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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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1 answer
207 views

Is “actual” both a false friend and a cognate?

English definition of “actual”: existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. Spanish definition of “actual”: current, present, contemporary These are ...
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

Is there any premise for Compounding Words in Spanish place names?

I'm trying to make a Fakemon (fanmade Pokemon) region based on Mexico, and I want to name a number of the cities with Spanish-sounding names. I admit that I'm terrible at making names, so I use this ...
0 votes
1 answer
170 views

Why do Spanish words change meaning when put in a sentence? [closed]

The word "ponga" means "I put" but when put in this sentence: Que solo la mire de lejito y se ponga asi" is "That he only looks at her from afar and gets like this" &...
6 votes
1 answer
197 views

How do Latin American Spanish speakers acquire vosotros forms?

In travels throughout Latin America, during which I spoke Spanish learned in Spain, local people had no problem understanding my use of vosotros forms even if they lived in very isolated rural areas ...
1 vote
2 answers
69 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
338 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
201 views

Conjugation stem changes in Portuguese

Currently, I am learning Portuguese. I have some knowledge of Spanish as well. The biggest difference in conjugation (indicative present tense) that I have found between Spanish and Portuguese is that ...
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does Basque sound like Spanish, or vice versa?

I am always amazed by how similar both languages sound despite being very different in almost every other aspect. I suspect that this is a classical example of a Sprachbund, but I am interested in ...
3 votes
1 answer
286 views

Does -z / -ces in Spanish plurals reflect sound change in the past?

Spanish nouns ending with -z become -ces in plural forms. (e.g. lapiz-lapices, vez-veces, etc.) While -zes and -ces sound same in Modern Spanish, they represented different sounds between 15-16th ...
3 votes
2 answers
230 views

What are the benefits of learning Latin using Spanish?

I am a native speaker of Spanish. I also learned English. I am now trying to learn Latin. Obviously, the Spanish --> Latin route is a lot more preferable than the English --> Latin route given that ...
0 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are [s] and [z] allophones of the same phoneme in Spanish? What is the rule that predicts the distribution?

What is the rule that predicts the distribution?
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

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?
0 votes
2 answers
210 views

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, ...
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
90 views

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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
825 views

For adjectives which change meaning by position: why are they subjective before nouns but objective after?

Meaning-changing adjectives [Source:] Some adjectives can mean different things depending on their placement around the noun they modify. When placed after the noun like normal, the adjective carries ...
1 vote
0 answers
81 views

"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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
699 views

Aramaic compared to Spanish

Is it possible to compare Aramaic to Spanish? If so, what are the differences and what are common? I have Spanish at school, and when I saw Passion of the Christ, I recognized lots of words (I don't ...
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

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&...
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Expressions derived from Italian mafia

I apologize in advance for the explicit words, the question is anyway purely linguistical. Feel free to censore the words if appropriate. I have heard that the American slang expression "Do not break ...
16 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why do stem-changing verbs have a vowel change in Spanish?

It may just be that I'm demonstrating my gross ignorance, but I can't seem to find a 'why' for stem-changing verbs in Spanish. I understand that there is some sort of perceived weakness in the vowel ...
2 votes
1 answer
255 views

Are Spanish "que" clauses following "parece" complements or postponed subjects?

The Spanish equivalent of It seems that they hate each other is Parece que se odian. In both languages seem/parecer are one-place predicates (well, both can optionally accept a second argument with ...
1 vote
1 answer
39 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

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.
1 vote
2 answers
617 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
557 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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
359 views

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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
716 views

From Italian to Spanish, consonant + "i" goes to consonant + "l"?

Why is it, that in words like plaza / piazza, or blanca / bianca, the "l" in Spanish corresponds to an "i" in Italian? Is there a preference for this kind of sound in Italian, or ...
21 votes
4 answers
5k views

Where did Spanish get its /x/? Arabic influence?

Most Romance languages don't have /x/ (like the j in hijo), nor did Latin. Where did Spanish /x/ come from? Internal development, Arabic influence, or something else? Since Moroccan Arabic also has /x/...
1 vote
4 answers
904 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
179 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
207 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
97 views

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
72 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

The double ⟨l⟩ in Spanish

In Spanish, some words start with the double consonant graphemes ⟨ll⟩ - that have indeed the value of /ʎ/. Is there any language that have a similar pattern (starting with double consonants)? What is ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do many French and Spanish noun cognates have opposing grammatical gender?

While most French/Spanish noun cognates share the same gender (both descending from the same vulgar latin root), there are many exceptions having opposing genders (e.g. la couleur / el color; la ...
3 votes
2 answers
643 views

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, ...
4 votes
2 answers
869 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"?
-2 votes
1 answer
425 views

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 ...
14 votes
2 answers
6k views

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-...
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

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?
0 votes
1 answer
140 views

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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
113 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
264 views

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, ...
0 votes
2 answers
286 views

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 ...