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Reglas de orthographia, diccionario, y arte del idioma othomi

Neve y Molina, Luis de

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4655]

Internet Archive (éd. 1767)


Neve y Molina, Luis de

Datation: fl. 1767-1784

Luis de Neve y Molina was born in Valladolid, New Spain (date of birth unknown). He learned Otomi when he was a child. His Reglas de orthographia, diccionario, y arte del idioma othomi were published in the same year as the year of the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish territories (Bartholomew 2014). According to Boot (2005, p. 8) Neve y Molina may have obtained his education at the Real Universidad de México. Father Neve y Molina was “catedrático” at the “Real y Pontificio Colegio Seminario de la Compañía de Jesús” and interpreter of the “Tribunal de la Fe” and “capellán” at the Hospital Real. He was “catedrático propietario” of the Otomi language at the Real y Pontificio Colegio Seminario Tridentino”, and “examinador sinodal e intérprete del Tribunal Eclesiástico de Indios (Anonymous author of the Luces p. 119; Garone Gravier 2014, p. 270). He probably died in 1784 (Garone Gravier 2014, p. 270).

Titre de l'ouvrageReglas de orthographia, diccionario, y arte del idioma othomi, breve instruccion para los principiantes
Titre traduitRules on orthography, dictionary and grammar of the Otomi language and a brief instruction for beginners
Titre courtReglas de orthographia, diccionario, y arte del idioma othomi
Remarques sur le titreComplete title: Reglas de orthographia, diccionario, y arte del idioma othomi, breve instruccion para los principiantes, que dictò el L. D. Luis de Neve, y Molina, Cathedratico Propietario de dicho Idioma en el Real, y Pontificio Colegio Seminario, Examinador Synodal, ê Interprete de el tribunal de Fè en el Provisorato de Indios de este Arzobispado, y Capellan del Hospital Real des esta Corte. Dedicalo al Gloriosissimo Señor San Joseph, Padre Putativo del Verbo Eterno, y bajo su Proteccion lo saca à luz.
Période|18e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageDivided into three parts- a pronunciation guide (p. 1-12), starting with an alphabetically arranged vocabulary of the most common and necessary nouns and verbs Spanish-Otomi (“Diccionario de los Nombres, y Verbos mas communes, y necessaries en el Idioma Othomì”) (p. 13-96), and a grammar for beginners (“rudimentos”) (p. 97-160), how to become a fluent speaker and writer of Otomi. The last part focuses on grammar.
Type indexéDictionnaire | Grammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire | Orthoépie | Texte religieux | Traité d'orthographe
Édition originale1767. Mexico, Imprenta de la Bibliotheca Mexicana.
Édition utiliséeJohn Carter Brown. Call number b3902716.
Volumétrie[24], 160 p., [2] leaves of plates : ill.; 15 cm. (in-8°) (198 pages). Engraved frontispiece of St. Joseph (to whom the work is dedicated on the title page) holding Christ the child, with preachers in a church interior depicted underneath, and quotes from Scriptures (for more details see Garone Gravier 2014, p. 271-273). ca 42.000, excl. the dictionary (second part). First section on orthography and pronunciation 6.000, third section (grammar) (36.000).
Nombre de signes42000
Reproduction moderneColín, Mario (1975).
DiffusionSecond edition (1863). Italian Translation: Piccolomini, E.S. (1841).
Langues ciblesOtomí (Otomanguean family, Otopamean branch).
Otomí is a Nahuatl exonym. In modern times Hñähñu is used as endonym (also spelled as Hñäñho). Neve y Molina already refers to the Idioma Othomi as Na nhiânhiû. Escandón publishes the grammatical section in 1891, without mentioning the author. Fournier’s publication (1835) is a translation into French of some parts of Neve y Molina, and this French author does not mention the name of Neve y Molina either. Boot (2005, p. 9) sums up the place names mentioned in the work of Neve y Molina and he concludes that the variant of Otomí recorded in this book probably originates from the Valle de Mezquital (ibid.)
MétalangueCastilian (Spanish)
Langue des exemplesOtomí
Sommaire de l'ouvrageAl primer ministro de la Trinidad santissima, sapientissimo parrocho, estimativo Padre esposo de Maria Santissima Señor San Joseph (Luis de Neve, y Molina); Parecer (Carlos Ruiz Morales); Parecer (Joseph Lucas de Anaya); Licencia del Superior Gobierno; Licencia del Sr. Arzobispo; Decimas, Soneto acrostico semi-paranomastico (Licenciado D. Luis de Neve); Prologo (no numbered pages).
Primera parte, que trata de las Reglas de ortografía (p. 1-12). Letters of the alphabet with phonological explanations, arranged in 21 numbered §; Tabla containing the different vowels and diacritics, and their definitions (“clara, narical, hueca, guttural”), and the consonants which have a special nomenclature (“suave, resongada, fuerte, castañuelas, dental” and the “saltillo”) (12); erratas (13).
Parte segunda. Diccionario de los nombres, y verbos más comunes, y necesarios en el idioma Othomi (13-95); modo de Contar (95-96).
Parte tercera. Arte del Idioma Othomì; breve Compendio de las Reglas, para que los principiantes puedan con facilidad formar oraciones, e instruirse en los mayores rudimentos de este Idioma. (97-160). The work has a separate prologue/ introduction: Introducción (97-101). Cap. 1. de las partes de la oración en común (101-102); Cap. 2. del nombre (102-105); Cap. 3. de las divisiones del nombre (105-107); Cap. 4. de los verbales (107-112); Cap. 5. del pronombre (112-116); pronombres adjetivos (113-114); Cap. 6. del verbo (116-121); el verbo nee significa querer (117-120); Cap. 7. de los pretéritos (121-125); Cap. 8. del verbo sustantivo (125-133); Cap. 9. de la preposición (133); Cap. 10. del adverbio (134-135); Cap. 11. de la interjección (135-137); Cap. 12: de la conjunción (137); Cap. 13. de las partículas [a section containing 23 numbered § with particles, not arranged alphabetically] (138-145); Cap. 14. de la síncopa [containing 17 numbered §] (145-152); Cap. 15. de las oraciones, y tiempos de me, te, se (152-156), tiempos de siendo, estando, y haviendo (156-157); romances de pertenecer, o tocar (157-158); Cap. 16. De las concomitancias, y otras advertencias (158-160). LAUS DEO.
Objectif de l'auteurIn the prologue, Neve y Molina informs his readers that his method was written for beginners (“para instrucción de los principiantes”). A prerequisite is that the learner knows Latin and is familiar with the Arte of Antonio de Nebriga [sic] (p.11), which has for Neve y Molina the consequence that it is not necessary to give Nebrija’s rules again in this grammar. Different from Sánchez de la Baquera, who continuously informs his readers that the acquisition of the right pronunciation was the main purpose of his method, Neve y Molina argues that the main objective of his grammatical compendium was how to construe sentences and to acquire the most important “rudiments” of the language (“para que los principiantes puedan con facilidad formar oraciones, e instruirse en los mayores rudimentos de este idioma”). He labels his work an easy method (“fácil método”). In the prologue, Neve y Molina attempts to fill the gap after so many years. Probably referring to Carochi - or maybe others from the 17th century -, who were according to him excellent grammarians, he complains that no work survived. Many considered the language more barbarian than any other language of this Hemisphere and teachers left their students as erring and blind, without a guide. Neve y Molina observes that this language is as important as Nahuatl (“el Mexicano”), a language which has been studied and described in so many grammars and dictionaries. Nevertheless, no text has ever been printed for teaching Otomí [probably he was not aware of the existence of the trilingual Christian Doctrine of the Augustinian Melchor de Vargas]. If there are some authors who have composed some unbound papers (“papeles sueltos”), they are usually obscure and contain many difficulties and contradictions for the learners. They make this language even more complicated than it already is. According to Neve y Molina, his predecessors developed alphabets with so many characters and figures and they did not give any unanimous rules of how to write this language, which caused even more difficulties. He develops an alphabet, which can be printed easily (it has been recorded in the Luces that the grammar of Carochi caused to many difficulties for the printing house). Neve y Molina also wanted to standardise the language. There must be only one variety whose pronunciation and writing is to be taught, whereas the several other varieties of the language have to be ignored (“... de que todo el idioma sea uno, assi en el modo de pronunciar, como en el modo de escribir”). The language already has so many corrupt forms (“voces totalmente adulteradas, y mudadas”), which we may expect from languages without any books or guidance. In Castilian, every mistaken term will be detected and any error can be corrected. According to his view, in Latin a good pronunciation depends on a good orthography, but in Otomí a good orthography depends on a good pronunciation. If written correctly, future learners will pronounce the language correctly. Neve y Molina concludes his prologue with the remark that the book may contain errors, but there is an excuse: His work is the first which appears in print (“por ser el primer Arte de este Idioma, que se da a la Imprenta”).
Intérêt généralFirst printed grammar of Otomí. The Augustinian Melchor de Vargas published a Doctrina with a “cartilla” at an earlier date. The Jesuit Francisco de Miranda also published his catechism earlier (1759), but his work was not a grammar, he included an “Advertencia” at the end of his work in which he also informs his readers that the printing house was not able to reproduce all the necessary letters and diacritics. He explains that the circumflex is used â, ê, ô and û which could be confused with ã, etc., due to the fact that these types were missing at the printing house “por carecer la Imprenta de ellos, se han mezclado assi…” (p. 13) (for more details regarding the typographical problems at the printing houses in their attempts to represent Otomí, see also Garone (2013, p. 133-140)). Another aspect which Neve y Molina failed to describe was the sort of “quejido” (“moan”) sound in Otomí. Neve y Molina’s work is the first printed complete grammar and vocabulary of Otomí. The grammar of Horacio Carochi could not be printed at that time, due to problems with the special letters developed for Otomí and the original manuscript has been lost. His orthography differs on some important points from the work of the Franciscans (Cáceres and Urbano), which he seemed not to have seen (for more details see Guerrero Galván 2013).
Parties du discoursSeven parts of speech: nombre, pronombre, verbo, preposición, adverbio, interjección, conjunción. In addition, there are two types of ‘particles’, those which “signify” and those who “do not signify if used separately” (“unas son significativas, y otras, que de por sí nada significan”) (p. 101).
Innovations term.The terms “clara, narical [sic], hueca and gutural” (“clear, nasal, hollow and guttural”) are used for vowels. The consonants which have a special nomenclature are “suave, resongada, fuerte, castañuelas, dental” (“soft, resonant, string and castanet”) and since Cáceres, the earliest document (c. 1580), we find again the term “saltillo”, which is also used in grammars of Nahuatl.
About tenses and aspect: The author follows the traditional division of tenses, but distinguishes in the Pretérito perfecto two forms, “primer romance” (“Yo quise”), and “Segundo romance” (“Yo he querido”), translated into Otomí as Da nee and Xta nee respectively. This means that the author extends the Greco-Latin model, with special attention for the aspectual differences between the definite preterite and the compound present perfect tense in Spanish, for which he found equivalents in Otomí.
Corpus illustratifOtomí. The vocabulary does not contain examples or phrases, but only word to word translations. Neve y Molina informs his readers in his prologue that the third part devoted to the parts of speech is - among other reasons – written with the purpose to build sentences. Nevertheless, no examples, phrases, “maneras de hablar” are included at the end, which are usual at the time.
Indications compl.
Influence subieNebrija is mentioned on p. 11 and 98. Neve y Molina criticises his predecessors, but he does not mention them by name. There are some common characteristics in the alphabets which are also found in Sánchez de la Baquera, but Neve y Molina does not mention his name. The same applies to the special section devoted to the “Concomitancias” (p. 158-160), which is also found in Sánchez de la Baquera. Missionary linguistics was often a collective enterprise. It is not impossible that he had seen the work of Sánchez de la Baquera, but maybe this term was commonly used in grammars which are considered to be lost, such as the one wrotten by Carochi, and the grammar of Haedo (1731).
Influence exercéeNeve y Molina observes that his work is the first printed grammar of this language (“el primer Arte de esta Idioma, que se da a la imprenta”). The work was influential at the time. A second edition appeared in 1863, and a third in 1975. The work was translated into Italian in 1841 and Nájera (1835, p. 5) refers to Neve y Molina, translating his remarkable terms related to pronunciation into Latin such as the sonido ovejuno (“sheepish”) (“quasi balatum imitans”), etc. Adelung & Vater’s (1816) is mainly based on Neve y Molina, to whom he refers explicitly. Humboldt’s description and analysis of Otomí is based on the grammars of Tomás Sandoval (ms. Coll. Ling. Fol. 78; Library of the University of Kraków) and Luis de Neve y Molina (Zimmermann 2004). Neve y Molina’s alphabet was also criticised by López Yepes. The main problem was the extended alphabet developed by Neve y Molina which would have been too problematic for printing texts in Otomí. In the section “De la necesidad de un nuevo alfabeto Otomí” López Yepes explains why he decided to develop a new alphabet, not with new letters, but using existing letters, but inverted, such as the vertically inverted {ɥ} or the horizontally inverted {Ǝ}. (For more details see the table of Zimmermann 2003, p. 44, 46 and 47 and Wright Carr 2003). However, the influence of Neve y Molina in López Yepes is still visible on another level. The semi-metalinguistic terminology used by Neve y Molina is generally maintained (e.g. vowels which are “clear” (“clara”), “hollow” (“hueca”), “sheepish” (“ovejuna”)). Another problem was, according to López Yepes, that no distinction was made by Neve y Molina between {tz} and {ttz}. This distinction has to be made, since according to the principles of orthography (“principios fundamentales de ortografía”) different pronunciations and different sounds (“las pronunciaciones y sonidos diferentes”) have to be written by different letters (“deben escribirse y representarse con letras diferentes”) (1826, p. 7). Neve y Molina’s work also prompted considerable criticism by an anonymous native speaker of Otomí who authored the two texts Examen crítico and Discurso crítico (anonymous ca 1770, and ca 1785) (Guerrero Galván 2013, p. 80-81). The anonymous informs his readers that he is a native speaker with forty years of study abroad. According to the catalogue of the Newberry Library, Chicago, the author “begins his scathing critique” of Neve y Molina’s work in poems (décimas and acrostic sonnets), in an extremely ironic style, as the following citation from the beginning of the manuscript demonstrates: Al insigne cathedratico / Don Luis de Neve y Molina / Un Otomyte politico / La manda de su cocina / Aqueste puchero crytico. In his opinion, the rigid rules of Neve y Molina do not apply to the Otomí language. There are three reasons (“circunstancias formales”) why this language cannot be “reduced” to grammar. Otomí is “diverse” (diverso) and “singular” and always “particular”, and so it is impossible to give “general” rules. The second “circunstancia” is its pronunciation, which is impossible to “reduce” to “Arte”. The third problem is the inadequate Latin alphabet, which has only (“moldes no competentes”), not appropriate for this language (f. 5-6). In the “Discurso (ca 1785), the anonymous criticises the alphabet developed by Guadalupe Ramírez, which is totally useless, according to the author. Different from what Sánchez de la Baquera and Neve y Molina tried to demonstrate, it is impossible for an adult to learn the language. Teachers must always be native speakers. The anonymous author of the Luces del otomí included Neve y Molina’s vocabulary in his work, which illustrates that the work was considered as an authority in this field. Almost every phoneme was described carefully, except for the tonal differences. The description of the apocopate forms of nouns and verbs is quite detailed and has its merits (for more details see Lastra 1992, p. 467).
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Adelung J. C. (éd.) 1863; Adelung J. C. & Vater J. S. 1816 {p. 113 et suiv.}; Anonyme 1647; Bartholomew D. 2014; Boot E. 2005; Buelna E. (éd.) 1893; Escandón L. A. 1891 {p.119-168}; Garone Gravier M. 2013; Garone Gravier M. 2014; Guadalupe Ramírez A. de 1785; Guerrero Galván A. 2013; Haedo F. 1731; Lastra Y. 1992; López Yepes J. 1826; Miranda F. de 1759; Nájera M. de San Juan Crisóstomo 1835; Neve y Molina L. de 1767; Neve y Molina L. de 1841; Niederehe H.-J. 2005; Vargas M. de 1576; Wright Carr D. C. 2003; Wright Carr D. C. 2005; Zimmermann K. 1997; Zimmermann K. 2003; Zimmermann K. 2004

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2018-09