Estudos de Linguistica Galega (Jan 2011)

Becada e becacina: dous castelanismos que non deberían incorporarse á lingua galega

  • Silverio Cerradelo Gómez

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3
pp. 199 – 209


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The aim of this paper is to document the process of borrowing the Castilian bird names *becadaand *becacina into Galician, arguing against their adoption and in favor of restoring the genuine Galician names for these birds. The paper starts with a description of the four species of wading birds to which these names are applied: *becacina, more generic, may designate Gallinago gallinago, Gallinago media or Lymnocryptes minimus, all of which are quite similar; *becada, a more specific term, is applied to Scolopax rusticola. The paper goes on to discuss Castilian names and genuine Galician ones for these bird species, remarking on their etymology and semantic motivation. A chronological review of specialized ornithological publications and Galician lexicographical works leads to the conclusion that adoption of the Castilian designation *becacinain Galician may be dated to the 1970s; *becada appears only more recently, in the 1990s. The incorporation process is described and explained, and it is argued that both terms are clearly Castilianisms.