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Doctrina Cristiana

Barreda, Nicolás de

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4665]

Internet Archive (éd. 1730)


Barreda, Nicolás de

Datation: fl. 1708-1730

Nicolás de Barreda was a native of Oaxaca. He was not the first to learn the Chinantec language. According to Brinton (1892: p. 24), earlier pioneering work was done by Francisco Saravia (ca 1540-1630), who joined the order of the Dominicans in 1574 and collected the Chinantec people from their “caves and ravines in which they lived, into the villages where they could cultivate the soil”. It has been documented that he had written a Catecismo, an Arte, a book of confessions (Confessionario) and sermons (Sermones). It seems that Barreda did not know the work of his predecessor. Brinton also reports that Barreda published a work entitled “Respuesta consultoria”, which appeared the same year as his Doctrina christiana en lengua chinanteca (1730). In the “Respuesta consultoria” (f. 8) we read that de la Barreda worked as a missionary for almost 25 years in four different indigenous communities, where Mixtecs, Cuicatecs, “Mexicas” and Chinantecs lived closely together. Barreda was a priest in San Pedro Yólox from 1708 until 1728 and he also lived in other regions. There were complaints about his limited competence in Chinantec, which seemed to be an obstacle in the evangelization process. It is posible that he also wrote a grammar (Arte) but this work has never been found (Cline 1960, p. 16). Dates of birth and death unknown. Nicolás de Barreda informs his readers that he finished his Doctrina after 20 years of hard practice (Barreda 1730: “Prologo”, no numbered folios).

Titre de l'ouvrageDoctrina Cristiana en lengua chinanteca
Titre traduitChristian doctrine in the Chinantec language
Titre courtDoctrina Cristiana
Remarques sur le titreComplete title: Doctrina christiana en lengua chinanteca, añadida la explicacion de los principales mysterios de la fee, modo de baptizar en caso de necessidad, y de ayuda a bien morir, y methodo de administracion de Sacramentos por el Br. D. Nicolas de la Barreda, Cura Beneficiado, y Juez Ecclesiastico del Beneficio de S. Pedro de Yolos, de el Obispado de Oaxaca, dedicalo al Muy Ill[us]tre y Venerable Cabildo de la Santa Iglesia de la Ciudad de Antequera.
Période|18e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageChristian doctrine (“Doctrina christiana”, p. 1-9), in Chinantec only, based on the Spanish text of the Jesuit Gerónimo de Ripalda's (1536-1618) Doctrina (1591); licenses and Prólogo in Spanish, text in Spanish and Chinantec in parallel columns.
Type indexéTexte religieux | Remarques grammaticales
Édition originale1730, Mexico, Por los Herederos de la Viuda de Francisco Rodriguez Lupercio, en la Puente de Palacio.
Édition utilisée1730. Mexico (John Carter Brown, Call nr. b3902553/ BA730 .B271d).
Volumétrie126 pages: [16], 92, 83-85, [1] p.: ill.; 19 cm. (in-4o). Title in double ornamental border (printer’s ornaments), woodcut ill. at head of the dedication, tail-piece on p. 85 [i.e. 95] with initials O.S.C.S.M.E.C.A.R., which means Omnia Sub Correctione Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae Catholicae Apostolicae Romanae.
Nombre de signes60000
Reproduction moderneIn Brinton’s publication (1892) we find a section entitled “texts” with “The Lord’s prayer” (p. 27) (Chinantec-English), “extract from the Doctrina of Barreda (Spanish-Chinantec”) (p. 28-29), and an English-Chinantec Vocabulary (p. 29-31). There exists a recent facsimile edition by Howard F. Cline (México: Museo Nacional de Antropología, serie científica, vol. 6, 1960), including linguistic commentary, and Spanish-Chinantec and Chinantec-Spanish vocabularies extracted from Barreda’s text. Some of these materials had been also reprinted by Brinton in 1892. In Sandoval Aguilar (1991, p. 65) another reprint is mentioned (Oaxaca: Imprenta de la Voz de la Verdad, 1910).
DiffusionThe work was reprinted by Nicolás León (1908), according to Brinton (1892).
Langues ciblesChinantec (Oto-Pame-Chinantecan, Western Otomangue, Otomangue).
Chinantec is a Nahuatl exonym. In the prologue Barreda calls the language “Lengua de Yolos” (Yolox), auto-denomination: Juu Jmiih. (other endonyms are jmiih dzä mo’ for “chinanteco de la Sierra” and jujmi, or huhmi (Northern Chinantec). (http://alin.inali.gob.mx/xmlui/handle/123456789/47). According to Barreda, the variety spoken in Yolos is different from other regional varieties, not only on the phonological level but also in the semantics (“Adviertote tambien, que esta lengua de Yolos, en que va escrito este Libro, assi en la pronunciacion, como en algunas cosas de la significacion se diversifica, de la que hablan en otros Curatos de esta Nacion”)
MétalangueCastilian (Spanish)
Langue des exemplesChinantec
Sommaire de l'ouvrageThe work is not a grammar, but a Christian Doctrine in which some grammatical notes are included, the only printed information available about the language from this period.
Objectif de l'auteurAccording to Barreda’s prologue, no one has ever written anything in this language. The language is, according to the author, ‘rural’ and it is so difficult that it was even considered “impenetrable”. He informs his readers that in other parish churches they even attempted “to extinguish” the language, shifting to religious instruction in Nahuatl, the lingua franca in these territories, even when this could lead to serious “tortures” and “troubles”. According to Barreda, the decision to impose Nahuatl did not lead to any advantage in the spread of the faith, on the contrary, it even caused more confusion among the Chinantecs. (“por no aver hallado, aun manuscripto una letra en este idioma, ni persona medianamente capaz en este Curato, de quien poder seguir con alguna satisfaccion sus documentos, siendo esta lengua tan rustica, y dificil que dos Señores de los que me antecedieron, me asseguraron no aver tenido otro motivo para promoverse, de este, à otros Curatos, que los golpes con que su rusticidad les pulsaba continuamente la conciencia, teniendo por mas superable el trabajo de poner e à aprender otros idiomas que proseguir lo impenetrable de este. Cuio motivo obligò à otro Parrocho á poner medios para extinguirlo, y enseñar à los Indios la lengua Mexicana, à costa de graves mortificaciones, y disgustos, y aviendose puesto en execucion (con superior permiso, y despachos de la Real Audiencia) no se experimenta provecho alguno, pues antes, se discurre, aver servido de mayor ruina, y confucion”).
In the ‘Respuesta’ de la Barreda characterises the language in similar words: The language is extremely barbarian and difficult, it does not seem to be ruled by norms and nothing is written in this language and in the parish churches, no capable person can be found who has even reached an intermediate level which enables him to read texts in this language in a satisfactory way (“por ser sumamente bárbaro, y difícil el Idioma, y no tener norma, ni letra escrita en toda la Nación para conseguirlo, ni persona medianamente capaz en este Curato, de quien poder seguir con alguna satisfacción sus documentos”, Brinton 1892, p. 20).
The author writes his texts in Chinantec, without any “mixture of eloquence, sophistication or embellishment”, and, according to the author, his texts are written in a “rude, common and plain” style, adjusted to the “limited intelligence” of the indigenous people (“sin mixtura de eloquencia, compostura, ò adorno, acomodandome al mas Tosco, vsual, y llano estylo proporcionado á la limitada inteligencia de los Indios”). Barreda sustains that his work was written with great care and that there is not a word in his translations that has not been checked carefully with the natives (“la prolixa atencion, y cuidado especial con que la hè escrito, sin contener toda ella vn solo vocablo, que primero no tuviese general aprobacion de los mesmos Indios reexaminandola con ellas muchas vezes”).
Intérêt généralThe only extant printed text in Chinantec. The paratexts contain relevant information related to sociolinguistic situation of the region, the missionaries’ attitude towards language choice in their evangelisation efforts, and their attitude towards the learnability of this language. The work has monolingual and bilingual sections, interspersed by some linguistic notes. As Smith-Stark (2005, p. 21) points out, Barreda (1960 [1730]) seems to distinguish seven of these vowels orthographically. In addition to the five vowels shared with Spanish {i, e, a, o, u} he also writes for /ɨ/ and {æ} for /ǝ/.
Apart from these vowel qualities, Barreda also uses diacritics, but he does not explain what they mean. He uses the circumflex (as in qûehi, p. 45), grave and accute accents, such as calèi (p. 34), hennà (p. 32), xá, hequé (p. 24). Double vowels are also used, as in chaaqui (p. 57), cunquaa (p. 59), and sometimes accompanied by diacritics, such as êehi, and êei, Caéeiba (p. 63). It is not clear if these diacritics stand for the glottal stop, segmental or suprasegmental phonemes. Chinantecan languages are tonal. In Usila Chinantec, for instance, five register tones are distinguished, an uncommon trait in the world's languages. Due to the lack of documentation in this period, it is difficult to reconstruct the tonal features of Chinantec spoken in Yolos.
The grammatical notes mainly concern the following topics: Barreda describes the contrast between the negative and affirmative particles za ~xa (“Particula negativa”, “particula afirmativa”) (p. 39); Compulsivos (p. 46). This term is widely used in grammars of Nahuatl and Otomanguean languages in Oaxaca, such as in the grammars of Zapotec and Mixtec.
Parties du discoursThe work is not a grammar, it is not a complete description of the language but only contains some linguistic notes.
Innovations term.No innovative metalinguistic terms are used.
Corpus illustratifConfessions, commandments. The linguistic material is written with attention to didactics. The questions and answers are written with repetitions, and often with minor variations, which is useful for understanding the language (Bevan 1938).
Indications compl.
Influence subieThe text is a translation from Ripalda’s Catechism (Doctrina cristiana).
Influence exercéeUnknown.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Bevan B. 1938; Brinton D. G. 1892; Cline H. F. 1960; Ripalda M. de Jerónimo 1591; Sandoval Aguilar Z. 1991; Smith-Stark T. C. 2005

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2018-09