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Arte mexicana

Rincón, Antonio del

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4604]

Tulane University Digital Library (éd. 1595)

The Latin American Library (éd. 1595)


Rincón, Antonio del

Datation: 1556-1601

Not much is known about Antonio del Rincón. He is one of the few grammarians who was not born in Europe but in New Spain (Texcoco, according to other sources Puebla, in 1556). He entered the Order of the Jesuits in 1573 and worked mainly in Puebla and Tepotzotlán as priest and as teacher of Nahuatl. He was ordained priest in 1583. In 1589 he suffered apoplexy and became paralyzed on the left side of his body. The Arte mexicana is the only work written by this author. He was a native speaker of Nahuatl, but it is not confirmed if his both parents were indigenous Nahuas or whether he was a mestizo (Nagel 1994, Smith-Stark 2000). According to McDonough, he is one of the first Nahua intellectuals (2011) and Guzmán Betancourt (2002) named him “the first native linguist of the New World”. He was the founder of the Colegio Seminario del Espíritu Santo in Puebla de los Ángeles. He died in 1601 in Tepexoxoma (or Tepeojuma), Puebla. The Arte is published in 1595, but in the “carta nuncuptaria” signed in 1594, the author says that he started working on the Arte during 10 years before (i.e. in 1584).

Titre de l'ouvrageArte mexicana; compuesta por el padre Antonio del Rincon de la compañia de Iesus. Dirigido al illustrissimo y reuerendissimo S. don Diego Romano Obispo de Tlaxcallan, y el consejo de su Magestad &co
Titre traduitMexican grammar composed by father Antonio del Rincón of the Society of Jesus. Dedicated to the illustrious and very reverend S. don Diego Romano, Bishop of Tlaxcala, and counsellor of His Majesty
Titre courtArte mexicana
Remarques sur le titre
Période|17e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageComplete grammar covering phonology, morphology and syntax. Descriptive grammar, Didactic/pedagogic grammar for learners of Nahuatl. Grammar for non-native speakers of Nahuatl, novices students who were preparing themselves for the mission. The grammar also contains a glossary in which Rincón gathered all the Nahuatl words in alphabetical order which he used in the Arte accompanied by a Spanish translation.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire
Édition originale1595, Mexico, Pedro Balli.
Édition utiliséeSchmidt-Riese 2008 and the edition Mexico, Pedro Balli, 1595.
Volumétrie[7] 78 [18] folios and the book measures 14 X 10 cm. 11 500 words. A great number of paradigms are represented with braces ({).
Nombre de signes69000
Reproduction modernePeñafiel, 1885; Museo Nacional de México, Anales del Museo Nacional, 1888, reprint Colección de gramáticas de la lengua Mexicana, 1904; Edmundo Aviña Levy, 1967 (Facsimilar edition of Peñafiel's edition); Guzmán Betancourt, 1995; Schmidt-Riese, 2008.
DiffusionThe grammar of Olmos was not printed in this period, and it is not known if copies of Molina's grammar were available when Rincón published his Arte. According to Guzmán Betancourt (2002, p. 260) the work the method ‘par excellence’ which was used by the Jesuits until Carochi's grammar appeared in 1645.
Langues ciblesThe Mexican language (Language of the Mexicas), Nahuatl
Langue des exemplesNahuatl
Sommaire de l'ouvrageLicencia (in the Peñafiel edition), written by Don Luis de Velasco. In the copy of the original of 1595 of the Library Juan José Arreola, University of Guadalajara the “Licencia” is missing and starts with a section without a title, signed by Esteuan Paez. These texts are included in the copy of Tulane.
Licencia del Gouernador. Parecer del Bachiller Pedro de Leon (this and the former sections are reproduced twice in the Guadalajara edition of Schmidt-Riese).
Al Illustrissimo y Reverendissimo señor don Diego Romano Obispo de Tlaxcallan y del consejo de su magestad.
Prólogo al lector (signed in Ciudad de los Angeles, 1594) Antonio del Rincon.
Libro primero de las declinaciones. Cap. 1: De la manera que se halla de declinaciones y del numero dellas (f. 2v-3v). Cap. 2: De las reglas para formar plurales (3v-7r). Cap. 3: Del pronombre y su declinacion (7r-10v). Cap. 4. De las preposiciones y como se juntan a los semipronombres y nõbres (10-v-13r).
Libro segundo de las coniugaciones. Cap. 1: De la variacion del verbo (13v-17v). Cap. 2: De las reglas para formar las conjugaciones (17v-23r). §.1: De los preteritos (18v-29r [sic]= 21r). §.2: De la formaciondel verbo passiuo (29r [sic] =21r-22r). §.3: De la formacion del verbo impersonal (22r-23r). Cap. 3: De algunas maneras de hablar con que suplen los Mexicanos las que no tienen proprias de la conjugaciõ latina (23v-24v). Cap. Vltimo: De los verbos irregulares (24v-27v).
Libro tercero de las derivaciones de nombres y verbos. Cap. 1: De la significacion, y formacion de los nombres que se deriuan de verbos (28r-33r). Cap. 2: De la significacion y formaciõ de los nombres que se deriuan de otros (33r-37r). Cap. 3: De los verbos que se deriuan de nõbres (37r-39v). Cap. 4: De los verbos, compulsiuos (39v-41v). Cap. 5: De los verbos applicatiuos (41v-43v). Cap. 6: De los verbos reuerenciales (43v-46r). Cap. 7: De algunas maneras en que se deriuan vnos verbos de otros (46r-48r).
Libro quarto de las composiciones. Cap. 1: De la composicion general con el nombre (48v-51r). Cap. 2: De la composicion con las ligaturas (51r-54r). Cap. 3: De la composicion de algunos verbos, con los passiuos de otros y de otras maneras de composiciones particulares (?) (54r-57r). Cap. 4: De la variacion de los nombres en sus finales quando se juntã a los genitiuos de los semipronombres (57r-59v). Cap. Quinto y vltimo: De los mexicanismos que son algunas maneras de hablar proprias desta lengua (59v-62v).
Libro quinto de la pronunciacion y accento de la sillaba. Cap. 1: De la diuersidad y numeros que se halla de accentos (62r-64v). Cap. 2: De algunas reglas que se hallan para colocar los accentos (64v-69r). § Del accento agudo (69r [sic] =67r-68v. § Del accento graue (68v-65r [sic]), § Del accento moderado (65r [sic] =69r-69v. § Del accento breue predominante (69v-70r) § vltimo de la pronunciacion del saltillo (70r), § I. De la Synalepha (70v-72v), § II. De la expulsion de las letras asperas, donde quiera que se encuentran estas quatro letras tz. ch. x. ç. (72v-73r), § III. De la mutacion de letras (73r-73v). Cap. Quarto y vltimo de dictiones, que mudan la significacion solamente por la variacion del accento (74r-78r).
Vocabulario breve, que solamente cõtiene todas las dictiones, que en esta Arte se traen por exêplos, y por excepciones dexando otras que donde se alegã tienen ya sus significados (no numbered folios). The vocabulary (or maybe better, the glossary) contains 647 entries. Nahuatl, with Spanish translation. It is not attested if Rincón used Molina's dictionaries. There are entries in this Vocabulary which are not included in Molina, such as matl, matlatl, mecaxochitl, etc. Many lemmas which are found in Molina have a slightly different translation, such as malacachiluia ‘bolterarse algo a’, malachoa. nic. ‘Dar bueltas en torno a alguna cosa’, whereas Molina has; boluerse alderredor [sic]. ‘estando en pie, o dar bueltas alrededor’, micoani ‘instrumento de morir’, (Molina ‘cosa mortifera’, o ‘ponçonosa’, ‘breuaje mortifero’, etc.).
Objectif de l'auteurLearning tool for missionaries. According to Guzmán Betancourt (2002, p. 260), it is not certain if the Arte was a guide for the language instructor or a learning tool for the novices themselves. Rincon's Arte is much more compact than Olmos, and has a vocabulary appended to the grammar, which makes it a practical tool.
Intérêt généralRincón's grammar deviates from the models of Olmos and Molina and, as he observes in his prologue, he analyzes the language not according to the Latin model, but on its own terms (“it is not possible to follow a single method or grammar to teach all languages, since they are all so different”… “many things here require different rules”… “where this language was different than Latin, since these aspects were new, it was necessary to create new rules, and a requisite new style” [Translation McDonough 2011, p. 157-158]). Rincón was the first who described the glottal stop /ɂ/ called ‘saltillo’ and vowel length in Nahuatl, although Rincón did not represent the vowels with their corresponding vowel length, as occurs later in the work of Carochi (1645). At the end of his Arte Rincón illustrates the difference in vowel length with minimal pairs, such as mētztli, “luna” / mětztli, “pierna, muslo” (Guzmán Betancourt 2002, p. 263).
Parties du discoursTraditional eight parts of speech. Rincón introduces five ‘declensions’ in Náhuatl, based on the different plural markers, prefixes with reduplication and suffixes, diminutive suffixes, diminutives, and honorifics.
Innovations term.Semipronombres, ligaturas, mexicanismos, accento moderado, accento breue predominãte, nota de transición. Rincón is the first who uses the term ‘saltillo’ in the tradition of Nahuatl grammars, but the term was used fifteen years earlier by Cárceres in his grammar of Otomi (ca 1580: f. 1r, §5-6) and in the same year Bartolomé Roldán in his “cartilla” of the Chocholtec/ Chuchon language (1580) gives a concise definition of the glottal stop (see the corresponding entries, CTLF, in preparation).
Corpus illustratifParadigms. The book hardly contains entire phrases in Nahuatl, but a glossary at the end is appended.
Indications compl.
Influence subieRincón does not mention any earlier scholars who composed grammars of Nahuatl (Olmos and Molina and other authors of works which have been lost).
Influence exercéeDirect influence on Carochi's Grammar, who adopted Rincón's model (Smith-Stark 2000). Although Rincón was not the first using the term ‘saltillo’, the term probably became part of the established metalanguage in all the grammars who used Rincón as their main source. It is not known if the term was used for the first time in grammars of Otomi, or Chuchon, since Cárceres and Roldán could also have been inspired by lost grammars of Náhuatl. The term ‘saltillo’ is used until today.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Cárceres P. de 1907 {[ca 1580]}; Guzmán Betancourt I. (éd.) 1995; Guzmán Betancourt I. (éd.) 1996; Guzmán Betancourt I. 2002; Hernández de León-Portilla A. 1988; McDonough K. S. 2011; Nagel Bielecke F. B. 1994; Nagel Bielecke F. B. 1996; Peñafiel A. (éd.) 1886; Roldán B. 1580; Schmidt-Riese R. (éd.) 2008; Smith-Stark T. C. 1995; Smith-Stark T. C. 2000; Suárez Roca J. L. 1992

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05