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Arte de la lengua mexicana

Guerra, Juan

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4609]
Liens

Internet Archive (éd. 1692)

Auteur(s)

Guerra, Juan

Datation: † ca 1692

Juan (also spelled as Joan) Guerra was born in Cremona, Seville in Spain. He was a priest of the order of Saint Francis (O.F.M.). According to Santoscoy, he was declared “hábil” in the Mexican language for preaching in 1671 and in the same year he became Professor in Teología moral and in Nahuatl in Guadalajara. He went first to Nayarit and preached at the doctrina de San Juan Evangelista de Ahuacatlán. In 1674 he became “guardián” and “cura” of the convento de la Magdalena (Santoscoy 1900, p. iv) and in 1689 he continued his work in the region of Tala (Pacheco Ávila 2008, p. 92).

Titre de l'ouvrageArte de la lengua mexicana segun la acostumbran hablar los Indios en todo el Obispado de Guadalaxara, parte del de Guadiana, y del de Mechoacan
Titre traduitGrammar of the Mexican language (Nahuatl) as the Indians are used to speak in the entire bishopric of Guadalajara and partially of the bishoprics of Guadiana and Mechoacan
Titre courtArte de la lengua mexicana
Remarques sur le titreThe entire title page is: Arte de la lengua mexicana segun la acostumbran hablar los Indios en todo el Obispado de Guadalaxara, parte del de Guadiana, y del de Mechoacan. Dispuesto, por orden, y mandato de N.M.R.P. Fr. Ioseph de Alcaras Predicador, Padre de la Santa Provincia de Zacatecas, y Ministro Provincial de esta Santa Provincia de Santiago de Xalisco, y por el Reverendo y venerable Difinitorio de ella en Capitulo… dedicado a la Santa provincia de Santiago de Xalisco por el R. P. Fr. Joan Guerra, Predicador y Difinidor actual de dicha provincia.
Période|17e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageThe work contains several paratexts, one written by Augustín de Betancurt. There also included trilingual (Latin-Spanish-Nahuatl) epigrams “en alabanza del autor”. Grammar to which a vocabulary is appended in Spanish-Nahuatl in double columns, containing ca 900 words and numbers from 1 to 300. As Vetancurt and Vázquez Gastelú did, religious texts are appended at the end, entitled “instruccion breve, para administrar los Sacramentos” (f. 49-62) in Spanish and Nahuatl. Cathechism: “Instruccion breve, para administrar los Sacramentos de la confession, Beatico, Matrimonio y Velaciones”. Some sections are completely in Nahuatl, others are bilingual Nahuatl and Spanish, and the sections “Oremus” is bilingual Latin and Nahuatl.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire | Texte religieux
Édition originale1693, México: Viuda de Francisco Rodríguez Lupercio.
Édition utiliséeSantoscoy (1900) until f. 15, than also John Carter Brown: B92. G934a.
Volumétrie[8], 62, [2] f., 15cm (in-8°). Ca 6000 words (Arte, religious texts excluded). The copy by John Carter Brown (B92. G934a) is imperfect, lacking front page, preliminary texts, and the first section of the grammar up to leaf 15. Leaf H8 is missing, but missing leaves are available in facsimile (from the British Library). Ca 36000 characters (Arte, religious texts excluded). Vocabulary: ca 700 lemma's.
Nombre de signes36000
Reproduction moderne
DiffusionReprint: Guerra, Juan (= Joan Gverra) (1900 [1692]): Ed. Santoscoy.
Langues ciblesGuerra tells his readers explicitly that he does not describe “Real Nahuatl”. His variety deviates considerably from the one of Central Mexico, or the “Classical” variety as it was described by Olmos, Molina and Rincón, who described “la mera lengua Mexicana”. In the regional variety, according to Guerra, syllables are eliminated, and the meaning is also very different. This is the main reason why Guerra compiled a vocabulary “me era preciso segun esta razon el haverle vocabulario aparte à este Idioma” (f. 28r). Guerra also gives example of Spanish loans in this dialect, loanwords which were not considered as “real Nahuatl”
MétalangueSpanish
Langue des exemplesExamples in Nahuatl (variety of Jalisco)
Sommaire de l'ouvrage[I have not been able to quote from the first 15 folios of the editio princeps, since they are lacking in the copy of John Carter Brown. For this section, I used the edition of Santoscoy. From f. 15 until the end, I used the original edition of 1693.]
Dedicatoria (Joan Guerra), Aprobacion (Augustin de Betancurt; Epigramas en tres lenguas en alabanza del author, Licencia del señor virrey, Licencia del ordinario (Don Antonio de Anuncibay Anaya, por mandato de Bernardino de Amezage), Licencia de la orden (Fray Capistrano, por mandato de Baltassar Ramírez). Al lector; Divicion del Arte; de las letras que faltan en la lengua Mexicana y pronunciacion que tienen.
Libro primero. De las declinaciones de los Nombres, y Pronombres y Conjugacion de Verbos. §1. Del Nombre; § 2. De los Pronombres possesivos que sirven assi a los nombres como a los Pronombres, Verbos, Advervios, y Preposiciones; § 3. De las particulas que sirven a los plurales de los Nombres; § 3-7 (five declensions); § 8. Declinacion de los pronombres primitivos; § 9. Declinacion de los Pronombres Conjugativos; § 10. De los Pronombres reflexivos Comparativos; § 11. De los Pronombres Pacientes, que sirven á los tiempos de Me, Te, Se, para sus Conjugaciones; § 12. De la Conjugacion de los Verbos; § 13. De la Formacion de los Tiempos, y de sus diferencias; § 14. Del Verbo Sum, es, fui por estar, ó aver; § 15. Del Verbo Sum, es fui, por Ser; § 16. De la Conjugacion de el Verbo Níao; § 17. De los Tiempos de Me, Te, Se. [from here, I quote from the original edition] § 18. De la particula Li (f. 15r-16r); § 19. De los Uerbos que significan estar haziendo algo (f. 16r-17r).
Libro segundo. “Este libro se passa en blanco, porque en este Idioma no tenga Generos, ni Præteritos, que es lo que le pertenece, assi queda como llevo dicho”.
De la Institucion de la Gramatica Mexicana. Libro tercero; En el qual se trata de las ocho partes de la Oracion, y de algunas Notas pertenecientes à ella. § 1-7. One paragraph for each part of speech (f. 17v-19v). Followed by 22 “Notas a cerca de las partes de la Oracion” (f. 19v-27v).
Libro Quarto. De la sintaxis. “Este libro se passa en blanco, por lo que llevamos dicho en la divicion de el Arte”. The vocabulary: Copia de los Verbos, Nombres, Adverbios, y de los significados que cada qual de ellos tiene (f. 28r-49r). Copia de los Verbos, Nombres, Adverbios, de los significados que cada qual de ellos tiene (f. 28v-49r). De las partes del cuerpo (f. 37r-39v). Arismetica de el Idioma Mexicano (f. 39v-43r). De los verbos (f. 43v-49r).
Libro quinto de la quantidad de las syllabas, y de sus Accentos. “Este libro de la Quantidad de las Syllabas, y sus Accentos, no trat aqui la causa, y la llevo dicha dobde tratè de la Divicion de el Arte” (f. 49r). Instruccion Breve, par administrar los Sacramentos de la Confession, Beatico, Matrimonio, y Velaciones(f. 49v-62v).
Objectif de l'auteurThe book was written for beginners. Guerra decides not to include a chapter on accentuation, as has been done by his predecessors Rincón, Carochi and Vetancurt. This type of information would be confusing for the beginners who do not have studied “syllables” yet: “porque será obscurecer á los principiantes la claridad de este Arte, y ofuscarles los entendimientos con el Accento grave, el accento agudo, y el accento de circumflexo, ó saltillo, y mas si no han estudiado Syllabas”.
Intérêt généralThe grammar properly does not offer any novelties, but the importance of the work is that Guerra studied and documented linguistic data of the almost extinct variety of Nahuatl, as it was spoken in Nueva Galicia, particularly in the region in and around Guadalajara, Jalisco. Pérez gives us some information about the variety of Nahuatl as it was spoken in the region Chiautla, but his work is not a systematic approach to this regional variety. Other sources describing other varieties have been lost, such as a grammar of the Jesuit Nicolás Mercado entitled Arte de la lengua mexicana, según el Dialecto que usan los indios de la Costa del Sur de Sinaloa (Beristáin y Souza 1816). Together with Cortés y Zedeño's work, Guerra contributes to the knowledge of this variety of that period. Guerra picks up the discussion about the supposed non-existence of syntax, a topic on which existed disagreement (Rincón, Carochi vs Vetancurt). Guerra includes a separate chapter on syntax, with complete title, but he leaves it empty (“passa en blanco”), for reasons explained in the section “Divicion” at the beginning of his book: “En el quinto se havía de tratar de la quantidad de tratar de la Sintaxis y como el nombre en este Idioma sea indeclinable (esto es no tenga casos) de donde la ha de prevenir la Syntaxis?”.
Parties du discoursAt the beginning of the third book Guerra explains that the eight parts of speech are “Nombre, Pronombre, Uerbo, Participio, Preposiciõ, Adverbio, Interjecion, y Conjuncion” (f. 17v).
Innovations term.None.
Corpus illustratifThe corpus contains data of the variety spoken in Jalisco.
Indications compl.It is remarkable that Guerra follows the division into five books, leaving the second and fourth books empty. These chapters are included, have their own titles, but only the comment can be found there that such a section is left out (“se passa en blanco”). The author could also divide his book into three chapters but he did not.
Influence subieThe book follows grosso modo the structure of Nebrija in five books (he tells his reader this explicitly in the section “divicion de el Arte”. From Vetancurt (1673), it seems to have followed the structure to put “notes” in the final chapters, but this occurs also in many other grammars (starting probably with Pedro de Alcalá's grammar of Arabic, 1505).
Influence exercéeAugustín de Vetancurt, who was an author of a grammar of Nahuatl himself, published in 1673, wrote a section “aprobación” in which he observes that the grammar of Guerra is an improvement, compared to its predecessors “Mejorados quedan los Artes con este Arte, que con el estudio se mejoran”. The work is better than other, since it has correct rules “en las reglas ajustado”, its method is easy (“en el metodo fácil”), the examples are erudite phrases (“en las frases erudito”) and its vocabulary is rich (“en los vocablos abundante”). The work has been one of the main sources for the grammar and vocabulary of Jerónimo Tomás de Aquino Cortés y Zedeño (1765).
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Canger U. 1995; Cortés y Zedeño J. T. 1765; Pacheco Ávila C. L. 2008; Santoscoy A. (éd.) 1900; Yáñez Rosales R. H. 2007; Zwartjes O. & Flores Farfán J. A. (éd.) 2017
Rédacteur

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05