Friday, September 18, 2020

Eng. discuss and Sp. discutir, Part 5

[This entry is taken from a chapter of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]

This is Part 5. Go to Part 1

Other words derived ultimately from Lat. quătĕre


As we mentioned earlier, dĭscŭtĕre was not the only Latin verb derived from the verb quătĕre by prefixation in the early days of Latin, before classical Latin times. There were six other prefixes that were added to quătĕre to form new derived verbs in Latin. Some of these verbs, as well as other words derived from them, have made it into English and Spanish, most of them as loanwords, but Spanish does have some patrimonial reflexes of words containing the root quăt‑. The six additional verbs formed by prefixation of the verb quătĕre were the following:




Main meaning


+quătĕre Ž


‘to strike together or violently’



‘to strike on or against’



‘to strike or pierce through’



‘to shake out/off’



‘to strike back, cause to rebound’



‘to fling up from below, toss up’

Additionally, there was another Latin verb derived from quătĕre, namely the frequentative verb quăssāre, derived in a regular way as a first conjugation verb from the passive participle quăss‑ of the verb quătĕre. (For more on frequentative verbs in Latin, see Part I, Chapter 8.) This verb’s principal parts were present tense quăssō, present infinitive quăssāre, perfect active quăssāvī, and passive participle quăssātus. The primary meaning of classical Latin quăssāre was ‘to shake or toss violently’ (L&S). It should not come as a surprise by now that there would be Latin verbs derived from this frequentative verb by means prefixation, and we do find one: conquăssāre ‘to shake violently, to shake thoroughly, shatter, etc.’ (con+quăss‑āre).

The words that derive from the Latin verbs just mentioned that have made it into Modern English through borrowing, either directly from written Latin or through French, are the following: concuss, concussion, concussive; percuss, percussion, percussive; repercussion; fracas; quash; and rescue. And the words that have made it into Spanish by borrowing them from Latin, often through French, which usually borrowed them first, are the following: concusión, concusionario, inconcuso; concuasar; percutir, percusión, percusor; repercutir, repercusión; and excusión. In addition, Spanish has some patrimonial verbs, word from Latin that are not borrowed but rather descended by uninterrupted word-of-mouth transmission from Latin times, verbs that have changed significantly through time due to their being transmitted orally, namely the verbs quejar, cascar, cundir, acudir, and sacudir. We will now look at these words now in turn.

Go to Part 6: Lat. concŭtĕre

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