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Arte de la lengua mexicana y castellana

Molina, Alonso de

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4603]
Auteur(s)

Molina, Alonso de

Datation: 1514?-1585

Date of birth, 1510, according to Hernández de León Portilla (2014, p. 27). Alonso de Molina came to Mexico when he was a child. It is possible that he was born in Extremadura (Hernández de León-Portilla 2014, p. 25). He learned Nahuatl from his playmates and nurses and it has been documented that in 1524 he was already interpreter of the Franciscans. Different from Olmos, he stayed in the capital and worked at the convent of San Francisco and the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, which was founded when Molina was 26 years old. He worked closely together with Bernardino de Sahagún, with whom he wrote the prologue of the translation of the Summario de las indulgencias y perdones concebidas a los cofrades del Sanctissimo Sacramento traducido en lengua Mexicana (Mexico, completed in 1560, printed in 1568). He published a catechism, printed in 1546 and the mono-directional bilingual dictionary (Vocabulario) Spanish-Nahuatl in 1555 (Ed. Galeote), with a second bilingual bidirectional edition in 1571 (Ed. Hernández 2001). When he completed his Arte de la lengua mexicana y castellana, he was 61 years old, whereof 50 years as a speaker of Nahuatl. It is the result of a lifetime experience in linguistic research.

Titre de l'ouvrageArte de la lengua Mexicana y Castellana, compuesta por el muy R.P. Fray Alonso de Molina, de la orden de Señor Sant Francisco, de nuevo en esta segunda impreßion corregida, emendada y añadida, mas copiosa y clara que la primera. Dirigida al muy Excelente Señor Visorrey, etc.
Titre traduitGrammar of the Mexican and Castilian language, composed by the Reverend father Alonso de Molina of the Order of Saint Francis, new and second edition, corrected, emended and enlarged, more copious and more clear than the first edition. Dedicated to the very Excelent Vice-Roy, etc.
Titre courtArte de la lengua mexicana y castellana
Remarques sur le titre
Période|16e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageComplete grammar covering phonology, morphology and syntax. Descriptive grammar, Didactic/pedagogic grammar for learners of Nahuatl. Grammar for non-native speakers of Nahuatl, novices students who were preparing themselves for the mission.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire
Édition originale1576, Mexico, en casa de Pedro Balli.
Édition utilisée1576, Mexico, en casa de Pedro Balli. The John Carter Brown Library, call number BA576/ M722a.
Volumétrie[8], 112 leaves; 16 cm. (in-8°), 45.000 words. In Roman, cursive roman in the epistola nuncupatoria and headings of the chapters. Same front page as the first edition of 1571, Saint Francis receiving the stigmata. In the 1571 edition, the books have separate foliation; this edition has only one foliation for both books.
Nombre de signes130000
Reproduction modernePaso y Troncoso F. 1886; Paso y Troncoso F. & González L. 1904.
DiffusionThe grammar is a reprint and no more reprints were made during the colonial period. It is not known if the authors who mention Molina in their prologues used this edition or the first.
Langues ciblesLa lengua mexicana (“The language of the Mexicas”) = Nahuatl
MétalangueSpanish (Castilian), Nahuatl (neologisms) (studied by Hernández de León-Portilla 2014, p. 51-54).
Langue des exemplesNahuatl
Sommaire de l'ouvrageThe second edition is extended, compared to the first, and more examples are given. There are more differences between the two editions in the sections devoted to the verb. In the second edition, two or three forms are given, sometimes combined with particles, which are not used in the first edition. The impersonal verb is treated briefly in the first edition, whereas in the second complete paradigms are given (f. 37v-39v; Hernández de León-Portilla 2014, p. 51).
Licencia por Martin Enriquez. Licencia por el Doctor Esteuan de Portillo. Epistola nuncupatoria al muy excelente señor, Don Martin Enriquez, Visorrey deste nueua España, &c. Fray Alonso de Molina de la orden del Seraphico padre sant Frãcisco, le dessea felicidad sempiterna. Parecer, que dio el Padre Iuan de Touar de la compañia de Iesus, para la impreßion deste Arte. Licencia por Fray Rodrigo de Seqra [sic]. Prologo (f. 1r-2r).
Primera parte del arte de la lengua mexicana y castellana. Cap. 1. De las partes de la oracion (2v-17r). Cap. 2. De los pronombres (17r-22r). Cap. 3. De los verbos (22r-66r). Cap. 4. Del participio (66r-68r). Cap. 5. Del aduerbio (71r-74r). Cap. 6. De las preposiciones (71v-77r). Cap. 7. De las conjunctiones (77r-78r). Cap. 8. De las interjectiones (78r-v).
Segunda parte del arte de la lengua Mexicana, y castellana. Cap. 1. [without title], mainly . De la cuenta y numeros (79r-85r). Cap. 2. Declaracion de los verbos difficultosos desta lengua Mexicana (85r-90r). Cap. 3. Del verbo frequentatiuo (90r-91r). Cap. 4. De los verbos reuerenciales (91r-95r). Cap. 5. De los verbos deriuatiuos en huia. (95r-96v). Cap. 6. De los verbos compuestos (96v-98v). Cap. 7. De los verbos irregulares (98v-100v). Cap. 8. De algunas otras cosas comunes conuenientes, para todas las partes de la oracion, conuiene a saber del frasis y maneras que esta lengua tiene (100v-104r). Cap. 9. Del bueno sonido y del accento y buena pronunciacion (104r-105v). Cap. 10. Siguese una breue platica acerca de las cosas dichas en estas dos partes del arte de la lengua Mexicana (105v-109v). Pater noster (109v-112v).
Objectif de l'auteurAddenda et corrigenda to the first edition. According to Juan de Tovar, the author of the ‘Parecer’, the work was written for both beginners and advanced students.
Intérêt généralCreation of neologisms, in particular metalinguistic and grammatical terminology from Spanish into Nahuatl, as: Coniugacion de los verbos: Ytzoncuepaloca yn Verbos (22v); Actiue vocis: tepan tlachihualizcaquiztli; Tempore presentis: Axcan cauipan (Hernández de León-Portilla 2014, p. 51-54).
Parties du discoursSame parts of speech as in as the first edition (1571). See 1576, f. 2r.
Innovations term.No more innovations than in the edition of 1571.
Corpus illustratifMore examples are given than in the first edition of 1571.
Indications compl.
Influence subieMolina mentions the names of Antonio de Nebrija and Donatus (f. 30r; Suárez Roca 1992, p. 72), although he never refers to Andrés de Olmos.
Influence exercéeSeveral authors of grammars of Nahuatl mention Molina in their prologues, as Ávila (1717) and Aldama y Guevara (1754). Molina's views on incorporation and composition has been of great interest for all posterior works on Nahuatl.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Acuña R. (éd.) 1990; Aldáma y Guevára J. A. 1754; Ávila F. de 1717; Galeote M. (éd.) 2001; García-Medall J. (éd.) 2004; Graíño A. (éd.) 1945; Hernández de León-Portilla A. 1988; Hernández de León-Portilla A. (éd.) 2014; Hernández E. (éd.) 2001; Hill K. C. (éd.) 1975; Molina A. de 1571; Paso y Troncoso F. del & González Obregón L. (éd.) 1904; Suárez Roca J. L. 1992; Zwartjes O. 1998; Zwartjes O. 2008
Rédacteur

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05