Ask a Question

(Create a thread)
Go Back   Spanish language learning forums > Teaching & Learning > Culture


The history of written Spanish

 

Questions about culture and cultural differences between countries and languages.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 12, 2020, 03:48 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 66
Tyrn is on a distinguished road
The history of written Spanish

Hi,

It looks like Spanish is the only language with a long written history, were you write exactly what you hear. This can't happen all on its own. French and German have rules for reading, yet the letters clearly show that once is used to be a very different story. The English is worse . Is it possible that Spanish spelling gets officially revised once in a hundred years or something like that?
Reply With Quote
   
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
  #2  
Old May 12, 2020, 05:54 AM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,537
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
In comparison to English and French, written Spanish is new. I believe that Spanish as a written language is about 500 years old. Prior to that, written language was in Latin or Arabic depending on the region.
__________________
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 12, 2020, 02:25 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,463
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
Poli, 500 years ago, the Siglo de Oro Español was at its peak (Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Quevedo, etc.). The Spaniards were already speaking it in its most sublime forms and were already exporting it to the Americas and other territories.


Spanish has a much longer history, becoming a language on its own right from the 10th to 13th centuries. It has evolved a lot, pronunciation has changed, spelling has changed and it's being revised by the Academia all the time, adjusting and adopting new letters and sounds (like "w" or "sh"), new spellings, new grammar, etc.
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 12, 2020, 05:53 PM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,537
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
I thought that it was Nebrija who created the first Castilian dictionary, and put Spanish grammar down on paper in the late 1400's. I thought the language was used by the people for centuries, but it wasn't considered legitimate until Nebrija's time.
__________________
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 12, 2020, 09:32 PM
wrholt's Avatar
wrholt wrholt is offline
Sapphire
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,334
Native Language: US English
wrholt is on a distinguished road
Poli, students who complete undergraduate degrees in Spanish language and literature in US universities start their coursework with a 2-semester class on the history of Spanish literature that covers the period from the 10th century through to the end of the 19th century. Later coursework starts from that foundation with classes that focus on specific time periods, genres, and/or authors, or on specific works such as _Don Quixote_. Systematic written use of Castilian dates from the 13th century in Toledo.

Many scholars of Spanish language and literature consider the efforts of Nebrija and his contemporaries as distinguishing the transition of medieval Spanish into early modern Spanish, in much the same way that scholars of English language and literature consider the works of Shakespeare and the publication of the King James translation of the Bible as distinguising the transition from Middle English to early Modern English.

Last edited by wrholt; May 12, 2020 at 09:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 13, 2020, 06:51 AM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,537
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
Wow, was my info wrong, but, back to Tyrn's question, does the modernization of Castilian in the late 1400's the reason for its simple spelling rules?
__________________
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 13, 2020, 09:34 AM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,463
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
@Poli: The systematic study and compilation of a language by its speakers only confirms the language's long existence.

The legend (probably apocryphal) tells that queen Isabel found Nebrija's work completely useless, since everyone already spoke the language without any "help". Then she's said to have adopted it when they told her it could be used for imposing the language in the territories to be conquered.

The first texts considered the to be written in Spanish are the "Glosas Emilianenses", from the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla. This is the first written proof that people no longer spoke local languages or Latin, but a whole new language. They're dated between 9th and 11th centuries.
The first piece of literature in Spanish is "El Cantar del Mío Cid", which was written in the 1200s.

As for Nebrija, he did compile dictionaries, but his legacy is rather centered on the grammar. If you see texts after his time, even being an established reference, spelling is not standard. Even in the 19th century, you can find some official texts whose spelling has little to do with the rules we know now.
Spelling is constantly changing. Spanish and Latin are written the way they're pronounced, so much of the spelling in previous times has changed because pronunciation changed. Many "s"-related sounds got lost and their graphic representations disappeared; some "f" sounds stopped being pronounced and became mute "h".
Spelling rules are the product of the history of the language; we keep "b" and "v" even if we don't pronounce the difference, we don't have "rebel" spelling differences between countries who pronounce "z"/"c" and "s" differently, but one cannot expect that will not change. Since the Academias just reflect how people write and speak, we have seen continuous change (maybe simplifications) in spelling for the last hundred years or so, as many written accents became superfluous ("á", "fé"), mute letters disappeared from words like when "obscuro" became "oscuro", etc.
We might expect more letters will disappear if they're systematically not pronounced by speakers, or the disappearance of "h", or maybe the replacement of "qu" for "k", or even the rejection of all written accents. We don't know.
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 14, 2020, 11:19 AM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,537
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
Angelica, thank you for the time you spent in explaining this.
__________________
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 14, 2020, 03:52 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,463
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
I wish I could have had time to actually research a little more and give you more precise information. What I said is mostly what we're taught in school. Anyway, thank you for caring.
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
el cid, history, spanish

 

Link to this thread
URL: 
HTML Link: 
BB Code: 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Site Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The history of irregular verbs in Spanish.... laepelba Grammar 3 March 21, 2011 04:20 PM
Question written in Spanish laepelba Translations 4 March 12, 2011 08:55 AM
Learning Spanish (and History!) through short stories annabwashere Teaching and Learning Techniques 1 May 08, 2010 06:42 AM
Hand-written Spanish MaxM Translations 13 September 01, 2009 09:58 AM
History of Spanish Tomisimo Culture 3 May 12, 2007 09:46 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:35 PM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

X