By Otto Zwartjes, Ramón Arzápalo Marín, Thomas C. Smith-Stark
This fourth quantity on Missionary Linguistics specializes in lexicography. It includes a number of papers derived from the 5th overseas convention on Missionary Linguistics held in Mérida, Yucatán (Mexico), 14th–17th March 2007. As with the former 3 volumes (2004, on basic matters, 2005, on orthography and phonology, and 2007 on morphology and syntax), this quantity seems on the lexicographical creation of missionaries in most cases, the impression of ecu assets, corresponding to Ambrogio Calepino and Antonio de Nebrija, translation theories, attitudes towards non-Western cultures, trans- and interculturality, semantics, morphological research and organizational rules of the dictionaries, comparable to types and constitution of the entries, quotation types, and so forth. It offers study into languages corresponding to Maya, Nahuatl, Tarasco (Pur’épecha), Lushootseed, Equatorian Quechua, Tupinambá, Ilocan, Tamil and Southern Min chinese language dialects.
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He also refers to the analytical process, which required “days and sleepless nights trying to unravel their true meanings, and apply them and place them each in their proper place as best as possible, testing them with experience”. He realizes that many might think that the study of prestigious languages merits more recognition, “For the study of Latin seems to be a more elevated science (if science it might be called) than these barbarous languages of little account”. But he contends that such is not the case: “But if one considers with care, and delves to the bottom and core of the matter, he will find things to be the other way around”.
Xijca l. xijga. Calabaça desta tierra generalmente que comen. Queeto. Calabaça de castilla. Quéto castilla Calabaça redonda como melon. Quèto coo. LEXICOGRAPHY IN NEW SPAIN (1492–1611) 39 Calabaça lisa grande. Quètohuéche. l. hueeche. Calabaça chiquilla como erizo espinosa. Yápe. Calabaça pequeña berrugosa. Xijgatóchehuiñi. Calabaça pequeñita siluestre. Quetolàna. Calabaça las hojas de calabaças. Pelàgaquéto. Alvarado (1593) calabaça. yeq. calabaça me dio seca al sol. yeqnindoco. calabaça larga lisa.
Hernández (1996), for example, has noted the important role of the Tetzcocan Hernando de Ribas in helping the friars. She points out that Juan Bautista says in the “Prólogo” to his Sermonario that “Con su ayuda compuso el P. Fr. Alonso de Molina el Arte y Vocabulario mexicano” [with his aide the father Friar Alonso de Molina composed the Nahuatl Grammar and Vocabulary] (cf. García Icazbalceta 1956:476-477). It also seems to me likely that the copy of Nebrija’s SpanishLatin vocabulary with Nahuatl equivalences added, known as the trilingual vocabulary and often attributed to Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), was done by a Nahuatl speaker, probably a student at the Royal College of the Holy Cross at the Franciscan convent of Santiago Tlatelolco.