A Brief History of the Spanish Language

David A. Pharies

David A. Pharies

248 pages | 9 maps, 2 line drawings | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 2007
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226666822 Published May 2007
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226666839 Published May 2007
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226666846 Published September 2008
Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world and a language of ever-increasing importance in the United States. In what will likely become the introduction to the history of the Spanish language, David Pharies clearly and concisely charts the evolution of Spanish from its Indo-European roots to its present form. An internationally recognized expert on the history and development of this language, Pharies brings to his subject a precise sense of what students of Spanish linguistics need to know.

After introductory chapters on what it means to study the history of a language, the concept of linguistic change, and the nature of language families, Pharies traces the development of Spanish from its Latin roots, all with the minimum amount of technical language possible.  In the core sections of the book, readers are treated to an engaging and remarkably succinct presentation of the genealogy and development of the language, including accounts of the structures and peculiarities of Latin, the historical and cultural events that deeply influenced the shaping of the language, the nature of Medieval Spanish, the language myths that have become attached to Spanish, and the development of the language beyond the Iberian Peninsula, especially in the Americas. Focusing on the most important facets of the language’s evolution, this compact work makes the history of Spanish accessible to anyone with a knowledge of Spanish and a readiness to grasp basic linguistic concepts.

Available in both English and Spanish editions, A Brief History of the Spanish Language provides a truly outstanding introduction to the exciting story of one of the world’s great languages.
 
Contents
Author’s Note
Preface
Abbreviations
 
Introduction
            What Is a Language History?
            Why Study the History of Spanish?
 
Chapter 1: Language Change
            The Inexorability of Language Change
            Changes in Progress
            Language Change as Observed through Written Evidence
            The Categories of Language Change
            The Causes of Language Change
            The Mechanism of Language Change
            Sociolinguistics
            Questions
 
Chapter 2: The Genealogy of Spanish
            Language Families
            Some Important Language Families
            The Indo-European Language Family
            The Italic Branch
            Bilingualism and Diglossia
            Genealogy of Spanish
            Questions
 
Chapter 3: External History of the Iberian Peninsula up to the Thirteenth Century
            The Iberian Peninsula before the Arrival of the Romans
            The Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula
            The End of the Roman Empire
            The Visigothic Invasion
            The Muslim Invasion
            An Extinct Variety of Ibero-Romance: Mozarabic
            The Reconquest
            The Rise of Castilian
            Questions
 
Chapter 4: The Latin Language
            Stages in the History of Latin
            Phonology
            Orthography and Pronunciation
            Nominal Morphology
            Verbal Morphology           
            Syntax
            Text Analysis
            Questions
 
Chapter 5: From Latin to Medieval Castilian: Phonology
            The Nature of Phonological Change
            The Most Important Phonological Changes of the Romance Period
            Phonological Derivations
            Exceptions to Regular Phonological Change
            Text Analysis
            Alphonsine Orthography
            Questions
 
Chapter 6: From Latin to Medieval Castilian: Morphology and Syntax
            Interdependence of Morphological and Syntactic Changes
            Nominal Morphology
            A Linguistic Myth: The Cacophony of the Pronoun Combination **le lo
            Verbal Morphology
            Principal Syntactic Changes
            Text Analysis
            Appendix: Lexical Archaisms in Alphonsine Prose
            Questions
 
Chapter 7: From Medieval Castilian to Modern Spanish
            Political and Cultural History of Spain after the Middle Ages
            An Archaic Dialect: Sephardi
            Linguistic Changes
            A Linguistic Myth: The Lisping King
            Text Analysis
            A Linguistic Myth: The Phonemic Character of Spanish Orthography
            Questions
 
Chapter 8: History of the Spanish Lexicon
            Routes of Lexical Integration in Spanish
            The Reduplicative Playful Template
            Etymology
            Stages in the History of the Spanish Lexicon
            Questions
 
Chapter 9: Spanish Dialectology
            Varieties of Spanish in the Two Castiles
            Andalusian
            Canary Island Spanish
            American Spanish
            Demography of the Spanish Language
            Four Distinctive Varieties of American Spanish
            Spanish in the United States
            Questions
 
Rudiments of Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
Glossary of Linguistic Terms
Maps
Works Cited
Index of Spanish Words Cited
Subject Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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