Japanese tapas

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Mar 3 00:12:43 UTC 2008

On Mar 2, 2008, at 8:00 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Japanese tapas
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mar 2, 2008, at 12:43 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> This extension of the word "tapas" (tapa?) is getting popular, with
>> just under 20,000 Googits. "Tapas" is being used as a translation for
>> ippin (一品), literally one dish/product.
> interesting usage in english.  "tapa" is used as a singular (referring
> to a food preparation*), with plural "tapas".  so "one tapa" gets
> 1,930 raw webhits, "three tapas" gets 2.490, and these all sound ok to
> me.  (i do wonder how many people pronounce "tapas" with a final /s/,
> modeling the spanish, and how many with a final /z/, nativizing the
> plural.)
> in noun-noun compounds, however, "tapas" as the first element greatly
> outnumbers "tapa" there:
> "tapas dish" 5,810 vs. "tapa dish" 341**; "tapas restaurant" 187,000
> vs. "tapa restaurant" 1,490 -- this despite the fact that english
> strongly prefers singular over plural first elements in such
> compounds.
> so TAPA on its own sometimes acts like an ordinary count noun (sg.
> "tapa", pl. "tapas").  but there's a competing mass noun TAPAS (hard
> to count, for various reasons) in, e.g.:
> i assume that this is the "tapas" that occurs in noun-noun compounds.
> (and i assume that it's always pronounced with final /s/ in such
> occurrences, and also in "tapas is" examples like those above.  that
> is, it's taken from spanish as a whole, without a perception of the
> original as a plural -- cf. the english mass nouns "broccoli",
> "rotini", etc., originally plural in form in italian.)

Googling a little more to avoid working, it looks like there are three
variations: tapas (non-count noun), tapa-tapas (countable) and tapas-
tapases (countable), though I bet that people using the last case use
tapas as a plural depending on the syntax.

To look for tapases, I narrowed to avoid personal names and other
irrelevant hits. "tapases food" (no quotes) produced 121 Googits, and
I'm sure there are many more.

Veganissimo serves three different lunchs every day. Fresh portions of
salads are also easy for take-away. In the evening you may enjoy a
more casual night with our tapases, or choose a 3-part dinner with
favourite wine from our à la carte menu to enjoy without hurry. (http://www.vegaaniliitto.fi/restaurants.htm

The range and the presence of the foods, and tapases were amazing, not
to mention their tatse. (by Laura, http://www.london-eating.co.uk/3906.htm
. I don't think the misspelling of "taste" is relevant.)

I must admit that, while I love the whole wine + food environment, I
find tapas (Tapases?  Tapi?) as being wholly unsatisfying for dinner.
(by the Goddess's Pool-Boy http://www.roguefood.com/forums/index.php?s=6048e4020b55d937eecab2147a248578&showtopic=665&view=findpost&p=9816)

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