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Old August 20th, 2010, 03:16 AM   #1

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The King of Spains Lisp


During a recent conversation with a friend who had just returned to Spain, She mentioned that in some areas of Spain they pronounce Barcelona; Barthelona. Apparently this is because one of the Spainish Kings had a lisp and couldn't pronouce his "c's". So as not to offend their king the people of Spain changed the way they pronounced their words, and this is still evedent today in certain dialects.

Is this true, and have languages been changed in the past to reflect a monarchs, desires or inabilty to communicate.

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Old August 20th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #2

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


I don't think that we can give such explanation for some phonological changes...
Its like when Russians call "Theodosios"(for example)-Feodosi and Italians say "terapia" instead of "therapia".
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
During a recent conversation with a friend who had just returned to Spain, She mentioned that in some areas of Spain they pronounce Barcelona; Barthelona. Apparently this is because one of the Spainish Kings had a lisp and couldn't pronouce his "c's". So as not to offend their king the people of Spain changed the way they pronounced their words, and this is still evedent today in certain dialects.
Not exactly, the pronounciation of "c" as "th" is common to many Spanish dialects - notably Castilian, Aragonese and also appears in the Catalan accent (Catalan being a distinct language).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
Is this true, and have languages been changed in the past to reflect a monarchs, desires or inabilty to communicate.
I suppose it's possible, but it's highly unlikely. I think the only people who would ape his speech would be extreme sycophants (suck-ups and arse kissers).

Another point to consider is this: how likely would be that a peasant in the wilds of Andalucia or Galicia would ever hear the King speak?
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #4

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chookie View Post
Not exactly, the pronounciation of "c" as "th" is common to many Spanish dialects - notably Castilian, Aragonese and also appears in the Catalan accent (Catalan being a distinct language).


I suppose it's possible, but it's highly unlikely. I think the only people who would ape his speech would be extreme sycophants (suck-ups and arse kissers).

Another point to consider is this: how likely would be that a peasant in the wilds of Andalucia or Galicia would ever hear the King speak?
Exactly. And you can take that to the bank.
To which I would add that if your friend does not speak the language she is most likely hearing only her own linguistic experience and not what is actually being pronounced. Which has to do with 'minimal pairs' and other fun linguistic stuff, but I don't think we need to get into that.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #5

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


while possessing less than zero actual knowledge on this, I have to state that Chookie and Pedro have presented convincing arguements.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #6

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


I actually agree with what Chookie said. It's probally a tall tale told to tourists in Spain to explain why the Spainish pronounced certain words differently to how we would expect them to be pronounced.

Still I thought it was a cool story.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #7

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Not to mention that mimicking a Royals speech impediment might cause you to lose your head.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 12:13 AM   #8

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Actually this story is widely believed and I've heard it repeated on several occasions. Castillian is the principal Iberian Spanish dialect and it was supposed to be a relatively recent Castillian king who lisped. The Spanish spoken in South America is different in this respect as it does not include the "lisp". For example cerveza (beer) is pronounced quite like it would be in English in South America whereas in Iberian Castillian its pronounced therbetha.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 02:54 AM   #9

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
Not to mention that mimicking a Royals speech impediment might cause you to lose your head.
Yeah, this was my first thought. If I were the king, I'd be like "you're all really freaking funny, aren't you?"
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 05:50 AM   #10

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Re: The King of Spains Lisp


Hello,
I am from Spain and I think I can provide a little bit of light to that matter. I've never heard such history, even for be told to the tourists.
First of all, I want to explain a little bit the situation of different languages an dialects in Spain.
the Kingdom of Spain has one official language, spoke by all spanish: the castilian (spanish: castellano) or also called Spanish. Nevertheless, in a few regions (autonomous communities, comunidades autónomas, 17 + 2 autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melilla) they have also another official language. Those languages are:

- Catalonian (Spanish: catalán, catalonian: catalá): a roman language official in Catalonia (sp: Cataluña, ct: Catalunya).
- Valenciano (sorry, I don't know how is called in English!): this language is close to catalonian, official in Valencia.
- Basquian (I think this is how you call it in English): a non-indoeuropean language spoken and official in the Basque Country and Navarra.
- Balear (again, I don't know how is in English): Spoken & official in the Balear Islands, close to catalonian and valenciano.
- Galician (gallego): other romance language, spoken and official in Galicia.

There are also another languages spoken but non-official in any autonomous community: guanche (Canary Islands), aragonés (Aragón), Bable (Asturias), Riojano (La Rioja), Aranés (Valley of Arán), etc. Andalusian is not a language or dialect, is just an accent.

In the case of castilian, the letter C is ALWAYS said like th if it goes with e or i. In the other cases is said like K. If you want to make K noise with e or i you need to use qu in front; if you want to make th noise with a, o, u you need to use z in front (but our z is not as noisy as the english z (i.e. zebra), is more like th (i.e. therapy as you guys said).
Example:
Cataluña: (said: Kataluña)
Córdoba: (Korboba)
Cuerpo: (Kuerpo, meas body).
----
cebra (said "thebra", meas zebra)
cirio (said "thirio" means candle).

That meas that Barcelona is always called "Barthelona" because this is the right way in spanish and catalonian. Maybe your mistake comes from the andalusian and latin way to speak: sometime to time they mix "th" with "s", saying "s" where they need to use "th" or "th" when they need to use "s". In spanish this is called sesear or cecear. That way to speak is incorrect.

So, this of the spanish king who couldn't speak right is just a tale. Anyway, it is true that Carlos I/V couldn't speak good because a problem in his mouth, also he never reached to have a good castillian, because he was been born and raised in Flandes, and used to speak in french with is collaborators.

I'm sorry for the grammatical mistakes I made (obviously, mi first language is not English, and I also didn't receive formal education in that language), feel free to tell me where I made mistakes (this will help me to upgrade mi level) and feel free to ask me what you want.
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