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Arte de lengua mexicana

Vázquez Gastelu, Antonio de

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4608]

Vázquez Gastelu, Antonio de

Variantes: Also Vasquez Gastelu, and Castelu.

Datation: 1592-1685

Antonio de Vázquez Gastelu, “el Rey de Figueroa”, was professor of Nahuatl at the Reales Colegios de San Pedro y San Juan in Puebla de los Ángeles.


Olmedo y Torre, Antonio de [1]

[1] Antonio de Olmedo y Torre is the corrector of the second-fifth editions (1693-1756).

Datation: 1693-1756


Titre de l'ouvrageArte de lengua mexicana
Titre traduitGrammar of the Mexican language.
Titre courtArte de lengua mexicana
Remarques sur le titreThe five different editions 1689, 1693, 1716, 1726 and 1756 have slightly different titles and dedicatees. The entire title of 1689 ed. is: Arte de lengua mexicana compuesto por el Bachiller Don Antonio Vazquez Gastelu el Rey de Figueroa: Cathedratico de dicha Lengua en los Reales Collegios de S. Pedro, y S. Juan. Sacalo a luz por orden del Illustrissimo Señor Doctor Don Manuel Fernandez de Sancta Cruz, Obispo de la Puebla de los Angeles: Diego Fernandez de Leon. Y le dedica a los Señores Liçenciados Don Ivan Ximenez de Leon, Cura Benefiçiado, Vicario, y Juez Ecclesiastico del Partido de Santiago Tecalli, por su Magestad: que antes lo fuè del Castillo, y Real Fuerza de San Juan de Vllua, y a Don Alonso Cordero Zapata, Cura Benefiçiado por su Magestad, de dicho Partido, de Santiago Tecalli: aviendolo sido antes, de el de Coscatlan, y Orizaba, de este dicho Obispado.
Période|17e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageComplete grammar with religious texts (catechism, confessionary).
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire | Texte religieux
Édition originale1689, Puebla de los Angeles: en la Imprenta nueva de Diego Fernandez de Leon.
Édition utilisée1689, John Carter Brown: [R] B689. V393a.
Volumétrie[6], 42 f.: ill., 21 cm (in-4°), approx. 6000 words (religious texts excluded). Title in double ornamental border (printer's ornaments); woodcut printers device on title page of a lion holding a circular device with the printer's initials DFDL; verso of title page has large woodcut with arms of the dedicatees Iuan Ximenez de Leon and Alonso Cordero Zapata, in elaborate ornamental border.
Nombre de signes36000
Reproduction moderneNo recent editions.
DiffusionAfter the first edition, four more editions were published.
The second edition of 1693 has an added section, entitled “Correcciones que se les podran dar a los penitentes Mexicanos de algunos pecados en el confessionario” (f. 44-50). The title of the second edition is: Arte de lengua mexicana compuesto por el Bachiller D. Antonio Vazquez Gastelu el Rey de Figueroa: Cathedratico de dicha lengua en los Reales Collegios de S. Pedro y San Juan. Dase a la estampa segunda vez de orden del Illustrissimo Señor D. Manuel Fernandez de Santa Cruz, Obispo de la Puebla de los Angeles. Và añadido, y enmendado en esta segunda Impression. Puebla de los Angeles: Diego Fernandez de Leon. Physical description of the second edition: [2]. 50 leaves; 20 cm (in-4°). John Carter Brown: B693. V393a.
The third edition of 1716 has the title: Arte de lengua mexicana compuesto por el Bachiller D. Antonio Vasquez Gastelu, el Rey de Figueroa: Cathedratico de dicha Lengua en los Reales Collegios de S. Pedro, y S. Juan. Corregido segun su original por el Br. D. Antonio de Olmedo, y Torre, Cura Theniente de la Parrochia Auxiliar del Evangelista S. Marcos de la Ciudad de los Angeles. Puebla: Diego Fernãdez de Leõ. Physical description of the third edition (1716): [2]. 1=35. 37-54 leaves; 20 cm (in-4°). John Carter Brown: BA726. V393a.
The fourth edition: 1726: Puebla de los Angeles: Diego de Fernández León y por su original en la Impr. de Francisco Xavier de Morales y Salazar. Corregido por el Br. D. Antonio de Olmedo y Torre: [2], 54 leaves, small in-4°.
The fifth edition: 1756: Edition Antonio de Olmedo y Torre: Puebla de los Angeles: Francisco Xavier Morales y Salazar (Hernández Triviño 2016, BICRES III, n° 683) (not seen).
Langues ciblesThe Mexican language (Nahuatl)
MétalangueSpanish (Castilian)
Langue des exemplesNahuatl. The Confessionario is bilingual Spanish-Nahuatl, the catechism is in Nahuatl without translation
Sommaire de l'ouvrageDedicatoria written by Diego Fernandez de Leon; Censura del Juan de Leon Coronado; licencia (Iuan de Salazar); Prologo al lector (the author).
Libro Primero. De los nombres, pronombres, y proposiciones [sic]. [Capitulo primero] (Title of the first chapter is missing). This chapter is divided in two paragraphs, §. 1. Does not have a title (about pronunciation); §. 2. De los acentos (f. 1v); Cap. 2. De las declinaciones de los nombres (1r-4r) (describing four declensions); Cap. 3. De nombres, y cosas tocantes a sus declinaciones (4v-6r); Cap. 4. De los semi-pronombres (6r-8v); Cap. 5. De los pronombres separados (8v-9r); Cap. 6. De las preposiciones (9r-v).
[Libro segundo]. Exact title unknown, since f. 10r-11v, are missing in the reproduction of John Carter Brown. Probably, as we can see in the third edition of 1716, the paragraph which is missing is the one entitled “Ultimo”, which deals with the conjunction and the interjection. In the Prologue, we read that the second book deals with the verb and its conjugations. [Cap. 1.] (missing) (we know from the third edition of 1716, this section has the title “De la formacion de los preteritos”; Cap. 2. Del verbo (15r-17v); Cap. 3. De la formacion del verbo Passibo (17v-18r); §. 1. De la conjugacion de el verbo passibo (18r-v); §. 2. De los semipronombres passibos compuestos con el Verbo (18v); §. 3. Del verbo compuesto con los semipronombres reflexibos (19r); §. 4. Del verbo impersonal (19r-v); §. 5. Del verbo substantibo, sum, es, fui, estar, ò ser (19v-20v); §. 6. Del verbo yauh, ir: y de hvalavh venir: eo, is (20v-21r); §. 7. Y ultimo de algunas advertencias acerca de los Verbos icac, estar en pie: quetza, pararse: onoc, estar echado (21v (?)).
Folios 22 and 23 are missing. As we know from the third edition (1716), the title was probably “Notas a cerca de los verbos reverenciales, y de los verbales, que salen de verbos”.
Notas 3-4 (24r-26r). Advertencias acerca de algunas Particulas de el Arte (26r-28r). Capitulo ultimo. De los nombres numerales (28r-32r). Conclusion de el Arte (32r-v). Observation about different registers: (1) the Mexican language spoken by the higher classes at the courts of the Kings and princes, of the “personas Illustres” who speak the native language “con mas curiosidad, y politica” and (2) the language spoken by the lower class (“gente labradora, y de baxa suerte”). Confessionario breve en lengua mexicana, y castellana (33r-36v). Nombres de parentesco que pueden decir (39r-39r) (Nahuatl-Spanish). Cathecismo breve de lo que pressisamente debe saber el Christiano, en lengua Mexicana (39r-42v) (In Nahuatl). This section has also been published separately (Vázquez Gastelú 1733).
Objectif de l'auteurThe aim was to compose a grammar which should be as brief as possible, and the most accessible for absolute beginners, which might explain its success (four editions appeared after the editio princeps. The aims are also expressed in the final section, entitled “Conclusion de el Arte” (f. 32r-v). Working people of the lower class speak improperly (“imperfectamente”) and their manners of speaking contain many “incongruidades”. The reason for writing the Arte, according to the author, all learners are taught to speak perfectly, “subjected to rules”.
Intérêt généralThe work had its pedagogical value in that time, but for a historian of linguistics, the work is less original and there is not much theory included. As other works (cf. the dictionary of Molina), Vázquez Gastelú also includes chapters on counting (numerals) “animadas, inanimadas”, “renglones, camellones, paredes, etc.”, “pláticas”. Vázquez Gastelú recognizes the existence of the category of the participle (“Tambien tiene esta lengua participio, y se forma del presente de indicatibo, añadiendole la particula in” (1689: 14v), which others deny. Vázquez Gastelú sums up six types of verbal nouns (1689, f. 25r), those ending in -ni, translated as the Latin nouns ending in -tor y -trix, not classified as particples as other grammarians did. Such observations are also found in Carochi (1645, f. 42v and 43v).
Parties du discoursThe author does not sum up all the eight parts of speech but uses the same as others. The order is different. After some observation about the pronunciation of the letters, the noun is described, than the semipronombres, separate pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, prepositions and then the verb. In other grammars, the prepositions are described after the verb. The adverb, interjection and conjunction are not included as separate paragraphs.
Innovations term.The author uses an eclectic approach and most terms, such as semipronombres, verbos compulsivos are also used by this autor. He does not contribute anything worth to be mentioned.
Corpus illustratifExamples and paradigms in Nahuatl. Catechism in Nahuatl, without translation.
Indications compl.
Influence subieJuan de León Coronado writes in the section “Censura” of the Arte that Antonio Vázquez Gastelú is writing something completely different, compared to his predecessors: “saca su Autor á luz de entre las tinieblas en que estaba la lengua Mexicana, su arte, su estudio, y la costu[m]bre, y modo de hablarla, con tanto acierto, que al escribirla, insinua, que manifiesta vn libro, que aprobaron los Sabios, las Musas, y el proprio Apolo”. Although Vázquez Gastelú does not mention his predecessors by name, the work contains elements from most of his predecessors and does not contribute anything substancial. His final observation about the linguistic styles or registers seems to be taken from Molina (1576): “perfecta y verdadera y la imperfecta y rustica”.
Influence exercéeIt seems that the work was successful at the time. His Catechism was reprinted in the 19th century.
Renvois bibliographiquesHernández de León-Portilla A. 1988; Hernández Triviño A. 2016; Niederehe H.-J. (éd.) 2005; Suárez Roca J. L. 1992; Vázquez Gastelú A. 1733

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05