Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Biffo, Aug 8, 2013.
¿por qué se escribe 'extranjero' y no 'extrangero'?
My theory is that it is thanks to Wellington. When he drove Napoleon's brother Joseph out of Spain in 1813 all the "afrancesados" (collaborationists) were in danger of reprisals.
In order to seem more "Spanish" and less "French" they started writing French words such as "étranger", "garage", "reportage", "equipage", or "bagage" with a J instead of a G.
It's probably for reasons of consistency. For example, "bagé," phonetically, would be a correct spelling of the 1ª persona singular (yo) pretérito indicativo, of bajar, but "bagó" wouldn't be phonetically correct for the 3ª persona singular (él/ella/usted) pretérito indicativo (bajó). Thus bajé / bajó, since the "j" isn't affected by the following vowel.
Consistente con las fechas de los hechos que menciona aztlaniano, comento que desde la primera edición en 1732 hasta la de 1822, la palabra figuró con ge. La de 1832 es la primera en que aparece con jota. Biffo estaría contento si la idea que años atrás lanzó García Márquez hubiera tenido mejor acogida (dijo, mitad en serio, mitad en broma, algo así como que había que firmar un tratado de paz entre la jota y la ge, entre otras cosas).
Consistency would require spelling all verbs now ending in ger or gir with a J.
Instead, we have coge, corrige etc. (indicative) and coja, corrija, etc. (subjuntive).
There was a Nobel prize winner who did this ... Juan Ramón something, ah, Giménez, J.R. Giménez.
Un ejemplo que es como anillo al dedo para lo que estamos hablando.
As Adolfo has pointed out, Juan Ramón's surname was, of course Jiménez,. Calling him "Giménez" was my little joke.
He did, in fact, use a J instead of the G followed by an I or an E:
... otro de sus éxitos fue Poemas májicos y dolientes, extravagante título en el que se destaca la forma personal de escribir de Juan Ramón, que siempre escribía «j» en vez de «g» antes de «e, i».7
Tiene que ver con historia de la lengua española. El uso poco a poco fue imponiendo la forma con jota.
Thanks everyone. It seems it wasn't such a crazy question after all.
I'm interested in the historical aspect. For example, if Wellington was involved, does that mean that the original editions of Don Quixote De la Mancha (150 years or so earlier I believe) would exhibit the old spelling?
I don't know if current editions of Cervantes' work preserve the old spelling or have been updated.
Me lo imaginé, sí, que era un error jocoso de tu parte.
Creo que la mayoría de las familias con ese apellido aquí en mi país son con ge. Supongo que lo mismo ocurrirá en España.
The current practice is to modernize the spelling to a large extent — the very title of the book has changed from Quixote to Quijote — but editors have to make a lot of small decisions in specific cases. You can read the relevant discussion in the introduction to the 1998 critical edition (Francisco Rico) here, and on the same website you can find the full digitized text of that edition.
For a searchable facsimile of the first edition (and access to scans of many subsequent editions), see the BNE.
As far as I can tell, extranjero does not appear in Don Quijote (with ‹j› or ‹g›), but for example coraje occurs 3 times, and it already has a ‹j› in the 1605 edition. According to the Corpus del Español, the spelling coraje had already overtaken corage by the 1500s. If this is correct, then Wellington's involvement in this particular change must have been rather limited… But see also the Google N-gram results, which show the two forms diverging only from the mid-19th century.
Many thanks for that. That's a very valuable collection of links that I didn't know about.
I searched for 'extrangero' in the BNE catálogo and found plenty of examples.
Bajar retains the j because it comes from baxar (x=sh in the world "english").
The words which have "je" or "ji" were mostly pronounced like french j. That's the case to this day with mujer, mensaje (mesaje, to be exact in our dialect), etc. in Djudeospanish. The others with "je" or "ji" like bajo (abasho) had a sound like Portuguese X. Tú dejes is tu deshes in JS. Words which have "ge" or "gi" we write and spell: djente, djeografiya, etc.
And how do you say and write extranjero in Judeo-Spanish?
The Spanish extranjero comes from the old Frech estrangier (according to DRAE and other sources). As far as I know, most of the words in -je (coraje, mensaje ...) in Spanish are also of French/Provencal ... origin. So a possible explanation could be that in case of extranjero there is no direct Latin "precedent" that would motivate or "justify" the etymological usage of g instead of j (according to the "philosophy" of the actual Spanish orthography).
A personal observation: In Italian we have straniero (from Lat. extraneus). So if the Spanish extranjero were of direct Latin origin, I should expect something like *estrañero/extrañero and not extranjero (see also extraño < extraneus).
Maybe a bit OT, but I have a question: why estrangier and not *estranier in old French?
On the other hand, Spanish did go back to Latin to restore the "x"… But you're right, there is no "g" in this word in Latin. Because…
Fortition of yod after a consonant produced many instances of [dʒ] in Old French. For example lineus > linge, laneus > lange, vindemia > vendange. But this context could also give rise to [ɲ], as you suggest, and we do also find the form estraignier (cf. montanea > montagne, campania > champagne, etc.).
In Romance languages you often find yods that have been intensified/reinforced/palatalized? to /ʒ/: aid/aiuto/ayuda/ajuda/ajutor/ajut, planear/planejar. A recent example is all /j/ have become /ʒ/ in Spanish Rioplate dialect.
Straniero - /es-tran-je-ro/ - /es - tran -ʒe -(ro) - /es - tran -ʃe -ro/ - /es -tran -xe -ro/ - extranjero could be possible.
I think there is no real reason for "j" instead of "g". Having both the same sound, the spelling of many words before -e was random for a long time with much hesitation. That is true even nowadays with several words: (garaje/garage). I'm sure in literature you could find extranjero/ extrangero/ estrangero/ estranjero alternating. Tradition has set it with the -je now.
Yes and this seems to confirm my idea in the sense that g has been "stabilized" in the Spanish orthography in cases when it corresponded to the original Latin g, otherwise j is used. That's why we write gente, corregir, prójimo, ajeno, Jérez, etc .. and not *jente, *correjir, *prógimo, *ageno, *Gérez etc ... In other words, the choice between g and j is not arbitrary.
The same is valid for x, it was "restored" according to the Latin usage/pronounciation (perhaps the intention was to distinguish es<s [estar, esperar ...] from es<ex [extraño, extraer ...], but this is another question).
(This doesn't mean, of course, that there are no "exceptions" or inconsitencies ...)
Why do you give straniero as the initial form?
For example ligero, from French léger (< Latin leviarius), and sargente/sargento/sergenta from French (< Latin servientem). The French words have a non-etymological "g" for the same reason as étranger, but in these cases Spanish kept it instead of changing it to "j". Also ginebra (Fr. genièvre < *ieniperus class. iuniperus), guardamangier (Fr. garde-manger < manducare), menge (Cat./Occ. metge < medicus).
Yes, but I think this is understandable. Your examples are words that could be seen/perceived simply as loanwords without no evident/clear connection with any Spanish word of direct Latin origin that could "spontaneousely" serve as a kind of "reference" for orthographical purposes. It's also important when these words entered in Spanish.
However, my formulation (#19)
is, of course, not precise .
No, I don't think straniero is the original form, but it's the only form we have available prior to or without the /ʒ/ addition (extranjero, étranger, estranger, estrangeiro, stranger). I don't think extraneus is the original form because we lack the -er/-ero/-erus suffix. Perhaps there was an *extranerus form in Vulgar Latin from which they all arose.
Perhaps *extranearius (??) or something similar could be the "proto-form" ...
But I want to say/ask something else. It is true, of course, that yod produces [dʒ] in many cases (including the examples of CapnPrep #17 or e.g. the Italian maggiore, Catalan jo, French je etc ...). However, I wonder if it is typical for the combination n+yod to become [ndʒ] and later [nx] in Spanish.
(at the moment no examples come to my mind except of loanwords ...)
No, I don't think so, not with n+yod in direct evolution, in most other cases yes. The normal result is ñ: Tinea > tiña, vinea > viña, balneum > baño, cuneus > cuño
A home grown extranjero based on a root word with the same origin would have given something like extrañero (from extraño). The traditional word is forastero.
Ok, my question was motivated by this:
In *extranerus I miss the yod after the consonant "n".
Ok, I see. I thought the yod would have arisen from the diphthonging of the open /ɛ/ in *extranerus which the Italian straniero would seem to indicate. The yod making /es tran je ro/ would have strengthened in Gallo-Roman to become /ʒe/. This would have been the form when it was taken by Spanish. It would have been needed to be introduced quite early for the /es - tran -ʒe -ro - /es - tran -ʃe -ro/ - /es -tran -xe -ro/ evolution to be possible.
It would have to be *extranĕrius or *extranĕreus for this to work (so that the stress falls in the right place), but I don't believe there is a Latin suffixation pattern that would give you either of those forms starting from extraneus.
francisgranada's *extranearius is the better guess (cf. balneum → balnearius, caseus → casearius); see for example Piangiani for Italian straniero (where the form of the suffix may show French or other Gallo-Romance influence).
We also have—at least in Mexico, "fuereño". It's pronounced with an efe or with a more vernacular pronunciation using a jota at the beginning of the word.
Traditionally Hebrew script was used. Some words changed spelling, I can only tell you that according to rules that I know, and to possible variants that I spelled on Google, there are: איטראנז'ירו and איסטראנז'ירו.
In writing with Hebrew letters Judeospanish didn't differentiate e or i (while it did in pronunciation, as two separate vowel).
In romanized writing it would be estranjero, or etranjero, with j as in french.
Even before searching I had a guess that you wouldn't find "ex" as it doesn't sound native in my ears (I understand from my grandparent's house, not fully native though). My guess would be estra or etra - I have an intuition that "etra" is an "uneducated" pronounciation of recent decades, especially because it's in an unaccented syllable.
Catalan is consistent: j before a, o, u and g before e, i.
You could say something similar for French but, there are many contexts in both languages where you find "je". For example (in Catalan):
jac-/jact-: projecte, objectiu, adjectival, conjectura, trajectòria, ejecció, jeure, ajeure, …
hiero-: jerarquia, jerarquitzar, jeroglífic, …
Jesu: Jesús, jesuïta, … (similarly: jerònim, jeremiada, jerosolimità, …)
maior: majestat, majestuós
The sequence "ji" is indeed marginal in Catalan and French.
There's jaure & ajaure in Valencian...
However, If I think about it, the rule I was speaking about is valid first & foremost for nominal endings (including adjectives) & conjugation patterns.
Separate names with a comma.