Spanish language

(redirected from Espanol)
Also found in: Dictionary.

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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).
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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 ?
inigo Mendez de Vigo, ministro de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte y portavoz del gobierno espanol subrayo que la decision de suprimir el espanol "no es una buena noticia", ya que "el conocimiento y uso de diferentes idiomas en una sociedad es algo que sirve para vertebrar un pais y demuestra la riqueza cultural de una nacion, tal y como sucede en Espana".
Posteriormente se analiza el sector de la distribucion, recalcando que el mayor control de las multinacionales del mercado interior dificulta el acceso a las pantallas locales del cine espanol.
Es, sin duda, una obra necesaria para entender el cine espanol de la actualidad y un libro que se tiene que convertir en piedra angular de los estudios de cine espanol.
Lara se encarga de construir el proceso de configuracion del espanol de manera que este resulte de facil comprension para sus lectores.
que opinan los costarricenses respecto de la "correccion linguistica", de la llamada "unidad linguistica", del espanol de las diversas naciones, y cuales son sus preferencias dialectales en el espanol de los medios de difusion y en la educacion?
Tradicionalmente, este pais ha sido considerado como el portador del mejor espanol hablado en America, por su mayor cercania a la norma escrita, tanto por los especialistas como en la mente popular, especialmente la lengua hablada en la capital bogotana.
Partiendo de los estudios previos sobre la evolucion interna del espanol, el autor compara dos momentos cronologicos de transicion en la diacronia de la lengua espanola: el siglo XV (gozne entre el espanol medieval y el clasico) y el siglo XVIII (bisagra entre la etapa clasica y moderna).
El porcentaje de hablantes mexicanos es de 29%, es decir, somos casi la tercera parte de hablantes de espanol en el mundo, mientras que Espana tiene 46 081 574 habitantes, de los cuales aproximadamente 7 007 882 millones son hablantes de catalan como lengua oficial y habitual--los del gallego y vasco no cuentan, porque por lo general hablan espanol--, lo que significa que 39 001 692 personas usan el espanol en su vida diaria, es decir, 10% de la poblacion hablante de espanol en el mundo.
Por un lado, desde la tradicion academica espanola, que ha sido fuente de la construccion de varios tipos de diccionarios, en los que, de manera invariable, el espanol peninsular constituye la norma.
encuadran dentro del area social del lenguaje (Ammon, Dittmar & Mattheier, 2006), Tanto es asi que, actualmente muchos linguistas, antropologos y sociologos centran su interes sobre el espanol como un sistema linguistico que existe en un marco social y que es empleado por los hablantes a distintos niveles segun la intencion comunicativa, la zona geografica y el contexto social en el que se encuentren (Almeida, 2003).
En la actualidad existe un boom del estudio del espanol porque el mundo habla cada vez mas espanol.
Es una muy recomendable obra de consulta para profesores de lengua y literatura espanola de ensenanza primaria y secundaria; aunque seguramente quienes podran obtener un gran rendimiento de su lectura son todos aquellos profesionales relacionados con la ensenanza del espanol como lengua segunda y extranjera: profesores, programadores de cursos, autores de materiales, editores, etc.