Sunday, November 25, 2018

Eng. -age ~ Sp. -aje, Part 19: Spanish words in -aje (d)

[This entry is an excerpt from Chapter 18, "Eng. language and Sp. lenguaje: words ending in Eng. -age and Sp. -aje", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]


arbitraje (1832) ‘arbitration’, ‘refereeing, umpiring’. This word is obviously related to the noun árbitro, meaning ‘referee, umpire’ and ‘arbiter, arbitrator’, and to the verb arbitrar ‘(soccer, boxing) to referee; (tennis, baseball) to umpire; (conflict, dispute) to arbitrate’.

The word árbitro in Spanish is said to be an early 14th century loan from the second declension Latin noun arbiter, accusative arbĭtrum, which originally meant ‘a spectator, beholder, a witness’, and later also came to mean ‘a master, a lord, ruler’, and ‘judge, arbitrator’. Presumably, this Latin noun is related to (and derived from) the verb bētĕre (or bītĕre) ‘to go’ and, thus, the original meaning of arbiter, which seemingly was formed with the preposition ad‑ ‘to’, would have been ‘someone who goes somewhere (to see)’. Since this word is already attested as arbitre in Old French in the early 13th century, as a loanword from Latin, it is possible that Spanish borrowed it through French.

From the noun arbiter, Latin derived the first conjugation deponent verb arbitrārī (principal parts: arbĭtror, arbĭtrārī, arbĭtrātus sum). This is presumably where the verbs Fr. arbitrer and Sp. arbitrar came from as loanwords. The Spanish word is attested around the year 1300 and the French one a few decades earlier, in 1274.

Sp. arbitraje is also not derived in Spanish from the verb arbitrar but is rather a loanword from around 1700 from the Old French word arbitrage, first attested in the late 13th century, derived from the Old French noun arbitre ‘arbiter’ or verb arbitrer.

A related Latin word, also derived from the noun arbiter, was arbītrĭum (also attested as arbītērĭum) which originally meant ‘a coming near, a being present, presence’ and, later came to mean ‘the judgment, decision of an arbitrator’. The word arbitrio is first attested in Spanish around the year 1300 with the meaning ‘will, judgement’. It is most often used in the phrase dejar algo al arbitrio de alguien ‘to leave something to someone’s discretion’, or similar ones.

Spanish also has a somewhat changed patrimonial version of the word arbitrio, namely albedrío (spelled alvedrio in the Middle Ages), first attested in 1219. Its main meaning is ‘(free) will’, as in libre albedrío ‘free will’ or a su albedrío ‘of his/her own free will’ or ‘to his/own devices’. Corominas speculates that albedrío may not come directly from Lat. arbitrium, but rather may be a noun derived from a verb albedriar, though such a verb is not attested (alvedrar is attested in Old Portuguese and it could perhaps have come from an earlier *alvedriar).

aterrizaje (1925) ‘landing’: related to Sp. aterrizar ‘to land’ and to Sp. noun tierra ‘land’, ‘dirt’, ‘Earth’; Sp. aterrizaje is a loanword (20th c.?) from French atterrissage (1812) ‘landing’, derived from Fr. terre, a cognate of Sp. tierra, with the prefix a‑ (a‑terr‑ir). The Spanish verb aterrizar ‘to land’, which also first appeared in the DRAE in 1925, would seem to be a back-formation on the noun aterrizaje. (For an analogous case see, alunizaje and alunizar above.)

The French noun atterrissage is derived from the verb atterrir, which itself is derived from the noun terre ‘land’ (cf. Sp. tierra). Fr. atterrir in aviation today means ‘to land, to touch down’ (Sp. aterrizar). How we get from atterrir (root atterr‑) to atterrissage is an interesting question, however.

The verb atterrir precedes aviation by many centuries. Fr. atterrir is first attested in the mid-14th century with the meaning ‘to fill with mud, dirt, alluvion’ and it means something like Sp. enterrar ‘to bury’ (en‑terr‑ar, cf. poner en la tierra, cubrir con tierra). The noun associated with this original verb atterrir was atterrissement, formed with the extended (lengthened) stem atterriss- (atterr‑iss‑) associated with the plural forms of the present tense of the verb and the noun suffix ‑(e)ment.[1]

Then, in the late 17th century, a second atterrir appears, no doubt formed after the first one, that in navigation meant ‘to recognize the land sighted and specify the position of the boat in relation to her’. The noun associated with this verb was atterrage, from the stem of the verb at‑terr‑ and the suffix ‑age. Finally, in the early 19th century, with the advent of ballooning, the verb atterrir came to be used to express the act of touching ground and the noun that was created to express the action of landing was atterrissage, which contained the extended stem of the verb, atterrisse‑, and the suffix ‑age. Eventually, probably in the early 20th century, Spanish calqued this noun as aterrizaje and from it, it derived the verb aterrizar ‘to land, touch ground’.

There are a few common collocations or idioms that contain the word aterrizaje ‘landing’: aterrizaje forzoso ‘emergency landing’, aterrizaje violento ‘crash landing’, pista de aterrizaje ‘runway, tarmac’, tren de aterrizaje ‘landing gear’.

[1] A large group of French verbs extends the infinitive stem by adding ‑i‑ to the singular verb forms and ‑iss‑ to the plural ones. The majority of ‑ir verbs do this (about 80%). The typical example is the verb finir ‘to finish’, with the root fin‑ (fin‑ir). The first person singular is je finis ‘I finish’ (fin‑i‑s) and the first person plural is nous finissons ‘we finish’ (fin‑iss‑ons). The English verb finish is a loanword from French and it is derived from the extended plural form of the stem of this French verb.

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