Londra, Londres - the origin of the /r/ sound in Romance for "London"

AndrasBP

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello,

Is there an explanation for the /r/ in Londra and Londres?
In Roman times, London was Londinium, in Welsh (descendant of Brythonic Celtic) it's Llundain.
 
  • Riverplatense

    Senior Member
    German — Austria
    Hello,

    it might be a similar development to Span. HOMINEMhombre, with the intermediate step *HOMNE (after syncope), or corresponding FEMINAMhembra. So it would be a haplologic epenthesis.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    I guess that it came to Spanish and Portuguese via French, judging by the final -es which is beyond usual among French placenames, as well as by geographic and historical ties.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    I'd like to point out that the /r/ appears just in the name because the people of Londres are londinenses.
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Possibly a process to make the name female, according to a pattern in medieval latin and greek toponyms (suffixes -ra, -la, -na, -sa, also in plural).
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Thank you, I think it makes sense now.
    So, something along the lines of Londina > Londna > Londra?
    I guess that it came to Spanish and Portuguese via French, judging by the final -es which is beyond usual among French placenames, as well as by geographic and historical ties.
    Yes, but it would have been Londinia (accusative plural) > Londnia
    I suppose -a would have become -e in old French, hence Londnie or Londrie, but where would the s have come from? Hypercorrection by learnèd clergy to reinstate the Latin plural? All final -s have been silent since the thirteenth century so adding -s would not have made any effect on the pronunciation.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    All final -s have been silent since the thirteenth century so adding -s would not have made any effect on the pronunciation.
    Precisely because of that. There are many toponyms in Occitania which didn't have an s originally but it was added in the French adaptations: Tarbes, Lourdes, Arles, Antibes, etc.
     
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