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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. De hecho, ya tienen uno, el Atlas Esmeralda, pero Magnus quiere ofrecerles un trueque muy tentador: sus padres a cambio del libro.

Algo muy peligroso. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published February 21st by Montena first published More Details Original Title. The Books of Beginning 2. Other Editions Friend Reviews.


Better Spanish Literature editions mean better courses, happier students An ever expanding collection of signifficant books, comprising Spanish and Latin American literature, history, economics, and cultural studies. High quality editions conceived with modern readers and students in mind, including updated footnotes, prefaces and bibliographies. Better Academic editions enhance your Spanish Literature career Publishing is the surest way to advance your academic career. I propose to explore the significance of the letter in this process.

As a reference point, I shall take the relevance attributed to the alphabet and, therefore, to the letter during the late Renaissance and. L'Homme , avr. My explorations will be framed in two distinct but interrelated contexts of description. The second context of description is more recent and began after reading Balandier He also proposed a theoretical approach to colonial situations according to which an ethnic minority, technologically advanced, and practitioners of Christianity, imposed themselves upon an ethnic majority, technologically less advanced and practitioners of non-christian religions.

He also suggested the need for conducting interdisciplinary research in order to understand better colonial situations. When Balandier proposed his theoretical approach to colonial situations, the colonization of language was not an issue that could have piqued the interest of historians, sociologists, economists or anthropologists, to mention the main disciplines targeted in his article. Said went one step further than Foucault by departing from his notion of discursive formation to confront the West's construction of the East and, by the same token, opened up the doors to understanding the role of discourse in colonial situations.

Letters, languages and territories. The complicity he underlines between the letter and the territory. The Colonization of American Languages Pre-colombian cultures as well as postcolonial colonized and non-alphabetic cultures provide telling examples Menchu Aldrete had good reasons and historical examples, however, which supported his case:. When a nation receives another language, it also jointly admits the letter with which the language is written, and if it loses its spoken language, it also loses the form of the letter with which it is written [ Thus whoever receives a new language also receives the letter with which it is written, and if they lose the language, they also lose the characters of that language , cap.

In my reading of Aldrete's paragraph, I perceive the development of two main theses: the first asserts that the letter changes when language changes because it has to be adapted to a new territory. The second contends that when a language dies the letter also disappears and, consequently, the territory is emptied. If my understanding of Aldrete's main theses is correct then the main presupposition underlying them is that writing developed from speech. I consider this belief to be one of the most important and erroneous legacies of Renaissance philosophy of language and writing.

The history of writing has revealed, in the recent past, that writing emerged in connection with record-keeping and economic transactions Naveh ; Goody and not as representation of speech. In my discussion of Aldrete, however, I do not intend to refute his assertions but, rather, to introduce some of the most widespread convictions in Renaissance philosophy of language.

Thus, one of the logical consequences of the complicity between language, letters and territoriality is the fact that the consolidation of states and nation will depend on the homogenization of language and, that the homogenization of language will depend a great deal on the control that the letter can exert upon the sounds of a language. The letter and the management of the voice. When Aldrete wrote the paragraph noted above, almost one hundred years had elapsed since the proclamation of the Laws of Burgos Furthermore, his writing was contemporary to several laws and decrees posted by Philip III with the intention of hispanicizing the Indies.

Theoretically, Aldrete's theses do not contradict the linguistic politics of the Crown, although they are valid enough to explain the linguistic realities of the colonies. Nebrija's grammatical and philosophical enterprises can be read in this context. A theory of the letter which is at the same time a theory of writing is presented in the description of the parts into which grammars are divided , Nebrija began his grammars as well as, later on, his rules for Castilian orthography by devoting several paragraphs to the letters.

La parole aux lecteurs

He assumed in every case that the invention of the alphabet was one of the greatest achievements of human civilization. This is one reason why, in order to support his assertion, Nebrija was constantly looking into the history of writing and of the invention of the letters. II: 14 , of the merge between the significance of the letter and its origin and history. Among all the things that human beings discovered through experience, or that were shown to us by divine revelation in order to polish and embellish human life, nothing was more necessary, nor benefited us more, than the invention of letters.

Such letters, which by a common consent and the silent conspiracy of all nations have been accepted, have been invented — according to those who wrote about antiquity — by the Assyrians; with the exception of Gelio, who attributed the invention of letters to Mercury in Egypt.

Among all the things that human beings discovered through experience, or that were shown to us by divine revelation in order to polish and embellish human life, nothing has been more necessary, nor benefited us more, than the invention of letters. It seems that this invention originated from the fact that before letters were discovered, images were used to represent the things which people wanted to record, such as the figure of the right hand stretched out which meant generosity, and the closed fist which meant avarice, and the ear denoted memory; knees meant mercy; a coiled snake indicated the year, and so on.

But since this business was endless and very confusing, the first inventor of letters — whoever that was — looked at the amount of different voices in his language, and made as many figures or letters; by means of these figures, when placed in a certain order, he represented all the words he wished, as much for his memory as for speaking with those who. Thus the letter is nothing more than a trace or figure by means of which the voice is represented Book I, chap, n : ; italics mine.

The quotation shows, on the one hand, that Nebrija continued to hold in his theory of the letter for over twenty five years ; on the other hand, it shows the semiotic context in which the letter is conceptualized. While the letter is conceived in relation to the voice, the signs enumerated beforehand are conceived in relation to their meaning e.

The celebration and history of the letter was followed by Nebrija' s pharmakon Derrida : since, once the letter was defined as the representation of the voice, Nebrija became concerned with correcting and maintaining the complicity between them. A successful cure for the inconsistencies between sound and letter, for example, as well as a successful preventive remedy depends on the grammarian's success in taming the letter.

Otherwise, speakers would pronounce in one way and write in another which, according to Nebrija, is just the opposite of the reasons for inventing the letters. Therefore, Nebrija' s reasoning states an a priori need to explain a long and complex historical development e.

Why the Mendicant or Jesuit friars writing grammars of Amerindian languages would follow Nebrija's example is clear at the technical level, not at the ideological one. If Latin and Castilian grammars were taken as models to write grammars of Amerindian languages, the programs underlying Nebrija's grammars did not coincide, necessarily, with the friars' program and ideologies, and, therefore, the ideological differences between both grammars were ignored.

A glance at Amerindian language grammars written by Castilian friars during the 16th and 17th centuries shows that the majority of the grammars began with a discussion of the letters and by identifying those letters Amerindian languages do not have. The common concern with identifying the missing letters indicates that celebrating the invention of writing and finding its origin is no longer an issue.

La ira anticlerical de mayo de Religión, política y propaganda

The new preoccupations suggest that the letter has been promoted to an ontological dimension which attributes to it a clear priority over the voice. The Classical tradition has been inverted and the letter no longer has the ancillary dimension attributed to it by Aristotle De Interpretationes , but has become the voice in itself. The Jesuit Horacio Carochi, in his well known Arte de la lengua mexicana , begins his work by noting that the Mexican language lacks seven letters Cap.

I, I and, in the next section, urges those learning the language to pronounce it correctly Cap. There is an understandable paradox, but paradox nonetheless, between the assertion that a language lacks a given number of letters in relation to an alphabet created for a non related language and the urge to pronounce it correctly. Indeed, Amerindian languages did not necessarily lack letters but implied different ones, namely those that were not within the sound system of the romance languages. But, after all, the friars' program consisted in taming Nebrija and Carochi used the word reducir the Amerindian languages and not in analysing the connivance between ideographic or hieroglyphic writing and speech, which was of a different kind than that between speech and alphabetic writing.

Nebrija' s pharmakon and the Prince's glories. I have analyzed, so far, the complicity between the letter and the territory, on the one hand, and the connivance between the letter and the voice, on the other. It is the interrelation between the letter and the writing of history which now requires our attention. The letter is not only necessary to tame the voice but also to record the past which is, at the same time, a way of building the territory.

Thus, the conspiracy between the letter and the Prince's glories. The first two paragraphs of the prologue celebrate, once more, the great achievement of humankind with the invention of letters but, this time, goes beyond just grammatical considerations :. The past days, when your worship submitted the History of the Illustrious King John the Second to Arnao Guillen for printing, I informed you that the reason for which we had been using letters in Castilian was for the most part corrupt. I am not saying now that old words should be replaced by new ones, since this would mean corrupting books, as opposed to reforming them; rather I say that these days no one writes our language purely, due to the lack of some letters which we pronounce but do not write, and others, on the contrary, which we write but do not pronounce.

The reason for Nebrija' s argument is that if the Princes were as hungry for fame as those from antiquity, they would not overlook the complicity between the letter, the writing. One of the examples, among many, that help us understand the logic and semantic connections between the letter and the glory of the Princes, is as follows :.

From the letter to the glory of the Prince there is indeed a great gap. A distance which is large enough to frame, precisely, the idea of civilization and to marginalize the barbarians who do not know Latin letters but also, and perhaps mainly, those who do not have letters at all. And the same gap also exists between the letter as graphic mark representing sound and the letter as a graphic mark recording and preserving glorious events so that we can understand not only the connections between the letter and the Prince's glory but, also, the questions addressed by Father Acosta, from Peru, to Father Tovar, in Mexico, which I mentioned in the introduction to this paper.

A few years later, Father Acosta would devote a great deal of Book VI of his Historia moral y natural de las Indias to literacy and the interpretation of culture which was what the connections between the letter and the Prince's glory amounted to. In fact, Acosta establishes a hierarchy of civilizations according to the writing system each possesses placing, first, the alphabetic system of the Christian West; second, the ideograms of the Chinese and, third, the pictograms of the Aztecs.

Such a hierarchy of writing systems allowed Acosta to distinguish between civilizations which have alphabetic writing and history and civilizations, like the Aztec and the Incas, whom were able to record the past by means of pictograms or quipus but who cannot — according to Acosta's logic — have history. History was, within this Renaissance theory of writing Mignolo a , a matter of the letter and of alphabetic writing and so also was the Prince's glory. Which, of course, forms a link with the cultural construction of territoriality.

The colonization of native languages grammars : and vocabularies, law for the hispanicization of the indies and the teaching of latin. The preceding section was devoted to Nebrija's theory of the letter as an invention which allowed both the control of the voice and of the territory by means of written history which celebrated the glory of the Princes. The focus was on the first discontinuity of the Classical tradition. In this section the focus will be on the New World and on the second discontinuity alphabetization and writing grammars of non-western languages of the Western legacy.

The Greco-Roman legacy in Renaissance theories of writing, which. In the following pages I shall explore this issue taking as a reference point the presence and influence of Nebrija in New World literacy. Both the friars who undertook the task of composing grammars of native languages as well as contemporary scholars who studied the history, politics and ideology of alphabetization and conversion during the colonial period, agree in recognizing Nebrija's influence.

It is not clear, however, to what extent and in what capacity Nebrija's presence in the New World left its mark. Since I am assuming that the degree of his influence is not clear, although his impact is out of the question, I should explain why I think we are facing an important issue here. We should distinguish between two levels of Nebrija's influence. One is technical and relates to the model offered by his Latin and Castilian grammars to those who were interested in writing grammars of the native languages.

The other is political and ideological and is related to the programs Nebrija attached to his grammar of Latin, first, and to his grammar and orthography of Castilian, second. Let's take these issues one at the time :. Which grammar? On the other hand, scholars who have studied the impact of Nebrija in Europe have underlined the extraordinary success of the Latin grammar Introductiones latinae, and the curious neglect of Castilian grammar :. To complicate the mystery further, let us remember the Arte de la lengua castellana y mexicana, published in by Alonso de Molina.

In his prologue the author reported that the first part of his grammar is devoted to the morphology of the Mexican language and that he follows the model of the Latin and Castilian grammars. Therefore, he divided the sentence of the Mexican language in eight parts. This indication is most valuable since we know that Nebrija was clear in saying, and in pointing out, why the Latin sentence is divided into eight parts while the Castilian is divided into ten.

In conclusion, Molina had followed the Latin grammar although he does not seem very concerned about making the distinction between the former and the latter.

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This is probably because, at the technical level, when there is a grammatical model of two languages which are closely connected it does not make much difference which one is used to write the grammar of a language totally unrelated to the model. In any event, we have enough information to assert that the Latin grammar was the one really used in the New World colonies. Moreover, the fact that the Castilian grammar was not reprinted until the second half of the 18th century is already an important indication that Castilian was the language of communication but not of learning.

If, however, the differences between the two possible models Latin or Castilian grammars may be negligible when it comes to writing grammars of the native language, we cannot ignore the ideological programs attached by Nebrija to both grammars if our aim is the understanding of the complex politics of language in colonial times. Let's first quickly review Nebrija's two programs in order to turn, then, to New Spain.