We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Spanish Vocabulary

An Etymological Approach

By David Brodsky

Publication Year: 2008

Unlike other vocabulary guides that require the rote memorization of literally thousands of words, this book starts from the premise that using the etymological connections between Spanish and English words—their common derivations from Latin, Greek, and other languages—is the most effective way to acquire and remember vocabulary. This approach is suitable for beginners as well as for advanced students. Teachers of the language will also find much material that can be used to help motivate their students to acquire, and retain, Spanish vocabulary. Spanish Vocabulary is divided into four parts and four annexes: Part I provides background material on the origins of Spanish and begins the process of presenting Spanish vocabulary. Part II presents “classical” Spanish vocabulary—words whose form (in both Spanish and English) is nearly unchanged from Latin and Greek. Part III deals with “popular” Spanish vocabulary, which underwent significant changes in form (and often meaning) during the evolution from Latin to Spanish. A number of linguistic patterns are identified that will help learners recognize and remember new vocabulary. Part IV treats a wide range of themes, including words of Germanic and Arabic origin, numbers, time, food and animals, the family, the body, and politics. Annex A: Principal exceptions to the “Simplified Gender Rule” Annex B: 700 words whose relations, if any, to English words are not immediately obvious Annex C: -cer verbs and related words Annex D: 4,500 additional words, either individually or in groups, with English correspondences

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.2 KB)
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.1 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.6 KB)
pp. vii-viii

Th is book is intended for students at all levels who seek to enhance their Spanish vocabulary, as well as for those who wish simply to explore the wide-ranging connections between Spanish and English vocabulary. Th e approach differs markedly from that of “traditional” Spanish vocabulary books that...

Abbreviations and Symbols

pdf iconDownload PDF (96.4 KB)
pp. ix-xi

Simplified Gender Rule

pdf iconDownload PDF (120.5 KB)
pp. xii-xvi

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (191.8 KB)
pp. 1-14

An English speaker learning Spanish starts with one huge, though generally underutilized, advantage: he or she is already speaking a Romance language, and with a little bit of help, can easily recognize and learn to use a very large number of Spanish words. Th e “romance” of English may come as a surprise to...

Part I. Background

read more

Section 1.1. Spanish as a Romance Language

pdf iconDownload PDF (119.9 KB)
pp. 17-20

If Cicero (or Caesar) were to come back to life and try to speak Spanish (or any other Romance language), he would very quickly come to the conclusion that the barbarians had taken over and “pidginized” his language. In terms of grammar, the structure of the language would have changed almost beyond...

read more

Section 1.2. “Learned” versus “Popular” Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (109.5 KB)
pp. 21-24

Words of Latin origin in Spanish have arrived via four essentially different means. They can originate from
a) Classical Latin words that were “borrowed” directly into Spanish (often at a relatively late stage), and that have therefore experienced only relatively...

read more

Section 1.3. Latin: A Few Useful Tools

pdf iconDownload PDF (151.3 KB)
pp. 25-30

Th ere are three easily learned phonetic features of Latin that can be of considerable assistance in augmenting one’s Spanish (and English) vocabulary. (1) DT and TTS (or SS)
At some point in the path from Indo-European to Latin, a “parasite” s intruded...

Part II. Classical Vocabulary

read more

Section 2.1. “Learned” Latin Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (281.6 KB)
pp. 33-69

We have seen in Section 1.2 that Spanish words of Latin origin can be divided into two general categories—“learned” or “popular”—according to the degree of restructuring they have undergone. For the native English speaker, the “learned” words should provide little diffi culty, since they are, in the vast majority...

read more

Section 2.2. “Learned” Greek Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (226.7 KB)
pp. 70-90

Classical Latin had a large repertoire of words taken from Greek. Th is base was added to substantially in the early Christian era and again during the Renaissance. Some Greek words passed to Spanish directly, most via Latin. Almost without exception, if an English word is recognizably “Greek”, it has an equally...

read more

Part III. Popular Vocabulary: The Shape of Spanish

Even if one has not already studied a Romance language, it is not too difficult to guess that Language 1 is Spanish, Language 2 is French, and Language 3 is Italian. All languages have a certain “feel” to them, and the Romance languages are no exceptions...

read more

Section 3.1. Addition of “Helping” e: esnob = snob

pdf iconDownload PDF (158.9 KB)
pp. 93-101

Th e Vulgar Latin grammarians noted an inconsistency in the Latin phonetic system. In the interior of a word, the combination s consonant was always divided between different syllables and was never pronounced as a single “sound”. Thus..

read more

Section 3.2. Initial f ➔ h: higo = fig

pdf iconDownload PDF (166.2 KB)
pp. 102-109

The presence of (unpronounced) h arising from Latin f is one of the most distinctive features of Spanish, setting it apart not only from French and Italian but also from the other Iberian Romances (Portuguese/Galician, Catalan)...

read more

Section 3.3 Vowel Changes: e ➔ ie, o ➔ ue, etc.

pdf iconDownload PDF (325.3 KB)
pp. 110-148

Perhaps the single feature making Spanish the easiest—or least difficult—of any foreign language that an English speaker might seek to learn is the simplicity of its vowel system. Consider the European languages most commonly studied by English speakers (other than Russian, which uses a diff erent alphabet...

read more

Section 3.4. Basic Consonant Changes: p/b, t/d, c/g

pdf iconDownload PDF (291.4 KB)
pp. 149-180

In this section we will focus on what are called stop consonants or occlusives, i.e, those in which the outgoing flow of air is temporarily blocked: p, b, t, d, c, g, where “c” and “g” refer to the “hard” pronunciations of these con sonants (cat and go). Th e varying treatment of stop consonants during the transition from...

read more

Section 3.5. Other Distinctive Consonants (or Lack Thereof)

pdf iconDownload PDF (369.4 KB)
pp. 181-224

In each case, the first Spanish word is easily associated with its English cognate. The Spanish words in the second column are also cognates but are far less easily recognizable, as in each case they have undergone one or more consonantal changes as part of their “popular” evolution from Latin to Spanish. As we will...

Part IV. Selected Topics

read more

Section 4.1. Goths and Other Germans

pdf iconDownload PDF (198.1 KB)
pp. 227-240

In the late fourth and early fifth centuries, the Western Roman Empire was devastated by numerous attacks by “barbarians”, for the most part Germanic tribes that had previously been allied to Rome and had served a key role in guarding the frontier. Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410, and in 476 the...

read more

Section 4.2. Arabs and Muslims

pdf iconDownload PDF (230.9 KB)
pp. 241-259

A contingent of Arabs crossed the Strait of Gibraltar1 in 711 aft er having been invited by one faction of Visigoths to overthrow Roderick (Rodrigo), the newly installed king. By 718, virtually the whole of the Iberian Peninsula was under...

read more

Section 4.3. Numbers and Quantities

pdf iconDownload PDF (200.0 KB)
pp. 260-275

Apart from zero,/em>, English numbers up to a million are of Germanic origin. Although they share a common Indo-European origin with Latin (hence Spanish) numbers, in only a relatively few cases (e.g., tres, seis) is this correspondence readily apparent. On the other hand, virtually all English words relating...

read more

Section 4.4. Time

pdf iconDownload PDF (187.8 KB)
pp. 276-289

In Latin there was a fundamental distinction between a point or fraction of time, represented by tempus (genitive temporis), and time in the continuous sense, represented by aevum—root of age (aevitas, shortened to aetas) and eternity (aeternitas). tempus also came to be applied to a “period” of...

read more

Section 4.5. Ser and Estar

pdf iconDownload PDF (225.5 KB)
pp. 290-308

Distinguishing between the uses of ser and estar is one of the greatest challenges facing the student of Spanish. The Latin origins of these verbs can provide some assistance in understanding their different uses...

read more

Section 4.6. Food and Animals

pdf iconDownload PDF (297.0 KB)
pp. 309-341

We treat these two topics together because animals frequently wind up being food, in which case they oft en (but not always) are given different names. In English, for example, fish is fish, whether dead or alive, whereas Spanish distinguishes between pez and pescado. Conversely, in English one does not generally...

read more

Section 4.7. Religion

pdf iconDownload PDF (170.6 KB)
pp. 342-355

Th e early universal language of the Christians was Greek. A Greek translation of the Old Testament1 (from the original Hebrew) had existed for several hundred years, and the New Testament itself was initially composed in Greek. Scattered Latin translations began to appear by the mid-second century—the...

read more

Section 4.8. The Family

pdf iconDownload PDF (238.1 KB)
pp. 356-376

In Latin, a famulus was a male servant or slave, and the collection of slaves of a house was known as the familia. This subsequently expanded to include people living under the same roof—wife, children, and slaves—all under the governance of the pater familias. familiar-is was the associated adjective...

read more

Section 4.9. Body, Spirit, and Mind

pdf iconDownload PDF (434.0 KB)
pp. 377-428

For the Romans, there was an essential series of contrasts or oppositions between body, spirit, and mind. The first portion of the presentation will consider these contrasts, following which there will be a detailed inventory of the physical parts of the body, public and private...

read more

Section 4.10. Romance (Languages) and Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF (341.6 KB)
pp. 429-462

Th e standard family tree of Indo-European languages shows English to be far more closely related to, say, Swedish or Icelandic than it is to any of the Romance languages, including Spanish...

Annexes: Additional Words

Annex A. Principal Exceptions to the “Simplified Gender Rule”

pdf iconDownload PDF (147.5 KB)
pp. 465-471

Annex B. 700 Not-So-Easy Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (254.2 KB)
pp. 472-494

Annex C. Verbs Ending in -cer and Related Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (179.0 KB)
pp. 495-506

Annex D. 4,500 Relatively Easy Words

pdf iconDownload PDF (826.8 KB)
pp. 507-634

Selected References

pdf iconDownload PDF (86.5 KB)
pp. 635-638


E-ISBN-13: 9780292794757
E-ISBN-10: 0292794754
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292718104
Print-ISBN-10: 0292718101

Page Count: 653
Publication Year: 2008

Research Areas

Recommend

Subject Headings

  • Spanish language -- Etymology.
  • Spanish language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- English.
  • Spanish language -- Vocabulary.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access