A Brief History Of The Spanish Language: Second Edition by David A. PhariesA Brief History Of The Spanish Language: Second Edition by David A. Pharies

A Brief History Of The Spanish Language: Second Edition

byDavid A. Pharies

Paperback | November 12, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$44.68 online 
$45.50 list price
Earn 223 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Not available in stores


Since its publication in 2007, A Brief History of the Spanish Language has become the leading introduction to the history of one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. Moving from the language’s Latin roots to its present-day forms, this concise book offers readers insights into the origin and evolution of Spanish, the historical and cultural changes that shaped it, and its spread around the world.

A Brief History of the Spanish Language focuses on the most important aspects of the development of the Spanish language, eschewing technical jargon in favor of straightforward explanations. Along the way, it answers many of the common questions that puzzle native speakers and non-native speakers alike, such as: Why do some regions use while others use vos? How did the th sound develop in Castilian? And why is it la mesa but el agua?

David A. Pharies, a world-renowned expert on the history and development of Spanish, has updated this edition with new research on all aspects of the evolution of Spanish and current demographic information. This book is perfect for anyone with a basic understanding of Spanish and a desire to further explore its roots. It also provides an ideal foundation for further study in any area of historical Spanish linguistics and early Spanish literature.

A Brief History of the Spanish Language is a grand journey of discovery, revealing in a beautifully compact format the fascinating story of the language in both Spain and Spanish America.
David A. Pharies is associate dean for humanities and professor of Spanish at the University of Florida. He is the editor in chief of the sixth edition of the University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary.
Title:A Brief History Of The Spanish Language: Second EditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.9 inPublished:November 12, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022613394X

ISBN - 13:9780226133942

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Chapter 1: Language Change
Inexorability of Language Change
Nature of Language Change
Factors That Produce Innovative Variants
Factors in the Selection of Variants

Chapter 2: The Genealogy of Spanish
Language Families
Some Important Language Families
Indo-European Language Family
Italic Branch of Indo- European
Bilingualism and Diglossia
Latin and Romance
Genealogy of Spanish

Chapter 3: External History of the Iberian Peninsula through the Thirteenth Century
Iberian Peninsula before the Arrival of the Romans
Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula
End of the Roman Empire
Visigothic Invasion
Muslim Invasion
An Extinct Variety of Ibero- Romance: Mozarabic
Rise of Castilian

Chapter 4: The Latin Language
Stages in the History of Latin
Orthography and Pronunciation
Nominal Morphology
Verbal Morphology
Text Analysis

Chapter 5: From Latin to Medieval Castilian: Phonology
Nature of Phonological Change
Most Important Phonological Changes through Medieval Castilian
Phonological Derivations
Exceptions to Regular Phonological Change
Text Analysis
Alphonsine Orthography

Chapter 6: From Latin to Medieval Castilian: Morphology and Syntax
Interdependence of Morphological and Syntactic Changes
Nominal Morphology
A Linguistic Myth: The Supposed Cacophony of the Pronoun Combination ***le lo
Verbal Morphology
Principal Syntactic Innovations
Text Analysis
Appendix: Lexical Archaisms in Alphonsine Prose

Chapter 7: From Medieval Castilian to Modern Spanish
Political and Cultural History of Spain after the Middle Ages
An Archaic Dialect: Sephardi
Linguistic Changes
A Linguistic Myth: The Lisping King
Text Analysis
A Linguistic Myth: The Phonemic Character of Spanish Orthography

Chapter 8: History of the Spanish Lexicon
Sources of Words in Spanish
The Reduplicative Playful Template
Stages in the History of the Spanish Lexicon

Chapter 9: Varieties of Spanish
Varieties of Spanish in the Two Castiles
Canary Island Spanish
American Spanish
Demography of the Spanish Language
Four Representative Varieties of American Spanish
Spanish in the United States

Rudiments of Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
Glossary of Linguistic Terms
Works Cited
Index of Spanish Words Cited
Subject Index

Editorial Reviews

"Pharies’ A Brief History of the Spanish Language achieves exactly what its author appears to have set out to do, viz. present a wide-ranging, succinct and readable account of the history of Spanish. Better still, its attractive presentation, both stylistic and typographical, will provide encouragement to students who otherwise might regard Spanish diachronic linguistics as a rather arid affair."