Spanish – A Brief Overview, Part 2
Spanish evolved from Vulgar Latin and was also influenced by Arabic and some Germanic languages. It evolved from the idiom spoken in the north-central part of the Iberian Peninsula. In its early written records, it is often referred to as Old Spanish, becoming Modern Spanish starting in the 16th century. Linguists have not identified a “middle” evolutionary stage of the language, though standardization of Castilian was a fait accompli by 1492, when Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first grammar of Spanish in honor of Queen Isabella of Castille.
Premised that the term dialect is not applicable to Catalan, Galician, and Basque, which are languages in their own right, there are several dialectal variations of Castilian Spanish. There are variations within present day Castilian-speaking Spain and those between European/Peninsular Spanish and Latin American Spanish. With respect to the former, linguists identify the following dialects: Andalusian, Canarian, Extremaduras, and Marcian Spanish. Ultimately, the differences among these dialects as well as those between Peninsular and Latin American Spanish are less syntactical and more phonetic and lexical in nature. Furthermore, a peculiar form of medieval Spanish called Ladino, or Judaeo-Spanish is still spoken by many descendants of Sephardic Jews, who relocated to the Balkans region, as well as Turkey and Israel, following their expulsion from Spain in the 15th century. Ladino is considered close to Modern Spanish, though it also contains lexical borrowings from Hebrew, French, Greek and Turkish.
The standards of the Spanish language are set, monitored and upheld by the Association of Spanish Language Academies in Spain and 21 additional academies in Spanish-speaking countries.
Posted August 31, 2014Tags: Spanish dialects, Spanish language evolution