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.
Jose del Valle is Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of El trueque s/x en espanol antiguo: Aproximaciones teoricas (1996) and co-editor and co-author of The Battle Over Spanish Between 1800 and 2000: Language Ideologies and Hispanic Intellectuals (2002) and La lengua, 'patria comun? (2007). In 2010 he received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his outstanding research record.
Part I. Theoretical Underpinnings: 1. Language, politics and history: an introductory essay Jose del Valle; Part II. The Making of Spanish: Iberian Perspectives: 2. Introduction Alberto Medina, Henrique Monteagudo and Jose del Valle; 3. The prehistory of written Spanish and the thirteenth-century nationalist zeitgeist Roger Wright; 4. Language, nation and empire in early modern Iberia Miguel Martinez; 5. The seventeenth-century debate over the origins of Spanish: links of language ideology to the morisco question Kathryn Woolard; 6. The institutionalization of language in eighteenth-century Spain Alberto Medina; 7. The officialization of Spanish in mid-nineteenth-century Spain: the Academy's authority Laura Villa; 8. Spanish and other languages of Spain in the Second Republic Henrique Monteagudo; Part III. The Making of Spanish: Latin American and Transatlantic Perspectives: 9. Introduction Elvira Narvaja de Arnoux and Jose del Valle; 10. Language, religion and unification in early colonial Peru Paul Firbas; 11. Grammar and the state in the Southern Cone in the nineteenth century Elvira Narvaja de Arnoux; 12. The politics of lexicography in the Mexican Academy in the late nineteenth century Barbara Cifuentes; 13. Language in the Dominican Republic: between Hispanism and Panamericanism Juan Valdez; 14. Language diversity and national unity in the history of Uruguay Graciela Barrios; 15. Language debates and the institutionalization of philology in Argentina in the first half of the twentieth century Guillermo Toscano y Garcia; 16. Linguistic emancipation and the academies of the Spanish language in the twentieth century: the 1951 turning point Jose del Valle; Part IV. The Making of Spanish: US Perspectives: 17. Introduction Jose del Valle and Ofelia Garcia; 18. Language, church and state in territorial Arizona Elise M. DuBord; 19. The politics of Spanish and English in territorial New Mexico Arturo Fernandez Gibert; 20. Public health and the politics of language in early twentieth-century Texas Glenn Martinez; 21. Categorizing Latinos in the history of the US Census: the official racialization of Spanish Jennifer Leeman; Part V. The Making of Spanish Beyond Spain and the Americas: 22. Introduction Mauro Fernandez and Jose del Valle; 23. The status of Judeo-Spanish in the Ottoman Empire Yvette Burki; 24. Language and the Hispanization of Equatorial Guinea Susana Castillo Rodriguez; 25. The representation of Spanish in the Philippine Islands Mauro Fernandez.