The Arabic 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 Arabic component of the Spanish lexicon

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This chapter begins with an overview of the introduction of Arabic into the Iberian Peninsula in the early eighth century, the sociolinguistic nature of the resulting contact situation, and problems in quantifying the Arabic contribution to the lexicon. Arabisms entered Hispano-Romance through oral contact and written texts. Although most Arabisms are nouns, a significant number of adjectives (often expressing negatively valued states and qualities) and some primary verbs entered Hispano-Romance from Arabic. This chapter discusses several etymologically controversial Arabisms, the rivalry between Arabisms and referentially similar Romance lexical items, and Arabisms that fell into disuse toward the end of the medieval period as the prestige of Arabic began to wane. The chapter concludes by discussing the few Old Spanish Hebraisms that may reflect contact with the (written) language of the Spanish Jewish community.

Keywords: Arabisms; etymological controversies; Arabic/Hispano-Romance lexical rivalry; lost Arabisms; Old Spanish Hebraisms

Chapter.  14211 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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