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Arte de la lengua othomí

Cáceres, Pedro de

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4651]
Auteur(s)

Cáceres, Pedro de

Variantes: Cárceres

Datation: fl. 1580

Pedro de Cáceres is born in Cáceres. Almost nothing is known about his life, except that he left Spain in 1554 (Hernández Triviño 2016), but according to Guerrero Galván, he departed in 1551. He was “guardián” in the Franciscan convent in Querétaro. He died in Mexico City (Guerrero Galván, 2007, p. 91). The work Arte de la lengua othomi was published for the first time in 1905 by Nicolás León, according to whom the author is Pedro de Cárceres. In secondary literature, we usually find this name. Recently, Hernández Triviño demonstrated that this is based on an error. Fray Pedro lived in the Franciscan convent in Cáceres and he changed his family name Villalcón for Cáceres when he started his journey in 1554 from Sanlúcar de Barrameda for New Spain. This name is confirmed in the documents of the Casa de Contratación de Sevilla. The name Cáceres is also used in Mendieta 1988 [1570], p. 396 (cited in Hernández Triviño 2016).

Titre de l'ouvrageArte de la lengua othomi por Fr. Pedro de Cárceres, del orden de San Francisco (siglo XVI)
Titre traduitGrammar of the Otomi language, by Father Pedro de Cárceres, of the order of Saint Francis (16th century)
Titre courtArte de la lengua othomí
Remarques sur le titreAs Guerrero Galván demonstrates, Nicolás León changed the title. The original title of the first section is En el nombre del S. comiença una artecilla de la lengua othomi cogida de las migajas de los Padres benemeritos della, y del cornadillo, ofrecido por el menor de los menores a gloria y alabança de n[uest]ro, Señor Jesú Xpo. Y de la sagrada V[ir]gen su Santissima Madre Nuestra Señora, y de su sieruo N[uest]ro Padre S. Fran[cis]co y vtilidad desta pobre gente.
Période|16e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageManuscript. Descriptive grammar, with a brief section on phonology/ orthography. The majority of the work is devoted to the eight parts of speech, paradigms and no word lists or religious texts are included or appended. At the end, some rules are given for “manners of speech” (“modos de hablar”).
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire
Édition originaleca 1580, as established by Quaritch (see for more details Guerrero Galván 2007, p. 93-96).
Édition utilisée1905, éd. Nicolás León.
VolumétrieThere are errors in the numbering of chapters (25 and 29 are missing, 24 has to be 14 and 23 has to be 28.
Nombre de signes155000
Reproduction moderneThere are no recent editions.
DiffusionPublished in 1905 for the first time.
Langues ciblesOtomí (Otomanguean family, Otopamean branch).
Otomí is a Nahuatl exonym. As endonym, today hñähnu is used (also spelled as hñäñho). According to Lastra (2000, p. 98), it is difficult to determine which variety was described by Cáceres. His work does not contain a prologue and since mention is made of some toponyms, such as Tepexic, Huaeychapa, Tula and Querétaro, Lastra concludes that it is possible that the variety is probably the one spoken in the region of Xilotepec, one of the few toponyms, with Querétaro, mentioned in the text (p. 46). Sometimes the author contrasts Otomí with Nahuatl: “los mexicanos vsan Teaxca, tetlalqui...” (p. 53); mitemachtia, mitetlalçotla (p. 63).
MétalangueCastellano (Castilian, Spanish), also called “romance” (p. 49, 91), but the latter is used particularly when referring to Spanish “circumlocutions” of the Latin gerund or participles (Zwartjes 2007). As occurs frequently in missionary grammars of the time, the prepositions are in Latin, arranged alphabetically (p. 115-117), with only one Spanish preposition (“hazia”) as an exception.
Langue des exemplesCáceres also compares possessive constructions in Otomi with those in Nahuatl. In his chapter on kinship terms, Cáceres translates Otomi to Spanish and Nahuatl
Sommaire de l'ouvrageDe algunos apuntamientos de la lengua otomj. Cap. 1. de los nombres y algunas partículas que a ellos se anteponen (p. 43-45); Cap. 2. de los nombres en general y primero de los sustantivos primitivos (45); Cap. 3. de los nombres sustantivos abstractos – de los nombres de pueblos, partonímicos (46-47); Cap. 4. de los nombres denominativos (47); Cap. 5. de los nombres derivativos posesivos (48); Cap. 6. de los nombres diminutivos (48); Cap. 7. de los comparativos (48-49); Cap. 8. de los superlativos (49); Cap. 9. de los nombres adjetivos (49-50); Cap. 10. de los pronombres primitivos (50-51); Cap. 11. de los pronombres demostrativos (51); Cap. 12. de los pronombres posesivos (51-53); Cap. 13. [no title] (53-54); Cap. 14. de quis, vel qui, y sus compuestos (54); Cap. 15. los compuestos (54-55); Cap. 16. relativos de calidad, y cantidad (55); para todo inanimado (55-56); Cap. 17. De los nombres de parentescos (56-59); grados de afinidad (58); Cap. 18. de la manera de suplir el sum, es, fui, con los nombres (59-60); Cap. 19. de los numerales (60-63); Cap. 20. de los verbos en general, y como hacen el número singular, dual y plural (63-64). Cap. 21. del número dual (64-65); Cap. 22. del número plural (65-69).
Comienza la materia de los verbos. Síguese la conjugación del absoluto de Tana (69-73). indicativo modo: presente, pret. imperfecto, pret. perfecto, futuro imperfecto, “otro futuro imperfecto”, futuro perfecto, imperativo modo: vetativo, avisativo, disuasivo, desiderativo, optativo modo (all tenses), infinitivo. Síguese la conjugación del verbo activo (all tenses and modes, 73-78). Síguese la boz pasiva de la 1a conjugación de Tana (78-79); verbo impersonal (79-81). Síguese la 2a conjugación de los verbos de Tati (81-87). Síguense algunas reglas por las cuales a los verbos y nombres verbales se añaden, quitan y mudan algunas letras que son muy de notar (reglas 1-12; 87-89); reglas para la voz pasiva (reglas 1-8; 89-91). Cap. 23. síguese la materia de los gerundios (91-113); Cap. 14 [sic] de los participios (113-114); nombres verbales en -or (114); en los verbos de tati dicen de esta manera (115); nombres verbales femeninos (115); nombres locales (115); de los adverbios instrumentales derivados de verbos (115); (in preceding sections we have not found chapter 25); Cap. 26. de las preposiciones (115-117) (In Latin, in alphabetic order); Cap. 27. de los adverbios (117-123) (arranged alphabetically in Otomí); adverbios locales, temporales, para cosas de este mundo, para cosas del cielo, para cosas del infierno, adverbios temporales que hablan de tiempo, adverbios numerales (123-128); Cap. 23 [sic]. de las interjecciones (128); conjunciones (128-129); Cap. 30. síguense algunas partículas [que se interponen y posponen a las dictiones de esta lengua, y algunas veces no significan nada sino pónense por ornato” (129-130); otra conjugación (130-135) (more verbal paradigms and particles) (135-145); síguense algunas notables tocantes a los verbos (145-147); síguense algunos verbos que difieren en la variación de los comunes y otros defectivos (147-149); tiene esta lengua muchos verbos defectivos los cuales no tienen mas de 3a personas como todos los que significan operaciones naturales (149-150); verbos que se aplican a muchas maneras de hablar (150-151).
Objectif de l'auteurThe grammar does not have a prologue, so no specific information is given about the didactic approach. The work seems to be a preliminary sketch of the language, and it often seems that Cáceres structures his texts at random. When all the parts of speech are dealt with, followed by a section about the particles, the author suddenly comes back to the topic of conjugations, where more paradigms are included, probably seen as special manners of speech (“maneras de hablar”, p. 130). The entire final section includes paradigms, defective verbs, the use of particles, adverbs, sections with rather vague titles, such as “verbos que se aplican a muchas maneras de hablar” which, seen from a didactic point of view, to be selected at random.
Intérêt généralEarliest extant grammar of Otomi. Cáceres probably perceived most phonemes of the language, and in most cases he uses diacritics for vowel quality, but it is difficult to say if the edition of Nicolás León represents the original MS exactly which has been lost. According to Lastra the grammar contains interesting aspects, although it has many shortcomings (“deja mucho que desear por su falta de claridad en la exposición” (2000, p. 103). Since the work is the earliest extant grammar and the only one which was finished in the 16th century, the Franciscan author was the first to describe the following features of Otomi: Three numbers, including Dual (Cap. 21, p. 64-65). Distinction between first person plural inclusive and exclusive, although he does not use these term as metalinguistic terms. Distinction between animate and inanimate, between present (visible) and absent (not visible). Distinction between extrínsecos and intrínsecos (p. 52). Some comparisons with Nahuatl are significant: such as the existence in both languages of “partículas generales que incluyen en sí la persona que padece”, although the comparison is far from complete or correct (see Lastra 2000, p. 102-103). There are some interesting observations concerning language variety men, women's speech (p. 130), farmers, adolescents (“habla delos ancianos”, p. 56; “campesinos”, p. 56, “del comun de la gente pobre, macehueles más simples, hombres”, p. 56; “jóvenes, mujeres”, p. 45, 51, 52, 56). It is remarkable that Cáceres, compared to other grammars of Amerindian languages in this period, devotes almost 20 pages (p. 91-113) to the Gerund (including “Romance” periphrastic constructions, used as translations of the Latin gerundium translated into Otomi): constructions as “yo yre a enseñar”, “voy enseñando”, “voy a ser enseñado”, “vengo a enseñar”, “yo vine a enseñarte”, “yo amare yendo de camino”, “si yo fuese ydo a amar”, “yo anduve enseñando”.
Parties du discoursThe traditional eight parts of speech, followed by a chapter (cap. 30) containing “particles” (“particulas que se ynterponen y posponen que se ponen por ornato”, p. 129).
Innovations term.Terms related to phonology and articulation/ pronunciation: “apretadamente”, “blando”, con más vehemencia, mora, gangoso, por las narices, obscura, “deteniendose” (p. 4), “pronunciar blandamente” versus “pronunciar ablandamante” (p. 66). Cáceres is one of the earliest source using the term saltillo (p. 4), although the glottal stop had been described – probably some years before or simultaneously– by Roldán. For more details about the adapted alphabet of Cáceres, see Guerrero Galván (2007) and Zimmermann (2003). It is significant that Cáceres uses a special symbol for the voiceless alveo-lateral affricate (/ƛ /, [λ̥], o / tɬ͡ /) which is represented in all the grammars of Nahuatl by the digraph /tl/. Although the original manuscript has been lost, Nicolás León transcribes the sound with the symbol /l/ in his example from Nahuatl (milellçotla, p. 63). Distinction between “hablar sin menosprecio”, “nombres reverenciales, no reverenciales (43-44), “reverencia” versus “humildad” (p. 47). Distinction between “cosas animadas” versus “cosas inanimadas” (p. 44-45; 50; 61). Distinction between “presente” and “ausente” (p. 45). “Nombres que tienen significacion intrínseca” (p. 52). “Pronombre sincopado” (p. 52). “Relativos de calidad, relativos de cantidad, para preguntar y “corresponsivo” (p. 55). The Otomí verb has two conjugations, according to Cáceres, “regulares” and “primitivas” (p. 63). Different from Latin, as in Nahuatl, the Otomí verb “includes the person direct object (“incluyen en si la persona que padece”) (p. 63). Dual number (p. 64). “imperativo vetativo, avisativo o disuasivo, desiderativo” (p. 71). “Partículas que denotan que la operación del verbo se exercita en hábito o oficio, y las segundas que se exercita en acto”. The distinction between “en ábito” and “en acto” also appears in the paradigms; the terminology used by Cáceres is rather unique in missionary grammars. The form “en ábito” is translated as active (“enseño”), the second as passive (“estoy enseñado”) (also explained as “an operation from inside or from the outside (“la operacion se exercita dentor o fuera”, p. 85). Cáceres’s text is one of the earliest sources in New Spain in which the term “root” (“raíz”) is used, together with its synonym “cuerpo” (p. 88). Chapter 26 deals with prepositions. Here the Latin prepositions are ordered alphabetically with Spanish and Otomí equivalents. Classifiers: “animado, duro o redondo, largo, blando, llano, alto”. “Nota que las cosas espirituales demandan los mismos verbos que las cosas duras (p. 106). “Locuciones”, used as synonym for “maneras de hablar” (p. 113). “Verbos que tienen el pretérito y futuro doblado” (p. 75). As in grammars of Nahuatl, we find the concept of “reverencial” (p. 43, 44, 47). “Verbos que significan operaciones naturales” (p. 149), such as “it snows”, “it rains”, etc.
Corpus illustratifParadigms and small phrases as illustrative examples, many of them containing a religious content (as on p. 77: “No había otro que amase a nuestro Señor Jesuxpo. Sino su bendictísima madre y sus santos apóstoles”).
Indications compl.
Influence subieCáceres was not the first to describe Otomí. The names of his predecessors, all Franciscans, are mentioned as grammarians of Otomí: Alonso Rangel (Arte y Doctrina, 1569), Pedro Palacios, Pedro de Oroz and Agustín de la Fuente, whose works are all lost. In the trilingual Cathecism written by Melchor de Vargas entitled La doctrina christiana muy útil y necessaria en castellano, mexicano y otomi a “cartilla” is included for the teaching of the Otomí alphabet (for more details, see Guerrero Galván 2013: 191-192). Cáceres does not refer tot his source, but according to Guerrero Galván (2013: 139) the alphabet which is used is similar to that of the Franciscans. In later works, we read often that no works were printed related to Otomí, ignoring completely the work of Vargas (Guerrero Galván 2013: 139). Cáceres also ignored this work. The Arte of Antonio de Nebrija is mentioned by Cáceres (p. 74), and according to Guerrero Galván (2007, p. 100), the method used for orthography is the one developed by Quintilian.
Influence exercéeAs far as I could trace, later grammarians do not refer to Cáceres. It is probable that the work did not have a great impact, but Lastra demonstrates that Urbano's description of Otomi shares many features with Cáceres, which could mean that Urbano took the work of Cáceres as model, or that both grammars are derived from the same source of one of the predecessors.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Guerrero Galván A. 2007; Guerrero Galván A. 2013; Hernández Triviño A. 2016; Lastra Y. 1992; Lastra Y. 2000; León N. 1905; Roldán B. 1580; Vargas M. de 1576; Zimmermann K. 2003; Zwartjes O. 2007
Rédacteur

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05 | 2018-09