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The political imprint on the first Spanish American lexicography: Republicanism and antirepublicanism

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The political imprint on the first Spanish American lexicography: Republicanism and antirepublicanism

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Abstract

So far the study of the first Latin American lexicography after it's independence from Spain has neglected the close relationship between the first dictionaries, referred as "provincialism dictionaries", and the socio-historical context in which they were elaborated. The process of nation-building, especially in relation to the creation of a state policy and its impact in Latin American societies, is an element that makes clear the nature of the works in question, so that we can talk about a decisive political imprint on them. This paper proposes a renewed study of the foundational works of Spanish American lexicography from this perspective and exemplified with reading and comparison of the two most representative dictionaries, the Zorobabel Rodríguez's Diccionario de chilenismos (1875) and the Juan de Arona's Diccionario de peruanismos. Ensayo filológico (1883-1884), especially in relation to the notion of republicanism.

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Article
The Spanish speaking world is characterized by a strong tradition to consider the Spanish language in America as a deviation from the variety spoken in Spain and to describe the lexicon in differential and contrastive dictionaries. Since the 1970s, projects of integrational dictionaries emerged in some Spanish American countries, initiated by the Mexican project Diccionario del espanol de Mexico, which rendered obsolete the differential ones. Nevertheless some language Academies continued the tradition to elaborate and sell differential dictionaries. In this comparative review of both conceptions the dictionary is first highlighted as a discourse (Foucault). It is then stated that in differential dictionaries there is an underlying contradictory discourse of a divisionist conception of the Spanish language which - contrary to the official aim to contribute to the union of the Spanish language - views the American varieties as a deviation and thus encourages their stigmatization. Furthermore it is argued that contrary to the proclamation of documenting the linguistic identity of a country, differential dictionaries don't fulfill this aim while integral dictionaries are indeed able to do this. Furthermore, it is shown that the Diccionario del espanol de Mexico offers a better lexicographic quality.