doxa.comunicación | 31, pp. 403-419 | 405

July-December of 2020

Soledad Chavez Fajardo

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

newspaper archives’). In cases where there is no conclusive or defining information, or there is a gap that needs to be verified, sources provided by international Romance or Hispanic studies, among others, will be utilised. These resources consist of webpages offered by international universities or other projects financed by research centres, whose data are available to both researchers and the general public. Due to the modus operandi of historical lexicology, reviewed and cited bibliography documents are often not current. However, this does not imply that the research itself is out of date. The fact that historical lexicology largely requires exhaustive bibliographic examinations regarding the use and competence of a given word makes resorting to digital resources absolutely necessary.

2.1. Etymology: a case of interference

An interesting case within etymological procedures occurs when, in the conflicting hotchpotch that is popular etymology, a key element is found. It may be a similarity in the form or content (or form and content) of the words studied. This similarity produces what is known in historical semantics as phonetic associative interference (cf. Kany 1962: 203-204), i.e., an exchange of sounds and meanings generated between two words. In general, etymologists blame the speakers’ lack of attention or their ignorance of word meanings (especially foreign, dialectal, archaic words, or those that may seem strange to them) for this.

2.1.1. It is what we find, in fact, in baza, understood as the game of cards with respect to the set of cards held by the winner of the game (“Conjunto de cartas que en ciertos juegos de naipes recoge quien gana la mano”, Diccionario de Lengua Española, DLE); or what occurs when a player wins a hand and takes all the other players’ cards (“ganar un jugador una mano y llevarse todas las cartas de los jugadores”, Diccionario de Uso del Español, DUE); or the fact of having the card with the most value in the round (“tener la carta con más valor en la jugada”, Diccionario del Español Actual, DEA) or the entire set of cards in a round (“conjunto de naipes que se utilizan en cada jugada”, Diccionario de Uso del Español Actual, CLAVE). Therefore, due to semantic transition, the term variably refers to an entire well-calculated operation (DEA); or something that allows an advantage or profit (DLE, DUE); or a situation leading to either winning or losing the game (DEA).

2.1.2. In the Diccionario de Chilenismos y de otras voces y locuciones viciosas (‘Dictionary of Chileanisms and Other Non-Standard Words and Phrases), published between 1901 and 1918 by Manuel Antonio Román, a Catholic diocesan priest, we find the following question regarding the adverbial phrase sentada esta baza o sentada la baza: ‘How come the Royal Spanish Academy’s dictionary confers [a spelling with a z] to this term? Is not the word [baza] screaming to be written with a “z”, as with an “s” it means ‘beginning and foundation of a thing’?” The questioning attitude of Román with the RAE helped to develop, through examination, an interesting case of etymological expertise

2.1.3. Precisely, when investigating the history of the dictionarisation of baza, we see that more than an apparent academic error, it contains an interesting case of a possible homonymic blend. Indeed, Covarrubias (2006 [1611]) in the base article added, as a second meaning:

Basas, en el juego, son las cartas ganadas, las cuales van haciendo fundamento sobre la primera, de do tomaron el nombre. Cuando uno se lo habla todo, sin que otro alguno de los circunstantes pueda decir su razón, comúnmente se dice del tal,