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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 Latin base of the Spanish lexicon 1

The Latin base of the Spanish lexicon 1

(p.44) 3 The Latin base of the Spanish lexicon1
A History of the Spanish Lexicon

Steven N. Dworkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines selected lexical features of the Latin of the Iberian Peninsula. Much of the inherited Spanish lexicon has cognate lexical items in other Romance languages outside the Iberian Peninsula. The retention of Latin vocabulary that fell into disuse elsewhere is another feature of the Spanish lexicon. Although some words may reflect the Latinity of the first Roman settlements in the Iberian Peninsula (218 BC), it would be inaccurate to characterize the Latin lexical base of Hispano-Romance as archaic. The Hispano-Latin lexicon retained lexical items that failed to survive elsewhere, and produced local lexical innovations. The lexical differentiation of Hispano-Latin with regard to other varieties goes back to the period of the Roman Empire. The chapter closes with discussion of some early Greek loanwords that may have entered Hispano-Latin from the Greek colony of nearby Marseilles.

Keywords:   Latin lexical base, Hispano-Latin, lexical retentions, lexical innovations, lexical differentiation, early Greek loanwords

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