content (Spread of the Spanish Language?) with the proper adjustments to its content, of course. I could even start writing the page outside of wiki and paste it in when it's substantial enough. Any thoughts?--Hraefen 03:45, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
I suggest a subpage (such as /Draft or /Linguistic evolution or whatever). I usually edit outside of Wikipedia in a common text editor and then paste a "first stable version" when it's ready. Don't worry about the connection to the rest, for now. "History of Spanish" covers both geographic/cultural expansion and linguistic evolution, so I'd rather not have separate pages; maybe there should be a historic section first, and then a detailed survey of linguistic evolution with pointers to the previously covered historical facts (so as to give the reader an idea of what was happening when). --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 12:28, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
The article could benefit from the explicit use of the terms "external history" and "internal history". These technical terms are standard in language history. External history is about the social history of the speakers, the geographic distribution, standardization, etc. -- everything that doesn't refer to specific sounds, words, or sentences. Internal history is the standard term for what this article is calling "linguistics": phonology (the sound system), morphology (internal structure of words), and syntax (phrases, sentences, agreement -- the relations between words in discourse). There would be no need to separate external and internal histories into separate articles if they were labeled as such in this article. I would suggest that the section on internal history be given three subsections: (1) phonology (including a summary of the history of Spanish orthography), (2) morphology, and (3) syntax. A fourth area, lexicon (= vocabulary), is probably best treated under external history, since it deals largely with loanwords from other languages in contact. Kotabatubara 04:33, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Pre-modern Spanish pronounciation[edit]

Was the j pronounced as in the French and Portuguese pronouciation? Something like zsh? This must have evolved to s in the Philippines. In Filipino, we have 'sabun' (jabon- soap), 'relos'(reloj- watch), sugal(jugar-to play, in Filipino to gamble). Some Filipinos have names like Sesus (Jesus) , Sese . Saviour is Javier (and Xavier).--Jondel 02:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

IIRC j = /ʒ/ ("zh") and x = /ʃ/ ("sh"). Then they merged into the latter (that's why old writings hesitate between j and x - people no longer distinguished the two sounds and didn't remember how the word was originally written). At some point the sounds moved back and became velar, but I'm not sure if this was before or after the merge. --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 12:34, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Comprehension levels[edit]

Could a speaker of modern Spanish understand a speaker of Spanish spoken centuries before and vice versa? Say, around the 12th and 13th centuries? I know that Spanish seems to have changed much less than English or French from that time to now. Can anyone answer the question? Thanks. Stallions2010 18:57, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Spanish from say, the late 1400s would be comprehensible, but documents in "Spanish" from the timeframe you're talking about (1100s & 1200s) are nearly impossible to come by. The language was considerably different from Latin by this time, but basically everything (including "Spanish") was still written in Latin. It's from the "mistakes" made by scribes and others that were less familiar with Classical Latin that give us the best glimpse of what Spanish may have been like at that time. Read Linguistic history of Spanish for a better understanding of this. But to give you an answer even though I (nor can anyone definitively) can't really back it up, Spanish from the late 1400s would be comprehensible but the further back in time you go, the less mutual comprehension there would be.--Hraefen 19:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I have a differing opinion on the availability of texts written in 12th- and 13th-century Spanish. See the Wikipedia articles on "Cantar de Mio Cid", "Gonzalo de Berceo", and "Alfonso X of Castile" for example. Excellent editions of these works have been published in the original language. For an untrained modern Spanish-speaker, reading 13th-century Spanish is a moderate challenge. Listening comprehension would be a greater challenge, since the sounds (consonants especially) have changed more than the spelling. Kotabatubara 19:31, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merge of Linguistic history of Spanish into this article[edit]

Dbachman recently suggested the merge and I knew it would happen eventually. I created "Linguistic history" because "History of" contained so little info about phonetics, etymology etc. and concentrated mainly on the social/historical spread of Spanish rather than its genetic makeup and its evolution. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes by completely re-arranging this article, so I just started one from scratch. Anyway... my vote is that we keep the basic format of "Linguistic history" as it is and essentially try to merge in any info from this page. Some of the tables at "Linguistic history" could be moved to the bottom because their place in the chronology of the language is hazy at best. The name of the article is also of little importance to me. Any thoughts?--Hraefen Talk 16:26, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Most Interesting[edit]

It is well known the Romance languages derived from Latin. How the language
is adapted and transformed through generations and geographical
areas is the most interesting to me. The question could a
spanish speaker from 400 years ago have a discussion and understand spanish
speakers of today got me thinking. My initial response was no there have been
too many changes in pronunciation, as demostrated above, and the new
spanish slang. Today, spanish slang is used so greatly an aged spanish
speaker would need to be informed of the slang. Reguardless of the root
being Latin and spanish being a popular language spanish people from
400 years ago would not uphold a conversation. While catching the general
vocabulary the slang and transformation of the language would be the language
barrier. That question was the most interesting paragraph I read.
-- 05:20, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Stephanie Ambrose from Span 101 section 52


The intro has the following confusing paragraph:

The standard Spanish language is also called Castilian. It originated in the Cordillera Cantabrica, in northern Spain in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, but others claim to came from a Franco-Navarre and Gothic-Castillian dialects in the 11th century AD. After the Reconquista, this northern dialect was brought to the south and nearly replaced the provincial dialects, such as in Andalusia which it shown heavier influences of Moorish Arabic, (Moro or Morocho), Christian Arabic (Mozarabe) and Sefardi Jewish grammar (Ladino, a form of Hebrew is nearly extinct in the 21st century, also known as Judeo-Iberian/Judeo-Hispano), all but vanished by the late 16th century.

Well, the mozárabes could be described as Christian Arabs, I suppose, but the Mozarabic language was a Romance language, not a form of Arabic! FilipeS 19:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

And Ladino is one of the names applied to Judaeo-Spanish, the Spanish of the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492, and of their descendants, who live today in cities of the eastern Mediterranean, such as Thessaloniki, Istanbul, and Izmir. It's written in the Hebrew alphabet, but it's a Romance language, not structurally related to Hebrew. Kotabatubara (talk) 01:08, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Merge and re-title[edit]

(1) I second the suggestion to cut the section "Influences" out of the article "History of the Spanish language" and merge its contents with the separate article "Influences on the Spanish language": It is a large enough topic to merit its own article. BUT...

(2) I suggest that the separate article be retitled "Loanwords in Spanish" or "Lexical borrowing in Spanish". Why? Because virtually all of the so-called "influences" that are solidly established are adoptions of words from other languages. Aside from vocabulary, all the given examples of "influence" are controversial, as the present text of the article correctly points out. F > h thanks to Basque? "No hard evidence." Lenition thanks to Celtic? The article cites problems with the proposal. Germanic phonological influence? "Very little." Arabic influence? All lexical (though the cross-referenced article "Arabic influence on Spanish" cites some phrases in addition to words). "Influence" is a nebulous term, much too general for the contents of the section/article merger under discussion. The unconfirmed speculations about Basque f > h, Celtic lenition, etc. can be included as incidental comments in the respective sections on sound change; they don't merit the focus of a dedicated section on "influences".

(3) I recommend that the separate article "Arabic influence on Spanish" be cut and merged with the newly-titled article "Loanwords in Spanish" (or that the latter article give up its Arabic section to be merged with the former article).

(4) An argument could be made to treat "learnèd" vocabulary in the "Loanwords" article, as borrowings from Latin.

(5) For the article on word-borrowing, languages not yet developed in the article include Catalan, French, Portuguese, Provençal, and Greek.

(6) Where claims about etymology become complex, they should be supported by consulting reputable dictionaries, such as J. Corominas's Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico, and Corominas should be cited in the article's final section, "Sources". This dictionary has an appendix that organizes words according to source language. Kotabatubara 17:07, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The section on "External History" is too USA-centred[edit]

This is a frequent problem in Wikipedia. The section devotes more space to the Phillipines than to the whole of South America. It also gives particular attention to Puerto Rico and even to the Marianas - islands most Spanish speakers have never heard of. I won´t delete half of this section yet, but I may do. I suggest quite a few paragraphs of the section could be transferred to a new page called "The Spanish language in formerly Spanish territories acquired by the USA". The rest of this article is informative and good reading. Sebatianalfar 21:25, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Who have you been talking to? In all my travels around Latin America, I have never met a Spanish speaker who hasn't heard of Puerto Rico. Just as an example--Puerto Rican music is widespread accross the metropolitan areas of Latin America, and when you walk down the street in Buenos Aires or Santiago the music that's coming out of every shop window is reggaeton. So I am baffled at your suggestion. It's like saying most English speakers have never heard of America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

New oldest spanish text discovered[edit]

A new series of Old Spanish legal texts have been discovered in Valpuesta (Basque Country, Spain). The oldest of the texts was written in 804, so it is the first text written in a romance language unless another one is discovered.

See theese links (in Modern Spanish, sorry):

In the begining, the Spanish language was spoken in the Basque Country only, and not in Castile. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Pronunciation of B and V[edit]

In most of the articles I've read concerning Spanish pronunciation, I always find the same mistake: B and V are the same sound. Actually, the phoneme B (voiced stop) only appears at the beginning of a word. On the other hand, the fricative version of the B sound is always pronounced this way between two vowels. Depending on historical reasons, the used character is B or V but, in any case, there are two kinds of B sound in Spanish.

In other words, the B sounds inside some words such as "bebo", "baba", "babor", "vivo" are different even though they are written using the same character.

Believe me. I'm a native Spanish speaker and one of the ways to find out the foreign origin of someone is the use of an only kind of B sound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fjfranco75 (talkcontribs) 17:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I think you're parsing something unnecessarily. The b of bario is the same sound as the v of vaca. Same "sound" in the sense that they are the same phoneme and so could, in theory, replace one another (e.g. vario and baca) and be pronounced the same. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I read it too quickly so I did not realise what you meant. However, remember that, unlike other languages such as French, where both Bs in "brebis" are pronounced alike, Spanish pronunciation has a strong rule: At the beginning, voiced stop; between vowels, fricative. So, I recommend you to include this fact in the section concerning the merge of B and V. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

How is it now? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 03:28, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

The quote "Beati Hispani quibus vivere bibere est" is attributed to Julius Caesar without reference to a credible source, and this quote is used to support the extraordinary claim that B and V already had the same sound in the 1st century BC. While the quote is often attributed to Caesar through the Internet, I haven't found a reliable source confirming this.--Dadatic (talk) 11:15, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Missing "why"?[edit]

Though the article explains how the language came down from Latin, it doesn't explain why? Why, nearly alone, did the Ostrogoths so faithfully preserve Latin that it was able to evolve into Spanish in the Middle Ages? (Okay, Romanian survived as well, and a canton in Switzerland). How did this happen? Why didn't the barbarians insist on their language as did the Lombards who wound up influencing Italian in Italy where one would have supposed Latin to survive the best? Student7 (talk) 01:42, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Language change studies rarely go into the why, mostly because it's a web of guesses. Not to poopoo on your question. I'm just saying that, rather than try to answer that question, we can certainly find scholars who weigh in on the matter. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, first off, I don't think the Ostrogoths "preserved" Latin any better than any other speakers of Vulgar Latin at the time. But to the extent that they did, many isolated populations have very conservative/archaic dialects (Icelandic and Pennsylvania Dutch come to mind). As far as why the spoke VL rather than Gothic, that's hard to answer. There are many cases where isolation favors linguistic conservatism. Sometimes the ruling elite speak their own language and sometimes they adopt the language of the ruled. Why did the Franks ultimately adopt VL/French rather than stick with their Germanic tongue? These are great and intriguing questions, but I have not read anyone that tries to answer them (although I'm sure digging up some sources wouldn't be hard... try Mario Pei if you're more of a non-linguist). Historical linguistics is tough enough when you focus only on the how.--Hraefen Talk 20:59, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you'd be hard pressed to claim that the Lombards influenced Italian more than the Franks influenced French or the Goths influenced Spanish. In fact, the Germanic-speaking barbarians only successfuly "insist[ed] on their language" with any success in Britain, where a case can be made that the substrate was not Vulgar Latin, but rather Celtic or a bilingual Celtic/Latin society. Ben (talk) 03:36, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Source citations[edit]

At the top of this article is a box that says "This article needs additional citations for verification," dated March 2009. Since that time, many citations have been added. Is there someone in Wikiland who needs to be notified of the new citations, or is there a periodic review of articles that will eventually see them? Kotabatubara (talk) 04:24, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

If the places that need citations are unclear, I think I can go through the article and mark any places that ought to be cited with {{citation needed}}. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:25, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Continental Spanish Bias[edit]

This article is too biased towards Madrid Spanish. While the Real Academia Espanola may be holding on to the Madrid dialect as the worldwide standard, it is a comparatively small dialect with phonological and morphological oddities that never appear in Latin America at all. Please address this and incorporate more information about Latin American Spanish. (Latin American Spanish is not homogenous by any means, but the inclusion of the "th" phoneme here as the 'standard' pronunciation honestly feels like a slap in the face.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:52, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Ceceo and Seseo[edit]

The statement that the [θ] sound is specific to northern and central Spain is wildly inaccurate. Most southern Spain also speaks using the [θ] sound, see for example (talk) 10:13, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Even so it is still by far the minority pronunciation. Dave (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 17:48, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Latin f- to Spanish h-[edit]

Very very interesting article - but aren't the following incorrect?

...faciendam, factum, faminem, farīnam, fēminam, fīcatum, fīlium, foliam, fōrmōsum, fūmum, fungum, furcam

Thought it was femina, filius, fumus, fungus -- but I'm not sure, beginner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Littledogboy (talkcontribs) 01:46, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Are you asking about the final -m according to your message or the Latin f- to Spanish h- according to your section title? The final -m is the marker of the accusative case. Forms in -a or -us are nominative. Most forms in Romance languages developed from the accusative form, not the nominative. The final -m was dropped early on so that only a final vowel remained. — Eru·tuon 02:44, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

This claim is contradicted by the explanation that /f/ was never lost before /r/, /l/, /w/, /j/: the phoneme /f/ reappeared in the language (around the 16th century, as a result of borrowings from Classical Latin). /f/ can't have disappeared and reappeared if FESTA > /fjesta/ (etc.) without interruption. Repair of some sort is much needed. (talk) 16:19, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I suppose the assumption is that [f] was an allophone of /h/ at the time. --Jotamar (talk) 15:31, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
The converse would make more sense in terms of historical phonology, i.e. [h] arises as an allophone of /f/, then eventually ousts /f/ in the relevant lexical items (and, not unusually, leaving occasional doublets or stress-conditioned near doublets à la fuego/hogar)). But that doesn't address this: the phoneme /f/ reappeared in the language (around the 16th century, as a result of borrowings from Classical Latin). If /f/ was preserved (with or without an [h] allophone) in fiesta, fuego, flor etc., the phoneme remained in the language; it never disappeared, thus it couldn't reappear. (talk) 17:06, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Broken English[edit]

I don't like to embarrass an individual, but an editor known only as "" has recently been making this article (and others) incomprehensible by inserting language that can only be called "broken English". I think "79" means well, but his/her English isn't up to the job of editing in English. For example, words have come into Spanish "since" Mexico and "since" the Philippines ("since" = Sp. "desde" = "from"). See the "View History" of Influences on the Spanish language and History of Spanish for many more examples. Can we—those of us who care about these articles—together ask "79" to get some help with his/her English, or to go to the Wikipedia in his/her native language and edit there? Kotabatubara (talk) 15:20, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
To not merge given that there was no consensus, the History page is large, and merge is stale with no action in over 3 years.

I see no particular reason to have two pages; a single page would parallel the situation with, e.g., History of French and History of the English language.

As an aside, please see the above entry about "Broken English" and the discussion of the same matter at Talk:Influences on the Spanish language. Some of us have deduced that much of the poor-quality material in these two articles is the result of a stream of sockpuppets or meat puppets that we have for some considerable time been chasing through such pages as Conquistador, and many pages about plants, particularly the plant family Lauraceae. Distinctive features of these "contributions" are the lack of citations, the very poor English, and (particularly frustratingly) the imaginative nonsense that frequently results from (1) automatic translation and from (2) copying from one page to another without regard to applicability of the "information". (In other words, my advice is not to spend time on cleaning up before you have removed all the dubious facts). Merging these two pages would, I think, be a useful step towards reducing the frustration factor that anyone who tries to improve the quality of this material would encounter. As a quick way to achieve an improvement, I'd suggest just changing Influences on the Spanish language to be a redirect to this page. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:36, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

There is also a page called Foreign language influences in English. That page could be the template for this one, which then could direct the reader to pages like Arabic language influence on the Spanish language, for example. Jotamar (talk) 14:15, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
First: What two articles are being proposed for merger here? The present article, History of Spanish, is some 51 kbytes in size. Wikipedia's guideline about article size (granted, a "guideline", not a "rule"), Wikipedia:Article_size#A_rule_of_thumb says "> 50 kB May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)." In other words, it is already a long article by Wikipedia standards. Second: Parallelism with History of French and History of the English language—if desirable—would involve splitting out the phonological history into a separate article. Such a split was done for French on 7 December 2012: the new article is Phonological history of French. Before the split, the article was 96 kB; the new articles are both, coincidentally, 48 kB each. Meanwhile Phonological history of English has existed at least since November 2010. Third: I'm not necessarily advocating for such a split for Spanish; I'm only questioning whether this already-large article should be merged with another article. If that other article is "Influences...", that's an additional 18 kB of text. Kotabatubara (talk) 22:08, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. As the proposer of merging this page with Influences on the Spanish language, I'm no expert in the subject area or in the standards that wikipedia has developed or is developing for pages about languages. I suspected that the length of the pages could be due in significant part to poor-quality material added from the group of sockpuppets mentioned above. A lot of work is required to check every addition, and as a non-expert I don't feel competent to do that properly. I can offer to delete all unsourced material, if that is helpful. So, I was hoping that competent people could offer an informed opinion about whether drastic action of that sort is appropriate here, particularly simply changing one of the pages to a redirect without copying any non-duplicated material from it over to the other page. I'm happy to remove the merger template from the two pages if thoughtful people with more subject knowledge think that is the better option.
My opinion on this matter is that even a small amount of bad, unsourced, imaginative, stream-of-consciousness material of the sort that these sockpuppets specialize in, about a subject like etymologies for which well-researched information exists, is very embarrassing both to wikipedia and to any Spanish speakers or linguists who read it, and that a bold approach to deleting any suspect material is appropriate. Their other efforts on pages where I have more knowledge of the subject have convinced me that giving these people/this person the benefit of the doubt and trying to work with them has resulted in quite a mass of very misleading material persisting for far too long, possibly hurting students who are trying to learn from wikipedia. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:05, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Under "Influences", the second paragraph contains a statement that "sharks were known to Spaniards mainly as 'sea dogs'". If this is the case, the Spanish word(s) should be given. Aside from this problem, getting so deeply into a specific example seems inappropriate for an encyclopedia. The section was added as part of the 1,069-byte addition of 4 December 2012, by "". See " (talk)" about sockpuppet allegations. I suggest that someone delete the second half of the paragraph, or will do so myself if someone seconds the motion. Kotabatubara (talk) 21:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

See also the "Broken English" thread above. Your suggestion sounds good to me. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 02:06, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Centuries and borrowing[edit]

To explain my reversions of 19 April 2013: The reason why historians say "the eighteenth century" is that an expression like "the 1700s" can be unclear as to whether it means the whole eighteenth century or just its first decade. Second topic: When one language adopts a word from another language, the conventional term in linguistics is "borrowing". Granted, it's not like borrowing money or a library book, where you're obligated to return it, but it's the standard term, and it's not the role of Wikipedia to change that custom. Wikipedia's article on the phenomenon is correctly titled Loanword. A search on the [<> Google Books Ngram Viewer] will corroborate what I'm saying about standard usage. Kotabatubara (talk) 22:42, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of liquids[edit]

Is it ok to add a section as below? MagistraMundi (talk) 08:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

One distinctive feature of Spanish etymology is the way in which the liquids /r/ and /l/ have sometimes replaced each other in words derived from Latin, French and other sources. For example, Spanish milagro, "miracle", is derived from Latin miraculum. Here is an incomplete list of such words:

  • ancla, "anchor", Latin ancora
  • arbol, "tree", Latin arbor
  • algalia, "catheter", Greek ergeleia, "instrument"
  • Argelia, Algeria
  • azul, "blue", Latin azura, from Arabic
  • blandir, "to brandish", French brandir
  • cocodrilo, "crocodile", Latin crocodilus
  • espuela, "spur", cf. French éperon, from Old High German sporon
  • fraile, "friar", Provençal fraire, from Latin frater, "brother"
  • franela, "flannel", French flanelle
  • frasco, "flask", Germanic flasko
  • golondrina, "swallow (bird)", Latin hirundo
  • marmol, "marble", Latin marmor
  • milagro, "miracle", Latin miraculum
  • papel, "paper", Catalan paper, Latin papyrus
  • quilate, "carat", Arabaic qirat, cf. Italian carato
  • recluta, "recruit", French recrute
  • regaliz(a), "licorice", Late Latin liquiritia
  • roble, "oak", Latin robur, "strong"
  • temple, "temperature, temper, mood", Latin tempus, -oris, "time, due season"
  • tiniebla(s), "darkness", Latin tenebrae

"personal a"[edit]

Also present in Southern Italy, e.g. Neapolitan salùteme à sòrete 'salutami tua sorella'. (talk) 22:18, 29 June 2017 (UTC)