Borrowing of words from one culture and incorporating it to another culture is a common phenomenon among communities that lived together in prehistoric period. Historians have argued that the settlement of the Arabic speakers among the Spanish communities contributed to the use of Arabic language by the Spanish…
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This paper will argue the impact of Arabic language on the Spanish language by exploring factors that contributed to the influence.
Arab Muslim invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and conquered it. The invasion ended the Visigothic Kingdom. The settlement of the Muslim Arab in the Iberian Peninsula influenced the lifestyle as evident by the immortalisation of the first Muslim general Tariq in the Ar. Gabal, previous referred as Calpe (Beale-Rivaya 9). The activities of Muslim Arab in the peninsula included converting the people of the Peninsular into the Islamic faith. Pharies argues in his book, A Brief History of the Spanish Language, that the presence of the Arabic speakers among the Spanish speakers influenced the language and the culture of the Spanish. Initially, the Spanish people were not Muslim (Penny 2). The Muslim Arabs taught the Islamic religion in Arabic, thus influencing the Spanish language. Penny (2) argues that the nature of influence that Arabic language and activity had to Spanish in the Peninsular of Bipartite nature. That is, the contribution through borrowing of thousand of thousands of words and political perspective that explains how Castilian managed to establish itself in the present day Spain.
The dominance of the Arabic language among the Ibero-Romance was probably due to the following factors: first, the Muslim invaders inhabited the Latin speaking population and settled among the Latin speakers for several centuries, second, the forces that invaded the peninsular did not carry their women. Thus, the generation after the settlement of the invaders was a result of mixed marriages. Muslims in the early centuries tolerated their subjects. Scholarship on influence of Arabic language to the Spanish language has mentioned the above aspects as probable factors that promoted the influence of the Arabic language among the Latin speakers (Beale-Rivaya 8). Scholarships that attempt to explain the transmission of the Arabism to the Spanish language have argued that Mozarabic bridged between the Spanish and Arabic (Isabelli 5). Mozarabic is a language that is much closer to the Arabic language. Pharies posits that the Arabic language was the super stratum language in the Andalusia Romance and ad stratum to peninsular Romance. This argument believes that the influence of Arabic language did not only occur because of the superiority of the Muslim regime whose official language was Arabic, but also the influence of the other minor communities. Thus, the influence to the language did not only influence the Ibero-Romance but also other communities the felt the influence of the Arabic rule in Andalusia. Historians believe that a superior culture institute its influence through language instruction (Penny 8). The same is must have applied in influencing the language of the Spanish. The influence of the Roman Empire to Andalusia is evident through Italianisms of the Spanish vocabulary during the Renaissance. In the above case, bilingual interaction did not occur between the Italian speaking communities and the Spanish speaking communities. This attribute has influenced some scholars to believe that language borrowing does not only occur in an instance of bilingual interac
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