Español

francisgranada

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hi everybody,

It´s quite evident that the word "español" etymologically comes from the (medieval) Latin "hispaniolus". However it's a bit less clear to me, why not "españolo" or "españuelo".

Well, according to DRAE the Spanish "español" comes from the Occitan "espaignol" which could explain the lack of the final -o. Neverthless in Italian we have "spagnolo", historically even "spagnuolo", perhaps also "ispagnolo" or "ispagnuolo".

Does the Italian "spagnolo" and variants come also from the Occitan? Or in general, what is the history of this term ? ...

Thanks in advance
 
  • Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Hi everybody,

    It´s quite evident that the word "español" etymologically comes from the (medieval) Latin "hispaniolus". However it's a bit less clear to me, why not "españolo" or "españuelo".

    Well, according to DRAE the Spanish "español" comes from the Occitan "espaignol" which could explain the lack of the final -o. Neverthless in Italian we have "spagnolo", historically even "spagnuolo", perhaps also "ispagnolo" or "ispagnuolo".

    Does the Italian "spagnolo" and variants come also from the Occitan? Or in general, what is the history of this term ? ...

    Thanks in advance
    First, it is not that clear that español comes from hispaniolus, because the logical derivation in Latin of hispanus would have been hispanulus. The fact that the word hispaniolus is attested does not mean much, because Latinizations from Romance words were not rare.

    The logical derivation in Spanish would have been españuelo indeed.

    There seems to have been much debate about it, including a possible origin in Italian, as you said. But the theory that seems more accepted, because of research on the dates of documents and other reasons, is that the word has its origin in Occitan, more likely in Languedocian-Provençal, from which it would have easily spread into the neighbour Catalan and Aragonese, and more progressively into Italian and French, and into Castilian/Spanish itself (St James' Way).

    Most seem to accept, in any case, that it's an exonym. As Wiktionary says, the peoples in northern Iberia at the time called themselves either by their own names or by the term Christiani, in opposition to the Muslims occupying much of the Peninsula.

    Wiktionary also discusses this.
    I tend to concur with the idea that there was only an original Vulgar Latin *Hispanionem/Spanione, from which Occitan would have derived both espaignon (Old Spanish españón, Old Catalan espanyó) and, by dissimilation, espaignol, used originally for anyone coming from beyond the Pyrenees (Roman Hispania). In other words, an Iberian, whether they were from the Kingdom of Asturias (Portugal and Castile included) or from any of the territories in the Iberian border (in Latin, Marca Hispanica), i.e., Navarre, Aragon and the Catalan counties.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... it is not that clear that español comes from hispaniolus, because the logical derivation in Latin of hispanus would have been hispanulus. The fact that the word hispaniolus is attested does not mean much, because Latinizations from Romance words were not rare.
    Ok, but the fact that in the Occitan (Languedocian-Provençal) word "espaignol" we have the vowel -i- and -gn-, seems to suggest that this word does not come directly fro hispanus, but rather from a supposed *hispanius. Is such word attested?

    As to *hispanionem (> españón, etc ...), it only confirms the existence of the form with a thematic -i- (*hispanius), i.e. it suggests that the supposed Latin (Prae-Romance) form of this adjective should have been *hispanio, *hispanionis (like e.g. legio, legionis). Does it make sense? ...
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Ok, but the fact that in the Occitan (Languedocian-Provençal) word "espaignol" we have the vowel -i- and -gn-, seems to suggest that this word does not come directly fro hispanus, but rather from a supposed *hispanius. Is such word attested?

    As to *hispanionem (> españón, etc ...), it only confirms the existence of the form with a thematic -i- (*hispanius), i.e. it suggests that the supposed Latin (Prae-Romance) form of this adjective should have been *hispanio, *hispanionis (like e.g. legio, legionis). Does it make sense? ...
    From what I know, these words are not attested at all, they are just logical reconstructions. In other words, espaignon, españón and espanyó point quite clearly to a *Hispaniōne/*Spaniōne.

    One might wonder if the word did already exist at all before their use in Occitan. Christian Iberians at the time didn't use it and apparently didn't need one because 1) there was not a feeling of political unity among the territories, 2) Spania (from the Roman province Hispania) was much used as today the term Iberia is and usually referred then to the part under Muslim rule (the largest by far). This means that there was more need for peoples beyond the Pyrenees -in contact with, but outside of, the Peninsula-, such as the Occitans, to create a term to name those people from beyond the mountains. And they could simply have added a typical suffix like -on or -ol to an already Romance term, Espaigna/Spaigna, derived from the Latin one Hispania/Spania, as this term is indeed very old. That would mean not having to think that a word like Hispanione ever existed. Simply Hispania>Spania>Espaigna (+ -on/-ol, suffix applied to other demonyms) > espaignon/espaignol.
     
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