Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   


From:Carlos Thompson <cthompso@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 16, 1999, 20:44
Some languages like Spanish has something called la Real Academia de la
Lengua Espa=F1ola, which tell us what is correct and what is not.  One of
the things they say is not correct is borrowing a word if there is
already a word in the language with that meaning.

The other thing la Academia does is to accept a coined/borrowed word if
there is enough people using it so there is not longer an incorrection
but an evolution of the language... (or accept words even if there is
not enough use already but there is a valid purpuse, like the coining of
"millardo" for 1 000 000 000).

But things change quickly and waiting for la Academia to accept any new
concept is delaying, so usually people just borrow.  For this or some
other reason, borrowings are not usually the same of the primary
language: "hardware" /'harGwar/, for example does only apply in Spanish
to the physical part of computing.

A recent borrowing: "chat", including verb: "chatear"  (pronounceable
/tSate'ar/ or /tSa'tjar/) shows this narrowing of meaning.   _Chat_,
_chatear_ then means: interactive written conversation throw electronic
media.  This means that _un chat_ is _una charla_ but _charlar_ and
_charla_ are not exactly what you mean with _chatear_, _chat_ (in

Another example is _l=EDder_ from English _leader_.  _L=EDder_ is not any=
who leads but has a little narrowed meaning... and even someone can be
called _l=EDder_ even if s/he doesn't actually lead but has the attitude
to do so.

This lets me thing that when borrowing (from nat to nat, nat to con or
con to con) usually the meaning is not the same but either a narrowing
of the meaning (filling some gap) or even displacing the meaning.

Just thoughts

Carlos Eugenio Thompson Pinz=F3n
  ITEC-Telecom, Colombia

Di mi beh em je lok mi ju je kom lon vu am je