Sub in Romance languages

< Previous | Next >

purasbabosadas

Senior Member
English-USA
Do direct descendents of "sub" (As a preposition) only exist in Ibero-Romance(Spanish,Asturian,and Portuguese)?Most other Romance languages seem to use the derivative "subtus" to express "under".
 
Last edited:
  • Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    In Sardinian there are at least three different ways to express "under" or "below"

    • sutta or a sutta (from "subta") - under
    • josso (from "deorsum"; compare also with Romanian "jos") - down, below, downstairs
    • in basciu (compare with Portuguese "abaixo") - down, below
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Romanian has su.
    I found, indeed, this word mentioned in: Meyer-Lübke - Romanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch

    Su.png


    Me, as Romanian native speaker, I haven't heard or read such word, but I don't exclude the possibility to be regional.

    Romanian online dictionary does not mention a su:
    dexonline - su

    We are currently using the word sub, which has attested forms like subt or supt in 18th and 19th century:
    dexonline - sub

    The word supărete might have induced to Meyer-Lübke an etymology like:
    rom. supărete < lat. sub + parietem (accusative of parietis)
    I think the evolution was:
    lat. subtus + parietem > *subtpariete > *suptpariete > supărete
    because of the difficulty in pronouncing the group of consonants: btp or ptp.

    dexonline - supărete
     
    Last edited:

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    I feel curious about the final b in Portuguese sob. Final stops aren't allowed by Portuguese phonotactics (or weren't, in EP), but on the other hand it's not a Latinism because that would have been sub, not sob. I guess it was added later to draw closer to Latin, and pronunciation was shaped after writing.
     

    Cossue

    Senior Member
    Galician & Spanish
    So / su / sob / sub was rather common in Medieval Galician, although today, spelled "so", belongs just to literary registers and proverbs. Anyway, it is very frequent in toponyms (Suaigrexa / Suirexa < sub illa ecclesia, Somonte < sub montem, Somoza < Sub Montia, Sorribas < sub ripas, Socastro/Sucastro < Sub castrum, etc), meaning "under" or "upon".

    In my opinion these place names show that the sob spelling in Medieval Galician-Portuguese, retained in Modern Portuguese but not in Galician, was just a spelling.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan, sots, sota and all their derived words with sots-/sota- (sotsarrendament = Sp. subarriendo, sotaescriure = Sp. suscribir, etc.) come indeed from SUBTUS.

    The only one I can think of is the word soterrar 'to bury' (and derived words like soterrani 'basement', Sp. sótano) but the fact that terra starts by t makes me hesitate about it.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Most other Romance languages seem to use the derivative "subtus" to express "under".
    As well as in Catalan sota derives from subtus (see @Penyafort's post above), Spanish sota also derives from subtus and it's used as a prefix on some words like, for example, sotavento, sotabanco or sotacoro. On the other hand, sota as a preposition existed but it isn't used anymore. So (derived from sub) still exists as a preposition but its use is becoming rare (if it's not already rare) so it may end becoming out of use in a not too distant future.
     

    aum34

    Member
    Spanish & Catalan- Spain
    In Sardinian there are at least three different ways to express "under" or "below"

    • sutta or a sutta (from "subta") - under
    • josso (from "deorsum"; compare also with Romanian "jos") - down, below, downstairs
    • in basciu (compare with Portuguese "abaixo") - down, below
    In Spanish:

    - AYUSO (from lat. AD DEORSUM). Old-fashioned. Like Italian giù.

    -SOTA ( from lat. SUBTUS). Old-fashioned.

    -BAJO / DEBAJO / ABAJO (lat. BASSUS)

    SO ( from SUB) - So pena de muerte
    SUB-/ SO- Also in names or verbs, e.g.: Sopeña (“ Under the hill”, name of the town)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top