Spanish language

(redirected from Castilian language)

Spanish language,

member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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). The official language of Spain and 19 Latin American nations, Spanish is spoken as a first language by about 330 million persons and as a second language by perhaps another 50 million. It is the mother tongue of about 40 million people in Spain, where the language originated and whence it was later brought by Spanish explorers, colonists, and empire-builders to the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world during the last five centuries. It is the native language of over 17 million people in the United States, and is one of the official languages of the United Nations.

Spanish is a descendant of the Vulgar Latin brought to the Iberian peninsula by the soldiers and colonists of ancient Rome (see Latin languageLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
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). Thus the Spanish vocabulary is basically of Latin origin, although it has been enriched by many loan words from other languages, especially Arabic, French, Italian, and various indigenous languages of North, Central, and South America. The oldest extant written records of Spanish date from the middle of the 10th cent. A.D.

The Spanish language employs the Roman alphabet, to which the symbols ch, ll, ñ, and rr have been added. The tilde (˜) placed over the n (ñ) indicates the pronunciation ni, as in English pinion. The acute accent (´) is used to make clear which syllable of a word is to be stressed when the regular rules of stress are not followed. The acute accent is also employed to distinguish between homonyms, as in ("I know") and se ("self").

There are a number of Spanish dialects; however, the Castilian dialect was already the accepted standard of the language by the middle of the 13th cent., largely owing to the political importance of Castile. There are several striking differences in pronunciation between Castilian and major dialects of Latin American Spanish. In the former, c before e and i, and z before a, o, and u, are pronounced th, as in English think; in the latter, they are sounded as s in English see. Moreover, the alphabetical symbol ll in Castilian is pronounced as lli in English billion; but in Latin American Spanish, as y in English you. On the whole, however, the differences between the Spanish dialects of Europe and of Latin America with reference to pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar are relatively minor.

One interesting feature of Spanish is that there are two forms of the verb "to be": estar, which denotes a relatively temporary state, and ser, which denotes a relatively permanent condition and which is also used before a predicate noun. Reflexive verbs often perform the same function in Spanish that passive verbs do in English. Because the inflection of the Spanish verb indicates person very clearly, subject pronouns are not necessary. A another peculiarity of Spanish is the use of an inverted question mark (¿) at the beginning of a question and of an inverted exclamation point (¡) at the beginning of an exclamation.

Bibliography

See W. J. Entwistle, The Spanish Language, Together with Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (2d ed. 1962); Y. Malkiel, Linguistics and Philology in Spanish America (1972); J. Amastae and L. Elias-Olivares, Spanish in the United States (1982); R. Wright, Late Latin and Early Romance in Spain and Carolingian France (1982); M. Harris and N. Vincent, The Romance Languages (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
11, our translation) about the Genoese and non-Spanish origin of Columbus, echoing the comments of other chroniclers, such as Las Casas, which reveal the incompetence of his Castellan: "[Columbus is] natural of another language, because he does not fully penetrate the meaning of the words of the Castilian language or the way of speaking it." (42), it is worth emphasizing, once again, that we must differentiate between what Columbus contemplates and what he says he contemplates; what you see and what you want or need to see: empirical reality versus ideology.
The proposal, which also highlights the multicultural nature of the Chilean nation, is added to three other reforms to the Fundamental Charter that seek to include the nation's historical cultural heritage in its standards; consecrate public domain over genetic resources and recognize knowledge rights to indigenous communities; and establish respect for the Castilian language and the languages ??of the original peoples of Chile.
Schooled in the conservative but rigid Spanish educational system at the Colegio de San Vicente de Paul (CSVP) in our hometown of Calbayog City in the 1920s, my late father memorized a host of practical idioms and sayings in the Castilian language.
Fundamental to the comparative philology enterprise (7) was the invention of language families or language groups, via grammatical elements, where both "indigenous tongues" and the "Castilian language" can be located.
As for the failure of this attempt, if Unamuno's view and defense of the Castilian language is certainly one of the most problematic aspects of his thought in the decades following the publication of En torno ..., the assertion that he viewed language as "a closed, univocal, stable universe" is doubtful (98).
Though the statute was approved by the parliament and the citizens of Catalonia, the constitutional court of Spain declared illegal a part of the statute on a complaint lodged by centre-right People's Party in 2010.12 After four years of consideration the court ruled that there was no legal basis for recognizing Catalonia as a nation and that the Catalan language should not take precedence over the Castilian language in the region.
Interestingly, Hernandez cites Jose Maria Sanchez's travelogue from 1828 in which the Mexican lieutenant notices the same linguistic transformations that will interest Torres: "it is possible to say with truth that they are not Mexican any more, except by birth, because they speak the Castilian language with abundant ignorance" (qtd.
La Real Academia de la Lengua Castellana (Royal Academy of the Castilian Language) defines it as conducts by those who wish to impose their will through threats or terror.
For example, the Castilian language provides scaffolding for the dominant authoritative discourses of the Church, the school and other familial positions of authority.
* MGM is launching a Castilian language high-def version of the MGM Channel in Spain.
But more and more people are realising Gozo - which means "joy" in the ancient Castilian language - is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace with great hiking, diving and fantastic scenery.
Arabs, Jews, Spanish Christians, and speakers of the Castilian language wrote and distributed their works whether in the local dialect, in Spanish or in Latin.