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A History of the Spanish LexiconA Linguistic Perspective$
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Steven N. Dworkin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541140

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541140.001.0001

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Lexical borrowings from the New World

Lexical borrowings from the New World

(p.200) 10 Lexical borrowings from the New World
A History of the Spanish Lexicon

Steven N. Dworkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the entry and subsequent diffusion and incorporation of New World vocabulary from the native languages of the New World into early modern Spanish. In the New World, speakers of Spanish encountered languages with which they had not even a minimum degree of familiarity. At the outset communication was at best rudimentary. Early borrowings from these languages entered Peninsular Spanish via written reports from the New World. The overwhelming majority of indigenous lexical items that entered Peninsular and New World Spanish are nouns designating realities of the local physical terrain, flora, fauna, foods, dress, customs, indigenous social organization, etc. Only a relatively small number of words from the New World took root in Spain. The proposed New World origin of some items (e.g. tabaco, poncho) remains controversial.

Keywords:   New World loanwords, etymological controversies, lexical transmission, loanword incorporation

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