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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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Latinisms in Spanish 1

Latinisms in Spanish 1

(p.157) 8 Latinisms in Spanish1
A History of the Spanish Lexicon

Steven N. Dworkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the introduction and incorporation of Latinisms in Spanish that resulted from contact between Spanish and Classical Latin. This contact occurred predominantly at the level of the written language. The borrowing of a lexical item from Classical Latin is a deliberate purposeful act on the part of an individual writer. Often the Latinism ousted a signifier for the given concept already present in the lexicon. The selection of the Latinate variant in such cases may form part of the process of the standardization of written Spanish in the late medieval and early modern periods. Latinisms played an important role in greatly increasing the number of adjectival neologisms in Spanish, many of which are first documented in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Latinisms had an effect on the phonotactic structures of Spanish and led to an increase of its repertory of derivational suffixes.

Keywords:   Latinisms, written language, standardization, adjectival neologisms, phonotactic structures, derivational suffixes

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