The Germanic component of the Spanish lexicon

Steven N. Dworkin

in A History of the Spanish Lexicon

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199541140
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741395 | DOI:
                   The Germanic component of the Spanish lexicon

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  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics


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This chapter examines the impact of Germanic languages, primarily Gothic, on the Latin of the Iberian Peninsula. It may be inaccurate to talk about direct language contact between speakers of the Hispano-Latin/Hispano-Romance continuum and Gothic. The Latin of the Visigoths may have been characterized by the presence of Germanic lexical items retained during the (perhaps still ongoing) process of shift from Gothic to Latin. The majority of the Germanic roots found in Spanish entered as borrowings from other languages, especially medieval and modern varieties of Gallo-Romance. The etymological study of Germanic loanwords illustrates the analytic importance of the distinction between the immediate source of a loanword in the recipient language and its more remote ancestry. The chapter concludes with an overview of the small number of (early) modern borrowings from Flemish and German.

Keywords: Germanic loanwords; Gothic; etymological study; Flemish and German loanwords

Chapter.  6416 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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