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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Isabel García Ortiz, MA in Hispanic Linguistics (University of Granada) BA in Translation and Interpreting (University of Granada)


PhD student in Hispanic Studies



My project explores medical terminology in contemporary Spanish and, more concretely, medical cultismos (words borrowed direct or indirectly from a classical language, namely Latin and Greek). A great number of these words, whose usage was originally restricted to the cultured élite with immediate access to learning and knowledge, have undergone dissemination and have become popular (a linguistic phenomenon known as ‘downwards migration’). Their usage is, in some cases, so widespread that a significant number of these terms have come to rank amongst the most frequently used words in Spanish, according to Davies’ A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish: Core Vocabulary for Learners (2017). My aim is to study, through the exploitation of dictionaries and online corpora, the process of social and linguistic embedding of medical cultismos in the Spanish language, as well as to explore, through vocabulary tests, the extent to which speakers understand and use the aforementioned words in real life situations.

Supervisors: Prof Christopher Pountain and Dr Elena Carrera


Research Interests:

Historical Linguistics, History of the Romance Languages, History of the Spanish Language, Learnèd Borrowings, Language Contact.

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