The Grammar of Nebrija is often credited as one of the first published grammars of a Romance language, and it set the standard for subsequent colonial grammars. It was the first book of their kind to written for European language and also for Spanish. The book also included rules for the Spanish language including grammar and also included verbal conjugation for readers of that present era to gain an understanding of the Spanish language.
The book was divided further into books which included orthography which is the method of spelling and having to do with the Spanish alphabet; prosody which is the rhythm and the intonation of the speech which is intended to help the speaker pronounce and speak Spanish how it is intended. The book also included Etymology which is the study of the basis of the word or how the word came to be; diction which is how the words in Spanish are intended to pronounced and syntax which is the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.
Antonio de Nebrija wrote The Grammar of Nebrijia in 1492 which was around the time Columbus decided to sail to across the Indian Ocean to discover a shorter path to India; this book was mostly helpful for Columbus. Since he landed in what he thought was India, he discovered natives and Spanish was introduced; the de facto decision became to teach the natives Spanish and strip of their native tongue which would allow Spanish to be the primary language spoken.
Antonio de Nebrija’s intention for writing and publishing The Grammar of Nebrija was so that people who didn’t and couldn’t understand Spanish would be able to learn and understand Spanish. His book set the groundwork for many of today’s books and language learning programs that assist people in learning a new language for example the Rosetta Stone which is a technology based computer program that assists people in learning a brand new language without the difficulty of tapes and books.
Antonio de Nebrija believed that language and grammar should be embraced and not viewed upon as being hard and ugly. He felt that learning Spanish would have the Spanish Empire move ahead and conquer more territory than that of the English. This was very prophetic considering since The Grammar of Nebrijia was subsequently published the same year Columbus ventured out on the Santa Maria along with three other ships and his men on a quest to seek a new and better path to India than the long and arduous one that Columbus had been taking beforehand.
"Language has always been the perfect instrument of empire."
--Antonio de Nebrija stated this in the Granidtica Castellana.
The vision of Antonio de Nebrija, Bishop of Avila, as stated in the prologue of the Castilian Grammar he published in 1492, was one that was to prove prophetic in the following years, as the Spanish Empire extended its reign across the Atlantic. It was prophetic, in that throughout the conquest of the Americas, and the centuries of colonialism, language was used by the Spanish as a tool for conquest: to consolidate political power, to spread the Catholic faith, and to unify the empire.
The language policies in the colonial period, however, were not always aimed at spreading the Spanish language. In some situations, Spanish was used as a medium for control, whereas in others, Spaniards employed the Native…