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Arte da lingua de Angola

Dias, Pedro

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4781]

Internet Archive (éd. 1697)


Dias, Pedro

Datation: 1622-1700

Pedro Dias was born in 1622 in Vila de Gouveia, Portugal. From his youth he lived in Brazil, where he entered the Jesuit order at the age of 19, i.e. in 1641 (Zwartjes 2011, p. 220). He was very successful at the Jesuit College of Rio de Janeiro, eventually holding the role of Dean (‘reitor’) at the Colégio de Santos and the Real Colégio de Olinda (Lima 2013, p. 2). Leite (1947) observes that Dias learned Kimbundu, ‘the language of Angola’, in 1663 at the same College; however, Bonvini (2008; p. 36, cited in Lima 2013, p. 8) offers the possibility of him having begun learning the language during his initial studies. However, it is clear that Dias worked closely with the slave communities from Angola during the ensuing periods of his career, eventually being attributed the epithet ‘apostle of the blacks’ by Leite (1947). He finished the composition of his Arte da lingua de Angola in Salvador, Brazil, where he was working intimately with African slave populations, before having it edited by an Angola-born native, Miguel Cardoso (1659-1721) (Zwartjes 2011, p. 220).

Titre de l'ouvrageArte da lingua de Angola
Titre traduitGrammar of the language of Angola
Titre courtArte da lingua de Angola
Remarques sur le titreComplete title: Arte da lingua de Angola ofrecida a virgem senhora N. do Rosario, Mãy, & Senhora dos meßmos Pretos, pelo P. Pedro Dias Da Companhia de JESU.
Période|17e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageShort, complete grammar covering phonology, morphology and syntax. Descriptive grammar, Didactic/pedagogic grammar for learners of the Língua de Angola (Kimbundu).
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire | Grammaire pour étrangers
Édition originale1697, Lisbon, Portugal: In the Office of Miguel Deslandes.
Édition utiliséeFirst edition 1697. John Carter Brown call nr. B4924360.
Volumétrie[8] 48 p.; 16 cm. (in-8°). Signatures: pi (pi1, pi4 versos blank) A-C. Woodcut Jesuit HIS vignette on title page; head piece; initials.
Nombre de signes35000
Reproduction moderne
DiffusionRosa (2013, p. 20) concedes the rarity of this work, stating that she could only find eleven exemplars of the first edition. This work has always been hard to come by, especially in the African portion of the Portuguese Empire. Accordingly, Chatelain (1888-1889, p. xvi), working in Angola proper, admits to being made aware of the work through a manuscript copy (“Conhecemol-o nós por uma copia manuscripta”). This scarcity is further exemplified in the works of father Bernardo Maria de Cannecattim (1804†), who reports to have been able to produce a dictionary and grammar of the language only after twenty-one years of practice among the “Ambundos do Reino de Angola” (Cannecattim 1804, p. iv-v), i.e. without having access to any print materials. He explicitly reveals that he considers his work, Collecção de Observações Grammaticaes sobre a Lingua Bunda ou Angolense (1804), to be the “first grammatical work on the [so-called] Bunda language” (‘[a] primeira obra Grammatical da lingua Bunda’) (id, p. v). Although both Cannecattim and Dias' works were printed in Lisbon, over a century apart, it is clear that there was an underproduction of this earlier work to meet its geographically widespread demand. This lack of access was not addressed until 2006, i.e. when the Fundação Biblioteca Nacional in Rio de Janeiro published the facsimile re-edition of the work (Rosa 2013, p. 21).
Langues ciblesAlthough Dias does not explicitly use the name ‘Kimbundu’, there is no doubt that this is the language described in his grammar. In the title of his work, Dias refers to the language as “the language of Angola” (‘a língua de Angola’), however he employs various other terms for this language throughout his work (see Zwartjes 2011, p. 223-224), including the terms ‘language of the Ambundos’ (Arte, p. 10, 23, etc.) and, in the plural, ‘Ambundo languages’ (Arte, p. 17). According to Chatelain (1888-1889, p. xi-xii), the term ‘Ambundo’ (fl. ‘A-mbundu’) denotes “blacks” (‘pretos ou pretas’), i.e. the subjects themselves, while ‘Kimbundo’ (fl. ‘Ki-mbundu’) refers to the language of these subjects. As Rosa (2013, p. 34-35) demonstrates, the term ‘(A)mbundu’ is still attested today in reference to this same language. Determining the dialect described by Dias is a more difficult task. According to Chatelain (1888-1889, p. xiii-xv), Dias describes the Mbaka (‘Ambaca’) dialect spoken by the Ambundu people on the important mission of Cahenda in the 17th century, i.e. the same dialect briefly described by fathers Pacconio and Couto (1642). The variety transported across the Atlantic, however, was not identical to that on this mission in Angola because the slaves were taken from a number of regions, belonging to various ethnic groups, in the Luanda hinterland (Byrd 2012) and, although most could communicate in Mbaka-Kimbundu, called the regional lingua franca by Chatelain (1888-1889, p. xiv), a significant portion of these individuals were native speakers of Kikongo (from north of the Kimbundu-speaking region) or of Umbundu (from the south) (Byrd 2012). This is indicative of a scenario of extensive and intensive dialect contact. As Angenot et al. (2011, p. 241) suggest, the complex demographic composition of the continuously growing African slave population in Brazil, engendered a sort of ‘Sprachblund’ (‘blended speech’), best described as being characterized by a Mbaka matrix dialect. In light of such mixed varieties, it was common practice among Jesuit missions to reduce ‘exotic’ language complexes to so-called “general languages”, i.e. ‘línguas gerais’ (Rodrigues 1977), and it is likely that a ‘Jesuit Kimbundu’ already existed and guided Dias' treatment of the language. This idea is supported by the fact that Dias learned the language during his education in the Jesuit system, and by the fact that we are aware of a non-extant grammar in the “language of Angola” that was used by the mid-17th century by Jesuits at Lima (Zwartjes 2011, p. 212). Despite the reductive convention of “general language” formation of his time, Dias did well to account for this variation among his subjects (see ‘General interest of the publication’ below)
MétalanguePortuguese body with titles/headers alternating between Portuguese and Latin
Langue des exemplesLíngua de Angola (Kimbundu)
Sommaire de l'ouvrageThe front matter does not have page numbers. Licenças da Ordem – Antonio Cardoso; Francißco de Lima; Alexandre de Gußmão. Do Santo Officio – Francißco de S. Maria; Fr. Antonio de S. Elias; Castro. Foyos. Azevedo. Ribeyro. Sampayo. Do Ordinario – Fr. P. Do Paço – Roxas. Marchão. Azevedo. Ribeyro. Sampayo. Dias provides no introductory materials for his work. The work is organized and paginated as follows:
Title: Arte da lingua de Angola (p. 1). Advertencias de como ße hade ler, & eßcrever eßta Lingua (1-4); Dos Nominativos (4-8); Dos Pronomes Primitivos Ego, &c. (8-9); Pronomes demonßtrativos, hic, iste, &c. (9); Pronomes Relativos (9-10); Nomes demonßtrativos, meus, tuus, &c. (10); Conjugação dos verbos (11-12); Conjugação que ßerve a todos os verbos, excepto alguns impeßßoaes (12); Preterito imperfeito (12); Preterito perfeito 1 (12-13); Preterito perfeito 2. quando ha mais tempo que amou (13); Preterito perfeito 3. quando ha muito tempo que amou (13-14); Preterit. Plußquamperf. (14); Futur. 1 (14); Futur. 2 (15); Imperat. (15); Futur. ßive Mod. Mandativ. (16); Optativi Mod. tempus præßens (16); Præterit. Imperf. (16); Præterit. Perfect. (16); Præterit. Plußquamperfect. (17); Futur (17-18); Conjunct. temp. præßens (18); Præterit. Imperf. (18); Præterit. Perfect. &c. (18-19); Præterit. Plußquamperf. (19); Future. 1. para amar logo (19); Futur. 2. para amar depois de muito tempo (19-20); Infinit. (20); Gerundio em di (20); Gerundio em do (20); Gerundio em dum (20); Participio em ans, &c. preßente (20); Particip. do preterit. (21); Participio do future (21); Do Verbo Negativo (21-22); Do verbo ßußtantivo (22); Dos verbos imperfeitos (23); Rudimenta (23); Dos Generos (23-24); Dos Preteritos (24-27); Advertencia 1 (26); Advertencia 2 (26-27); Preterito Plußquamperf. (28); Dos verbos compostos (28-31); Da compoßição dos nomes verbaes (31-32); Dos aumentativos (32-33); Syntaxe (33); Regras do Nominativo. Verbum perßonale. &c. (33-34); Prima, & ßecunda perßona, &c. (34); Aut cum plus ßignificamus, &c. (34-35); Verbum infinitum, &c. (35); Voces copulativæ, &c. (35); Nomina adjectiva, &c. (35-37); Relativum qui quæ quod, &c. (37-39); Subßtantiva continuata, &c. (39); Interrogatio & reßponßio, &c. (39-40); Genitivum poßt nomen, &c. (40); Partitivos (40); Superlativa (41); Verba neutral, &c. (41-42); De conßtructione verbi activi (42); Dativos, & accußativos depois dos verbos (43); Verba auferendi (43); Verbum paßßivum (43); Propria pagorum (43-45); Dos Gerundios em di, do, dum (45); Adverbios (45-47); Interjeição (47); Conjunções (47); Nota (47-48).
Objectif de l'auteurDias does not provide any introductory materials in his work where he overtly reveals his intentions. However, we are certain that Dias was involved with the teaching of “the language of Angola” in the collegiate system of Brazil (see ‘Biography of the author’ above) and he was aware that, as communicating with the growing body of slaves became more important, a demand for pedagogical materials had also been growing. Thus, the text was formed with a didactic aim. This is confirmed in the Licença message of Antonio Cardoso (Arte, p. i): “[this grammar] has very adequate rules, which conform to the system of this language, that will be, without a doubt, highly useful for beginners and [is], therefore, worthy of printing” (‘tem regras muito proprias, & conformes ao idioma da dita lingua, q[ue] serão sem duvida de grande utilidade para os principantes, & por isso digno de se imprimir’) (bold text is my own emphasis).
Intérêt généralDias offers some information regarding the linguistic (if not dialectical) diversity among the African slave population with which he was working. For instance, he acknowledges that demonstrative particles are often confused, caused by the variety of Angolan languages: “Deve-se notar, que as ditas particulas custumaõ muitas vezes usar dellas os Ambundos, pondo hûas por outras, por causa das variedades das linguas Angolanas. Mas sempre fazem o mesma sentido […]” (Arte, p. 10). Later, Dias also notes that similar variations occur with regards to verbal tenses: “[…] algûas vezes usaõ hum por outro; deve ser pela variedade das terras, & nações” (Arte, p. 24). According to Zwartjes (2011, p. 224-226), Dias only provides “unsystematic observations” of the tonal system which occurs in Kimbundu, as compared with contemporaneous grammars of Asian languages.
Parties du discoursDias loosely follows the Latin model of Manuel Álvares, as propagated under the Ratio Studiorum, in organizing his grammar (Rosa 2013, p. 63-70, Zwartjes 2011, p. 221). Firstly, he opens the grammar in the conventional way, i.e. with a phonological/orthographical overview of the language, followed by a presentation of its morphological structures. Although Dias does not use any page breaks or chapter headings, he does divide his work into the two customary sections of this tradition. He explicitly transitions to the second traditional section, ‘Rudimenta’ (Arte, p. 23), where he states that “this language has all eight parts of speech, but more defectively with respect to Latin; therefore I will not treat some of the necessary ones, which will be declared in the Syntax”. Therefore, as he suggests, he focuses here on certain idiosyncrasies of the grammatical ‘rudiments’ as compared to the traditional Greco-Latin grammar with which the Jesuits were familiar: e.g. explaining that this language does not have gender (23), that the verbs of this language “generally have three perfect preterits” (24-26), the composition of “verbal nominatives” (31), etc. His treatment of this section is rather unique and is designed to account for the most deviant components of Kimbundu grammar for the Jesuits. According to Rosa (2013, p. 66-68), however, the influence of Álvares is most evident in the syntax section of his work, where he lifts and adapts a number of rules and general grammatical observations directly from this foundational work. Perhaps this section was designed to hold with the general grammatical conventions of the Jesuits of his time to ease access for novices in the colleges.
Innovations term.In place of the term ‘root’, Dias uses the term ‘syllabas essenciaes’ (Arte, p. 11) to describe the base form of a verb to which morphological changes are made.
Zwartjes (2011, p. 233-235) elaborates upon the five ‘pretéritos’ that Dias distinguishes in his grammar. Besides the imperfect and the pluperfect; Dias describes three perfect tenses (including one for recent, and another for remote past), which are often used interchangeably (Arte, p. 24).
Corpus illustratifDias provides full declensional paradigms for nouns and verbs in the first half of his work. Given the brevity of this grammar, the number of examples provided is relatively small. He does not provide example phrases, or word lists; although he does include several ‘notas’ and ‘avertencias’ wherein he provides example phrases for deviant items and forms. The format generally does not allow for many examples, instead it is organized more as a short grammatical reference.
Indications compl.
Influence subieThere existed no print grammars, neither in Brazil, nor in Angola, for Kimbundu (Leite 1947) before the work of Dias, therefore we cannot be certain if he was influenced by manuscript works at the College or thereafter. However, Dias does make several references to the first Portuguese-Kimbundu Catechism, Gentio de Angola sufficientemente instruido (1642), composed by the Italian Jesuit, Father Francesco Pacconio (†1641). Interestingly, although this work is recognized as containing the first grammatical observations for this language, “Advertencias para ße ler a lingua de Angola” (1642, f. xiii-xix), Dias does not reference this section of the work; instead he gives Pacconio's “Salve Rainha” (1642, f. 2v) as a reference for the vocative (see Arte, p. 8-9), and he cites a phrase directly from Pacconio's “Padre Nosso” (1642, f. 1r-2r) to account for instances of verb-initial word order (see Arte, p. 34-35).
Although this is the only explicit reference Dias makes to another work, we can be certain that he was influenced by a foundational grammar text. As Zwartjes (2011, p. 220-221) suggests, we cannot be certain as to which grammars he consulted in formatting his own, however there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that he followed the Latin grammar model of Manuel Álvares (see Zwartjes 2011, p. 221, Rosa 2013, p. 63-71).
Influence exercéeGiven the limited circulation of Dias' work (see ‘Distribution’ above), his influence on other works is equally limited. According to Zwartjes (2011, p. 207), “[a]lthough this work was known to some scholars in the 19th century – for instance Figanière (1863-1864, p. 106) and Chatelain (1888-1889, p. xvi) – it was ignored until the present day”. In the case of Figanière, Dias' grammar is simply acknowledged. However, it is clear that Chatelain was highly familiar with the work of Dias because, beyond introducing the work in his historiographical introduction to the language (1888-1889, p. xvi), he also utilizes Dias in a historical comparison regarding the usage of enclitic relative pronouns: “Como se vê […] [em Dias], a forma do enclitico servia antigamente para o pron[ome] relativo, e ainda hoje em outras linguas “bantu” […] é formado da mesma maneira” (id, p. 87). More recently it has been integral to comparative and historical Bantu studies (see Bonvini 1996, 2009).
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Angenot J.-P., Kempf C. B. & Kukanda V. 2011; Bonvini E. 1996; Bonvini E. 2008; Bonvini E. 2009; Byrd S. 2012; Cannecattim B. M. 1804; Cannecattim B. M. 1805; Chatelain H. 1888; Figanière D. J. 1863; Lima I. S. 2013; Pacconio P.. Francisco & Couto P.. Antonio de 1642; Pacconio P.. Francisco & Couto P.. Antonio de 1661; Rodrigues N. 1977; Rosa M. C. 2013; Zwartjes O. 2009; Zwartjes O. 2011

Case, Justin · Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-11