Questions tagged [spanish]

One of the most widely spoken Romance languages, also known as Castilian.

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3answers
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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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-...
13
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5answers
1k 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 ...
13
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3answers
563 views

Do Spanish speakers prefer certain words for certain aspects, like in Russian?

In an effort to clearly delineate durar and tardar to my Spanish students, I have been searching for some usage notes and I was not satisfied with anything I found. Instead, I was wondering if these ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why does Spanish have so many diphthongs compared to other Romance languages?

I have studied and known Spanish my whole life, and got a job at a University where I am allowed to take some free classes. Over the past three years, I have taken all the Italian classes offered, all ...
10
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5answers
7k 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 ...
9
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2answers
503 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 ...
8
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2answers
804 views

Is redundancy in language really impossible? (Case of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive)

I have heard time and again that languages will reject words and structures that are redundant. That is, for example, if though two words may seem like they are perfect synonyms (e.g., rotund and ...
8
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4answers
301 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 ...
8
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2answers
703 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 ...
8
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3answers
441 views

How is an intervocalic “g” pronounced in Andean Spanish?

It seems that at least in the Andes, a lot of people say e.g. [awa] for "agua"[agwa]. What's the phonological rule behind this? Is it really [w]? Why did this happen in the first place?
8
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1answer
467 views

Why the grammatical difference between “eu gosto” in Portuguese and “me gusta” in Spanish. What's the historical evolution of this expression?

Apparently, "eu" is the subject in "eu gosto (de isso)" while "me" is the object in "me gusta (algo)". Why such a difference between two languages? What's the historical evolution of this expression?
7
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2answers
285 views

What came first: «starboard» or «estribor»?

In English, the right side of a ship (and everything beyond said side) is called «starboard». I know enough about sailing and about stars to know that stars can't have anything to do with that name, ...
7
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3answers
580 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?
7
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1answer
220 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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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 (...
6
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1answer
89 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 ...
6
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1answer
182 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 ...
5
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4answers
356 views

From Italian to Spanish, I to L

Why is it, that in words like plaza to piazza, or blanca to bianca, the l in spanish turns into an i in italian? Is there a preference for this kind of sound in Italian, or is there another reason?
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2answers
501 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 ...
5
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2answers
200 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 ...
5
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1answer
213 views

Why do Spanish and other Romance Languages use the preposition “a” for culinary styles?

I've looked in the Real Academia Española dictionary and I can't find any information regarding why Spanish uses the preposition a for cooking styles, and I've noticed French and Italian do it too. I ...
5
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1answer
847 views

Do you have a vowel trapezoid for Spanish?

I am trying to contrast the vowel systems of English and Spanish, and showing two vowel trapezoids seems like a good approach. I've not yet found one yet. Any ideas?
5
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2answers
153 views

Does the Perfect in addition to its perfect meaning also denotes perfective / imperfective / either meaning (in English and Spanish)?

Just to note that I'm well aware as to the difference between the perfect and perfective aspects. Up until recently I though that the Perfect aspect can denote (in addition to its perfect aspect ...
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2answers
463 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
40 views

Looking for Spanish email or chat corpora

I am looking for some corpora containing emails or chats in Spanish.
4
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4answers
294 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?
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
208 views

Have the Spanish tenses stopped evolving?

I suspect that evolution of Spanish tenses stopped, while being in the middle of replacement of conjugated tenses by compound tenses. In some scenarios compound tense was adopted, in some other cases ...
4
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2answers
128 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 ...
4
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1answer
805 views

For the 'ch' sound in Chilean Spanish, do these symbols differ?

I am researching dialects in Chilean Spanish , and one feature that is often mentioned (and one that you can hear all across Chile in conversation) is the varying pronunciation of the 'ch' sound. I ...
4
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1answer
131 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 ...
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0answers
55 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
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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 ...
3
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2answers
455 views

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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2answers
1k views

Origin of silent 's' in some Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries?

In Cuba and perhaps to a lesser extent the Dominican Republic (and perhaps other countries), the 's' is often silent. How and why did this come to be? A layperson's guess (and I am a layperson) is ...
3
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2answers
505 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 ...
3
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2answers
320 views

What explains the differences between doublet verbs that differ by a prefix?

The differences in meanings of doublet verbs such as 3-6 below: Are there any resources that investigate the big picture behind them? I abhor to memorise, and prefer to understand, such differences. ...
3
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6answers
1k views

Natural vs. “Forced” language learning

Would the "natural" way of learning a language (the way we learn our mother tongue) be better even for acquiring second (and third, etc.) languages? What I mean is: The "natural" way to learn a ...
3
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1answer
346 views

What explains the sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- ?

abridge (v.) [...] from Old French abregier "abridge, diminish, shorten," from Late Latin abbreviare "make short" (see abbreviate). The sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- is ...
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1answer
71 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
220 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, ...
3
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1answer
47 views

Can anybody recommend some textbooks/articles that deal with the adaption of loan words into Spanish?

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 ...
3
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2answers
557 views

Teaching children Spanish and Esperanto at home from non-native speakers

A question has already been asked on teaching a child a foreign language if you aren't a native speaker, but the answers are mixed - the 'right' answer says languages can be taught by a non-native ...
3
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1answer
87 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
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1answer
57 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 ...
3
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1answer
450 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 ...
3
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1answer
201 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 ...
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4answers
325 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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0answers
60 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 ...