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The Sociolinguistics of Contemporary Spanish.

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The Sociolinguistics of Contemporary Spanish. "...Through the influence of science, politics, economics and other fields of learning, words of foreign and learned origin are constantly enriching the Spanish language..."1 This statement is still true to this day. The Spanish Language is constantly evolving and developing. There are two main reasons for this- to replace and modernise antiquated terminology and to accommodate new modern concepts, for example, new technological advances: "...need to lexicalise something which has not been expressed before..."2 Nowhere has this need for neologisms been more apparent than in the field of Information Technology: "...the rise of information technology is the single most important technological development of the twentieth century...computer jargon is one of the fastest and widest-reaching areas of lexical change in Spanish..."3 The purpose of this essay is to examine the different processes by which this change is being effected in the Spanish language in the field of information technology. There are two main processes: 1. The creation of neologisms from Spanish language stock; and 2. The creation of neologisms through "borrowing" from other languages. The first process is perhaps less common in the area of I.T. This is due to the fact that many of the advances in this area occur in the United States. ...read more.


This occurs when parts of two words are "mixed" resulting in the creation of a new term. e.g. inform�tica- this is a blend of "informaci�n" and "autom�tica". (c ) Conversion. This is the mechanism that allows existing words to take on a new meaning. For example: "Bloquear(se)"- now means "to crash"; "Disco"- now means a "disc" rather than a "record". These words, therefore, now used in "computer speak" were originally used in other ways. (d) Use of Acronyms and Alphabetisms. Acronyms become neologisms when the initials are said together, as one word. Alphabetisms, on the other hand, look like Acronyms except they generally have full stops after each letter. This means that each letter is pronounced individually. Like many of the mechanisms above, there is evidence of a lot of prior borrowing from English e.g. Acronyms: RAM, ROM. Alphabetisms: P.C, M.B., I.S.D.N, I.S.P. It is evident that there is not a lot of computer lexis that derives from the real, original Spanish lexis as all of these terms above are short for English terminology. (e) Abbreviation or 'Clipping'. This method involves shortening a word without changing its meaning. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, to "modernise" or make certain concepts seem less antiquated e.g. ...read more.


field has created a huge new range of neologisms in the Spanish Language. As most of the technological advancement in this field occurs in America, English terms are mainly developed first. As a result there is no doubt that the most common method of word creation is borrowing from English. I do not believe, however, that this poses any great threat to the Spanish language as Computer jargon is just a very small area and there are many more fields where borrowing from Spanish language stock is much more common. In my opinion the reason that so many neologisms are imported from English is purely pragmatic: Information technology is a universal language. 1 De Ridder, page 22 2 John Daly- Essay on Spanish language and computing vocabulary. 3 "Can Spanish Take the Strain?" Tom Bookless 4 Source of these words: online dictionary of English and Spanish computer terms. 5 El Pa�s Semanal N�mero 1.312 Domingo 18 de nov de 2001- Advertisement for Apple Computer Products. 6 Spanish Word Formation, M.F. Lang at page 91 7 Spanish Word Formation, M.F. Lang 8 Source of these words: online dictionary of English and Spanish computer terms. 9 The Spanish Language Today, Miranda Stewart. 10 The Spanish Language Today, Miranda Stewart at page 85 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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