Book word

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As a book word ( French mot savant , Italian voce dotta ) refers to a word that from an older language layer in a recent speech (z. B. from the Latin into the Romance languages ) borrowed was.

"Book words [...] are words that at a certain point in time were borrowed from Latin by connoisseurs of Latin [...] and integrated into Romansh according to the simple conversion rule, according to which the root of the word remained unchanged, but the word ending had to be adapted to the local system. "

- Definition by Helmut Lüdtke

Book words occur in the written language , but have often penetrated the general, spoken language as well. In contrast to hereditary words , such words did not, or only partially, have to take part in the changes in the speech law . Often there are duplicates of book and hereditary words, whereby a differentiation of meanings usually occurs in the younger language class.

Book words are found in large numbers in the modern Romance languages, the New Indian languages and the New Arabic dialects .

Examples from different language areas

  • In French , the hereditary word chose (“thing, thing”) , derived from the Latin word causa , corresponds to the book word cause (“cause, reason”).
  • In the neuindoarischen languages like Hindi take over from the Sanskrit (so-called borrowed words tatsamas ) a function similar to Latin or ancient Greek foreign words in European languages. Here, too, there are doubles : from the Sanskrit word kṣetra ("field") both the hereditary word khet for a field in the concrete sense (i.e. one that can be plowed) and the book word kṣetra , which denotes a field in the figurative sense ( i.e. a Field of employment or similar).
  • The New Arabic dialects have adopted many book words, especially from the religious field and other higher registers from Standard Arabic . This also partially influences the phonology of the dialects: In Egyptian Arabic, for example, the high Arabic Qaf [ q ] has regularly become Hamza [ ʔ ] (e.g. qalb "heart" becomes ʾalb ), but the phoneme [ q ] is found in book words like qurʾān ( Koran ).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ In History of the Romance Vocabulary , Vol. 2, 1968