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A History of the Spanish Language 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
6. Past, Present & Future
You must be warned that this book is very detailed. It uses very technical and linguistic terminology. To read a less technical book about the history of the Spanish language, I recommend "El Espanol y su evolucion."
I am only saying all of this to emphasize that a casual reader interested in the formation of the Spanish language might feel disappointed with this book, as it is an internal (rather than an external) history of the language. That is to say, it is almost exclusively a linguistic history of the language, not a cultural one.
That being said, if you have this previous knowledge, this history manages to be both very detailed and reasonably concise. Even so, due to its highly technical nature, chapters two and three (phonology and morpho-syntax, respectively) may require several readings for full comprehension. This also leads to a major improvement found in the second edition of the text: a glossary on technical terms used throughout. I originally read this in the first edition, which does not have said glossary, and often found myself irritated by the extensive, unexplained linguistic jargon.
Even so, I still have one major complaint about the text, primarily concerned with word definitions in modern Spanish. Throughout the book, Penny shows certain words that have evolved from one language or another into Spanish, as well as a definition of that word. However, it seems he oftentimes only translates the original meaning of the word, rather than giving its definition in modern, spoken Spanish, which seems a bit misleading.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well-researched text on the complex history of Spanish -- not an easy read because of the density of the text and the wealth of data, but a valuable resource in the library of... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Dennis B.
This is a college textbook so it's not easy reading. If you are already familiar with Latin, it will help to show you how Spanish evolved from it. Read morePublished on September 13, 2009 by L. Beeson
An excellent book and if you are interested in where words come from besides Latin (pre-Roman languages, Greek, French, Arabic) etc. Read morePublished on September 12, 2009 by Toni Sammons
Magnificent book. Absolutely wonderful. Well researched and fascinating for anyone who speaks the Spanish language and is interested in linguistics and its history. Read morePublished on February 10, 2008 by Sylvia Shanahan