Monday, October 5, 2020

Eng. discuss and Sp. discutir, Part 13

[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 13. Go to Part 1

Words derived from Sp. quejar(se)

Sp. quejido

Another noun related to the verb quejar in Modern Spanish is quejido ‘groan, moan, whine’, first attested at the end of the 16th century. Old Spanish synonyms, now obsolete, were quexura, quexadura, and, less common, quexamiento. The noun quejido is often used in the expressions dar quejidos ‘to moan, groan’ and un quejido de dolor ‘a cry of pain’.

Actually, the form of the noun quejido is quite interesting from an etymological perspective. It might seem to be a noun derived from the passive participle of a verb, as many Spanish nouns are, but since the verb is quejar and its passive participle quejado, this cannot be the case, for ‑ido is the ending for second and third conjugation participles in Spanish and the ending for first conjugation participles is ‑ado (quej‑ar > quej‑ado). So, what is the source of this ending or suffix-like element ‑ido (quej-ido)? The answer seems to be that this noun was derived by analogy with other nouns that describe sounds of different types that also have endings in ‑ido and which are not derived from 2nd or 3rd conjugation participles either. The main ones are the following:

·    chillido ‘shriek, scream, cry; (pig) squeal; (mouse) squeak; (bird) screech’ (16th century), related to the verb chillar ‘to shriek, scream, etc.’ (15c.), perhaps from V.Lat. *cisclare < Late Lat. fistulare < Lat. fistŭla ‘pipe, tube, (music) shepherd's pipe, pipes of Pan’

·    silbido ‘whistle’ (17c.), related to the verb silbar ‘to whistle’ (14c.), from Lat. sībĭlāre ‘to hiss, to whistle’

·    berrido ‘(calf’s) bellow, bellowing; (person’s) howl’, related to the verb berrear ‘to bellow; to bawl’, from Lat. verrēs ‘a boar, male swine’

·    chirrido ‘screech; creak, creaking’ (15c.), related to the verb chirriar ‘to squeak, creak; screech’ (15c.), presumably an onomatopoeic verb

·    balido ‘bleating, bleat’ (14c.), related to the verb balar ‘to bleat’ (13c.), from Lat. balāre

·    aullido ‘howl’ (13c.), related to the verb aullar ‘to howl’, from an earlier *ullar, from Vulgar Lat. ūlŭlāre < Lat. ŭlŭlāre ‘to howl, yell, shriek, utter a mournful cry’

·    maullido ‘meow’ (18c.), related to the verb maullar ‘to meow’ (15c.), a dialectal variant of the verb maular, by influence of aullar, also an onomatopoeic verb

·    graznido ‘(crow’s) caw; (goose’s) honk; (duck’s) quack’ (15c), related to the verb graznar ‘to caw; to honk; to quack’, from an earlier *gracĭnare, from Late Lat. gracitare/gracillare, from Lat. grācŭlus ‘jackdaw’ (bird related to the crow)

·    zumbido ‘buzzing’ (15c), related to the verb zumbar ‘to buzz; to hum, whirr’ (15c), another onomatopoeic verb

·    pitido ‘whistle (sound), whistling; beep, hoot, honk’ (20c.), related to the verb pitar ‘to blow a whistle; to hoot, honk’, from pito ‘whistle, car horn, etc.’, an onomatopoeic noun

It is not clear how these names of sounds came to be derived by means of the ending (suffix?) ‑ido. Most of these words are attested quite late, historically speaking. Perhaps the noun sonido ‘sound’, attested in the 13th century, was the primary catalyst or source of the analogy. This is a semi-learned descendant of the 4th declension noun Lat. sŏnĭtus ‘noise, sound, din’. If this word had been patrimonial, it would have developed into *suendo. In this word, the ‑t‑  changed to ‑d‑, like in patrimonial words, but other expected sound changes did not take place in this word, which is why we say it is a semi-learned word (Sp. semicultismo, cf. Part I, Chapter 1). Note that the stress in this word shifted from the antepenultimate syllable in the Latin word to the penultimate syllable in Spanish, something that would have prevented the short ŏ from diphthongizing to ue in a patrimonial word.

The Latin noun sŏnĭtus was probably derived by conversion from the identical passive participle of the first conjugation verb sŏnāre ‘to sound, resound, make a noise’ (source of Sp. sonar ‘to sound; to ring; etc.’). The reason that this participle was sŏnĭtus and not sŏnātus seems to be due to the fact that verb was earlier a third conjugation verb, sŏnĕre, whose passive participle was rightfully sŏnĭtus. The more common word for the meaning ‘noise, sound’ in Latin was sŏnus, the ultimate source of Eng. sound, from Old French son ‘sound, musical note, voice’, and of Sp. son ‘musical sound’, which is probably a loanword from Occitan, for if it was a patrimonial word it would have been sueno, a word that is actually attested in the Middle Ages (DCEH).

Another early sound-related noun ending in ‑ido which has been said to influence the more recent nouns in ‑ido is tronido, an old word for ‘thunder’ in Spanish (cf. the more common trueno in Modern Spanish), descended from Vulgar Lat. trŏnītus, from Lat. tŏnītrus ‘thunder’, related to the verb tŏnāre (source of Sp. tronar ‘to thunder’, whose r is supposedly due to the influence of the related noun tronido). From the feminine past participle of tronar, namely tronada, Spanish created a noun that means ‘thunderstorm’. This noun was borrowed into English in the 16th century, changing into the word tornado which, incidentally, has been borrowed back by Spanish as tornado with the new meaning it developed in English: ‘a mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud’ (COED).

Finally, another early sound-related noun ending in ‑ido which might have influenced the creation of the other nouns with this ending is the word ruido ‘noise’, first attested as roido in Mio Cid (DCEH). This noun descends from the fourth declension Latin noun rŭgītus that meant ‘a roaring of lions’ and, by transference, ‘a rumbling in the bowels’ (L&S). This noun was derived by conversion from the identical passive participle of the verb rŭgīre ‘to roar’ (cf. learned Sp. rugir ‘to roar’ and rugido ‘roar’). By the way, Sp. ruido is a cognate of Eng. rut ‘an annual period of sexual activity in deer and some other mammals, during which the males fight each other for access to the females’ (COED).[1]

[1]  This Eng. rut comes from Old French rut, from Latin *rūgitus. It is unrelated to the homonym rut that means ‘a sunken track or groove made by the passage of vehicles’ and ‘a fixed, usually boring routine’ (AHD), which probably comes from Old Fr. rute, also the source of Eng. route. 

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