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Review of  History of Linguistics in Spain/Historia de la Lingüística en España. Volume II

Reviewer: Hayim Y. Sheynin
Book Title: History of Linguistics in Spain/Historia de la Lingüística en España. Volume II
Book Author: E.F.K. Koerner Hans-Josef E Niederehe
Publisher: John Benjamins
Linguistic Field(s): History of Linguistics
Issue Number: 12.3191

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Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001
Subject: Review of History of Linguistics in Spain. Vol. II

Koerner, E.F.K. and Hans-Josef Niederehe (eds) (2001) History of
Linguistics in Spain. Vol. II.
Amsterdam / Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing Company. hardback
ISBN 9027245894 (Eur.) / 1588110753 (US)(alk.paper) also ISSN 0304-0720;
xxii+463pp, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 100.

Hayim Y. Sheynin, Gratz College, Melrose Park, Pennsylvania

This nice volume is a collection of 21 research articles of different
authors all but two previously published in the journal Historiographia
Linguistica. It follows up on a previously published volume in the Studies
in the History of the Language Sciences 34 (Quillis, A. and H.-J.
Niederehe, eds., The History of Linguistics in Spain, 1986). The articles
are written in Spanish (16 articles), English (3 articles) and French (2
articles). The book is divided into four sections. The first three follow
a chronological principle (I. Renaissance and the Golden Age; II. The 18th
Century; III.
The 19th and 20th Centuries), the fourth one is devoted to
Hispano-American matters. The book is illustrated with two portraits and 6
facsimiles of title pages. Non-English articles preceded with an English
abstract, while English articles preceded with a Spanish one. Appropriate
bibliographies are appended to each article. The volume is accompanied
with the list of contributors and two indices: index of biographical
names (i.e. authors cited) and index of subjects & terms.

It seems very natural that the majority of essays are authored by Spanish
and Latino-American scholars, but it is worth to mention that some of
Spanish articles here are penned by American and German scholars and one
French article by a Spanish linguist.

The book is preceded by a useful introduction into history of Spanish
linguistics. H.-J. Niederehe (University of Trier, Germany), one of the
editors, highlights the periods and topics of the history of Spanish
linguistics in conjunction with the papers included.

Separate articles

Article #1
Nebrija's Syntactic Theory in its Historical Setting (p. 3-16)
The first group of articles deals with development of linguistics in
Renaissance. This group opens with the article by W. Keith Percival
(University of Kansas, U.S.A.) treating the syntactical
analysis of Elio Antonio Nebrija (1444?-1522) in both his Latin and
Castilian grammars. The author who previously published some works on
Nebrija and his Italian predecessors and contemporaries focuses on the
main syntactic principle of Nebrija, i.e. "government of the verb."
Treating this topic, Percival finds that Nebrija's work is a development
of the theories of North Italian humanists who in their turn followed on
the steps of their medieval colleagues. His own work evolves over a decade
since his return from Italy to Salamanca and published in his
Introductiones Latinae (1481),
in biligual version of this work (1486) and finally in his Gramatica hecha
sobre la lengua castellana (1492). The theoretic import is backed by the
biographical facts. It is known that Nebrija as a student in Salamanca in
the early 1460s traveled to Bologna to study in the College of San
There he could familiarize himself with the North Italian humanistic

Article #2
Evolucion en los diccionarios de Antonio Nebrija, 1492-1512 (p. 17-34)
The second article on Nebrija by Codon~er (University of Salamanca, Spain)
deals with the later activities of Nebrija (1492-1512), i.e. his
lexicographic works. The author who is known for her previous treatment of
Nebrija's Latin grammar focuses on chronological analysis of entries in
his vocabularies and dictionaries and follows an evolution of structure
and contents of his lexicons since appearance of his first vocabulary
appended to his Latin grammar (1481). In addition she lists the sources
of Nebrija, most of them cited by previous researchers, however she
mentions some omitted by her predecessors. The core of the article is
scrutinizing of formulation and arrangement of the entries in the
dictionary of 1492, addition and substraction of the entries as well as
their consolidation in a later edition (1512). An additional feature of
edition of 1492 is presenting the verb in infinitive together with its
object, while in ed. of 1512 verbs are given in the first person of presence,
accompanied with the ending of the second person, the form of the first person
of perfect tense and supine. Codon~er mentions some
possible directions in a future research in Nebrija's lexicography.

Article #3
Torres & Fernandez
La Grammatica Proverbiandi y la Nova Ratio Nebrissensis (p. 35-55)
Esparza Torres (University of Vigo, Spain) and Calvo Fernandez
(Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) find a medieval precursor to
the method of Nebrija. Nebrija recognized that Castilian and Latin are
different languages and made point that in order to study Latin a student
first needs to learn the structure of the native language (i.e., Castilian) and
only afterwards to go from Castilian to Latin, thus devising the method of
contrastive learning. The authors of the article analyse a medieval
grammatical tradition so called Grammatica proverbiandi (late Middle Ages
up to the first half of the 15th century) very little of which is known.
In addition to published materials, such as Ridruejo (1977) and Thurot
(1868), they use a number of manuscripts preserved in Spanish libraries.
The scholars identify priciples of the tradition which are akin to
Nebrija's method for the teaching of Latin and find out that Nebrija knew this
tradition and used the sources not only from Italy, but also from Spain.
This finding establishes a new link in development of linguistics in Spain
and corrects the previous views that Nebrija's theories are due only to
Italian humanists.

Article #4
Nebrija y las Gramaticas del Espan~ol en el Siglo de Oro (p. 57-78)
Giron Alconchel (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) discusses
Spanish grammars of the 16th and 17th centuries and philosophical notions
on which there were based the most important of the
grammatical works of this period (el Siglo del Oro). The radical change of
linguistic situation from perfect bilingualism of the writers in the early
Middle Ages to the victorious monolingualism of the late Middle Ages and
the Renaissance which was underlined by social changes (e.g., by the rise
of the third class) and the direction of humanism
which favored every day life brought the interest of the grammarians to
the vulgar language. Besides major philosophical theories of the period,
i.e.Italian and Erasmian humanism together with the empirial politics of Spain
provided an impetus for emergence of Castilian grammar written in
Castilian language. However the grammar itself developed under influence
of both Latin medieval grammar (in
its methods, terms, and scope) and humanistic approach. The author
describes the structure and contents of Nebrija's grammar and finds its
leading principles and purposes. Then he shows influence exerted by this
grammar on most of Castilian grammars in the 16th and 17th centuries [the
corpus of grammars cited is enormous], especially concentrating on two grammars
of Correas (1625 and 1627).

Article #5
The Italian Connection in Juan de Valdes' Dialogo de la Lengua (1535) (p.
Angelo Mazzocco (Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA., U.S.A.), who is
known for over a decade for his works on linguistic theories in Italian
Renaissance and Italian influenses on Nebrija, studies a relation of Juan
de Valdes' Dialogo de la lengua (1535) to the Italian Renaissance thought.
First he describes principles and notions of Italian humanists insisting
on their patrimony in empirial Rome and Ciceronian Latin and their
contempt of non-Italians. Then he discusses how these principles and
notions were reflected in Valdes'.
The author goes on showing which Italian statesments were accepted by
Valdes, which were rejected, and which were explained by finding
the reasons for differences of Castilian
language from Tuscan one. On one hand Valdes resents the Italians' claim
to cultural superiority, on another he implements some of their claims in
validation of Castilian versus Tascan (e.g. claiming that precursor
language of pre-Roman Spain was classical Greek and being an official
language of the
country, left its remnants in Latin spoken in Spain from which they were
incorporated into modern Castilian) and uses their methods in structuring
his grammar of Castilian (e.g. replacing Italian masters of language such
as Boccaccio and Petrarch with Castilian proverbs at absence of
writers). Moreover towards the end of his book Valdes postulates and tries
to prove that the Castilian enjoys a more extensive Latinity than the
The main Italian grammarians whith whom Valdes interacts are Pietro Bembo
(Prose della volgar lingua, 1525) and Baldassarre Castiglione
(Il libro del Cortegiano, 1528), although Mazzocco states that "in the
case of Castiglione and Valdes, the correlation between these two scholars
is more one of method than of substance."
In conclusion, the author cites some innovations of Valdes, e.g. his
concept of the birth and growth of the Castilian vernacular, his theory on
the role and decoding of the linguistic substrata, his view of full
organic essence of the Castilian and the mutability of this idiom.

Article #6
Las Osservationi de Giovanni Miranda (Venecia, 1566) (p. 96-106)
Lope Blanch (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), the author of
books and articles on history of Spanish linguistics and particularly on
Villalon,deals with an Italian grammar of the Castilian by Giovanni Miranda
(Osservationi della Lingua Castigliana, Venice, 1566). First the author
places this grammar among other grammars [and dictionaries] of the
Castilian which appeared in the same period citing grammars written or
printed in
Flandria (1555-1558), Italy (1555-1566), post-Nebrija Spain (1558-1570),
France (1604-1607) and England (1591-1623). Miranda's grammar like all the
grammars listed were intended for the study of the Castilian by foreign
In his writing, Miranda follows the format of Giovanni Mario Alesandri
d'Urbino (Paragone della Lingua Toscana et Castigliana, Naples, 1560), but
greatly expands on it.
After analizing different aspects of Miranda's work, Lope Blanch finds
that it is not only the best pedagogical grammar of Spanish of its time,
but also the first effective pedagogical grammar of Spanish written for
speakers of other languages, with a number of lingistic insights.

Article #7
La Gramatica Audax de Juan Caramuel y las Corrientes Linguisticas del
siglo XVII (107-133)
Maria Dolores Martinez Gavilan (Universidad de Leon, Spain), who over a
decade studied several 16th to 17th century Castilian grammars and
particularly those of Brocense and Caramuel, deals in this volume with
the Grammatica Audax by Juan Caramuel (Frankfurt, 1654), considering it
against the backdrop of its own time. The researcher examines its
connection with the main linguistic theories of the period, including
universal grammar and creation of universal languages. The analysis of the
ideas of the Grammatica Audax shows its philosophical affinity with the
Port-Royal Grammaire generale et raisonnee (1660) which N. Chomsky viewed
as an ealy precursor of his Transformational -Generative Grammar or more
precisely, as Martinez Gavilan states,
one which contains Cartesian concepts. Special attention
is devoted to attempts of Caramuel to build a philosophical grammar by
equating of logical and grammatical categories, by considering that the
idea and not the usage is the governing principle of the language. The
Grammatica Audax proposes particular artificial constructions thus
emboding elements of semantics into morphology and word formation), where
a certain constant meaning attouched to each vowel in the word root.
Caramuel introduces new forms, new words, and non-existing verb tenses in
order to adjust the language to the needs of exact expression of the
thought. Finally, Martinez Gavilan shows that the Grammatica Audax was a
source for John Wilkins' Essay towards a Real Character and Philosophical
Language (1668) and thus constitutes a nucleous for the doctrines of the
Language Planners' movement.

Article #8
La Grammaire Contrastive Franco-Espagnole de la Premiere Moitie du XVIIIe
Siecle (p. 137-179)
18th century section opens with the discussion of the contrastive
Franco-Spanish grammars of the first half of the 18th century by Brigitte
Lepinette (Universitat de Valencia) who in the last decade published a
number of studies illustrating
Franco-Spanish cultural relations. Six textbooks of French published in
Spain between 1707 and 1748 are painstainkingly analyzed. In order to
collect relevant data for comparison each work is described using
following scheme: 0. Author: biographical data, his social and
professional characteristics and his competence as a grammarian (this is
following scholarly sources cited in the work); 1. Title, internal
organization, preliminary parts (Format: total number of pages; number of
pages in each part); 2. Pronunciation: data and commentary ; 3.
Morphology: data and commentary ; 4. Syntax : data and commentary ; 5.
Lexics: data and commentary ; 6. Discussion of grammar: data and
commentary ; 7. Pedagogical applications data and commentary ; 8.
All the grammars analyzed are written in pursuit of purely practical
goals, they do not have any importance in development of linguistics nor
they are remarkable in educational value. In the printed text on p. 167
the date of publication of the grammar by Antonio Galmace should
read 1748, not 1648 (cp. p. 139). We can salute scholarly methodology of
Mme Lepinette and her attention to tiny details, however regretting
application of much efforts to study undeserving works.

Article #9
La Gramaticografia del Siglo XVIII entre Tradicion y Reorientacion (p.
Hans-Josef Niederehe (University of Trier, Germany), one of the editors of
the volume, studies several Spanish grammars written in the second half of
the 18th century. The existing opinion says about a total lack of good
grammar in Spain and complete disregard of modern theories. Analyzing
Spanish grammars of Benito Martinez Gomez Gayoso (1743), Benito de San
Pedro (1769), and the
Gramatica de la lengua castellana de la Real Academia Espan~ola (1771),
Niederehe finds just the opposite: at liest since 1769 there were some
good Spanish grammars based on modern theories, both French (those of
Port-Royal) and Castilian (those of Francisco Sanchez de las Brozas,
1523-1600/1601) and Gonzalo Correas (1625). The author illustrates his
findings quoting short
passages from the grammars studied, especially concentrating on the
Gramatica de la lengua castellana de la Real Academia Espan~ola and
finding affinity with principles of Antoine Arnauld & Claude Lancelot, the
authors of Grammaire generale et rasonnee de Port-Royal (1660).

Article #10
Martinez Alcalde
La Gramaticas y Ortografias Espan~olas Preacademicas en el Siglo XVIII (p.
Maria Jose Martinez Alcalde (Universidad de Valencia, Spain), who over a
decade studied history of Spanish linguistics in the 17th and 18th
centuries, especially concentrating on orthography, deals in this volume
with similar questions as they relate to the period between 1640 and 1770.
She finds that some of the innovations attributed to Benito de San Pedro
(1769), e.g. the classification of indefinite articles, were already
discussed by Benito Martinez Gayoso (1743). Then she follows development
in the treatment of this topic in the the grammar of Salvador Puig (1770).
Another subject treated in the article are differences in approaches of
grammarians to orthography, before and after the publication of Gramatica
de la Lengua Castellana de Real Academia Espan~ola (1771).

Article #11
Sobre la Formacion del Corpus de Autoridades en la Gramatica Espan~ola (p.
Margarita Lliteras (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain), who published
previously research works on history Spanish linguistics, mostly in the
18th-19th centuries, presents here an article on formation of the corpus
of authorities (i.e. the core of the authors which are quoted for
illustration of grammatical phenomena and usages) in the Spanish grammar.
Lliteras observes that systematic corpus of authorities in Spanish grammars
commences with Benito de San Pedro in his Arte del
Romance Castellano (1769) and especially grows in the descriptive grammars
of the 19th century, such as Vicente Salva's Gramatica de la lengua
castellana segun ahora se habla (1831).

Article #12
Brun~a Cuevas
L'Universalite de la Langue Francaise dans les Grammaires de Francais pour
les Espan~ls et dans les Dictionnaires Bilingues Anterieurs a 1815 (p.
Manuel Brun~a Cuevas (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain), a researcher of
history of teaching French to Spaniards, discusses the subject of the
universality of the French language as it revealed in the grammars of
French for Spanish speakers and in bilingual dictionaries published prior
to 1815.
The author collected a large corpus of such works composed in the 16th to
18th century. Considering social and political circumstances of each
writer,his period and location, Brun~a Cuevas explaines different attitudes of
the linguists which run from the statement about the superiority of French
over all other languages to the position that Spanish is not of lesser
importance. Towards the end of the period discussed many Spanish authors,
especially those based in Spain, start a direct attack on French.

Article #13
Data Collection and Data Analisis in Lorenzo Hervas: Laying the Ground for
Modern Linguistic Typology (265-280)
Manuel Breva-Claramonte (Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, Spain) who already
authored a number of articles on the linguist Lorenzo Hervas (1735-1809),
discusses the data collection and data analysis in the works of this
linguist familiar with some data from over 320 languages which he
collected from informants, translations of catechisms, versions of New
Testament, grammars and dictionaries. On the base of collected texts and
contacts with missionaries who studied some exotic languages, Hervas
advanced into typology and classification of language families, including
native American languages. In his twenty-one volume encyclopedia Idea
dell'Universo (1778-1787), the last five volumes are devoted to linguistic
matters. Breva-Clarmonte describes Hervas's linguistic techniques
stressing his data analysis and explaining his way in morphemic analysis,
including his study
of numerals' morphology in vol. XIX of the Idea (1786).
Other Hervas' topics related to linguistics are his insistance on the
monogenetic origin of languages in his early period and his gradual
acceptance of polygenic origin of world languages which came together with
overwheming evidence for linguistic diversity. Special section of the
article demonstrates a strong influence Hervas
exirted on the world linguists, such as Adam Smith, Friedrich and August
Schlegel, Wilhelm von Humboldt, J. C. Adelung, J. S. Vater, etc.

Article #14
Los Epigonos del Racionalismo en Espan~a : la Aplicacion al Castellano de
la Gramatica General de Gomez Hermosilla (p. 281-299)
Emilio Ridruejo (Universidad de Valladolid) describes some linguistic
relations in Jose Gomez Hermosilla (1771-1837/38), Jacobo Saqueniza
(Joaquin Cabezas, life dates unknown) and Antonio Martinez de Noboa (life
dates unknown), the ideas of
the first one expressed in his Principios de Gramatica General (Madrid
1835) influenced others two and inspired them to apply Hermasilla's
theories to their descriptive grammars of Castilian. Particular points at
issue: a deictic interpretation of articles, possesives and
demonstratives, the theory of verb tenses, the definitions of prepositions
and conjunctions, and the classification of sentences.

Article #15
La Nueva Gramatica de la Lengua Castellana de Martinez de Noboa: la
Coherencia Interna de una Doctrina (p. 301-322)
Marina Maquieira (Universidad de Leon) examines a Castilian grammar that
was one of subjects discussed in the previous article, namely the Nueva
Gramatica de la lengua Castellana (1839) by Antonio Martinez de Noboa. The
author concentrates on Naboa's treatment of the article/pronoun, verb,
conjunction and selected topics of syntax, such as distinction between
coordinate and subordinate conjunctions along with the distinction between
simple and complex clauses, and finally verbal government. The last
section is about pronunciation and spelling. Almost every statement in
this article confirm ideas of Ridruejo about the
influence of Hermosilla on Naboa.

Article #16
Las Primeras Propuestas de 'Seleccion de Norma' para el Gallego del Padre
Sarmiento a fines del Siglo XIX (p. 323-339)
Prior to Mauro Fernandes' (Universidad de Corun~a) article on the norm for
the writing system for 'good Galician', all the articles in the volume
were dealing with grammatical theories of normative Castilian. Here we
find discussion of array of opinions of Spanish linguists from the middle of
the 18th to the late 19th century about chosing the written norm for
The main problem that literary tradition of this language has been
interrupted for some 500 to 550 years. The author surveys the study of
Galician during ca. 150 years, then describes proposals of language
planning in the 19th century by international scholars. Analyzing all
available options, Fernandes distincts three possibilities for 'selection
of the norm':
(1) establishing new literary tradition on the basis of today colloquial
(2) retaining norm of the literary language as it existed in the works of
pre-16th century Galician writers;
(3) establishing new literary tradition on the basis of today Portuguese
considering the last as the highest development of Galician.
The majority of opinions accept the first option as the best solution,
although the last one is gradually gaining support.

Article #17
Arte de Hablar y Pragmatica: Notas sobre el Pensamiento Linguistico de
Eduardo Benot (1822-1907) (p. 341-366)
Joaquin Mesa (Universidad de Corun~a) devotes his article to an
explanation of the grammatical theories of Eduardo Benot (1822-1907)
published in several voluminous works between 1889 and 1910, but
receiving final formulation in his posthumeous book Arte de hablar :
gramatica filosofica de la lengua castellana (1910). The author presents
Benot's concepts as close or identic to the concepts of modern days
language philosophers like H. P. Grice and others. In particular, Mesa
deals with Benot's treatment of such concepts as system, sign and
function, revealing that Benot discussed these topics from a
modernfunctional and pragmatic perspective. Benot perceives 'system' as
relational, not just a mere composite of elements. Another important point
in his affinity with modern philosophy of the language is his view of
sign as a socially interactive device.

Article #18
La Historificacion de la Linguistica Historica: los Origines de Ramon
Menendez Pidal (p. 367-387)
Jose del Valle (Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y., U.S.A.) considers
linguistic concepts of the great Spanish philologist Don Ramon Menendes
Pidal (1869-1968). The author, inspired by theories of Edward H. Carr and
Paul Laurendeau, argues that
Pidal's theoretical approach to the history of the language which
developed between 1904 and 1925 was a result not only of a highly original
interpretation of the linguistic theories available to him, but also an
interplay between this theory and the ideological context in which it
emerged. Del Valle describes social and political situation in Spain in
which the construction of the united Spanish nation was thretened by
centrifugal forces of Basque, Catalan, and Galician nationalisms. Menendez
Pidal used the neogrammarian model of convergence in his Manuel de
gramatica historica espan~ola (first ed. 1904) on the background of
arguments on
different nations in Spain. On the other hand his scrupulous philological
analysis of old documents in Origenes del espan~ol (first ed. 1925), as he
perceived, offered proof of Castile's destiny as the leading force in the
history of Spain. Even dealing with phonetics, he tried to perceive the
unity underlying dialectal variation. Using both Pidal's scholarly and
biographic materials Del Valle proves his main tenet, namely, the
influence of ideologic background on emergence of linguistic and historic
approaches of Don Ramon Menendes Pidal.

Article #19
Domingo F. Sarmiento y la Funcion Social de la Lengua (p. 391-405)
Barry L. Velleman (Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.) deals with
the linguistic ideas of the well known Argentinian statesman Domingo
Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888; president of Argentina, 1868-74). This
article is very well placed after Jose del Valle's one, because it shares
the same basic approach of emergence of linguistic and historic theories
under influence of socio-political reality. During his political,
(from 1865 to 1868 Sarmiento represented Argentina in Washington),
journalistic and educational career he embraced ideas of Argentinian and
Latino-American nationalism, aiming to build a new Argentina. At this
Sarmiento principal model was the United States. The author explains
multi-faceted anti-Hispanism of Sarmiento on many levels: starting from
orthography, embracing linguistic variation and changes in Latin America,
preaching idea of the progress of the languages, etc., etc. Sarmiento
considered Castilian culture "petrified" and norms of Castilian spelling
baseless and obsolete. To be useful for Latin America they require a
reform (In his essay "Memoria sobre ortografia americana," 1843).
Sarmiento, proud to be a self-made man, in many polemical articles
expressed ideas which emerged in
linguistic literature to the end of the 19th century.

Article #20
Obediente & D'Introno
Andres Bello: sus Antecedentes en la Filosofia Britanica y su Proyeccion
en la Linguistica Moderna (p. 407-422)
Enrique Obediente (Universidad de Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela) and
Francesco D'Introno (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, U.S.A.)
analyze relation of the grammatical thought of Andres Bello (1781-1865)
with that of the British empiricists, which he studied in the Caracas
University before his trip to England and which he familiarized even more
during his longtime stay in London (for 19 years). The authors give a long
list of philosophers whose ideas were adopted by Bello and whose works
were cited by him, but concentrate on three most important ones, namely
Locke (1632-1704), Thomas Reid (1710-1796), and Douglas Stewart
(1753-1828). Discussing theories of
these three, they point to ideas which were sources for Bello's linguistic
principles. Obediente and D'Introno state that Bello did not borrowed
these ideas automatically, but subjected them to rigorous analysis and
critically elaborated them.
>From the empiricists Bello derives the idea that there is no innate
universal grammar with the rules present in all languages as well as his
concept of language as an independent system of arbitrary and conventional
signs. From Reid he derived his interpretation of language evolution: at
the start signs are 'natural' (i.e. they allow humans to communicate
without any
particular language), and then they become 'artificial', that is arbitrary
and conventional, proper of each grammatical system.
The second part of the article devoted Bello's ideas which approximate
those of modern linquistics, including some ideas of generative grammar
(of. N. Chomsky).
Among those: Bello proposes the notion of an underlying proposition
comparable to that of deep structure; in his analysis of relative clauses
and elliptical constructions, he uses concepts that are familiar to
generative grammarians.
Authors also show some differences between Bello and Chomsky, the major
one consists in that Bello assumes language to be innate and independent
of other cognitive systems.
The most specialized is the third part where the authors discuss some
examples of Bello's analysis.

Article #21
Alvares Martinez
Rodolfo Lenz: Contribucion Gramatical y Lexicografica (p. 423-437)
Maria Angeles Alvares Martinez (Universidad de Alcala) examines Rodolfo
Lenz (1863-1938) a German linguist and philologist who in 1890 left
Germany for Chile and taught lingistics and philology in Santiago. Some
historians and linguists equate his importance for Chile as that of Don
Ramon Menendez Pidal for Spain. He spread teachings of the German school
of Philology in South America, especially in the fields of historical
linguistics and
synchronic and dialectological studies. The breath of Lenz's knowledge and
works was estonishing. The authors discuss his pedagogic and linguistic
activities and show importance of his ideas, especially those expressed in
his seminal works La oracion y sus partes (1920) and Diccionario
etimologico de las voces chilenas derivadas de lenguas indigenas
americanas (1905-1910).
One of sections of this article speaks on Lenz's constructive criticism of
Bello's gramatical theories, the other on Lenz's titanic labor on his
dictionary (1905-1910) including a short list of some principles which
underlie his lexicographical and dialectological Lebenswerk.
The final evaluation of the autors which logically follows their analysis
says that Lenz was definitely a great modern linguist.

In conclusion, we have to state that this volume is a worthy companion to
History of Linguistics in Spain (1986). Both of volumes contain chapters
that for long time will serve both the teachers and reserchers in Spanish,
Romance and general linguistics. They should be on the library shelves of
any academic institution which includes liberal arts in its curriculum,
and especially recommended to research libraries.

About the Reviewer:
Hayim Y. Sheynin, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania). Interests: Semitic,
Jewish, Romance and Slavic philology, Historical linguistics, Medieval
Hebrew literature, Judeo-Spanish, Paleography and Booklore.