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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

344                The Loom of Language
large admixture of non-Latin words. Germanic tabes left fewer traces
than in French, and these few connected with war and feudal institu-
tions Many hundreds of Arabic words bear testimony to what Spain
owes to a civilization vastly superior to its Catholic successor. The
sample printed below shows how Arabic infected all levels of the
Spanish vocabulary The ubiquitous al- of algebra is the Arabic article
glued on to its noun
ARABIC                      SPANISH
poor, paltry              misqin                 mezqumo
water-mill                as-samyat             acena
mayor                      al-qadi                 alcalde
constable                  al-wazir               alguacil
suburb                     ar-rabad               airabal
dram                       al-ballaeat             albanal
cistern                     al-zubb                aljibe
coffin                       at-tabut               ataud
young corn               al-qasil                alcacel
jessamine                 yasamin               jaznun
alcohol                     al-quhl                 alcohol
lute                         al-'ud                  laud
None the less, the Spanish vocabulary is essentially a basic stratum
of Vulgar with a superstructure of Classical Latin* The same is true of
Portuguese, which has fewer Basque and more French loan-words.
Otherwise the verbal stock-in-trade of the two Iberian dialects is
similar. Needless to say, a few very common things have different
Spanish and Portuguese, as some common things have different Scots,
American^ and English namesa e g..
SPANISH                   PORTUGUESE
child                       mno                     cnan<?a, memno (a)
dog                         perro                    cao
knee                        rodilla                  joelho
window                    ventana                janela
street                       calle                    rua
hat                          sombrero              chapeu
knife                        cuchiilo                faca
It is not a hard task for anyone who has mastered one of the two
official Iberian languages, and has learned the tricks of identifying
cognate though apparently dissimilar words, to read a newspaper
printed in the other one A similar statement would not hold good for