Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Verbs of sitting, Part 12: Lat. rĕsĭdēre

[This entry is an excerpt from, "Verbs of Sitting and Related Words," a chapter in Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]

The Latin verb rĕsĭdēre was formed with the prefix rĕ‑ ‘back, backwards; again’ and the verb sĕdēre ‘to sit’, using the  sĭd‑ allomorph of the morpheme sĕd‑. The main meaning of this verb was ‘to sit back’ but new senses were added through time, such as ‘to remain sitting’, ‘to remain (behind)’, ‘to be idle, rest’, and ‘to reside’. This verb’s principal parts were rĕsĭdĕo, rĕsĭdēre, rĕsēdi, resessus.

From this Latin verb come the cognates Eng. reside ~ Sp. residir. Eng. reside [ɹɪ.ˈzaɪ̯d] is a late 15th century loanword from Middle French resider (cf. Modern French résider [ʀe.zi.ˈde]), itself a late 14th century loan from Latin. The original meaning of Eng. reside was ‘to settle’ and ‘to take up one’s abode or station’ though it was not commonly used with those meanings, which are now obsolete. The main meaning of this word today is a somewhat formal way to say ‘to live in a place permanently or for an extended period’ (AHD), a meaning that was already present in this word by the late 16th century. Additionally, when speaking of a right or a quality, the verb reside means ‘to be present in or consist of something’, as in Joe’s talent resides in his storytelling abilities (DOCE) or The power resides on the people.

Sp. residir is first attested in the late 15th century with the sense of ‘dwell permanently’ it shares with its English cognate when the subject of the verb is a person. This use of Sp. residir is less formal than its English counterpart, which is why Sp. residir is not always best translated by Eng. reside but by other less formal expressions, such as live permanently. Thus, for instance, it is perfectly normal to say in Spanish Mi hermano reside normalmente en Cataluña, even in an informal oral register, whereas the English equivalent sentence with reside, My brother usually resides in Catalonia, sounds more formal or more appropriate to a written register. In English, it would be less formal or fancy to say My brother usually lives in Catalonia or My brother’s usual place of residence is Catalonia. (For more on registers, see Part I, Chapter 2, §2.5.)

Sp. residir also has the extended sense its English counterpart has in which the subject is not a person but something else, such as a thing or an idea. Actually, the extended meaning goes even further in Spanish than it does in English since, again, Sp. residir is less formal. Thus, this sense of residir is more likely to be translated by the verb lie in English, as in El problema reside en la falta de dinero ‘The problem lies in the lack of money’. (A synonym of this sense of residir is radicar.) Notice that in English, it would sound more formal to say The problem resides in the lack of money.

The present participle of the Latin verb rĕsĭdēre was rĕsĭdēns, an adjective meaning ‘dwelling, residing, remaining’ (rĕ‑sĭd‑ē‑ns). The accusative wordform was rĕsĭdĕntem (rĕ‑sĭd‑ĕ‑nt‑em) and the regular stem rĕsĭdĕnt‑ (rĕ‑sĭd‑ĕ‑nt‑). The English word resident was borrowed as an adjective in the late 14th century from French resident ‘who resides, inhabits’, where it is already attested in the mid-13th century, a loanword from the accusative wordform of Lat. rĕsĭdēns (cf. Modern French résident [ʀe.zi.ˈdɑ̃], feminine résidente [ʀe.zi.ˈdɑ̃t]).

By the mid-15th century, the English word resident was also being used as a noun ‘one who resides, inhabits’. You will remember that when we discussed the participle praesĭdens we saw that it was common for present participles, which were primarily adjectives, to be converted into nouns. For more on present participles and conversion see Part I, Chapter 88.4.3.5.3.3), and Chapter 55.7), respectively.

The word resident has acquired additional meanings over the years. The adjective resident is used, for instance, with the meaning ‘living somewhere in connection with duty or work’ (AHD), as in resident mechanic. This use is quite similar in meaning to the modifier phrase in residence, as in mechanic in residence (cf. the discussion of the word residence below). In computer science, resident refers to a program (application) with the meaning ‘immediately available in computer memory, rather than having to be loaded from elsewhere’ (COED). One of the most common uses of the noun resident in North America (since the late 19th century), is with the meaning ‘a medical graduate engaged in specialized practice under supervision in a hospital’ (COED) (cf. British English houseman or house physician).

Sp. residente is already attested in the late 15th century. This word is a good friend of Eng. resident since it mirrors most if not all of its meanings and uses, from the basic adjectival/substantive ‘(one) who resides, lives regularly at’, to the ‘live at place work/duty’ sense, even the computer science and medical senses we just mentioned. This does not mean, however, that in all the contexts where English, or some dialect of English, uses resident, Spanish is going to use residente, and vice versa. This is true particularly of the noun resident. Other alternatives or synonyms for the noun resident are habitante ‘inhabitant’, vecino ‘neighbor’ and huésped ‘guest’, for example. Thus, residents of a city, district or region are typically referred to as habitantes, not residentes (English also has the paronym inhabitant, though it is less common than Sp. habitante). And residents of a neighborhood or condo complex or building are typically referred to as vecinos lit. ‘neighbors’ in Spanish rather than residentes. For instance, a condo’s residents’ association in Spanish is called asociación de vecinos. Likewise, residents of a hotel are known as huéspedes lit. ‘guests’, never residentes (in English resident is a plausible alternative to guest).

Likewise, the Spanish adjective residente is not always used in all the same contexts in which the English adjective resident is found. For example, the use of residente meaning ‘on staff’ is not as common in Spanish. Thus, a more common name for a resident nurse is enfermero interno, no enfermero residente. This is also obvious in set phrases such as resident expert, which does not have a set translation into Spanish. One dictionary translates the sentence He’s our resident expert on football as Él es el experto en fútbol de la casa, and our resident pianist as nuestro pianista habitual (Harrap). Also, Spanish often prefers to use the verb residir where English would use the adjective resident, as in Yo resido en Salem ‘I am a resident of Salem’ for, as we saw earlier, Sp. residir is less formal-sounding than Eng. reside.

As we saw when we discussed the words president and presidence/presidency (Sp. presidente and presidencia), Latin regularly derived nouns from adjective stems by means of the suffix ĭ‑(a) and, in particular it did this from present participle stems, which were adjectives in Latin. From the stem rĕsĭdĕnt‑ (rĕ‑sĭd‑ĕ‑nt‑) of the present participle rĕsĭdēns, the derived noun rĕsĭdĕntĭa could be formed (rĕ‑sĭd‑ĕ‑nt‑ĭ‑a) ‘the act of residing; the place of residence; etc.’. It doesn’t seem that Classical Latin ever had a need for a noun resĭdĕntĭa derived from the stem resĭdĕnt‑, but the word does appear in Medieval Latin, starting in the 9th century, primarily with the meanings ‘act of dwelling’ and ‘place of dwelling’. From Medieval Latin, the word passed on to French residence in the 13th century (Modern French résidence [ʀe.zi.ˈdɑ̃s]) and from there to Middle English in the late 14th century as residence with the same meanings, which are also the meanings that the word has in English today.

The word residence is somewhat formal, however, and not just any ‘act of dwelling’ or any ‘dwelling place’ are commonly referred to with this word, however. Thus, most of the time for a dwelling place to be termed a residence, it must be a large and official one, as in the collocations official residence and residence hall (British English hall of residence; Sp. residencia universitaria, residencia de estudiantes or, in Spain, colegio mayor). And for an ‘act of dwelling’ to be considered a residence it is often one that entails a legal permission or other official sanctioning to reside in some place, as in the collocations residence permit and permanent residence. In addition to these collocations, two idiomatic phrases with this word in English are in residence and to take up residence.  The phrase in residence means ‘committed to live and work in a specific place, often for a certain length of time’ (AHD) and is sometimes equivalent to the adjective resident, as in resident painter vs. painter in residence. That is why in residence translates into Spanish by the same adjective residente, as in pintor residente. As for the idiom to take up residence, Spanish equivalents are fijar la residencia and, perhaps better yet, establecerse or instalarse.

In the late 16th century, English derived a doublet of the word residence by means of the ending ‑ncy that we saw in the preceding section, resulting in the word residency. This word can often be used as a synonym of residence, as in the sense ‘legal permission to live in a country for a certain period of time’ (DOCE), but it has adopted some specialized senses as well, such as, in North America, ‘a period of specialized medical training in a hospital; the position of a resident’ (COED).

Finally, the cognates Eng. residue ~ Sp. residuo and their related adjectives, Eng. residual ~ Sp. residual, are also derived from the same verbal stem rĕsĭd‑. These nouns come ultimately from the Latin noun rĕsĭdŭum ‘remainder, that which is left over/behind’, derived by conversion from the identical neuter form of the adjective rĕsĭdŭus ‘remaining, left over/behind’ formed with the adjectival suffix ‑ŭ‑(us), (rĕ‑sĭd‑ŭ‑us). Eng. residue [ˈɹɛ.zə.ˌd(j)u] is a mid-14th century loan from Anglo-Norman residue and Middle French residu (Modern French résidu [ʀe.zi.ˈdy]), which had borrowed the word from Latin earlier in the 14th century, adapting its inflectional ending of the Latin word to the ones expected in these varieties of French. The main meaning of this noun is ‘a small amount of something that remains after the main part has gone or been taken or used’ (COED). Sp. residuo is first attested in the 17th century and most likely is a calque of Fr. residu, with its own peculiar adaptation of the Latin word’s inflection (‑um > ‑o).

In addition to residue, English has also borrowed the term residuum directly from Latin as a more-or-less technical term. The word first appears in the language in the late 17th century, primarily as a synonym of residue, but it was adopted later as a technical term in math and in chemistry in the 18th century to refer to ‘that which remains after a process of combustion, evaporation, etc..’ (OED) and in the 19th, as a term to refer ‘to persons of the lowest class’ (OED). At the present, the English word residuum has just those two meanings: ‘a chemical residue’ in chemistry, and ‘a class of society that is unemployed and without privileges or opportunities’ in sociology (COED).

Sp. residuo can be used much as Eng. residue but it has some additional uses. In Mathematics, residuo is the word for remainder in a calculation and plural residuos best translates as waste or refuse, as in residuos radioactivos ‘radioactive waste’. On the other hand, in legal terminology, Eng. residue has a meaning that Sp. residuo does not have, namely ‘the remainder of a testator’s estate after all claims, debts, and bequests are satisfied’ (AHD), also known as residuum. The Spanish term for this meaning is (la) remanente (del patrimonio).

The adjectives that accompany Eng. residue ~ Sp. residuo are Eng. residual ~ Sp. residual. They both contain the ‑al ending that comes from the Latin adjectival suffix ‑āl‑(is), but these words do not descend from a hypothetical Latin *resĭdŭālis, which is not attested, but rather seem to have been formed in the modern languages themselves out of Latinate (Latin-derived) word parts. Eng. residual [ɹɪ.ˈzɪ.djʊ.əl] or [ɹɪ.ˈzɪ.ʤu.əl] is attested first, in the mid-16th century. The adjective residual today means ‘of, relating to, or characteristic of a residue’ or ‘remaining as a residue’ (AHD).

Curiously, there is also a noun residual in English, which arose in English around the same time as the adjective with the meaning ‘a residual quantity’. The noun today has additional technical meanings such as ‘a difference between a value measured in a scientific experiment and the theoretical or true value’ or, typically in the plural (residuals), ‘a royalty paid to a performer or writer for a repeat of a play, television show, or advertisement’ (COED) (also known as repeat fees).


The Spanish adjective residual [re.si.ˈd̪u̯al] is typically equivalent in meaning to the English adjective residual. Sometimes, however, it has the ‘waste’ sense that the plural noun residuos has, as in calor residual ‘waste heat’ and aguas residuales ‘waste/sewage water’. The noun use of Eng. residual typically translates into Spanish as the noun residuo. The ‘royalty’ sense of Eng. plural residuals translates into Spanish as derechos de retransmisión or derechos de redifusión. One other difference is that the English adjective residual is more likely than its Spanish counterpart to be used in a figurative sense, as a synonym of remaining, as in the phrase some residual decency (OSD). Spanish would use a different word to express this meaning, such as algunos restos/vestigios de decencia (OED).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sp. llamar / clamar & Eng. claim: the root CLAM, Part 3

[This entry comes from Chapter 15, "Llamar/clamar & claim: the root CLAM- and related words", of Part II of the open-source te...