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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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The lexical impact of the pre-Roman languages of the Iberian Peninsula

The lexical impact of the pre-Roman languages of the Iberian Peninsula

(p.18) 2 The lexical impact of the pre-Roman languages of the Iberian Peninsula
A History of the Spanish Lexicon

Steven N. Dworkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Spanish words that entered the regional varieties of Hispano-Latin from the local pre-Roman languages. Such words are one of the distinguishing features that characterize the Latin that underlies Hispano-Romance. Their study presents numerous difficulties, as little is known about the lexicon of these languages. These words entered Latin through direct oral contact with speakers of the local languages. Almost all relevant words designate concrete realities of the local terrain, flora, fauna, foods, dress, customs, etc. It is possible that many items represent lexical retentions by speakers of the pre-Roman languages as they acquired Latin. The rarity of primary verbs and adjectives of pre-Roman origin may suffice to call into question etymological hypotheses that propose such bases for words falling into these two categories.

Keywords:   pre-Roman languages, lexical impact, lexical retention, primary verbs, primary adjectives, etymological hypotheses

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