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This papers analyzes the processes of morphophonological adaptation of words from Arabic origin that are present in Galician, a Romance language spoken in Northwestern Spain. It presents a list of all the Arabisms present in this language, some four hundred fifty entries, and assesses the conditions for its contact with Arabic. Detailed analysis of twelve words unique to Galician, i.e. not present in Castilian Spanish, highlights their importance as a distinguishing feature within this particular linguistic system and investigates the great variability in their adaptation. A final argument will be made that lexical borrowing in this case was partially a result of direct contact between these two languages and that it was not always mediated by Spanish.


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This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by University of Ottawa © 2005: Thomas, Juan Antonio, and Lotfi Sayahi. 2005. Morphophonological and semantic adaptation of Arabisms in Galician. Cahiers Linguistiques d'Ottawa 33. 23–42. Available at: