Questions tagged [spanish]

For linguistic questions about Spanish, one of the most widely spoken Romance languages, also known as Castilian. For non-linguistic questions about the Spanish language, visit our sister site Spanish Language Stack Exchange.

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French & Spanish Accusative & Dative cases like German [closed]

I started learning French a couple of months back. My German proficiency is at B2 level (CEFRL). I wanted to know if French also has the different Accusative & Dative forms for Personal Pronouns, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Portuguese — Why use definite articles in front of possessive nouns? Why the extensive use of proposition contraction?

I can speak Spanish and French, and I am currently learning Portuguese. During my learning, I realized that there are some unique features in Portuguese — I don't speak Italian, so I don't know if ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there such a thing as attributive vs. modifier uses of adj? Is un rojo carro vs. un carro rojo the same difference as 红房子 vs. 红的房子?

In teaching Spanish I often explain the difference between pre-nominal adjectives and post-nominal adjectives as the difference between an English noun phrase in which the adjective is stressed, and ...
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1 answer
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Why does the Portuguese language sound similar to French language to me?

I thought Portuguese would sound very close to Spanish. However, to me, it sounds more like French? Why is that?
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4 votes
1 answer
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Do constructs like "going to do" and "ir a hacer" share a common origin?

I'm curious about the linguistic background between these phrases because they don't make sense word-for-word in either language, but they work almost identically. Wikipedia says that a similar form ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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"Ser"/"estar" acquisition in bilingual children (English-Spanish)

For the last week I've been wondering about how bilingual children (English-Spanish) might struggle with the acquisition of the "ser"/"estar" copulas, considering how these are ...
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Vocabulary Rate for Spanish

I am searching for a resource in Spanish that contains the Spanish Vocabulary Rate, classifying words for their usage level, similar to this Italian one: Nuovo Vocabolario di Base della lingua ...
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Scientific sources/ literature regarding (spanish) speech rate

I'm interested in scientific sources or literature regarding speech rate/ tempo of speech of the Spanish language. Do you know any? Specifically, I'm looking for sources that compare the speech rate ...
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Looking for socio research on "Latinx"

I'll crib the intro from Wikipedia: Latinx is a gender-neutral English neologism, sometimes used to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity in the United States. "Latinx&...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How should I understand these acoustic and perceptive terms from phonetics?

So, while reading the New Grammar of Spanish Language (a book from a very influential institute of the Spanish languague: Royal Spanish Academy) I found out these terms (they'll be in bold) from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Which sounds in spanish sound louder: vowels or consonants?

I think vowels but I'm not so sure. I'm neither sure if vocal cords are what makes a phone be more audible and so what makes vowels be more audible than consonants or some of them.
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1 vote
2 answers
244 views

Italian 'gn' vs Spanish 'ñ' - Why does their use differ intervocalically and word internally?

First some examples. Here are the IPA transcriptions of 'bathroom' in Italian and Spanish: bagno /baɲɲo/ baño /baɲo/ As you can see in Italian 'gn' becomes a geminate between vowels in the middle of a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Spanish Dipthongs - Why does the verb Cerrar(to close) experience stem change but cerro (hill) is "fine" as is?

I know that vulgar latin experienced a diphthongization with several of the vowels when in tonic positions of a word. My specific question is why did all latin originating words not consistantly do ...
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7 votes
2 answers
421 views

Apparent exceptions to the sound law f -> h in old Spanish

At some point during the evolution of Spanish, several initial [f] became silent (this is represented with an h in modern Spanish). This explains words such as hacer, harina, herir and many more. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why are native English speakers convinced that English language is a Romance language? [closed]

Most people I've know so far in the USA are always saying that learning Latin would be really easy because, since English comes from Latin, it cannot be a hard thing to do, and they really get shocked ...
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1 answer
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Plausible Language Origins and Meaning of The Puerto Rican Jibaro Word "lelo"?

Question: What might be a plausible language origin of the word, "lelo" as used in traditional jibaro musical form of Puerto Rico. The word lelo is intensively used in the introduction of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

(Latin) spondeo > (Spanish) esposas?

I am looking for the exact history of the Spanish word esposas ("handcuffs") and its connection with the Latin word spondeo ("promise"). I read several times on the web the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Differences between free languages and official languages?

In short: as far as I know, English in the USA has no official standards from the government for how it's to be written and used. There are just dictionaries. Spanish however, has the RAE, which is an ...
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2 answers
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When did Spanish develop perfect aspect?

Latin and many other Romance languages do not have perfect aspect, but Greek has perfect aspect and Iberia was a land for Ancient Greek colonies. So how and when Spanish integrates perfect aspect into ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Why is Spanish SVO and not VSO?

I understand that Spanish sentences have an SVO sentence structure. (S)(Yo) (V)compro (O)los zapatos. What confuses me is the fact that when the subject is a pronoun, it is omitted so often that you ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Does California vowel shift occur in bilingual Spanish speakers?

I know that recently there has been a lot of research done on the California vowel shift being a key part of a California accent for younger kids who have grown up there. Knowing that there is a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Are there any recent studies on vowels of PRS?

Consonants and their phenomena are well studied for PRS (Puerto Rican Spanish). However, vowels and their phenomena are less well known. Known vowel phenomena in the dialect are unstressed/final vowel ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Why does Spanish have obsolete tenses?

In Spanish, there are a few tenses that exist but are almost never used in daily life, like the subjunctive future and future perfect tenses. They are only utilized in legal documents and older pieces ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why does Spanish tend to swap letters in words?

I can't remember the source, but I recall hearing that Spanish (my native tongue) tends to swap letters in words (accidentally). Examples Latin diabolo becomes diablo(o). (perhaps this is a non-...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why do Spanish and Greek have such a similar phonology?

Is it just a matter of coincidence or did the two language influence each other in some way?
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1 answer
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Latin jūs and sūcus, and the words in Romance languages

Why is French jus said to be from Latin jūs or iūs, while Spanish jugo is said to be from the Latin sūcus? I don't know if there's a link between sūcus and jūs, but jus and jugo look like they are ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does a scientific methodology exist for evaluating bilingual dictionaries?

I recently reread What's the difference between the various context dictionaries available for Spanish (e.g., Tatoeba, Reverso, Linguee, …)?. The accepted answer is excellent. But it got me ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Where did the word ending ar er ir in Spanish come fom?

When I was learning Spanish, I came across the fact that Spanish verbs have three classes: AR, ER, and IR. I notice that more of them have the AR verb ending. The verb endings are the same in Latin, ...
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How regular were Latin verbs compared to Spanish?

Compared to English, Spanish is very consistent within its rules about verbs. The endings for the three kinds of verbs—grouped as -ar, -er, and -ir verbs—are pretty consistently regular, and few words ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Looking for Spanish varieties/accents

This might not be the right place to ask this, and if so, I apologize. I'm a student conducting research on Spanish varieties and I am wondering if anyone knows where I could find short texts read by ...
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0 votes
1 answer
122 views

Linguistic term "Word final" in Spanish

The SIL Fieldworks Language Explorer program allows you to specify multiple phonological environments for different allomorphs of a lexical item. Each environment is given a title and a description. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
946 views

Which language is the closest lexically to Spanish?

I've found this Worldwide map or data for linguistic distance here when looking for a way to know if Portuguese is the most similar language to Spanish. Unfortunately neither of these languages are in ...
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1 answer
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Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language? If not, and if possible, about how much can we safely say there is?
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of this syntactic construct: "May [Subject] [Verb]"?

Sentences like "Let such and such be done" or "May this happen". What is the name of this construct? More examples from Spanish: Que ellos entren ahora (Let them in now). Que se muerte les ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Where can I find a set of Spanish-English comparable texts? ***(Not translations)***

This is my very first post, I hope I'm making myself clear. What I'm asking for is a set of texts that are equivalent in both languages in terms of difficulty, word frequency and register (i.e. two ...
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1 vote
1 answer
74 views

What informative and yet easy-to-read introductory books in English are there for Spanish Phonology?

I had my eyes on The Phonology of Spanish by Iggy Roca but I can't find the book in any store, neither it's ISBN or even it's cover! Evidence indicates that it wasn't even published but it pertained ...
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4 votes
2 answers
689 views

How does Metathesis work?

How does it happen? What motivated latin "parabola" to change into Spanish "palabra" and why does english "ask" is often changed to "aks"?
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why do swear words mean the same thing in both English and Spanish (possibly more languages)

Earlier today, I was talking about swearing in other languages with some friends (this is a serious question, bear with me), so I decided to look up some lists of Spanish swear words for fun. This ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is the phoneme /a/ in Castilian Spanish pronounced differently in "pan" than in "papa"?

I was taught that the vowels in Spanish are always pronounced the same in contrast to the English language. For this reason, I always pronounced /a/ in "pan" as the same as /a/ in "papa"—this is very ...
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4 votes
1 answer
62 views

Looking for Spanish email or chat corpora

I am looking for some corpora containing emails or chats in Spanish.
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6 votes
1 answer
272 views

Suppletion of Spanish "matar" (to kill) by "morir" (to die) in the passive

When saying someone 'was killed' in Spanish in the passive voice, muerto, the past participle of morir ("to die") is used: «Selicho fue muerto a golpes por sus propios funcionarios» Galeano ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Do the WALS chapters cover the core grammatical structure of Spanish?

How complete is their description for the Spanish language? Is it missing something out? Here is the description http://wals.info/languoid/lect/wals_code_spa Thank You
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Where did the irregulars come from in the Spanish preterite?

Spanish has many different irregulars in its preterite tense (preterite is what we call it in Spanish class, I think the linguist term is simple past but I might be wrong), most of which involve a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
82 views

Andrea Bocelli Aspiration

I have been listen to Andrea Bocelli's songs lately. A noticeable feature of his pronunciation while singing Spanish songs is that he constantly pronounces the plosives (especially at word-initial ...
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2 votes
1 answer
319 views

Do all colonized countries use formal second pronouns person in daily life?

In Spanish vosotros/tu is used in an informal conversation and usted(es) in an formal one. Whereas in the majority of the countries in Latin America, usted(es) is used constantly. The same goes with ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Absence of vowel combination /ou/ in Spanish

Spanish has many words containing the diphthongs /au/, /eu/ and /iu/, but the only instances of words containing /ou/ (as a diphthong or in hiatus) are a very small set of foreign loanwords: bou, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Choice of phonemic symbol for /b/, /d/, /g/, /ʝ/ in Spanish

Wikipedia states this on the Spanish consonants /b/, /d/, /ɡ/ and /ʝ/: The phonemes /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are realized as approximants (namely [β̞, ð̞, ɣ˕]) or fricatives in all places except after a ...
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2 votes
2 answers
972 views

Deducing a rule out of set of examples

Consider the following Spanish words, written in IPA (with their English translation): And the same question for middle position and final position My answer is: Initial position: Looking at the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Are the English words "essence" and "essential" related to the Spanish word "ser"?

I always think of the Spanish verb "ser" being related to "essence", which can be contrasted with the verb "estar", which is related to "state". "Ser" is also a noun with various meanings including "...
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3 votes
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Looking for a thorough comparison of French and Spanish

Either in English, Spanish or French. I haven't found a comparative grammar but I got pretty excited with this monograph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Portuguese_and_Spanish I'm ...
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