"When Nebrija traveled to America without getting on a ship" by María Teresa Cáceres in The Conversation

Wednesday, 30 March, 2022

María Teresa Cáceres Lorenzo, Professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and member of the IATEXT  has recently published in The Conversation: “When Nebrija traveled to America without getting on a ship.”

Elio Antonio de Nebrija was a Sevillian researcher and teacher who believed that language could be explained more clearly, as long as the students' linguistic context was taken into account. Among his works, "Introductiones latinae" stands out, a work that he updated in different editions to improve the real learning of Latin that could be explained in a clearer way than merely rote. This purpose of ordering the language made him publish more manuals in which he sought to elevate vulgar romance to the category of cultured language.

Nebrisian ideas soon traveled to America, to influence two very different actions of the erratic language policy of the kingdom of Spain at that time. On the one hand, the objective was to write manuals and dictionaries of certain indigenous languages ​​that were known as general languages ​​(Guarani, Nahuatl, Quechua, etc.) and on the other hand, they intended to educate indigenous children in the teaching of the Latin and Spanish. 

Cáceres Lorenzo affirms that there was a great influence of Nebrija's ideals on the authors of the time, as can be seen in the numerous works that were published such as: the Vocabulary in the Spanish language and Mexican, by Fray Alonso de Molina; the Grammar or art of the general language of the Indians of the kingdoms of Peru, by Fray Domingo de Santo Tomás, or the Grammar of the general language of the New Kingdom called fly , by Fray Bernardo de Lugo.

The professor concludes that the followers of Nebrija in America extended their innovative position, by opening the possibility of considering languages ​​other than Latin as a necessary learning for the new administrative, cultural and social needs of each territory.

Article on The Conversation.

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