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X-Student Research Group offering in Summer Semester 2022: "...Et per consequens [no] es lengua bárbara. Describing Indigenous Languages & Language Ideology in 18th Century New Spain."

News from Apr 19, 2022

During the Neo-Spanish colonial period (1531-1821), a lively writing practice existed in what is now Mexico in various indigenous languages, which were also studied and taught, especially in an ecclesiastical context. The dictionaries, grammars, and textbooks produced at that time contain not only linguistic knowledge, but also language ideological ideas that continue to have an impact to the present day. From today's point of view, the role of authors who were themselves speakers of the respective languages is particularly and still little researched. In this research group, we dedicate ourselves to such language descriptions from 18th century New Spain with a focus on the language-ideological ideas transported therein. The focus is on working with the historical sources from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The course is intended for students in BA and MA of Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Spanish Philology, as well as History and Social and Cultural Anthropology. A secure knowledge of Spanish is a prerequisite for participation, as we will work directly with grammars written in Spanish and their paratexts from the 18th century and listen to guest lectures by Mexican guest speakers.

In addition to introducing students to the fascinating textual corpus of historical language descriptions from New Spain and exploring the topic of language ideology, this research seminar offers students of Latin American Studies especially...

  • hands on experience with historical primary sources
  • familiarization with the archives and library of the Ibero-American Institute
  • insights into the linguistic context of historical and also contemporary Mexico
  • An opportunity for critical reflection on linguistic discrimination and the relationship between foreign and own perspectives in language description - also in the present day


If you are interested in participating and if you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail (l.weissmann@fu-berlin.de).


Link to the course catalog: https://www.fu-berlin.de/vv/de/lv/733674?query=weissmann&sm=682080.

The introductory session takes place via Webex: https://fu-berlin.webex.com/fu-berlin/j.php?MTID=mc8818dae8353378028e1524c1b3a8843


Institutional affiliation:
Central Institute Latin America Institute,
Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut (WE 1)
Contact: l.weissmann@fu-berlin.de

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