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Arte de la lengua mexicana

Carranza, José

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4617]

Carranza, José

Variantes: Carranza, Joseph

Datation: fl. 1790?

José Carranza was a Dominican. Almost nothing is known about his life and work. His grammar Arte de la lengua mexicana was finished around 1790 but was published for the first time in 1900.

Titre de l'ouvrageArte donde se contienen todos aquellos rudimentos y principios preceptivos que conducen a la lengua Mexicana. Dividese en siete libros
Titre traduitGrammar containing all the rules and prescriptive principles which lead to the Mexican language. Divided in seven books
Titre courtArte de la lengua mexicana
Remarques sur le titre
Période|18e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageComplete grammar, containing orthography, phonology, morphology and syntax. No texts are appended. The work does not give any information on phonology, only the “letters” are given on the first page.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique
Édition originale1900, Francisco del Paso y Troncoso (ed.), Colección de gramáticas de la lengua Mexicana publicadas bajo el cuidado de los señore D. Francisco del Paso y Troncoso y D. Luis González Obregón, Mexico, Imprenta del Gobierno Federal en el ex-arzobispado e Imprenta del Museo Nacional/ Ignacio Escalante. Vol. 2, p. 47-224. The work was first finished as manuscript in-4o containing 233 pages (Ramírez s.d.). The MS was not seen by O. Zwartjes.
Édition utiliséeFirst printed edition, 1900, Series Colección de gramáticas de la lengua mexicana, vol. 2, p. 47-224.
Volumétrie1 p. [49]-224 p. 34 cm. Approx. 80 000 words.
Nombre de signes480000
Reproduction moderneNo recent editions.
DiffusionNot printed when the work was finished around 1790. First edition 1900.
Langues ciblesThe Mexican language (Nahuatl)
MétalangueSpanish (Carranza uses often “romance castellano” when he refers to Spanish)
Langue des exemplesNahuatl
Sommaire de l'ouvrageIn the title we read that the grammar is divided in seven parts (“libros”), but in fact we only fond four.
Libro primero donde se trata de los primeros rudimentos para aprender la lengua mexicana (p. 49-81). Cap. 1. En que se dán algunas noticias a los principiantes (containing several paragraphs on pronunciation and about “el numero de Oraciones”) (p. 49-53); Cap. 2. Donde se explica la primera parte de la oracion, que es el nombre (p. 53-55); Cap. 3. De la diversidad de nombres en Mexicano (p. 55-58) (8 classes are distinguished, treated in separate paragraphs: Primitivos, Adjetivos, Compuestos, Derivativos, Possesivos, Comparativos, Superlativos and Reverenciales); Cap. 4. Donde se explica la segunda parte de la oracion que es el pronombre (separate paragraphs for the classes “primitivos, adjetivos, interrogativos, possesivos and conjugativos”) (p. 58-62); Cap. 5. De los pronombres conjugativos, y el modo de usar de ellos (p. 62-71); Cap. 6. Del modo de conocer los cassos en los pronombres (p. 71-73); Cap. 7. Donde se explica la tercera parte de la oracion, que es el verbo (p. 73-75); Cap. 8. De la diversidad de verbos que ay en la Lengua Mexicana (Carranza distinguishes 9 classes) “nueve modos de verbos”: primitivos, compuestos, derivativos, reciprocos, compulsivos, aplicativos, frequentativos, impersonales, reverenciales. (p. 75-78); Cap. 9. Donde se explican las demas partes de la oracion (participio, preposicion, adverbio interjeccion, conjuncion) (p. 78-81).
Libro segundo donde se trata de los plurales y del modo de formarlos (p. 82-96). Deals with several suffixes, plural, and those which mark “nombres reverenciales de diminucion y vituperio” (p. 93). Separate sections are devoted to “terminaciones imperfectas”.
Libro tercero donde se trata de las conjugaciones de los verbos (p. 97-181). Verbal paradigms combining seven different “conjugations”with the 6 “voices” (“voces”) (p. 97-167); Conjugaciones de los verbos irregulares y defectivos (p. 167-181).
Libro quarto donde se trata de la formacion, composicion, y derivacion de los nombres, y de los romances, ó terminaciones castellanas que á cada uno le corresponden (p. 182-224). (Containing an amalgama of different topics, such as ‘romances’, ‘derivativos’, ‘particles’, comparatives, superlatives).
Objectif de l'auteurThe work does not have a separate prologue, but the introduction is addressed to beginners (“principiantes”). He tells his students that the best teachers are the Indians. Nevertheless, it is important to learn during the time “con el tiempo” the duration of the syllables (“quales sylabas son brebes, ô largas”). According to Carranza, the acquisition of pronunciation is crucial (p. 49). Other authors from the 18th century seem to pay less attention to the teaching of pronunciation, and the use of the right diacritics for the distinction between short and long vowels, as has been developed by Rincón and Carochi. The work breaks with a tradition. Grammars were quite extensive (Galdo Guzmán, Carochi), and soon the authors prefer to write shorter compendiums (Guerra, Pérez, Tapia and others). Ignacio Paredes preferred to republish Carochi's grammar, but as a compendium. With Aldama, Carranza is the only exception in his attempt to publish a more complete grammar, containing more theory and definitions, without religious texts appended or included (we do not know if, nor which, other separate texts were used for teaching/ learning to translate).
Intérêt généralAccording to Herández Triviño (2016), Carranza has an eclectic approach and integrates elements from all the earlier traditions, mainly the Franciscan, Jesuits. The work is seldom mentioned in recent scholarship, and it deserves more attention, since it is one of the most extensive grammars of Nahuatl. Carranza deviates from tradition, since he does not start (after phonology) with the parts of speech, but with “número de oraciones” (level of the sentence, not the word). He distinguishes as in Latin grammar two types of active and two of passive sentences. Carranza does not only give examples or paradigms without explanations, but he includes also complete definitions (as on p. 52). An original contribution is Carranza's presentation of verbal paradigms combining twelve different “conjugations” with six different “voices” (“voces”).
Parties du discoursEight parts of speech: Nombre, Pronombre, Verbo, Participio, Prepocicion [sic], Adverbio, Interjeccion, Conjuncion. Apart from these eight, Carranza says that there also some dictions or particles (“algunas dicciones, ô particulas que se añaden”). In fact, these elements are not different parts of speech (“en la realidad no son distintas partes de la oracion”), but they give an extra “perfection” to the meaning (“ornato”) (p. 51), as has been observed by others, such as Tapia Zenteno.
Innovations term.Although Carranza does not invent the term, he uses the term ‘posposicion’ instead of “preposicion” (p. 79). This has been proposed by others, such as Tapia Zenteno, but Carranza does not mention his name explicitly. He prefers to use the traditional term “preposicion”, even for those which are postponed. The uses several terms for the imperatives, “imperativo vetativo”, “imperativo avisativo vetativo”, “otro imperativo por modo de ruego”.
Corpus illustratifNahuatl examples and a great number of paradigms (p. 97-181).
Indications compl.
Influence subieNot often names are mentioned specifically as sources. Carranza only refers to “Arte Latino” as the name for the traditional Latin model. Sporadically, we find some references, such as the one to Vetancurt (p. 193).
Influence exercéeCarranza does not seem to have a great impact. The work is hardly studied in recent times.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Hernández Triviño A. 2016; Ramírez J. F. 1898

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05