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Linguistic Society of America

Romance Etymologies
Author(s): C. C. Rice
Source: Language, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1937), pp. 18-20
Published by: Linguistic Society of America
Stable URL:
Accessed: 02-04-2017 05:15 UTC

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Catalan abaltir 'to put to sleep' has been derived by Briich1 from the
assumed t-preterit of Gallic *adbalo 'to perish'; but Meyer-Ltibke2
regards this etymology as improbable inasmuch as we do not know that
Gallic had a t-preterit. Spitzer3 has suggested the derivation of abaltir
from *expavitare 'to scare', a notion which Meyer-Liibke pronounces
phonetically and semantically unacceptable.
I believe the Catalan verb is from the Vulgar Latin type *abballitare,
formed from VL ballare'to dance'. The prefix and suffix hardly require
justification. The change of conjugation may be due to the analogy of
Catalan condormir 'to put to sleep'. The semantic shift postulated is:
(1) 'to dance', (2) 'to make to dance', (3) 'to rock', (4) 'to rock to sleep',
(5) 'to put to sleep'.

Italian cansare 'to set aside', 'to avoid' is properly derived by Diez4
from Latin campsare'to sail by'; but this scholar errs, in my opinion, in
separating the Italian verb, on semantic grounds, from Spanish cansar
'to tire', and deriving the latter word from quassare 'to shake'. K*rting5
derives both the Italian and the Spanish word from campsare, suggesting
that the original meaning of cansar was 'to bend (the limbs)'. The
considerations presented below will show that this is essentially correct.
Men6ndez Pidal (Cantar de mio Cid 532) also derives cansar from
campsare, though without.discussing the change of meaning. However,
Meyer-Ltibke6, following Diez, declares the notions'to sail by' and 'to
weary' semantically remote, and derives cansar from quassare without
explaining the n.
The key to the puzzle is to be found in the Greek lexicon. Latin

1 Biblioteca dell' Archivum Romancium, 2nd series, 3.27.

2 Rom. et. Wb., 3rd ed., no. 909, s.v. ballare.
3 BdAR, 2.2.
4 Et. Wb. der rom. Sprachen 362.
5 Lat.-rom. Wb., 3rd ed.
6 REW, 3rd ed., numbers 1562 and 6939.

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campsare is scantily attested, in Ennius an

with Greek kdmptein, admitted for exam
to have been questioned. The starting-po
aorist kdmpsai. The Greek verb means
horse or chariot) round the turning post
(3) 'to bend or bow one down' (this sen
Thucydides). While the meaning of Italia
sare 'to sail by' obviously goes back to th
word, it seems probable that the Latin ety
'to bend or bow one down', from which t
'to weary' is easily derived. The etymolog
has been set forth in LANGUAGE 5.25-6,
discussion of Spanish sima 'abyss' < simu
unattested in Latin words borrowed from
their Greek originals, sometimes best exp
their Romance reflexes.

Extremaduran Spanish destorgar 'to break oak branches while remov-

ing acorns', which is not mentioned by Diez, K6rting, or Meyer-Liibke in
their dictionaries, may be derived without phonetic difficulty from
Vulgar Latin *deextorticare 'to twist off'. A VL *torticare 'to twist'
(from torquere-tortus) has already been postulated by Ulrich8 to account
for French torcher 'to wipe'. Meyer-LUibke9, to be sure, views *torticare
as an 'unnecessary' formation, explaining the French verb as a secon-
dary derivative, from French torche'rag' < VL torca.

Catalan enconar'to taste','to give the first milk to a baby','to poison',

'to harm',' to anger'; enconado 'accustomed', 'angered'; Spanish enconar
'to inflame', 'to anger'; encono 'soreness', 'rancor'. This group was
connected by Diez~o with Latin melancholia, and the etymology was
recorded without dissent by Meyer-Ltibke in the second edition of his
dictionary; but it is not even mentioned in the third edition, which
records only Spitzer's derivation of the words from Latin inquinare 'to
befoul'. This connection, however, obviously presents great phonetic
I derive the group from Vulgar Latin *inconare'to test', the formation
and assigned meaning of which appear to be indicated by the Romance

7 Lat. et. Wb., 2nd ed., s.v. campus.

8 ZfromPhil. 9.429.
1 REW, 3rd ed., s.v. torques.
10 Et. Wb. d. rom. Sprachen 446.

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20 C. C. RICE

forms, considered in c
vomit', which Meyer-
Spanish lasca 'small,
lasca 'small fragment
slacken (a rope)', Portu
Grdber12 from Gothi
Meyer-Liibkel, to be se
The Spanish and Portu
'to loosen'; and the nou
'a loosening', 'somethin
VL *laxicare has alrea
French ldcher 'to loose
this etymology in favo

Spanish regazar 'to t

with Basque galzarra
phonetic difficulty, is
omit the Spanish word
I derive the Spanish v
'to tuck up', the forma
definitely supported b
(< VL *accaptiare). The
has various parallels, o
1.357. The noun regazo
(of the dress)'.

11 REW, 2nd and 3rd edit

12 Archiv f. lat. Lex. u. Gram. 3.310.
13 REW, 3rd ed.
14 ZfromPhil. 9.429.
15 ZfromPhil. 44.651.
16 Et. Wb. d. rom. Sprachen 482.

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