Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

El debate humanístico sobre la lengua: las controversias sobre el multiculturalismo en la España del siglo XVI

Javier Vellón Lahoz


The view of language held by grammarians, humanists and intellectuals in sixteenth-century Spain may be described as the fight for supremacy between to opposing factions, namely, hybridization / unorthodox and homogeneization / orthodox. The standardization of Spanish appears closely associated to the new emergent empire, aiding in its consolidation at the symbolic level by equating the idea of a homogeneous centre with the prescription of grammar and linguistic rules. On the other hand, the centripetal forces of the unorthodox trend advocated usage, hybrid forms, the parole, i. e. «mudejarismo», as the major defining component, not only of the formation and composition of the Spanish language but of the multicultural social fabric of the nascent Spanish nation. The alignment of the orthodox humanist trend with the established order made it prevail, although the contradictions arising from the alliance between the intellectual and political worlds manifested openly the nature of such an enterprise: the reinforcement and consolidation of the country’s y imperial power, and the suppression of the multicultural reality of the society of the times.

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