e- in escape,estate and other words

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by yakor, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hello,
    I wonder which meaning does the "e-" has in the words escape, estate? Why "e-" is used here?
    Are any words that have preffix "es", also?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Both of these words come from Norman French. estate is NF estat from Latin status. escape is from NF escaper, which assumes late Latin *excappare. So, in the former the e- is euphonic; in the latter it is from the first phoneme in Latin ex-.
     
  3. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hello, Yakor. MW* tells me that the prefix "e" is derived from the prefix "ex", which comes from Latin: Etymology: Middle English, not, out, forth, away, from Old French & Latin; Old French, out, forth, away, from Latin, from ex-

    *[SIZE=-1]"e-." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.

    The [SIZE=-1]same dictionary tells me that "es" exists as a suffix, but not a prefix.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

     
  4. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    hello, I'm confused with it. Why "es", when it is "e" in "escape" and "estate"? In which words you mean "es" as the suffix?
    Also I can't get from which language these words came? (latin-->french-->english)?
     
  5. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Yakor, here is the dictionary entry for "escape": Etymology: Middle English escapen, ascapen, from Old North French escaper, ascaper, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin excappare, from Latin ex- + Late Latin cappa head covering,

    Notice that many Old French words came into English after the Norman French conquest of England. Many of these Old French words were themselves derived from Latin.

    I think you should try an etymological website or dictionary if you want some comprehensive explanation of why certain prefixes and suffixes are used in English.
     
  6. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    I just wanted to know what does the preffix "e" mean. (out?) "E-' means "out","away" according Latin?
    But which word from these ones was the first one;"ascapen", "escapen" or "escaper","ascaper"? Or maybe "eXcappare" at all?
    Maybe Middle English and Old North French take these words from the Vulgar Latin "excappare"? And why you call Latin Vulgar?
     
  7. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    The term "vulgar" in Vulgar Latin means "the language of the people," not "dirty word" as is the more common (vulgar) meaning.
     
  8. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    The Vulgar Latin word "excappare" is probably the oldest.

    The dictionary is not calling all Latin "vulgar". That's a term for the Latin spoken by people who didn't speak the classical Latin of Rome and the Italian peninsula. Latin was widespread in Europe at one time as Roman armies began conquering other people. These people would typically learn the Latin spoken by soldiers and government officials in their countries. Over time, these versions of Latin grew increasingly different from the classical Latin spoken by the great orators of Rome.

    Etymologists who contributed to the dictionary, MW, don't think there is any "maybe" about Middle English having derived the word "escapen" or "ascapen" from Old North French "escaper" or "ascaper". They do believe that English acquired those words from the French.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  9. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    There is no single answer to that. The etymology of these words is totally different. In estate, the initial e- is not a prefix morpheme and is not derived from ex-. Vulgar Latin/Proto-Romance added this initial e- in front of sc-, sp- and st- solely for ease of pronunciation, it has no meaning; and English got it from Old French and Norman French. In words derived from ex+verb (like escape), the prefix ex- was generally shortened to e-. In some words this happened already in Latin, in some words only later. In front of words starting with c-, exc- often changed to esc- rather than to the to-be-expected ec-, probably only for phonetic reasons, i.e. similarity to other words starting esc-.
     
  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Thread moved to the Etymology and History of Languages forum.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2012
  11. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    I wonder if one could propose a presumed Latin origin *Exstatu?

    The wealth and possessions that one derives "from" or "out of" one's station in life (L. Status) constitutes one's *Exstatu, which would be naturally conflated in Vulgar Latin to *Estatu.
     
  12. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    ALL words starting st- changed to est-. This is so regular, it isn't worth speculating about any other origin, unless you have evidence for it. The verb stare itself changed to estare.
     
  13. Montesacro Senior Member

    Roma
    Italiano
    Was Vulgar Latin/Proto-Romance homogeneous throughout the empire? As you certainly know Italian words don't add a euphonic e before sc-, sp-, st-, therefore I think it is reasonable to assume that these words were never pronounced with an initial e in Italy.

    Or maybe all Vulgar Latin words beginning with esc-, esp-, est-, whatever the origin of the initial e, lost it at a later stage in the dialects spoken in the italian peninsula? (Even words beginnings with the prefix ex- such as excappare or exterminare have turned into modern Italian scappare and sterminare).

    Perhaps you were specifically referring to the Vulgar Latin spoken in Gaul?
     
  14. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, the question was about English, or rather about Norman French loan words in English.
     
  15. Montesacro Senior Member

    Roma
    Italiano
    I know, but Bernd's replies look more general.
     
  16. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Of course Vulgar Latin was not homogeneous, but vowel prosthesis was indeed a general tendency. Knowledge of Modern Italian is insufficient/misleading in this case, because the standard language has eliminated most prosthetic vowels, except in some fixed expressions (e.g. per iscritto). In Old Italian prosthetic i- was more widespread (depending on phonetic context): iscudo, isposa, istretto, etc.
     
  17. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    It could (often) be a case of the division between Eastern Vulgar Latin (from which Italian evolves) and Western vulgar Latin (from which French, Spanish, Portuguese etc. evolve). In the latter the epenthetic e- before s+ consonant is rather systematic, as Berndt said to facilitate the pronunciation. WVL no longer accepted sp-, st-, sc- etc. at the beginning of words. In EVL it's not at all so regular. España, Espagne, Espanha... but Spagna. Estaño, Étain, Estanho... Stagno. Escollo, Écueil, Escolho... Scoglio....
    The "s" of the "es-" was dropped in French at a later date. So many of the French words came into English before it was dropped, and it stuck.

    Italian uses the articles lo, uno, quello and adjectives ending in -o before words in sp-, st-, sc- (instead of il, un, quel, no -o/-e) so a kind of "masked" epenthetic vowel is still present: Lo straniero, uno straniero, quello straniero, il/un/quel bello straniero (il/un /quel bel ragazzo, lo/uno/quello stupido ragazzo)...

    English at different times has taken Classical Latin words, Vulgar Latin words, Old French, Norman French, Modern French, Italian and Spanish words. It will have the form it had in the language of origin, at the time it was taken. So we have both "state" and "estate", "Stella" and "Estelle", "story" and "history", "specially" and "especially". "Escape" but not "*Echape" or "*scape" which could have been possible under different borrowing circumstances....
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  18. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    At the risk of repeating what I just wrote, the absence of support vowels in current-day standard written Italian is a relatively recent phenomenon. Ma in Ispagna son' già mille e tre!

    There is no absolutely clear boundary between Eastern and Western Romance. In many respects, Italian straddles this boundary, or exists outside of this simplistic (but sometimes convenient) binary division.
     
  19. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    You seem to have overlooked CapnPrep's comment above. Contrary to what you said, Eastern Romance did develop this prosthetic vowel. It just dropped it again afterwards. Sardic has preserved many of them, e.g. istagnu instead of stagno.
     
  20. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Just in case you aren't a Mozart fan: This is from the register aria in Don Giovanni, i.e. late 18th century.
     
  21. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Sorry. I didn't see comment before. Sometimes I work on messages for hours.
    It's totally coherent an epenthetic vowel would appear when three consonants come in a row: In (i)Spagna, per (i)scritto. (Theoretically four too: con (i)streghe). After prepositions would be one of the few contexts left "unprotected". Other environments would always have vowels.
     
  22. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Sorry, I don't understand you point. Where do you see three consonants in a row in (I)spagna, (i)stangno, (i)scudo or (i)sposa?
     
  23. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    In the examples: in Spagna (nsp), per scritto (rsc), in stagno (nst), con sposa (nsp), con streghe (nstr) would bring three or four consonants together. The "i-" would break these combinations and make the sequence easier to pronounce.

    This coming together of 3 or 4 consonants would occur mostly when prepositions ending in consonants directly precede words starting with s(C)-. In Ispagna, per iscritto, in istagno etc. seem logical to me.

    In other cases, [for example: with articles or adjectives + s(C) words (lo straniero, il bello straniero)], the "o" or "e" of the preceding word (ending in a vowel) serves the same role of pronunciation facilitator. It stops the 3 of 4 consonants coming together that would have occurred if *il straniero/ *quel bel straniero were possible.

    My point is that changing "quel, il, un, gran, bel" to "quello, lo, uno, grande, bello" is equal to adding an epethetic vowel in modern Italian.

    What would be interesting to find is if older versions of Italian had words with "i- + s(C)-" even if the preceding word ended in a vowel... The examples I've seen are with (per, in, con). Would they have also said "La bella Ispagna" or "una bella isposa ispagnola"? Or did they put the "i-" only to avoid a preceding consonant linking with s(C)-? If we had "istagno" would they have preferred "lo stagno" with the article or "il istagno" or maybe "lo istagno"? "La storia" or "La Istoria"?

    Beyond spelling conventions which are meant to standardize and bring some kind of order to what people actually say, I'm interested in the ways speakers break up these difficult consonant groups. Italian has always seemed quite flexible to me: Quest'uomo alternates with questo uomo, mangiare with mangiar, un buon amico with un buono amico. Particularly operas and poetry seem flexible. In "Ma in Ispagna son' già mille e tre!" not only do we have the i- but also the final "o" of "sono" missing. Mozart might have been done this to preserve a melody??


    Apart:
    The French often add schwas to break up consonants from coming together even when no written "e" is present: un ours(e) blanc. That's why I said "In (I)spagna" is logical. Romance languages avoid having too many consonants. The Slavs wouldn't understand this :)
    Yet, Spanish and Portuguese are rigid. They always have ES(C)- in all circumstances even with foreign loanwords (Estop) and regardless whether there is a preceding vowel or consonant or if it starts a utterance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  24. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    What makes you think "qell" is the original and "quello" a change?
     
  25. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    The example of España/Spagna is problematic because it derives from Hispania. In other words, the Spanish/French forms are more conservative; the Italian form is derived by apheresis. Da Ponte's in Ispagna is probably better analyzed as epenthetic, not etymological, but by this time epenthesis was obviously no longer productive, either (elsewhere in the same libretto we find un tal spavento, non scappar, vogliam stare, etc.)
    Yes, rarely. For example, in Jacopone da Todi (13th cent., cited by P. Bec): la mente esmarruta crepava a dolore.
     
  26. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    No, it actually is the other way around.:) "eccum + illum > eccu + illu > quello". Likewise, "illum" would give "illo".

    So, "illo" drops one syllable or another to form "il" and "lo". "Lo" would be reserved before those difficult consonant groups s(C)-, z, gn..., "Il" in other cases. "L'" before vowels.


    In this case, it turns out that it's not so different from Spanish, except "El" became universal masculine article (the) and the subject pronoun (he), but "lo" the object pronoun and the abstract article before adjectives as in "lo bueno". Same with "Aquel/aquello". There's a functional difference in this language.

    To compare:
    Vedo quello/lo sposo.... Veo a aquel/el esposo
    Vedo quella/la sposa.... Veo a aquella/la esposa
    Lo (la) vedo/ lo (la) veo

    Quello sposo / Aquel esposo (both with vowel before sp-)
     
  27. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Thanks for the info, CapnPrep. Food for thought...


    If Spanish and French were more conservative in the case of Hispania wouldn't the final result have had to be Hispaña and Hispagne? Perhaps it had become Spania in a later stage in vulgar Latin and then the epenthetic e- occured naturally as with the other words. The RAE states the origin of Historia as Historia in Classical Latin which could explain Historia and Histoire, but Estoria was quite common in Medieval Spanish too, so maybe all of them went to s(C)- in VL and the "hi" were reinstated during the Renaissance as cultisms. Including Ispania (possibly Istoria) in Italian?:confused:

     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  28. olaszinho Senior Member

    Italy
    Central Italian
    In "Ma in Ispagna son' già mille e tre!" not only do we have the i- but also the final "o" of "sono" missing. Mozart might have been done this to preserve a melody??

    I would like to add my two cents: Son and han instead of sono or hanno are quite common in contemporary Italian, especially in compound tenses: han detto or son andati, while in Ispagna or (i)sposa or (i)stagno are poetic or literary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  29. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Hispania > España looks entirely regular to me. For French, I guess the expected phonetic form would be Espaigne > Épaigne, so the actual form Espagne shows some anti-phonetic (etymological, foreign) influence, but I still see no reason to think that the initial vowel was epenthetic. Historia/histoire are learned forms.

    Update: It turns out that Spania is attested for Late Latin (and Σπανία in Greek), and then we have all the Sp- forms throughout Germanic… So it seems that both analyses may be possible for España (unless someone knows of attested aphetic forms in Ibero-Romance).
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  30. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Old French was estorie; the hi- is obviously a re-Latinization. But this doesn't mean estorie went through *storie. He find storia in Late Latin, but I this could also be a sign of exactly the opposite of what you suggest, namely that the epenthetic e-/i- was a universal phenomenon and omissions of etymological (h)i- as in storia in Latin texts written by VL speakers are hyper-corrections.

    Word pairs like these (Sardic - Italian) suggest indeed that the epenthetic i- was once regular in Eastern Romance and was lost in Italian:
    istoria - storia
    istadha - stalla
    istagnu - stagno
    istadu - stato
    istafa - staffa
    iscabessada - scapaccione
    iscadenare - scatenare

    ... and more.
     
  31. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Online etymology dictionary of the English word "story" suggests Estorie did go through the LL "storia" process.
    I am saying these words did lose the "hi". Omission of hi- due to hypercorrections because the epenthetic e- or i- was already so common so early? Why would a Latin Latin scribe do that? He would have learnt classical Latin to become a scribe....

    I'll have to decipher this a bit more tbut I think it states that Sardinian has Western Vulgar Latin influence... example plurals in s, the forms of its articles and its morphology.

    English Wikipedia is not so complete and gives this:

     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  32. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Yes, that is what I said:
    Because this is what people do who write a dead language: They make all kind of mistakes induced by there native languages. And those are very typical errors by speakers of a descendent language which has lost distinctions the original language made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  33. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Yes, absolutely. What makes you think this is a late phenomenon? There is already an example of prosthetic i- in the graffiti of Pompeii! (ISMVRNA for the city of Smyrna)
     
  34. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Ok. I stand corrected then. No, I didn't think it was a very late phenomenon, but at least after the late Latin period when Western/ Eastern had diverged and the Romance languages were developing. I thought a word like "stare" wouldn't have developed any epenthetic vowel until after Latin had ceased to be an active vernacular language. My timing must be off

    It depends on when we consider Latin to be dead and scribes to be writing in a dead language they have learned. For me I assumed it was later, 700-900 AD and not 200-400 AD. But I guess we really have to define when it actually died. Is Late Latin already so different from Classical Latin that it is considered to be dead?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  35. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Ok, that is a discussion we fortunately don't have to enter. It suffices to note that in this period (3rd-6th centuries) many of the VL changes had already occurred and that the written languages was very different from the spoken one. We know this kind of hyper-corrections from modern diglossic regions.
     
  36. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Sardic is Western Romance, not Eastern Romance.
     
  37. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    The Slavs do understand this: we have up to three versions of a preposition depending on phonetical context: in my native Russian there are с, со; к, ко; в, во; о, об, обо.
     
  38. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    These conventions of adding an epenthetic i in the circumstances described by Merquiades (separation of the final consonant of the preceding word, generally a preposition or a (demonstrative) adjective (in Italian they qualify "questo", "quello" etc. as adjectives rather than pronouns) from s+C was a generalised convention up to the middle of the 20th century. It is the norm in writing, e. g. of authors such as Elsa Morante (1912-1985). Nowadays the only remnant of this convention is the fix expression "per iscritto" where one would expect *"per scritto" - and no, it is not a form of the verb "iscrivere", where the initial vowel comes from the prefix in-.
    A Milanese friend of mine, *1946, very particular in his writing habits, still follows this convention, as well as some other like the obsolete allomorph "sur" rather than "su" before words beginning with "su".
     
  39. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)

    There are 24 columns of words beginning with st- in Meyer-Lübke, Rom. etym. Wb., and if you read through them you will be left with no doubt that in the vast majority of words Latin st- remains st- in Italian and Romanian (and also in Vegliotic, Engadine, Friaulic), but becomes est- in Gallo-Romanic and Ibero-Romanic (and also in Logudorese Sardinian). You will find a comparable situation with sp- and sc-.

    ἱστορία > historia > storia, histoire is not a good example for this, first because of the hi- of the etymon, and second because this is in any case not an inherited word but a cultural Latinism.

    In da Ponte’s “ma in Ispagna” the I- is euphonic after the consonant of “in”. Prothetic i- is indeed common in Italian, but if you look at the Romance evidence as a whole you will see that it is a secondary development.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  40. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Where did you get this from? Ethnologue e.g. classifies Sardic and Corsican as a separate family on Romance languages, but I never heard of it being classified as Western.
     
  41. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    This map suggests it's intermediary between Western and Eastern with some characteristics of both.: probably the plurals, articles and verbs being more western. As for the prominent role of systematic i- + s(C)- we can only speculate at this point.
     
  42. olaszinho Senior Member

    Italy
    Central Italian
    :thumbsup:
    I have always read that Sardinian languages are neither Western nor Eastern, linguistically speaking. By the way, only Tuscan and some other central and Southern dialects/languages of Italy can be classified as Eastern according to most experts in Romance languages. Other linguists refuse such a rigid distinction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  43. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    I admit that my intervention was a little bit hasty and I have to retract the part about Western Romance. However, I don't retract the part about Sardinian not being Eastern Romance, since its many consonantic endings are definitely a feature of the Western Romance languages.
    It was some years ago I read about Sardinian being Western Romance, so I cannot tell you now where exactly I read this.
     
  44. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    I'm looking, but I'm not seeing. Prothesis is "secondary" in Italian in the sense that it didn't catch on and is a vestigial phenomenon in the modern standard language, but it is not chronologically secondary. On the contrary, it appeared earlier in the Italian peninsula before spreading north and west, according to Loporcaro:
     
  45. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, but you need to distinguish between i- prothesis, which is mainly restricted to Italian, and e- prothesis, which is a shared innovation in Gallo-Romanic and Ibero-Romanic.
     
  46. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    I cited a Tuscan form in e- above, and a Vulgar Latin form in i-. Changes between i and e are very common in Romance, in both directions. ĭ > e is one of the basic vowel correspondences in Romance, and e commonly raises to i in protonic syllables in Italian (re- > ri-, de- > di-, finestra, dicembre, etc.). So I still don't see why i-prothesis has to be a separate development.

    P. Bec (It. VII, 9): "Le lat. vulg. a développé d'assez bonne heure une voy. adventice, dite prothétique, devant le groupe initial s+cons. (ou z des mots grecs) […] Cette voy. est d'abord i, puis e."
     
  47. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    No one has replied to my point about Romanian, Vegliotic etc.
     
  48. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    What is there to reply to? No one disputes that Latin sC- generally corresponds to sC- in modern Italian and in Romance varieties to the east. The question is whether this has always been the case, or if these languages had prothetic vowels at some point their (possibly pre-literary) evolution and later lost them. I doubt that you can find a conclusive answer for Romanian, Vegliot, etc., and certainly not just by looking in Meyer-Lübke.
     
  49. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Agreed.

    that means: none of the "Eastern" Romance languages had prothetic vowels prior to their splitting off into separate languages; the i- in Italian would then be an inner-Italian development,

    in other words: Italian, Romanian, etc. had inherited prothetic vowels and then lost them independently of each other after they had split into separate languages.
    Is that really a likely scenario?
     
  50. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Here's another scenario: Italian inherited prothetic vowels and later eliminated them, while Romanian maybe never had them. Why do you assume that Italian and Romanian must have evolved in parallel?
     

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