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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30 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 ...
6
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2answers
345 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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1answer
100 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 ...
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4answers
415 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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/...
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4answers
326 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 ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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3answers
313 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
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1answer
75 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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1answer
129 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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63 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 ...
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0answers
62 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 ...
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2answers
868 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 ...
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1answer
232 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 ...
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2answers
233 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, ...
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2answers
536 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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1answer
175 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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-...
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3answers
1k 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?
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1answer
115 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 ...
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1answer
91 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 ...
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1answer
124 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, ...
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2answers
130 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 ...
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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
109 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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4answers
3k views

How did 'cocodrilo' originate from 'crocodile'?

The English word crocodile seems to originate from the Latin crocodīlus and Ancient Greek κροκόδιλος. Indeed it has ended up very similar in several modern languages: German (Krokodile), Russian (...
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2answers
860 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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1answer
173 views

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?
3
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1answer
73 views

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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2answers
34 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 ...
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1answer
68 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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4answers
352 views

Way to learn foreign languages

It's my first post here. I was planning for a long time to learn another foreign language. Polish is my mother tongue and I also speak english. Not on a professional level of course but I'm pretty ...
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1answer
208 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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2answers
213 views

Voiced labiodental fricative in Puerto Rican Spanish?

I was listening to "Despacito", and it seems that both singers use /v/ (Fonsi at 0:42 with his mouth visible, DY at 1:00) as an allophone of native /β/ (still used, e.g Fonsi, 1:52). Most Spanish ...
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2answers
133 views

What methods do languages use to re-introduce the subject of a passive construction?

In German and Spanish (I think), you use the word for 'from'. In Japanese though, I think they use 'ni' (which can either mean 'to' or 'at'). In English we use the preposition 'by', which is rarely ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is it correct to say “Honey, I'm home”, but “Miel, soy casa” is not?

Inspired by the picture below (thanks to brainlesstaless), when I got home I called to my wife: "Miel, soy casa". After a short pause, she started laughing. I know in Spanish this sentence makes no ...
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1answer
126 views

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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4answers
303 views

Focus-marking in different varieties of Spanish

Spanish is often described as putting focused constituents at the end of the sentence, leading for instance to VOS word order in sentences with a focused subject. (For instance, Maria Zubizarreta's ...
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1answer
44 views

Looking for Spanish email or chat corpora

I am looking for some corpora containing emails or chats in Spanish.
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4answers
318 views

Forced aligner in Spanish? (Similar to P2FA)

I am looking for a forced aligner in Spanish. Something similar to P2FA for American English. I want to force align simple sentences in Mexican Spanish for a project. Does anyone know one?
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2answers
553 views

Before being borrowed by Europeans, was “hurricane” ever pronounced with an initial “f”?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, Spanish works about the New World in the 1500s wrote the word we spell in modern English as "hurricane" alternatively as "huracan" or "furacan". A ...
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1answer
49 views

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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0answers
54 views

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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0answers
72 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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2answers
951 views

Any Spanish speech variety where F is pronounced as ϕ?

Are there any living speech varieties of Spanish (geographic, socio-economic) that pronounce the phoneme associated with the letter 'f' as [ϕ], as bilabial rather than labiodental? Just wondering ...
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1answer
300 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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5answers
2k views

Vowel harmony in Spanish?

Some irregular Spanish verbs with infinite in "-ir" seem to have an interesting pattern in their conjugation: For some verbs with "o" as last vowel in the infinite stem (e.g. dormir, morir), the form ...
3
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2answers
656 views

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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2answers
650 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 ...