Spanish: El Cid

Qcumber

Senior Member
UK English
The Spanish hero Rodrigo Díaz de Bivár (1043-1099)] is better known as El Cid Campeador shortened into El Cid.

It is said that the title Cid was given to him by Arabs in whose language the term is sayyid سيد “lord, sir” (Kazimirski 1:1162).

Span. El Cid is not a transcription of Arab. as-sayyid السيد “the lord”, but a transliteration as proved by the letter <L>.

I do not understand why the transliterator used the letter <C> for the Arabic letter <
س
>/
s/ instead of the letter <S>.
I have the impression he had the letter <ص> [emphatic /s/] in mind.

Could it be that the Arabic term was not sayyid سيد “lord, sir”, but Sayyaad صياد “lion” (Kaz. 1:1389), pronounced Siyyiid due to the deflection toward /i/ - 2imaala(t) امالة - and that a confusion ensued?
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I don't know all the details, but it seems that in medieval times the Arabic "s" usually transformed into "c/ç" in the Iberian languages.
     

    hosec

    Senior Member
    español
    Hola:

    Como bien te comenta Outsider, en castellano medieval, era Çid (no Cid), con una pronunciación más o menos similar a /ds/. Éste es el verso 1000 del Cantar:
    Todos son adobados, quando mio Çid esto hobo fablado.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Perdón, pero yo no diría que no era Cid. Creo que la ortografía era variable. De todas maneras, la "c" antes de "i" se leía como una "ç".
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thanks a lot for your answers. Sorry. There was a mistake and a sentence was missing in my post. I have corrected it. I'll answer you tomorrow.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I'd like to add that the word sayyid سيد is pronounced in some colloquial forms as sid (with a longue "i") and it means master or lord. I think it makes more sense that the word's derived from sayyid/sid an not from Sayyad صياد .

    As for the transliteration being al-cid instead of as-sid, I think it may be explained this way: the word sayyid/sid سيد was borrowed into Spanish without the article "al" ال , so it was the form sayyid/sid سيد that was borrowed and not as-sayyid/as-sid السيد . And then, the Spanish language added its own article which happens to be "al" as well :)

    Outsider, does the "ç" sound like an "s" or is it different?
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In medieval Iberian languages, "s(s)" and "c/ç" sounded different. Originally, "c/ç" was an affricate [ts] and in northern Iberia at least "s(s)" was probably apical, [s] (see this discussion for the meaning of this term). Later, "c/ç" was de-affricated to [s] in southern Iberia, but remained non-apical.

    Well, I'm quoting from memory. It was more or less like this. Wikipedia's article on the Ceceo talks about this.
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    As for the transliteration being al-cid instead of as-sid, I think it may be explained this way: the word sayyid/sid سيد was borrowed into Spanish without the article "al" ال , so it was the form sayyid/sid سيد that was borrowed and not as-sayyid/as-sid السيد .
    Yes, Cherine, yours is the best explanation for El in El Cid.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    I don't know Arabian, but my dictionary offers another explanation of this name:
    Sid < sidi (my lord).
    At least last -i, as far as I know, really means Semitic 1st Person Singular Possessive.
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    As regards old Spanish spelling, I have the facsimile of

    Pedro DE SAN BUENAVENTURA (1613)
    Vocabulario de la lengua tagala

    and I can tell you that the C cedilla <ç> is almost systematically used before <e> and <i>, and before <a>, <u> and <o> when <c> is not sounded [k] - is sounded [s] ?
    e.g.
    ça: cabeça (p. 129)
    çe: deçender (p. 217)
    çi: disçipulo (p. 256), preçio (p. 493)
    ço : coraçon (p. 188)
    çu: açucar (p. 23)

    There are occurrences of <ce> and <ci>, but they seem to be due to negligence.
    e.g.
    çe: haçer (p. 341), hacer (p. 451) in "no tienes ofrenda que hacerme?" = Don't you have a present for me?
    çi: deçir (p. 217), decir (p. 460) in "tengo vna palabra q~ decirte" = I have something to tell you.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Be that as it may, the graphemes "ce", "çe" and "ci", "çi" were phonetically equivalent, as you example clearly shows. And since there was no standard orthography at the time of El Cid, it is not wrong to spell it with "c" rather than "ç".
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Be that as it may, the graphemes "ce", "çe" and "ci", "çi" were phonetically equivalent, as you example clearly shows. And since there was no standard orthography at the time of El Cid, it is not wrong to spell it with "c" rather than "ç".
    Here lies the problem. Why pick <c> / <ç>, and not <s> ?
    They must have had some reason.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I don't know Arabian, but my dictionary offers another explanation of this name:
    Sid < sidi (my lord).
    At least last -i, as far as I know, really means Semitic 1st Person Singular Possessive.
    Yes, the -i (long) is the suffix for the first person singular possessive in both Arabic and Hebrew (I wouldn't be so sure about the other Semitic languages), so your dictionary agrees with the others' opinions: It's derived from the word siid (dialect word of MSA sayyid), plus the Article al-

    Here lies the problem. Why pick <c> / <ç>, and not <s> ?
    They must have had some reason.
    This is just a wild guess, most likely a wrong one: Could the ç be a misreading of the actual s in handwriting? If they wrote sa instead of ca, they could have read it as a c with a cedilla. ;)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    No, Whodunit. Arabic "s" normally became "c/ç" (or "z") in Iberian languages. I have read this from Portuguese philologists, and there are plenty of other examples, such as Sp. alcázar / Port. alcácer from Arab. al-qasr.
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No, Whodunit. Arabic "s" normally became "c/ç" (or "z") in Iberian languages. I have read this from Portuguese philologists, and there are plenty of other examples, such as Sp. alcázar / Port. alcácer from Arab. al-qasr.
    As regards the treatment of the two Arabic /s/s in Spanish borrowings, I have detected three cases.

    1) Arab. ص (emphatic /s/) > Medieval Span. <ç> [ts] > Modern Span. <z> [θ].
    e.g. al-qaSr القصر “the castle” > Alcaçar > Alcázar

    2) Arab. س (non-emphatic /s/) > Span. <s>
    e.g. sulTaan سلطان “sultan” > sultán

    3) Arab. س (non-emphatic /s/) > Medieval Span. <ç> [ts] > Modern Span. <z> [θ].
    e.g. Tassa(t) طسة “teacup” > taza
    siid سيد“lord, sir” > El Çid > El Cid

    The problem is how to account for (3).

     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    The topic of this thread is the name El Cid. Since it is a possible loan from Arabic, we can discuss the transcription of the Arabic letters, as long as they apply to the word/name El Cid.
    Any other words (as e.g. sultan) can be discussed in another thread (which can be linked to this one).

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    Moderator EHL
     

    Qcumber

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Let's continue that discussion elsewhere.
    The advantage of this section (Etymology) is that we can mention several languages. I remember having some of my posts containing important comparative items deleted in the French-French folder because of these very items. It also happened to me for the same reason in another folder (I have forgotten which one). So I'd rather continue here. Now if forumites feel uncomfortable, let's close it. Thanks a lot for the informative answers.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top