Spanish Language

History of the Spanish Language

The Spanish language came to America initially due to the investigative journeys of Cristóbal Colón together with other colonizers, at the final of 15th century. At this moment, the Spanish language was already tightly merged in the Iberian Peninsula. However, Spanish had yet to be instituted, and this was marked by a procedure tagged by historians as “hispanizacion”. Throughout this period, the southern portion of America was a collection of several various languages and dialects. In addition, the cultures that colonizers came across were fundamentally different from Spanish. Therefore, communication was challenging at first, and it was carried out initially by gestures and eventually through enslaved natives who performed as interpreters.
The Catholic Church was very much responsible in the growth of Spanish language all over Latin America. Therefore, Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries set up schools wherein they instructed and changed many young people to Catholicism. This was entirely carried out in Spanish, and thereby this language seeped through, bit by bit, into the everyday living of various native groups.

Evangelization and Enforcing of the Spanish language

The evangelization came with unhurried but solid governmental imposition of Spanish language which downgraded the Amerindian languages to a lowly position. This was an unavoidable outcome of cultural and ethnic cleansing inflicted by Spanish realm to its colonies. However, there was a two way surge of linguistic and cultural influence among the colonizers and the conquered. This occurred for the reason that despite their principal standing, the inhabitants of Spain at all times comprised an extremely small margin within American continent. Therefore, there was continuous contact between languages and a progressive integration among various populations. This permitted the integration of aspects fitting to the pre-Columbian civilizations that would eventually become American Spanish.

Influences to the Spanish language

African languages, which were spoken by people who were brought to America to become slaves, contributed as well to the structure of this varied assortment. Simply by listening to intonations of various South American Spanish dialects, you will observe that they are similar to several native languages in comparison to peninsular Spanish. With regards to vocabulary, two of the highly influential languages were Mexican náhuatl which is spoken by Aztecs or Peruvian quechua which is spoken by Incas. The mentioned languages were acknowledged and used by the major portion of the populace, and thereby were applied for commerce reasons, even past the coming of Spanish colonizers.
Samples of words that were integrated in the American Spanish derived from these languages are “chamaco” (boy), “cuate” (friend) or “papa” (potato). Meanwhile, the features of Spanish voyagers were heterogeneous as well, since they were from many parts of Spain. However, their meeting place before beginning their extensive travel was in Seville, Andalucia, in the southern area of Iberian Peninsula. And because they remained a long while before getting ready for their adventure, they began to adopt some of the traits of the Andalusian dialect. Then they carried these to the modern world. This is the reason why American Spanish shares the majority of Spanish speakers with Andalusian Spanish. The most striking dialectic trait is the phenomenon called “seseo”, which signifies the reality that the sound of “c” (pronounced as “th”) is modified into an “s” sound. These entire factors have fashioned American Spanish into the rich and multicultural linguistic diversity that it is at present.

Ranking of Spanish in the Most Used Languages

Spanish is the third most spoken language next to Mandarin Chinese and English in the entire world. It has been estimated that there are about 400,000,000 native speakers all over the globe. Along with other originally European languages like Italian, French or Portuguese, the linguistic beginnings of Spanish establish it as a Romance language. This indicates that Latin, or more particularly, Vulgar Latin, composes its most significant linguistic foundation. The invariable contact and mutual control of a Latin root, with other linguistic customs and cultures, has led to the establishment of various Romance languages that we are aware of now.
In the situation of Spanish for instance, there are traits that are derived from Iberian and also Celtic customs. Also, there is a huge amount of Greek that was initially taken by Latin speakers and eventually conveyed to Spanish. Words like “huérfano” (orphan) or “escuela” (school) all fit in to this convention. Dialect historians also, should not overlook the seven centuries of Arab authority of the peninsula. This has defected, among other matters, a significant legacy of vocabulary constituents that have been integrated into the Spanish language.

Origins of Spanish

Spanish is, particularly in the bilingual regions of Spain, also called as Castellano (Castilian), due to its derivations in the territory of Castilla. This place is situated in north-central region of Spain, and it was before the nerve center of Spanish realm that would receive the Spanish language to over 20 other countries. The institution of a linguistic unity of Spanish as a standard language for Spain was similar to its territorial agreement. This unification was solely probable next to the re-conquest of this peninsula from Arab colonizers at the end of the 15th century.
The Castilla kingdom, along with its linguistic assortment, extended to the entirety of the Iberian Peninsula. Subsequent to the matrimony of Isabel I of Castilla to Fernando II of Aragón, Spanish state was instigated and Castilian culture and language turned out to be its leading identity. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, during a sequence of linguistic developments and standardizing modifications, the language of the Spanish state formed into what is at present acknowledged as Modern Spanish.
It is crucial to keep in mind though that spoken Spanish is not the same in various regions of Spanish state. In reality, its pronunciation and vocabulary can differ to a considerable extent from a place to the other. However, the preservation of unified and standard adaptation of Spanish language together with its written structure is certified by Real Academia de la Lengua Española. This is the academy that puts regulations to abide to in order to write and speak Spanish in a method that will be acknowledged by every diverse Spanish speaker.

Outside Account of Spanish Language

The foremost written Spanish is conventionally considered to have emerged in Glosas Emilianeses. These includes “glosses” that are seen in between the lines of documentations written previously in Latin. Approximations of their date of origin differ from the late 10th century to the early 11th century.
The initial steps heading standardization of the written Castilian were in use during the 13th century by King Alfonso X of Castile, also called Alfonso el Sabio. He gathered scribes at his court as well as managing their writing in Castilian, of widespread works on law, astronomy, history and other areas of knowledge.
Antonio de Nebrija created the initial grammar of Spanish which is the Gramatica de Lengua Castellana, and offered it to Queen Isabella in 1492 who is known to have a previous admiration of the practicality of this language as an instrument of domination, as if expecting the empire that was close to being established with the explorations of Columbus.
Since Old Spanish looks like the contemporary written language to a comparatively elevated degree, a person who reads Modern Spanish can understand medieval documents with no hassle.
The Spanish Royal Academy was established in 1713, mostly with the aim of sustaining the wholesomeness of language. This academy issued its initial dictionary in six volumes throughout 1726-1739 and its initial grammar during 1771, and it persists to generate new versions. Nowadays, every Spanish speaking nation has a similar academy as well as the Association of Spanish Language Academies that was founded in 1951.
Starting in the 16th century, Spanish colonization carried the language to Mexico, Western, Central and Southern of South America, where it is spoken in the present day, and to other island clusters in the Pacific, where it is not spoken any more, to huge numbers of individuals counting in Marianas, Palau, Philippines and Federated States of Micronesia.
Application of the language in America was carried on by descendants of Spaniards, by Spanish criollos and the mixed Spanish Amerindian (mestizo) mass. After the battles of sovereignty done by these colonies during the 19th century, the latest governing elites expanded their Spanish to the entire population in order to reinforce national harmony, and the encouragement of the entire natives to become fluent in speaking Spanish has gained particular success, apart from the extremely isolated portion of previous Spanish colonies.
Throughout the late 19th century, the tranquil Spanish colonies in Puerto Rico and Cuba motivated settlers from Spain and likewise other Latin American nations like Uruguay, Argentina and, to a lesser degree, of Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and Columbia drawn surges of European immigration, non-Spanish and Spanish in the late 19th as well as the 20th century. Thereby, the nations’ huge population clusters of second and third generation descendants also implement the Spanish language as an element of their administrations’ official incorporation policies.
As Puerto Rico was controlled by US as a result of the Spanish-American conflict, its populace was of primarily Spanish and mixed Afro-Caribbean/Spanish descent, and preserved its inherited Spanish as their mother tongue. During the 20th century, over a million of Puerto Ricans traveled to mainland US.
A parallel instance happened in Southwest America with Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California where Spaniards, retained the Spanish language that had existed previously to the American concession of those regions. Spanish carries on being applied by millions of inhabitants and settlers from the Latin America to US. Spanish is today cared for as the nation’s second language and more than 5 percent of the US populace speak Spanish, though the majority of the Latino or Hispanic Americans are bilingual, or they also speak English on a daily basis.
The existence of Spanish in Equatorial Guinea dates back from the late 18th century, and was accepted as the official language when sovereignty was gained in 1968. Spanish is also extensively used in Western Sahara, which was a territory/settlement of Spain from 1880-1970. Also, it is used in regions of the US that were not included in the Spanish conflicts, like the Spanish Harlem located in NY City, initially by settlers from Puerto Rico, and eventually by other Latin American settlers who came in the place during late 20th century.
Throughout 1492, Spain expelled its Jewish inhabitants. The Judeo-Spanish language, known as Ladino, expanded together in its own vein and carries on to this day, used by a declining number of speakers, primarily in Greece, Turkey and Israel. In Marianas, Spanish was persevered until the Pacific War; however, it is not spoken by many people today.
In modern Spain, Spanish is the most favored language in the government, public education, workplace, business, media and cultural arts. However, during 1960-1970, the Spanish Assembly concurred to let provinces to apply, converse, and print official manuscripts in three other languages which are Galician for Galicia, Basque for Basque Provinces and Catalan for Catalonia. While during the early 1980s, subsequent to Spain turning to a multi-party democratic system, these regional as well as minority languages have bounced back in widespread application as secondary languages, while Spanish remains as the general language of Spanish individuals.
When the UN organization was established during 1945, Spanish was allocated to be one of the five official languages, together with Russian, French, English and Chinese.

1 thought on “Spanish Language”

  1. I am Spanish, although I am not a linguist, I think I can contribute a bit. So I want to add some information that I think it could be useful:
    –Modern Spanish (Castillian), Galician (spoken in Galice in the North-West of Spain), Sefardi (spoken by jews who were expelled from Spain in XV and XVI century), Leones (extinct) and Portuguese, come from Ancient Spanish. These three modern languages share the same ancestor and are very similar. A Spanish speaker can understan easily Sefardi and Portuguese. A Castillian, a Sefardi or a Portuguese speaker can understan ancient Spanish writings easily.
    –Catalan (spoken by almost 10 million of people in East, North-East of Spain and South-East of France) and Aranes ( a minoritary language spoken on the North of Spain) comes from the same ancestor, the Occitan language, a language ( a language almost extinct spoken in the South of France and which was spoken in the North and the West of Spain too). Catalan and Aranes share the same ancestor and are very similar. In fact, they have almost not changed and are really similar to their ancestor Occitan too. A catalan or a Aranes speaker can understand Aranes/catalan and/or Occitan perfectly. A spanish speaker can not easily understand Catalan, Aranes or Occitan and viceversa.
    In my opinion Catalan is not a minoritary language because it has 10 million of speakers. Besides, Catalan is the 8th most spoken language in Europe.
    A curiosity: Catalan was the first non-latin (vulgar latin romance) language written for scientific purposes in Europe. It was written before Spanish.
    Modern chess rules are written in a poem in Catalan ”Scachs d’amor” Chess of love. As it happens with Spanish, a catalan speaker can read Medieval writings without problems, because it remains almost the same.
    –On the other hand, Vasque (is an isolated language). It is considered a pre-indoeuropean language in fact. Some experts think that Vasque is the most ancient European language which is still alive. Vasque speakers can not understand vasque’s writings of XVI century. Nobody who doesn’t speak Vasque can understand Vasque.


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