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Thread: Spanish word with one letter added, changed or missing

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Spanish word with one letter added, changed or missing

    Mutations are not exclusive to genes. Languages mutate too and often in a similar way as genes, with just single letter changes (like SNPs in genetics). This happens because humans aren't perfect. They mishear words or mispronounce them. It was all the more frequent before universal education and before languages acquired codified, fixed spellings.

    When linguists created the spelling rules of modern Romance languages, they usually used the Latin etymology of words to reshape the new standardised language. Standard Italian bears striking similarities to Latin spellings, unlike Italian dialects that evolved more freely.

    In contrast French pronunciation has changed so much from Latin that when French académiciens had to decide on the standard spelling of words, they had to add many silent letters to keep as much resemblance as possible to the Latin root of words. This has become a nightmare for learners of French, be them native or foreign, as the written language bears little similarity to the spoken one. English is in a similar situation.

    Spanish may be a phonetic language (it is written exactly as it is pronounced), but that did not prevent it from undergoing mutations before its spelling was codified. I have made a list here.

    Spanish French Italian Latin
    alimaña animal animale animālia
    ancla ancre ancora ancŏra
    ausentarse s'absenter assentarsi absentare
    bendición bénédiction benedizione benedictiōne
    blandir brandir brandire
    cautivar captiver captare
    desear désirer desiderare desiderare
    disminuir diminuer diminuire deminuĕre
    ensayar essayer (assaggiare) from exagium
    escolta escorte scorta (from Italian)
    honrar honorer onorare honorāre
    invertir investir investire investire
    mensaje message messaggio missaticum (from missus)
    nombrar nominer nominare nomināre
    oso ours orso ursum
    peluca perruque parrucca
    poseer posséder possedere possidère
    postrado prostré prostrato prostatus
    propio propre proprio proprio
    quebrar crever crepare crepāre
    reclutar recruter reclutare (from French)
    rendición reddition resa redditio
    retaguardia - retroguardia (from Italian)
    sentarse s'asseoir sedersi sedere
    soplar souffler soffio, soffiare sufflāre
    temblar trembler tremare tremulāre

    By category:

    • Added 'n' : bendición, mensaje, rendición, sentarse
    • Other additional consonnant : disminuir, nombrar
    • Missing 'r' : desear, oso, postrado, propio, quebrar, temblar, retaguardia
    • Shift from 'r' to 'l' : ancla, blandir, escolta, peluca, reclutar
    • Shift from 'b' or 'p' to 'u' : ausentarse, cautivar
    • Consonnant replaced by another : alimaña, invertir, soplar
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  2. #2
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    Spanish show us a tendancy that was even stronger in Oil French; but here you can see some of the current French words are words remake from Latin - among the more evident Spanish tendancies -
    the r to l shift is frequnt in Spanish (Castillan to be precise), but it occurs elsewhere (indialects for the most, not always).
    the implosive -p, -b changed into -u < -w < -v before explosive is natural enough, spite it doesn't occur frequently elsewhere.
    the loss of a liquid (r, l) in a word where one of these sounds occurs also in another syllabe, is not so rare.
    All that shows us (I think), Castillan, so the Spanish language, spite official, has not been submitted to the dramatic artificial archaising (re-Latinisation) as has standard French has been! So many genuine Oil French words has been replaced along history.

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