Spanish, the second major global language on the planet, until now governed by a grammar written in 1931 that simply added a chapter to 1917. Since then, the Civil War in between, all scores had been to the outline of a new grammar of the Spanish language, published in 1973
From now on the outlook is quite different. “This is a grammar of the century”, says Ignacio Bosque, professor of Philology at the Complutense University, a member of the Royal Spanish Academy and draftsman of the new work. He says one of the halls of the Academy. Next to it is the director of the SAR, Víctor García de la Concha. On the table, the two volumes of the new standard orange, dedicated to the morphology and syntax. In a few months will see the third-phonetics and phonology “, coordinated by José Manuel Blecua.
Eleven years have taken the 22 Spanish language academies to develop a work in which the numbers compete with the lyrics: 3,800 pages, 40,000 samples, 3,700 books and 307 newspaper titles and magazines used as a source for citations. And almost five kilos. All for 120 euros and a circulation that has declined
Espasa editorial made public. Next year will publish a manual version and other basic pocket 750 and 250 pages respectively.
“20 years ago this Spanish grammar would have been impossible,” says Bosque. “The computer allows one to enter and search a building, for example, evidence of its use in nineteenth-century Peruvian authors. Before we worked with paper cards.”
García de la Concha said that it is a work that combines description (says how the language) and prescription (recommend some applications compared to others): “We started using the scheme panhispánico Dictionary of doubt, it is very sharp-right / wrong, “but we realized that it was necessary to qualify because there are things bound to be incorrect in one country and not in others. We do mirror work, when we say ‘not recommended or preferred other use’, what we say is that Spanish-speaking people prefer another use. ” Ignacio Bosque, “the buildings have a form, meaning and geographical distribution, but also prestige. If the Academy did not exist would be exactly the same.”
“The rule is polycentric,” he says, for its part, the director of the SAR, which insists that the new Spanish grammar is a collective and consensual between Spanish and American academies. Gone are the days when he first described the use of a building in Spain and then use in America. “It is now commonly described first and then the variants. It aims to show what speakers share and what differentiates us.”
Bosque pulls that thread: “Spanish is a language very smooth. The differences in syntax are not as great as in the vocabulary or pronunciation.” What is the biggest threat to this unity? Bosque has trouble finding a lack of interest beyond some speakers: “They see the language code as something alien, as if the code of commercial law and not of his life. Why are young people who paint the street furniture ? Why not consider itself: At home they do. ”
Is the abuse of Anglicisms? “Has more influence on the lexicon,” says Garcia de la Concha, recalling that it is important to accommodate the Spanish as did Gallicisms (“garden”) or Italian (“carriage”) that today do not perceive as such. Will SMS maybe? “The writing was born as an abbreviation,” says Bosque. “One thing is to use a restricted code to a device and another, do a test with this code.”