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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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Language contact and the history of the Spanish lexicon: General and methodological questions

Language contact and the history of the Spanish lexicon: General and methodological questions

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Language contact and the history of the Spanish lexicon: General and methodological questions
Source:
A History of the Spanish Lexicon
Author(s):

Steven N. Dworkin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541140.003.0001

This chapter stresses the need to study the introduction and incorporation of loanwords from a linguistic rather than a cultural perspective. This approach to loanwords in Spanish must deal with several issues. They include the extralinguistic relationship between the donor and recipient languages, donor-language- versus recipient-language-initiated borrowing, genetic relationship and typological affinities between the donor language and Spanish, transmission through speech or written texts, the legitimacy of the concepts of “necessary” and “luxury” loans, the semantics of loanwords, and the impact of loanwords on the phonology and derivational morphology of Spanish. The study of loanwords must rest on a base of accurate etymologies. Cross-linguistic tendencies observable in the grammatical categories and semantic fields of borrowings may help evaluate etymological proposals concerning possible loanwords. The chapter concludes with some observations on the recently completed Loanword Typology Project.

Keywords:   contact-induced language change, loanwords, donor language, recipient language, grammatical categories, semantic fields, etymology

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