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Why does Spanish tend to swap letters in words?

Metathesis is common across languages, including in the varieties of Romance that emerged from Vulgar Latin. However, Western Romance had it more than Eastern Romance; within Western Romance, Iberian ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
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13 votes

How did 'cocodrilo' originate from 'crocodile'?

This is an example of metathesis, the rearranging of sounds or syllables in a word. It occurred in a number of words in the evolution from Latin to Spanish: Latin parabola > Old Spanish parabla > ...
iacobo's user avatar
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11 votes
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What came first: «starboard» or «estribor»?

According to CRNTL1 and the RAE2: Proto-Germanic *steuraz + *burdą Old English stēorbord Middle English sterbord English starboard Classic Dutch stierboord (1588) Old French destribort (1550)9 /...
iacobo's user avatar
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10 votes

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

Spanish and Italian are both languages descended from Latin. As such, many of their words are cognate sharing a common Latin ancestor, but the sounds in these words evolved over time and evolved ...
iacobo's user avatar
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10 votes

When did Spanish develop perfect aspect?

I think this question is confused Latin did have a perfect aspect, it was only available in the present, past, and future tenses (these verb forms are usually described as the perfect, pluperfect, ...
Tristan's user avatar
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10 votes
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Apparent exceptions to the sound law f -> h in old Spanish

Some of these words were re-loaned from Classical Latin after the change of Old Spanish /f/ to /h/ had stopped: compare loaned forma "shape" against inherited horma "mold" (as you ...
Draconis's user avatar
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9 votes
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Which language is the closest lexically to Spanish?

The map you have doesn't pass the sniff test for me. I don't imagine anyone realistically saying Catalonian being closer to Spanish than Galician. I can't speak for other Romance groups, but for ...
user0721090601's user avatar
8 votes
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Two languages have the same homonym for two meanings but different phonetics

The words utrom, morgen, mañana don't all derive from the same word in Proto-Indo-european, so that is why they are pronounced differently. As to why "morning" and "tomorrow" are sufficiently similar ...
user6726's user avatar
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8 votes
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Are the English words "essence" and "essential" related to the Spanish word "ser"?

Some forms of ser are cognate with "essence", but ser itself is not. Ser in Spanish is a "suppletive verb", which is missing some of its forms and has stolen them from other verbs ...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

No, it isn't. Spanish and Greek are both part of the Indogermanic language family and therefore historically connected. However, this historic connection is rather old, the split between proto-Greek ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
8 votes

Latin jūs and sūcus, and the words in Romance languages

sorry - no time to write, just posting a screenshot from Penny 2002:
Alex B.'s user avatar
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7 votes

Does a scientific methodology exist for evaluating bilingual dictionaries?

That answer on Spanish SE is misleading on key points - "neural networks" have nothing to do with dictionaries. Let's step back and imagine that we are tasked with creating bilingual dictionaries ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
7 votes

Why does Spanish tend to swap letters in words?

The modern language Spanish does not have a significant "tendency" to moving segments (a process known as metathesis), but there are some historical cases of metathesis going historically from Latin ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes

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

The occurrence of the sound change [f] > [h] > ∅ in modern Spanish words does seem fairly unpredictable. I think this is a situation where dialect mixing and reborrowing/learned re-formation of ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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7 votes

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

The most obvious reason for the difference is that Spanish, like English, does not have geminate consonants (aside from occasional “fake” geminates that arise from the same consonant occurring on ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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7 votes
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Does -z / -ces in Spanish plurals reflect sound change in the past?

No; the pattern of final <z> in the singular vs. <ces> in the plural is a modern spelling convention that's unrelated to the Old Spanish distinction between a voiced and voiceless sibilant ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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6 votes
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Any Spanish speech variety where F is pronounced as ϕ?

/f/ as [ϕ] in Andean, Palenquero, Caribbean, Puerto Rican Spanish The Linguistics of Spanish - Andean Spanish - 2. Pronunciation 2.4 Pronunciation of /f/ /f/ is commonly articulated as a ...
iacobo's user avatar
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6 votes

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

Abbreviare to abréger is a very regular sound change, it went something along these lines. [a.bbre.vi.a:.re] > [a.bre.vja.re] > [a.brɛ.vɟær] > [a.brɛ.vɟʒier] > [a.bre.dʒier] > [a.bre.dʒie] > [a.bre....
Eleshar's user avatar
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6 votes

Are the English words "essence" and "essential" related to the Spanish word "ser"?

As Draconis says, some conjugations of ser are cognate with Latin esse derived words in English, but not all. I made this chart (based on this blog post) a while ago, it details which are which: ^ ...
iacobo's user avatar
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6 votes
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Choice of phonemic symbol for /b/, /d/, /g/, /ʝ/ in Spanish

/ʝ/ vs. /ɟ/ Phonetically, there is a lot of variability in the realization of the Spanish sound that Wikipedia transcribes as /ʝ/, both between dialects, and in some cases between different utterances ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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6 votes

Looking for Spanish email or chat corpora

The Grupo de Ingeniería Lingüística, part of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has a WhatsApp corpus of undergraduate students. They have a paper that introduces it: http://www.aclweb.org/...
axme100's user avatar
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6 votes
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Portuguese — Why use definite articles in front of possessive nouns? Why the extensive use of proposition contraction?

It is not so uncommon for langueges to put articles in front of personal names, it happens, for instance, in the South Tyrol dialect of German, so it is just a thing that happened and it is one of the ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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5 votes

To what extent can Japanese Kana be adapted to the Spanish language and be intelligible?

The phonology of Spanish might be vaguely similar to that of Japanese but the differences are also relevant. There are many consonantal clusters in Spanish and also word final consonants, and this ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
5 votes

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

The e -> ie and o -> ue stem-changing verbs are the product of the interaction between two different factors The first is the "breaking" of the Early Western Romance low-mid vowels /ɛ/ ...
Tristan's user avatar
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5 votes
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Absence of vowel combination /ou/ in Spanish

It seems this was a combination of: 'ou' being rare in Latin words and only in environments where vowels would undergo changes in the evolution to Spanish, and instances of vowel + consonant ...
iacobo's user avatar
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5 votes
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Do all colonized countries use formal second pronouns person in daily life?

Québec, which originated as a French colony in North America, offers a very clear counterexample: it is well-known that speakers of Québécois French use tu in many more situations and much more ...
Hunter's user avatar
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5 votes
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How does Metathesis work?

This is just a partial answer. I think metathesis is often explained in terms of perceptual similarities between the variants. Additionally, sometimes we can say that one form has a "preferred" ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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5 votes

Why does Spanish have obsolete tenses?

Because language changes gradually. So for some features (in this case the mentioned Spanish tenses) there is first some alternative to express them, and this alternative becomes more frequent than ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
5 votes

Why is Spanish SVO and not VSO?

The simplest answer is that the classification into VSO, SVO etc. as "types" is based on the order of full-word elements, thus full verbs and noun phrases as subject and object. Subject or object ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes

How do Latin American Spanish speakers acquire vosotros forms?

Vosotros is used in the Bible, which is a corpus that many people in Latin America are exposed to at least weekly. This makes it similar to English ye or thou, though in English there are many more ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar

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