A Political History of Spanish: The Making of a Language

A Political History of Spanish: The Making of a Language

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Cambridge University Press, 2013-08-29
EAN 9781107005730, ISBN10: 1107005736

Hardcover, 446 pages, 23 x 22.8 x 15.8 cm

Spanish is spoken as a first language by almost 400 million people in approximately 60 countries, and has been the subject of numerous political processes and debates since it began to spread globally from Iberia in the thirteenth century. A Political History of Spanish brings together a team of experts to analyze the metalinguistic origins of Spanish and evaluate it as a discursively constructed artefact; that is to say, as a language which contains traces of the society in which it is produced, and of the discursive traditions that are often involved and invoked in its creation. This is a comprehensive and provocative new work which takes a fresh look at Spanish from specific political and historical perspectives, combining the traditional chronological organization of linguistic history and spatial categories such as Iberia, Latin America and the US; whilst simultaneously identifying the limits of these organizational principles.

Advance praise: 'With more than 400 million speakers spread over every continent, the Spanish language represents a powerful social and political force in the modern world. A political history of Spanish traces the development of Spanish from a rustic regional vernacular to a multi-center world powerhouse, including the rise of Castilian as the variety of choice and the institutional control of the Royal Academy. The coverage includes Spain, Spanish America, the United States, Africa, and Asia. This skilfully configured anthology provides a valuable complement to linguistic histories of Spanish, by documenting the socio-political currents that shaped one of the world's most prominent languages. Historians, linguists, political scientists, and students of language and culture will find relevant and thought-provoking material in these essays.' John Lipski, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University