THE SPANISH CONQUEST OF THE AZTEC EMPIRE Christopher Columbus discovered the first section of New World in October 1492. A second expedition in 1493 lead to the discovery of the island of Hispaniola and with this, the colonization of the New World began. Until 1516 the colonization of America was confined to the Caribbean but in 1517/8 expeditions to the main land began, beginning with Mexico. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most significant events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The invasion began in February 1519, and was declared victorious on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish conquistadors and Tlaxcalan warriors led by Hernán Cortés captured Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.
THE SPANISH CONQUEST OF THE AZTEC EMPIRE February 1517:Francisco Hernández de Córdoba The credit for the real discovery of Yucatán must be awarded to Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, who sailed from Cuba in 1517 on a slave-raiding expedition. In 1517 Cuban governor, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, commissioned a fleet of three ships under the command of Francisco to sail west and explore the Yucatán peninsula. This initial expedition was the first time Spaniards came into contact with the ancient civilized people of Mexico and saw the stone buildings of the Mayas. The Mayans at Cape Catoche invited the Spaniards to land, and the Spaniards read the Requirement of 1513 to them, which offered the natives the protection of the King of Spain, if they would submit to him. Córdoba took two prisoners to be interpreters to help him communicate with the native peoples. Córdoba went around the peninsula as far as the present state of Campeche and the western side of the Yucatán Peninsula, the Spaniards were attacked at night by Maya chief Mochcouoh. Twenty Spaniards were killed. This attack demoralized Córdoba and he decided to return to Cuba. Córdoba reported his findings to Governor Velázquez, who had replaced the Columbus family as governor. This prompted Velázquez to his nephew Juan de Grijalva to further explore Mexican soil, yet this expedition accomplished little. Thus Velázquez later sent a larger force back to Mexico under the command of Hernán Cortés.
THE SPANISH CONQUEST OF THE AZTEC EMPIRE February 1519: Hernán Cortés Cortés Left Cuba to conquer Mexico in February 1519. Hernán Cortés landed on the Mexican coast with a force of 600 men. After burning his ships to prevent his men from returning home, he ventured into the interior of Mexico, defeating some indigenous tribes and making allies of others. He soon was able to reach the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City). Welcomed by the Aztec emperor Montezuma II, who presumed them to be descendants of the god Quetzolcoatl, Cortés seized the emperor and held him for ransom for gold. The Aztecs rose up and killed many of Cortés’ men. Cortés was forced to retreat back to the coast, where he made preparations and assembled a joint Spanish-Tlaxcallan force to return and assault the city. In the meantime, roughly a third of the Aztec population in the valley surrounding the capital were killed off by smallpox introduced by the Spanish conquistadors. Cortés returned with his assaulting force and laid siege to the capital, capturing it on August 13, 1521.
Immigration Whilst Cortés was battling to seize the Aztec capital, the Spanish immigration to Mexico had already begun. The first Europeans came to New Spain in 1519. The immigrants were generally soldiers and sailors from Extremadura, Andalusia and La Mancha. Cortés himself was from Extremadura. Towards the end of the 16th century, the social composition of Spanish immigration included both common, illiterate people and aristocrats with titles of counts and marquises, all of which dispersed over the territory. These factors are important to consider when discussing the features and varieties of Mexican Spanish as they relate to Boyd Bowman’s theory. Due to Spanish immigration, Castilian became a greater presence in Mexico. Mexico city had a relatively large Spanish immigrant population and the Mexican capital soon became home to the colonial administration of New Spain. Consequently, Mexico City tended historically to exercise a standardizing effect over the entire country. Mexico City (Tenochtitlán) had also been the capital of the Aztec Empire, and many speakers of the Aztec language Nahuatl continued to live there and in the surrounding region. The city, therefore, as will be discussed further later, developed a distinctive dialect of Spanish that incorporated a significant number of hispanicized Nahuatl words.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF LANGUAGE PLANNING The arrival of Spanish forces and colonists in Mexico during the 16 th century started the slow process of replacing the indigenous languages of Mexico with Spanish. 1570- Nahuatl was the official language of the colonies of New Spain. In 1696 this policy was reversed- government banned the use of any language other than Spanish. Start of C18th- decrees ordering the "Hispanization" of indigenous populations- Mexican colonizers no longer learned indigenous languages.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF LANGUAGE PLANNING After independence in 1821, the government initiated an educational system with the primary aim of Hispanization of the native populations. Based on the idea was that this would help the indigenous peoples become a more integrated part of the new Mexican nation. During the C19 th, no real attempts were made to prevent the loss of indigenous languages.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF LANGUAGE PLANNING Consequently, the number of speakers of indigenous languages declined rapidly: -1820- an estimated 60% of Mexicans spoke an indigenous language. -1889- fallen to 38%. -By the end of C20th- fallen to 6%.
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES 1917 Constitution of Mexico- the government recognises the indigenous people’s right to "preserve and enrich their languages" whilst promoting "bilingual and intercultural education". 2003 General Law of Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples- recognised the indigenous languages as “national languages”, with “the same validity [as Spanish] in their territory, location and context". Indigenous peoples can use their native language in communicating with government officials and request official documents in that language.
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES Currently in Mexico, about 6 million people speak indigenous languages. Nahuatl language = only indigenous language with more than 1 million speakers. The government of Mexico currently recognises 68 distinct indigenous Amerindian languages as national languages, along with Spanish. According to the CDI (Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples) and INALI (National Institute of Indigenous Languages)- 10-14% of the Mexican population claim to belong to an indigenous group. Nowadays only 6% actually speak an indigenous language. However, the number of Spanish speakers soared- about 95% of the population now speak Spanish.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Teoria Andalucista (Wagner, Lapesa, Menéndez Pidal, Peter Boyd-Bowman) –features from Andalucian Spanish brought by colonisation: predorsal articulation of / s /, relaxation of final consonants, and aspiration, nasalization or vocalization of syllable-final r Other features: Retention of syllable final /s/ Frequent use of Ustedes Pretérito perfecto (e.g. he comprado) is not normally used, pretérito seems to be more common (e.g. compré) Seseo
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Proposed by Lipski: 1. Morphological characteristics: tú used for the familiar singular pronoun except for use of vos in some parts of the state of Chiapas No más – only, just; e.g. no más queria planticar contigo – I just wanted to speak to you Mero as the very same, one and only; e.g. ni esta en el mero centro – it’s right in the middle of town Mero as almost: e.g. Ya mero me caigo – I almost fell Use of hasta to refer to the beginning point of the event, rather than to the end Suffix –ito (in Chiapas – illo)
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 2. Syntactic characteristics: redundant possessive articles (especially Yucatan and Chiapas): e.g. su papa de Pedro – Pedro’s father te cortaste tu dedo – you cut your finger combination of indefinite article with possessive (more common in Guatemala and El Salvador) lo used with no correspondence to object role or duplication the overt object noun or phrase: Exmples from Yucatan: ¿no te lo da vergüenza? Aren’t you ashamed? ¿Ya lo anunciaste el boda? Did you already announce the wedding?
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 3. Lexis Mexican Spanish: que tanto Peninsular Spanish: cuanto use of que tan + adjective: ¿que tan grande es? – how big it is? The coloquial superlative of adjective is formed with mucho muy: e.g. mucho muy importante- it’s is very important
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Other Mexicanisms: Ándale – let’s go, that’s ok, I agree (in response to a suggestion), your welcome (when beign theanked) Órale – come on, let’s get going Chamaco / escuincle / huerco – small child Padre –very good, super Aquí – acá Debajo de – abajo de Fuera - afuera
CENTRAL MEXICO 1./y/ has some palatal friction and resists effacement 2.High rates of unstressed vowel reduction and omission. 3.Syllable final /r/ is often pronounced as a voiceless sibilant throughout central and southern Mexico. In the northern states, a flap or trill pronunciation predominates. 4./x/ receives audible velar or post palatal frication, particularly before front vowels. 5.In Oaxaca, /s/ before voiceless stops is sometimes pronounced as [š], or as a partially interdentalized fricative. 6.Syllable-final /s/ rarely deletes or even aspirates; this fact combined with frequent unstressed vowel reduction, gives the sibilant [s] a special prominence.
NORTHWESTERN MEXICO 1.In much of rural northwestern Mexico /s/ is reduced. Interdentalized [θ] or an indistinct nasal fricative are often heard among rural residents of northwestern Mexico, and aspiration of word-initial /s/ also occurs regularly. Such pronunciation carries a heavy negative stigma. 2.Jalisco noted for the partially nasalised pronunciation of phrase final /s/. Sometimes transcribed the sound as -sn or -sm, but in no instance is a sequential articulation involved. This pronunciation has never been categorical in Jalisco, and appears to be on the decline. 3.Among United States Spanish dialects of Mexican origin, /s/ does not normally reduce, since these varieties are derived from dialects of central and northern Mexico
YUCATÁN 1.Final /n/ pronounced as [m]. May be attributable to the Maya substrate, Yager has demonstrated that at present no correlation exists between degree of bilingualism in Maya and labialization of final /n/. 2.The phoneme /y/ is weak and subject to omission in the north, and in the Yucatan/ Chiapas region. 3./s/ is generally resistant, but does at times aspirate, or simply delete. Alvar has noted that the lack of resyllabification of word- final /s/ before a vowel-initial word, due to the glottal occlusion which normally separates words in Yucatan Spanish. 4./s/ becomes weaker along the border with Belize, and in the Campeche area. 5.Tendency for stressed vowels to be extremely lengthened. Unstressed vowels rarely if ever reduce in Yucatan Spanish.
6.A stop pronunciation on intervocalic /b/, /d/ and /g/ is the rule, even among reasonably fluent Spanish speakers. Also found, but much less frequently, is the glottalization of voiceless stops. This effect is produced principally before stressed vowels. 7.Found frequently is the aspiration of /p/, /t/, and /k/, which some observers may have confused with glottalization, a regular feature of Maya but a rare trait in Yucatan Spanish. 8.Voiceless stops are often voiced following nasals. 9.The posterior fricative /x/ is a weak aspiration [h]. 10.Among bilingual speakers in the Yucatan, one often hears a retroflex sound similar to the American English /r/, a sound which is even more common in the Spanish of Belize.
COASTAL DIALECTS: VERACRUZ/TABASCO AND ACAPULCO: 1.Word-final /n/ is velar in most of this region. 2.Syllable-final /s/ is weakened in both coastal regions, but with varying regional and sociolinguistic manifestations. Educated veracruzanos frequently maintain sibilant [s], particularly phrase-finally. Among the lower socioeconomic strata of Veracruz, reduction of /s/ is much more common, but is combined with some unstressed vowel reduction and devoicing. Short distance inland in Veracruz state, weakening of /s/ drops off rapidly. High rates of /s/- reduction are also found in Tabasco, but even here considerable variation is evident. Further to the north along Mexico's Gulf coast, /s/ is generally retained, although as far north as Tampico syllable-final /s/ is weaker than in the interior. Along the Pacific coast, /s/ was once reduced in Acapulco. Only at the very lowest sociolects is reduction of /s/ frequent. Among middle-class speakers, phrase-final /s/ is normally [s], although some instances of preconsonantal /s/ may be aspirated. Further east along Costa Chica of Guerrero and Oaxaca states, aspiration and loss of /s/ is more frequent, particularly among the more marginalized groups and in rural regions, but even in urban centres such as Ometepec. 3.The posterior fricative /x/ is a weak [h] in most coastal areas. 4.At the very lowest sociolinguistic strata in rural areas, some neutralization of the syllable- final /l/ and /r/ occurs, as does loss of final /r/ in verbal infinitives.
INFLUENCIA DE LOS MEDIOS DE COMUNICACION EN EL “ESPAÑOL MEXICANO” El español es uno de los idiomas más ricos del mundo y cuenta con variantes y modificaciones en cada uno de los países que lo hablan. El español mexicano “neutro” es uno de los más utilizados en medios de comunicación y doblajes de películas. Los Mass Medias ejercen sobre el lenguaje una influencia que debería ser completamente positiva pero que, por diversas causas, es negativa y está contribuyendo a que los hablantes adopten una gran cantidad de anomalías o errores lingüísticos
Hoy en día el papel de los medios de comunicación en el uso del lenguaje es importante porque contribuyen a la consolidación de la lengua española. Consolidación mediante el uso de un “español neutro” Ley aprobada en Argentina en mayo de 1986 Oposiciónde linguistas como Mourelle de Lema
Según su alcance, los medios requieren emplear un español en los espacios internacional, nacional y regional: Correción de estilo de los textos Rechazo de localismos y extranjerismos Propuesta: diccionario internacional que contenga todas las variantes del español para así poder enriquecer aún más la lengua. UNIDAD UNIFORMIDAD
INFLUENCIA DEL INGLÉS Mezclas de inglés y español que van en detrimento del español. Foro en la Universidad del Sur de California (Febrero 2012), algunos asistentes a favor del uso de anglicismos y otros no. Acuerdo común de la no violación al idioma español, que produce un deterioro de la lengua española.
UTILIDAD DEL TÉRMINO “ESPAÑOL MEXICANO” Características particulares y generales comunes a todas las versiones del español en México. Múltiples dialectos. El “español mexicano” lo conforman todas sus variantes. NO existe un solo español mexicano.
REFERENCES Books: Elliott, J H. (1984) "The Spanish Conquest" In: L. Bethell ed., Cambridge History of Latin America, Volume 1, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press Gibson, C. (1966) Spain in America, London, Harper and Row Hassig, R. (1994) Mexico and the Spanish Conquest, Harlow, Longman Saville, M H. (1918) The Discovery of Yucatan in 1517 by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, Geographical Review, Volume 6, Issue 5. Pgs 436-448. Lipski J. (1994) Latin American Spanish, Longman, England