Re: Corpora: Oscar from Spain

Otto Prytz (
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 10:48:50 +0100 (MET)

On Thu, 30 Oct 1997 wrote:

> Do you know
> which language is more rich in vocabulary, Spanish or English.
I agree with what Bob Krovetz said, but I think your question doesn't
apply to word forms, but rather to word STEMS or lexical items. In
addition to what Bob Krovetz said about English borrowing words more
freely than Spanish, I draw your attention to the fact that English
has--so to say--two sets of words: one Germanic and one Romance, whereas
the main source of Spanish words is its Latin origin. Admittedly, Spanish
has borrowed many words from Latin throughout its history, to the extent
that Spanish philologists group the words into three categories: "palabras
cultas", "palabras semicultas" and "palabras populares". It's also true
that Spanish has borrowed some 4,000 words from Arabic, and that it may
have borrowed more words from Amerindian languages than English has, but I
don't think these factors are sufficient to make Spanish a richer language
in WORD STEMS than English.

> What is the difference between the "voices" and the "words" that has
> a language, for example, Spanish has 85.300 "voices" in its official
> dictionary but It has about 3.000.000 words, could you explain me the
> difference, Thanks a lot for your time.......
This is a matter of Spanish language use. The word "voice" cannot be used
in English like Spanish "voz" meaning "palabra" (= "word"). I think
Spanish "voz" could be translated "word stem" or "lexical item". Spanish
synonyms are "palabra" and "vocablo". "Word" (Spanish "palabra") may
include derived forms. So, "leche", "lechal" and "lechero" are three
"palabras", but the two latter ones are derived from the same "voz"
"leche". You may look up "voz", "palabra" and "vocablo" in the official
dictionary you referred to in your message, and see if the definitions
correspond to what I said.

With best regards,
Otto Prytz <>
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