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Re: Some questions about Romance langs

From:Oskar Gudlaugsson <hr_oskar@...>
Date:Monday, May 21, 2001, 4:27
On Sun, 20 May 2001 20:56:55 -0400, Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>

>>What is the origin of Spanish "como"/Fr "comme", etc? In desperation, I >>might answer Latin "quo modo", but I'm all but certain that I'm wrong. I'm >>totally stumped :p > >Right as far as I am aware.
Rant alert: Oh... Thanks :) That's an interesting case of accelerated sound change (by frequency of use, I suppose). I try not to make any statements about Italian, because I don't know much about it; I could have sworn there's a "como" in Italian too... (?) Now, I know Standard Italian retains the Latin 'qu' labio-velars... so if there's a "como" in Italian (instead of, say, "quomo"), that's either a case of even-more-accelerated sound change, or simply a borrowing from French or Spanish (probably the latter, I'd guess (?)). Now there's another thing; Lat "quo modo" is an interrogative ("how?"), while Sp "como" can be either that, or an adverb ("this way", "like that"); in French however, "comme" can only have the adverbial meaning. This is what led me to reject "quo modo" in the first place - that the adverbial meaning is currently more prevalent (using only those two languages as a sample - which I allow myself because I believe Portuguese and Italian to act the same as Spanish, roughly, in this matter). So supposedly, the old "quo modo" got an additional adverbial meaning, and later the interrogative meaning was lost in French (although the succeeding form, "comment", is suspicious... what's the origin of that? Adverbial suffix -ment glued onto the "comme"?). Any of that make sense? Also: in reading Latin, I would tend to put more stress on the "modo" in "quo modo". The development to "como/comme" would indicate stress on the original "quo", however (otherwise we might have Sp "comó" and French "quemeu" (? :p) at our hands). Anybody find that the least bit strange? My ranting 5c, Óskar


Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
D Tse <exponent@...>
Mangiat <mangiat@...>R: Re: Some questions about Romance langs