Spanish words of type homBRe & hemBRa

MarX

Banned
Indonesian, Indonesia
Hola!

Are there other Spanish words of the type hombre and hembra? So where a -br- is inserted where it historically didn't exist?

Gracias!


MarX
 
  • Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Are there other Spanish words of the type hombre and hembra? So where a -br- is inserted where it historically didn't exist?
    Yes, the epenthesis /mr/ > /mbr/ was a regular sound change, which is also visible in words such as nombre (< nomine), lumbre (< lumine), hombro (< humeru), or sembrar (< seminare).

    Such words are not as common as they might have been because in many (most?) cases, the /mr/ clusters initially came by dissimilation from /mn/. For example, the development of hombre went roughly as this: homine > omine > omne > omre > ombre (with the initial h reintroduced later by spelling conventions, of course). However, there was an earlier sound change that turned the /mn/ clusters into /ɲ/ (the sound that's spelled ñ), as in e.g. otoño (< autumnus) or dueño (< dominus). Thus, the only /mn/ clusters that were still present by the time the /mn/ > /mr/ > /mbr/ change happened were the ones that came into being after the /mn/ > /ɲ/ change had already finished. I don't know how many other /mr/ clusters existed at the time when the /mr/ > /mbr/ epenthesis took place (the one in hombro seems to be an example), but most of the words of this sort I can think of trace ther -mbr- back to the Latin -min-, as in the above examples.

    If you're interested in the historical development of Spanish phonology, this thesis has a wealth of information:
    http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/available/etd-04102009-31295001770667/unrestricted/31295001770667.pdf
     
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    MarX

    Banned
    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Thanks a lot Athaulf!

    Two other words came into my mind: nombre and hambre. They seem to originate from /mn/ > /mr/ > /mbr/ too.

    And thank you for the link!

    Salam
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Two other words came into my mind: nombre and hambre. They seem to originate from /mn/ > /mr/ > /mbr/ too.
    Yes, according to the RAE dictionary, hambre is from famen, like English famine. It's almost perfectly analogous to hembra in its development.

    One thing that puzzles me slightly is why dominus (or rather whatever it was in late Vulgar Latin) had already lost the vowel between /m/ and /n/ by the time the /mn/ > /ɲ/ change was taking place, so it ended up as dueño, whereas *(h)omine obviously didn't (or otherwise it would have ended up as *(h)oñe instead of hombre).
     
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    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    One thing that puzzles me slightly is why dominus (or rather whatever it was in late Vulgar Latin) had already lost the vowel between /m/ and /n/ by the time the /mn/ > //ɲ/ change was taking place, so it ended up as dueño, whereas *(h)omine obviously didn't (or otherwise it would have ended up as *(h)oñe instead of hombre).
    Have a look at this (p. 406-407).
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Have a look at this (p. 406-407).
    Thanks for the link!

    Another possibility that occurred to me is that words like dominus, which are used in formal address, may undergo irregular loss of phonemes because of frequent invocation (like for example vuestra merced got gradually shortened to usted, which obviously doesn't follow from regular sound changes). I wonder if it's possible that the /i/ in dominus was lost earlier than vowels in the analogous -mVn- sequences in other words for this reason. This is just my amateurish speculation, though.
     

    Erick404

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Yes, according to the RAE dictionary, hambre is from famen, like English famine. It's almost perfectly analogous to hembra in its development.

    One thing that puzzles me slightly is why dominus (or rather whatever it was in late Vulgar Latin) had already lost the vowel between /m/ and /n/ by the time the /mn/ > /ɲ/ change was taking place, so it ended up as dueño, whereas *(h)omine obviously didn't (or otherwise it would have ended up as *(h)oñe instead of hombre).
    Wouldnt it be because dominus had an o between two clearly pronounced consonants, while homine lost its initial h very early?
     

    zouzounaki

    Senior Member
    español
    No sé si te sirve, pero en unas zonas de España, al fuego se le llama "lumbre" que, sin duda, viene de lumen, luminis, luz.

    Zouzou
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    ...omne > omre > ombre
    Are you sure those are two distinct steps?

    In my understanding (which may be wrong) the shift is caused by a reduction of [n] to a tap and the quick succession of [mr] causes a plosive release producing a /b/ as an artifact.
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Are you sure those are two distinct steps?

    In my understanding (which may be wrong) the shift is caused by a reduction of [n] to a tap and the quick succession of [mr] causes a plosive release producing a /b/ as an artifact.
    Yes, but the /b/ is no longer an artifact. I'd say it's distinct stages because when it was pronounced [omre], there may have occasionally been an artifactual but perhaps not always. However at some point this became the standard pronunciation, and then we arrive at the [ombre] stage. Perhaps: omne > (omre,ombre) > ombre.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Yes, but the /b/ is no longer an artifact. I'd say it's distinct stages because when it was pronounced [omre], there may have occasionally been an artifactual but perhaps not always. However at some point this became the standard pronunciation, and then we arrive at the [ombre] stage. Perhaps: omne > (omre,ombre) > ombre.
    Possible; so it might be a second step but a practically inevitable one. To my knowledge, the tendency to insert /b/ between /m/ and /r/ is extremely strong in Spanish. I was just to days ago told of a Mexican boy whom his parents gave the Hungarian name "Imre" and he was consistently called "Imbre" by other children.

    This tendency might be due to the rhythm of Spanish which tends to be spoken as sequences of fast "bursts" of phonemes.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Pues en este caso qué proceso podría resultar en la conversión del latin multitudo al muchedumbre? Lo que habia escribido más arriba o algo otro?
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    Pues en este caso qué proceso podría resultar en la conversión del latin multitudo al muchedumbre? Lo que habia escribido más arriba o algo otro?
    Dinji mentioned costumbre above, which in principle goes back to co(n)suetudo, -inis, but the DRAE mentions an intermediate VL form *cosuetumen. So it would be the same process as for hombre: cosuetuminem > costumbre. However, -dumbre also became a productive suffix in Spanish corresponding to Latin -tudo, so I suppose that derived forms like muchedumbre, certidumbre, podredumbre, etc. could also be analogical formations (without requiring the hypothesis of a vulgar form *multitumen, *certitumen, etc. in every case).
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Thanks for the link!

    Another possibility that occurred to me is that words like dominus, which are used in formal address, may undergo irregular loss of phonemes because of frequent invocation (like for example vuestra merced got gradually shortened to usted, which obviously doesn't follow from regular sound changes). I wonder if it's possible that the /i/ in dominus was lost earlier than vowels in the analogous -mVn- sequences in other words for this reason. This is just my amateurish speculation, though.
    Wouldnt it be because dominus had an o between two clearly pronounced consonants, while homine lost its initial h very early?
    In the case of dominus, there is second parallel evolution in cases when it was used as a title with a name: Domine Antoniu became Don Antonio. It is an irregular contraction and resembles the case of vuestra merced becoming usted. When Domine was followed by a name it was logical the tonic accent would fall on the name. This favored the contraction: Dominantóniu > Donantónio. I suppose native speakers no longer see the connection between Don and dueño. At any rate such a frequent word giving different results from the very beginning cannot follow regular patterns. It would be interesting to do a literary search and see if Dombre ever existed.

    Hombre is not a regular result of Homine either. It should have been Huembre as the vowel was open.

    Another element to take into account in some cases was the effort to re-Latinize Spanish that occurred after the Renaissance. They succeed sometimes in reversing changes and reimposing terms closer to classical Latin.
     
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    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    The loss of the medial i might have been a very early phenomenon.
    Indeed, Appendix Probi (supposedly written in 3rd or 4th century AD) acknowledges this phenomenon (continued in Romance languages):
    calida non calda
    frigida
    non fricda
    orbis
    non orbs
    viridis
    non virdis

    Appendix Probi
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Dominam also seems to work like mn-words in Portuguese, Catalan and Italian (dona, dona, donna). The loss of the medial i might have been a very early phenomenon.
    Wow, so on the feminine side, dona/donna are actually cognates of dueña and all descend from dominam. That is a big change in meaning.
     
    Catalan also features mbr in fembra (< feminam) and sembrar (< seminare), but not in any other words of the kind. And it doesn't seem to be Castilian influence because those words are attested since quite old.

    Indeed, Appendix Probi (supposedly written in 3rd or 4th century AD) acknowledges this phenomenon (continued in Romance languages):
    calida non calda
    frigida
    non fricda
    orbis
    non orbs
    viridis
    non virdis
    Yes, but given the different results between hominem and somnum, for instance, I presume mn had moved to something else before the medial i was lost in hominem.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Hello, Athaulf, are you still there after 9 years?
    Your link to a thesis in #2 above got me curious, but it only led to a "404 - File not found".
    Is there an updated URL for it?

    CapnPrep, your link to "this" (#5) went to a page in a book that gives "ueme" for 'man' in Old Spanish.
    For the record, Prof. Davies's Corpus del Español shows zero instances of "ueme" (or "hueme", or "veme") in the 13th-15th centuries. (Compare more than 16,000 for "omne".) Of course I'm not accusing you of the book's error.

    ...omne > omre > ombre: distinct steps? As far as writing goes, the above-mentioned Corpus give only one instance of "omre" (15th century).

    Some nonstandard types of English have a similar epenthesis of /b/: family > fambly, chimney > chimbley.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    CapnPrep, your link to "this" (#5) went to a page in a book that gives "ueme" for 'man' in Old Spanish.
    For the record, Prof. Davies's Corpus del Español shows zero instances of "ueme" (or "hueme", or "veme") in the 13th-15th centuries. (Compare more than 16,000 for "omne".)
    It would have been natural if uemne or uemre had existed. The o was open in vulgar Latin so it should have produced a diphthong like uomo in Italian.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Catalan also features mbr in fembra (< feminam) and sembrar (< seminare), but not in any other words of the kind.
    It's not exactly the same case but there's also nombre and cambra where a /b/ appears that isn't in the Latin original.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Catalan also features mbr in fembra (< feminam) and sembrar (< seminare), but not in any other words of the kind. And it doesn't seem to be Castilian influence because those words are attested since quite old.
    I agree, they're too old to be the result of influence. My impression is that there could have been vulgar and half-learned variants at the same time, and sembrar/semenar would be an example, but also combregar and comenegar, both from Latin communicare.

    Spanish here, though, altered n>l: COMMUNICARE > comungar > comulgar.
     
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