History of the development and formation of the Spanish language
At the moment the Spanish language is one of the most widely used languages in the world. In fact, Spanish (Castilian) becomes the third among the most used languages in the world - after the Chinese and English. But how was Spanish able to achieve such international status? In this article we will tell the history of the Spanish language, its origin and development until today. Have fun reading!
Find out more about the history of the Spanish language
The Spanish language is one of the Romance languages. Therefore most of the Spanish words come from Latin. There are also many German inclusions (in consequence of conquest in the fifth century). There is also a lasting impact of the Arabs, because Muslims lived on the territory of Spain for seven centuries (since 700 years before Jesus Christ). Various conquests mainly of the Celts and Arabs (and later of the French), gradually gave Spanish its contemporary form.
Spanish or Castilian?
History of the Spanish language has its Latin roots that can be found in many languages, for example in French. But let us first discuss the difference between
Spanish and Castilian.
The thing that distinguishes Spanish from Castilian: the word "Spanish" was recommended by Queen Academy of Spanish Language (RAE) - it determines the common language for everyone who speaks Spanish. If you talk about Castilian, this word is used to refer to:
- dialect of the Castile Kingdom (only in the Middle Ages);
- the official language of the Spanish State, as opposed to the Galician, Catalan or Basque;
- modern dialect of the following regions in Spain: Madrid, Castilla-Lyon and Castilla La Manche;
- language that people use for communication in Chile or Argentina. People spoke this language in ancient Spanish Empire.
The history of the Spanish language - the origin and development.
The history of the Spanish language is closely related to the history of Spain. Castilian language is the result of the millennial development. The main roots arise from Latin: first Roman soldiers conquered Spain before the Christianity advent.
Therefore, the type of Latin used in the Roman army in ancient Spanish colonies, formed the basis of the main Spanish dialects that developed in different regions of the country during the Middle Ages. The Castilian dialect (or Castilian Spanish) gradually became the standard language because Castile dominated in the thirteenth (XIII) century on the peninsula on political issues.
At the beginning of the eleventh (XI) century under the influence of priests and pilgrims who obeyed the saint Jacques in northeastern Spain, the dictionary of the Spanish language was enriched by the words and phrases from French. At the end of the fifteenth (XV) century, as a result of the united monarchy of Castile and Aragon (which extended its influence over the great part of the Iberian Peninsula), the language of Castile, Castilian, bested other languages (and dialects), which were used in the region. As a result of such unification the Kingdom Castilian language became the language of legal, political and diplomatic documents.
Note: Except the discovery of America, which occurred in 1492, it was this year that had a significant historical importance for Spain (and the Spanish language): this year the Arabs were expelled from Spain, and the reign of the monarchs-catholics of Isabella and Fernando was established in the peninsula.
At the same time during the fifteenth (XV) and the sixteenth (XVI) centuries some Italian words entered in the Spanish language as a result of the dominance of Aragon in Italy and a great love of Italian poetry in Spain.
Together with the conquerors, explorers and missionaries the Spanish language developed to the Atlantic Ocean. Spanish is also used in America, in the federal states of Micronesia, Guam, Marianas, Palo and the Philippines as a result of colonization in the sixteenth (XVI) century.
The formation of spelling, sentence structure and pronunciation in Spanish was observed in the sixteenth (XVI) and seventeenth (XVII) centuries. The concept of tenses appeared in the morphology. If we talk about the syntax, here the concept of strict word order appeared. Also it was clearly defined the position of pronouns.
Spanish was deeply examined. During sixteenth (XVI) century the Spanish language became the subject of many analytical works, arrangement and debates in the intellectual circles. Besides in 1611 there was the first dictionary of the Spanish language, the creation of Sebastian Kovarrubia. Except this, in 1713 there was found the Queen Academy of Spanish Language (Real Academia Española). Particularly in this institution there were established criteria for the powers to sanction the appearance of neologisms and entering into the language of foreign words. In this period the Spanish grammar was also formalized.
The Academy has always been quite restrained in relation to new words, and after years these canons allowed to create virtually static language, which is very different from the Spanish language used in everyday communication. After more than thirty (30) years of a particular regime of reign and censorship, the Hispanic culture and literature moved to the stage of recovery and development, resulting in brighter and livelier language.
The Spanish language had been a major diplomatic language until the sixteenth (XVI) century. At that time vocabulary absorbed many words from other languages - this new vocabulary was either European or Indian origin. In Spanish Europe the most comely words such as soneto and piano were borrowed from the Italian language; also here you can find the words of French origin, such as the jardin (jardín) and sergent (sargento). In South America the words like patata, puma, condor and alpaga were borrowed from the languages of Quechua and Guarani. Besides, Spanish includes such well-known words as chocolate, tomate and cacao from Nahuatl (the language of pre-Columbian Indians of Mexico).
The Modern Spanish
In the twentieth century the Spanish language continues to include the borrowings from other languages of the world. Besides the Spanish speakers are constantly creating new words: the appearance of neologisms is provoked by technological and scientific progress. The classic words termómetro and psicoanálisis belong to this category, and the most modern filmar and radar, but the most recent are PC and módem.
In America the use of the Spanish language is supported by the Spanish followers, but also due to the numerous Creole Hispanics Métis. After the wars of independence of its colonies in the nineteenth (XIX) century a new government elite contributed to the development of the Spanish language among all segments of the population for the purpose of national unity strengthening. Also we shall not forget about the phenomenon of Spanglish - the result of a merger of Spanish and English languages which is used first of all by the population of the United States of America.