Current trends in Spanish and Romance diachronic lexicology
Steven N. Dworkin
University of Michigan
Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Greene Hall 145, 2:00-3:00pm
Although diachronic lexicology, the historical study of the lexicon, is no longer a central focus of historical Romance linguistics, many scholars continue to carry out important research in this field. For the purposes of this presentation I shall define diachronic lexicology as the study of all aspects of a given word or word-family’s history, including identification of its origin (etymology), as well as its formal and semantic evolution. Today the discipline known as etymology, originally limited to the identification of word origins, has become the starting point for diachronic lexicological research.
Limiting my purview to Spanish in particular (while including passing reference to relevant studies on the other Romance languages), I shall survey here the current state of affairs and of recent work in diachronic lexicology and the importance of its findings for research in other branches of historical linguistics such as phonology, (derivational) morphology, semantics, and, reflecting more recent work, its implications for the historical study of grammaticalization and the evolution of pragmatic and discourse markers.