Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sp. llamar / clamar & Eng. claim: the root CLAM, Part 1

[This entry comes from Chapter 18, "Llamar/clamar & claim: the root CLAM- and related words", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]

Lat. clāmāre


The words Sp. llamar ‘to call’ and Eng. claim may not look very much alike and they may not have the same meaning, but they have the same source, namely Latin clāmāre ‘to cry out, clamor, shout’. Although they are not ‘good friends’, or ‘useful cognates’, we find that there are a number of interesting English-Spanish cognates that stem from the same root.

The differences in meaning between the cognates Sp. llamar and Eng. claim can be traced back to different senses of the source verb in Latin. That is because the Latin verb clāmāre was polysemous, that is, it had several meanings (cf. Part I, §6.5) and the differences in meaning between Sp. llamar and Eng. claim already existed in this Latin word clāmāre. This Latin verb meant first of all ‘to cry out, shout’, but also ‘to proclaim, declare’, as well as ‘to call’.

In this chapter, we are going to look at the Spanish patrimonial verb llamar ‘to call’ and the derived noun llamada ‘call’ as well as their Latin source and other words that contain the same root. We will then compare these words to the English verb to call and the noun call, which are unrelated to the Spanish words. Next, we will look at the learned Spanish verb clamar, a learned doublet of llamar, and at its English cognate, and false friend, claim. Finally, we will look at Latin verbs derived from the Latin verb clāmāre by prefixation, which have resulted in several Spanish-English cognates.

The source of Sp. llamar: PIE *‌‌kelə-


Spanish llamar ‘to call’ is a very common patrimonial verb, equivalent to Eng. to call in all of its senses (cf. §15.3 below). The phonetic change from Latin cl to Old Spanish ll is regular in patrimonial words (cf. Part I, Chapter 10, §10.4.4.4). This ll originally had the sound [ʎ], which it still retains in some dialects, though the pronunciation [ʝ] is more common in yeísta dialects (cf. Part I, Chapter 7, §7.17.5, and Chapter 11, §11.5.4).

As we said, the verb llamar comes from Latin clāmāre ‘to shout’, which is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *‌‌kelə- (or *kelh₁-) ‘to shout’, or actually from a stem derived from this root that contained the suffix ‑m‑, namely *klā-mā‑ (or *kl̥h₁-m-). This regular, first-conjugation Latin verb has the following principal parts:

present
present infinitive
perfect active
supine
clām
clām-ā-re
clām-ā-vī
clām-ā-t-um

Latin had another verb derived from this same PIE root, but without the ‑m‑ suffix. This second verb was Latin calāre, with the root cal‑, what was partially synonymous with Latin clāmāre since it meant ‘to announce, proclaim’, ‘to summon, convoke, call forth/together’. This verb’s principal parts are calō, calāre, calāvī, calātum and it was a cognate of Ancient Greek καλεῖν (kaleîn) ‘to call, summon’. However, Latin calāre was not been passed on to Spanish or other Romance languages, nor was it borrowed by them (or by English) afterwards. There are, however, cognates of a derived verb, namely intercălāre ‘to proclaim the insertion of a day (or number of days) into the calendar’, an intercalary day, in order to make the calendar follow the seasons (cf. Part II, Chapter 23). Eng. intercalate ~ Sp. intercalar are fairly recent loanwords from Latin that have the same meaning as the Latin sourceword, ‘insert (an intercalary period) in a calendar’, as well as more generally ‘to insert between or among existing elements or layers’ (MWC).

One might be forgiven for thinking that there could be a connection between the Latin verb calāre and the English verb to call [ˈkɔɫ] or [ˈkɑl], but that is not the case. If the English verb to call was a descendant of the PIE root *kelə- it would not have a [k] sound, but rather a [h] sound, for that is what happened to the PIE k sound in Germanic languages (cf. Part I, Chapter 3, §3.8.5). The verb to call in English is a probably an early loanword, but not from Latin, but from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings who raided and settled in England in the Old English period (cf. Part I, Chapter 12, §12.5.2). The source word was Old Norse kalla, which also meant ‘to call, shout’, and it was presumably a cognate of the English word it replaced, namely Old English ceallian, with the same meaning (note that there is only one attestation of this Old English word).

Both words, Old Norse kalla and Old English ceallian, derive from a Proto-Germanic word that is thought to ultimately descend from a Proto-Indo-European word containing the verbal root that some have reconstructed as *gal‑, which also meant ‘to call, scream, shriek, shout’. Other Germanic English words that originally contained the same root as call are clack, clatter, and clink.

This PIE root *gal‑ that these words come from is thought to be also present in the Latin words gallus ‘rooster, cock’ (the source of Sp. gallo, with the same meaning) and gallīna ‘hen’ (cf. Sp. gallina, same meaning).[1] That is because originally the word gallus supposedly meant something like ‘the caller’ or ‘the screamer’.[2]

There are a few more words that can be traced back to and thus contain the PIE root *kelə‑ ‘to call, cry’ from which came Lat. clamāre and, thus, Sp. llamar. We are going to look first at the ones that are found in Latin that have descendants in English and Spanish. Next we will look at a few that come through the Germanic languages.

The first Latin word that is ultimately derived from the PIE root *kelə‑ ‘to call, cry’ is Lat. clārus, which meant ‘clear, bright, shining, brilliant’ but also ‘brilliant, celebrated, renowned, famous, etc.’ and ‘obvious, evident’ (clār‑us). The connection of this adjective with the original meaning of the root *kelə‑ ‘to call, cry’ seems to be the sense of the word that pertains to the sense of hearing, namely ‘loud, distinct, clear’. This adjective has the patrimonial descendant Sp. claro/a, with the same meanings. This word’s English cognate is clear, a late 13th century loan from Old Fr. cler (Mod. Fr. clair). Sp. claro would seem to be a learned or semi-learned word because of the maintenance of the initial consonant cluster cl‑, since Latin CL‑ typically changed to ll‑ in Old Spanish.

The second additional Latin word derived from the PIE root *kelə‑ ‘to call, cry’ is the noun classis, which meant ‘a class of Roman citizen’, after a division of Roman citizens into six classes by Servius Tullius, but which also referred more generally to various groupings of individuals: ‘a class, military division, an army, etc.’ and, perhaps most commonly to ‘the people of Rome under arms’ (class-is; genitive singular was also classis and the accusative singular classem). This word is the source of Sp. clase [ˈkla.se] and Eng. class [ˈkʰlæs]. These two cognates are good friends, sharing all of their several meanings which are, primarily: (1) ‘a set or category of things having a property or feature in common and differentiated from others by kind or quality’, as used in biology, (2) ‘a system that divides members of a society into sets based on perceived social or economic status’, as in social class, and (3) ‘a group of students or pupils who are taught together’ or (in North America) that graduate together, and, derived from it, ‘a lesson’ (COED) (Sp. clase can also be used informally in the sense of ‘classroom’, which more formally translates as aula or sala/salón de clase). Both English and Spanish acquired these words around the year 1600, through French, which borrowed it from Latin in the mid-14th century. Some of the senses of these cognates developed after the borrowing, such as a the ‘lesson’ and ‘social class’ senses, but they were shared among the three languages nonetheless having spread among them.

Latin derived an adjective from classis by means of the first-second declension adjective-forming suffix ‑ĭc‑, namely classĭcus (fem. classĭca) that meant ‘of or belonging to a classis’. Eventually, this adjective came to mean ‘belonging to the first class, of the highest class’ and, derived from this, ‘of the highest rank, classical, superior, standard’. English borrowed the word classic in the late 16th century, perhaps through French, which had borrowed the word too from Latin as classique [kla.ˈsik] in the mid-16th century. The word entered Spanish in the first half of the 17th century, also through French. The original meaning of the French word in French was ‘worthy of imitation’, ‘model for others to follow’. By the 18th century, the word had come to mean ‘belonging to the Roman and Greek Ancient world’ and, by the 19th century, ‘belonging to the great period of (French) literature’ (the 17th century).

Eng. classic is first of all an adjective that means primarily ‘judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality’, but also ‘remarkably typical’, as in the classic symptoms of flu. Spanish can use the adjective clásico/a for both meanings, though for the latter meaning, típico/a ‘typical’ is more common, e.g. los típicos síntomas de la gripe. The word classic can also be used as a noun meaning ‘a work of art of recognized and established value’ and, derived from it, ‘a very good example of its kind’ (COED). More specifically it can refer to major tournaments in some sports, such as tennis or golf. The plural form classics refers to ‘the works of ancient Greek and Latin writers and philosophers’ (COED). The Spanish noun clásico (pl. clásicos) translates all the meanings of this English noun.

Even before borrowing the word classic, English had already created the adjective classical in the mid-16th century from the Latin adjective classĭcus, to which it added the Latinate adjectival suffix ‑al, from Lat. āl‑(is).  The English word classical has several meanings (the OED gives 11, some with subsenses). They all translate into Spanish with the adjective clásico/a, the same one that translates the English word classic. The COED gives us three meanings for the adjective classical: (1) ‘relating to ancient Greek or Latin literature, art, or culture’ and, derived from it and said of art or architecture ‘influenced by ancient Greek or Roman forms or principles’; (2) ‘(of a form of art or a language) representing an exemplary standard within a traditional and long-established form or style’, as in classical ballet or classical music (music from the period 1750-1830); and (3) ‘relating to the first significant period of an area of study’, as in classical Marxism.

Finally, the last Latin word derived from PIE *kelə‑ ‘to call, cry’ that has given us cognates is Lat. concĭlĭum ‘council/advisory meeting’  (con‑cĭl‑ĭ‑um). This word is the source of Eng. council and learned Sp. concilio and patrimonial Sp. concejo, both meaning ‘council’, the former used only for councils of elders/leaders in the church or sometimes government. This Latin noun is derived from the verb concalāre ‘to summon’ (lit. ‘call together’), derived from calāre (see above) with the prefix con‑ ‘with’. The root cal‑ of the verb changes to ‑cĭl‑ in the prefixed noun (for Latin allomorphs in derived words, see Part I, Chapter 8, §8.3.3). The word council [ˈkaʊ̯n.səl] was borrowed from Old French in the early 12th century and today it means primarily ‘a formally constituted advisory, deliberative, or administrative body’ and, derived from it, ‘a body elected to manage the affairs of a city, county, or district’ (COED).

In Spanish, the word concejo (municipal) may be used to translate Eng. town/city council, though ayuntamiento is a more common word (other synonyms are cabildo and consistorio). The word concejo is more commonly used for a council’s meetings. A common derived word is concejal (fem. concejala) that translates as town/city councilor, councilman/councilwoman and, in some regions, selectman or alderman.

Curiously, when it refers to an advisory group, the word council translates into Spanish as consejo, not concejo, as in consejo de ministros ‘council of ministers’ and Consejo de Europa ‘Council of Europe’.[3] Although for most speakers of Spanish the two words are homophonous, they have different sources. Sp. consejo, which primarily means ‘advice’ and only secondarily ‘council, (advisory) board’, comes from Lat. consĭlĭum ‘deliberation, consultation, a considering together, counsel’ (L&S). Obviously, Sp. consejo is a cognate of Eng. counsel, which is homophonous with Eng. council, since both are pronounced [ˈkaʊ̯n.səl]. Lat. consĭlĭum is derived from the verb consŭlĕre ‘to consider, reflect, deliberate, take counsel, reflect upon, consult’ (L&S).[4]

From the noun concĭlĭum, Latin derived the verb concĭlĭāre ‘to bring together, make friendly’, which has given us the cognate verbs Sp. conciliar ‘to conciliate, bring together, reconcile’ and Eng. conciliate [kən.ˈsɪ.lɪ.eɪ̯t], a rare 16th century loanword. More common, especially in English, are the synonymous versions of these verbs with the prefix re‑ ‘back, again’, namely the derived close synonyms Sp. reconciliar ~ Sp. reconcile [ɹə.kən.saɪ̯ɫ]. The latter is a mid-14th century loan from French réconcilier (Mod. Fr. [ʀe.kɔ̃.si.lje]), where it was a Latin borrowing from the mid-12th century. French did not borrow the unprefixed verb concilier until the mid-16th century, around the same time Eng. conciliate is first attested. Interestingly, Sp. conciliar is attested already in a dictionary in the late 15th century (Corominas).

There are few native (Germanic) words in Modern English that can be traced back to PIE root *kelə‑. In Germanic reflexes of this root, the original PIE ‑l‑ consonant is maintained but, as usual, the initial k‑ sound changed to h (cf. Grimm’s Law, Part I, Chapter 3, §3.8.5). One of these is the rare word low, which can be a verb meaning ‘to utter the sound made by cattle; moo’ and, derived from it, a noun meaning ‘the characteristic sound uttered by cattle; a moo’ (AHD). The verb comes from Old English hlowan ‘make a noise like a cow’. The semantic connection of this word to the original one of the PIE root *kelə‑ ‘to shout’ is easy to see.

Another word from the same PIE root is haul [ˈhɔɫ] or [ˈhɑɫ] ‘to pull or drag with effort or force’ (COED). This verb descends from Middle English halen, which would seem to descend from an unattested Old English *halian ‘to haul, drag’, though this word may have been influenced by Old French haler ‘to pull, haul’, presumably a loan from Frankish *halōn ‘to haul, drag, fetch’ or from Old Dutch, a close relative of Frankish. The noun haul ‘act of hauling’ or ‘thing being hauled’, as in the phrase a big haul of fish, is derived from the verb to haul. The semantic connection of the verb haul to the original source root *kelə‑ is less obvious than in previous examples, but we can presume that from the original ‘to shout, call’, we get ‘to call hither’, and from there ‘to bring hither’ or ‘to pull, drag hither’ and, eventually, ‘to pull, drag’.

Spanish has a cognate of Eng. haul, namely Sp. halar ‘to pull’, a loanword from the Old French word we just saw. In some dialects of Spanish, such as Andalusian and Cuban, the initial h is pronounced, which is why this word is also spelled jalar ‘to pull’. This verb is more common in Spanish America than in Spain. It also has special colloquial meanings in different countries, such as ‘to make love’ (Central America), ‘to wolf down’ or ‘eat with gusto’, ‘to flunk (an exam)’, ‘to get a move on’ (Andalusia, Spanish America),[5] ‘to drink alcohol’, etc. These colloquial uses of the verb jalar are often used in the reflexive form jalarse. The word jale ‘pull’, an imperative form of the verb jalar, is found in signs on doors in many American countries.

The equivalent in Spain would be tire, from tirar, a verb that means ‘to pull’ in addition to ‘to throw, throw away’ (instead of tire, in Spain, the infinitive tirar is typically found in such signs).



[1] The Latin noun gallīna is presumably derived from gallus by means of the suffix ‑īn‑ with the meaning ‘of, pertaining to, of the nature of’, which typically derived first and second conjugation adjectives from ‘names of persons, animals, or material things, and to some other words’, such as canīnus ‘canine’ from canis ‘dog’ (OED).

The scientific name of the chicken is Gallus gallus domesticus, a subspecies of the species Gallus gallus, the ancestor of our domestic chicken (Eng. red junglefowl; Sp. gallo bankiva), which originated in Southeast Asia. Gallus, of course, is the scientific name of the genus (cf. Linnaeus, 1758).

[2] Derived from Lat. gallīna, we find the adjective gallīnācĕus ‘of or belonging to domestic fowls or poultry’ (gallīn‑ācĕ‑us), a word that has been borrowed by both Spanish and English, cf. Sp. gallináceo/a and Eng. gallinaceous. These are rather technical terms that mean ‘relating to or denoting birds of an order (Galliformes) which includes domestic poultry and game birds’ (COED). Another Latin adjective that meant ‘of or belonging to poultry’ was gallīnārĭus and, derived from this adjective, we have the Latin noun gallīnārĭum ‘henhouse, hen-coop’, from which comes Spanish gallinero, with the same meaning.
The Spanish word gallina is not related to the woman’s name Galina found in many Slavic countries (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovene, Croatian, Polish, and Ukrainian; in Cyrillic Галина). This name comes from the name of a mermaid in Greek myth, the goddess of calm seas, whose name is derived from the Ancient Greek word γαλήνη that meant ‘calmness’. The name has been Anglicized as Galene. The Christian Orthodox Church recognizes two martyrs with this name.

[3] The Council of Europe is ‘an organization which was established in 1949 to develop greater unity between the countries of Europe, and to encourage democratic government and respect for human rights. It now consists of 47 European countries, and its members develop policies on education, crime, health, and the environment. Complaints about cruel or unfair treatment can be settled in the Council's court, the European Court of Human Rights. Although it has close connections with the European Union, it is a separate organization’ (DOCE). The Council of Europe is based in Strasbourg, France.

[4] The original source root for these words is not clear. Some have suggested that it is Proto-Indo-European *sel‑, that meant ‘to take, grab’ which is thought to have given us a Latin verb *selĕre ‘take, gather together’, which could refer to the gathering of the Senate.
Related to the main meaning of consejo ‘advice’ is the derived verb aconsejar ‘to advise’ (a‑consej‑ar), which before the 16th century was mostly consejar, without the a‑. Note that from the noun counsel, English has derived a verb to counsel, which can typically be translated into Spanish as aconsejar.
Also derived from consejo in Spanish is the noun consejero/a ‘adviser, advisor, counsellor’ and, in politics, ‘councillor’, and in business, ‘member (of a board of directors)’.
From the passive participle of this verb, cōnsultus, Latin derived the verb cōnsultāre ‘to reflect, consider maturely, to consult, take counsel, deliberate’ (L&S), the source of the cognates Eng. consult ~ Sp. consultar. The Latin word consul also has the same source. In Rome it referred to ‘one of the two highest magistrates of the Roman state, chosen annually, after the expulsion of the kings’ (L&S). The modern languages have borrowed this word to refer to ‘a state official living in a foreign city and protecting the state’s citizens and interests there’ (COED) (cf. Eng. consul [ˈkɒn.səl] ~ Sp. cónsul [ˈkon.sul]. (NB: Eng. result ~ Sp. resultar are not related to Eng. consult ~ Sp. consultar. The former are derived from the verb salīre ‘to jump, leap’, source of Sp. salir ‘to go out’).

[5] Cf. the vulgar English slang phrase haul ass ‘to move quickly’.

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