Many of the words of the Spanish Language have a Latin origin but they have evolved over the years. But there are still some words that have suffed none or very little change from the original ones in Latin. These words are known as cultismos, with examples such as: “laicismo” (secularism), “helenismo” (Hellenism), “malévolo” (malicious) ...
However, languages have introduced (and keep introducing) other words to its system. These new words are called "neologismos".
According to the RAE (Spanish Royal Academy) neologismos are "words, meanings or new nuances in a language." This concept includes both foreign words borrowed from other languages and newly created words, formed by the morphological processes of the language, or by semantic change.
There are different types of neologisms:
• "Neologismos de forma". Words created from morphological changes of existing words in the language itself. For example, “telenovela” constructed from the words “televisión + novela”).
• "Neologismos del sentido". New words that are built with words that already exist in the language but which suffer changes in the meaning. A good example is “camello”, whose original meaning is camel (the animal) but now is also used refering to a drug dealer.
• "Extranjerismos". These are words borrowed from other languages either as the only word with that meaning or as an alternative to other existing expressions in the language. Sometimes the same script remains (“basket”, “puzzle”...) and at other times it is altered to fit Spanish, like “chalé” from the french word "chalet". Lexical and semantic borrowings can also be found among the "extranjerismos"
- Lexical borrowings are those which take the form and meaning of a linguistic unit belonging to another language. The adoption involves an adaptation of the original pronunciation and, most frequently, the spelling: football --- fútbol --- scanner escaner
- Semantic loans adopt the meaning of a foreign word for a form already existing in the target language. For example, mouse --- “ratón” (information technology), window--- “ventana” (information technology).
Neologisms are moving in the direction of an increasingly complex society which need to name new aspects of human relationships.Computing and telecommunications are the areas where more neologisms appear. For example, “ciberespacio” (cyberspace), “cibernauta” (surfer), “hipertexto” (hypertext),...
However, today there are all kinds of neologisms in any area of life. But not all of them are born with the aim of naming new concepts. Some of them already have a word with that meaning in the Spanish language, but the neologism is adopted and used more frecuently as the origianl. A notable example is the word “iceberg” which has displaced the Spanish "témpano".
Anyway, many neologi are just trendy words which are soon replaced.