I'm doing a phonology project on Spanish and one of the components is describing how the language adapts loanwords. I'm particularly interested in Arabic loanwords and how they are adapted as I understand that several words such as the Spanish word for oil come from Arabic, but I'm unable to find any reliable sources. So far, I've only found things like about.com articles and I of course can't use those for my project.

If anybody can recommend some texts or articles that describe this process, it would really help me out.

For instance, I really like this blog post below, but I would need to find a journal article or textbook that describes the same adaptions the writer is discussing. In some textbooks that I've rented on Amazon, I see long lists of Spanish words that were borrowed from Arabic, but nothing about how they were worked into the language, so I'm mainly looking for a book or article that might briefly describe this process.


  • Welcome to Linguistics.SE! You may need expanding a bit about what's wrong about the resources you have already found; this may help the answerers to address your specific criteria. Apr 26, 2017 at 19:07
  • You also need to clarify whether you mean "How does Spanish adopt now?", or "How did Spanish used to adopt a millenium ago?". The latter is really a question about historical linguistics.
    – user6726
    Apr 26, 2017 at 20:17
  • I suppose it would be the latter question. I'm primarily focusing on how Spanish adapted Arabic words into current words like albóndigas or aceite. The professor told us to focus on loanwords from a specific language. An example she used in class was how Japanese adapts English words. Apr 26, 2017 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


Try Federico Corriente's "Dictionary of Arabic and Allied Loanwords: Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician and Kindred Dialects". It's an etymological dictionary of Arab loanwords into the four major Iberian Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Galician). Also, there is an introductory chapter which deals with the different processes of adaptation; this chapter apparently is open in Google Books -or at least for me it is-:


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