Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 460s

465: The Evolution of Spanish by Tom Lathrop

DDC_465

465: Lathrop, Thomas A. The Evolution of Spanish. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 1996. 194 pp. ISBN 0-936388-58-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 400: Language
  • 460: Spanish and Portuguese languages
  • 465: Grammar and syntax of standard Spanish

One of the more interesting parts of a language is how individual words form over the years. In English, some words were formed from the fusing together of two existing words or from the spontaneous creation of a word that fills a gap in our collective description. Most of the time, however, words just evolve. Starting with one spelling and meaning, they slowly morph into new forms and new contexts. The same process happens in nearly every language in the world. Thomas Lathrop’s Evolution of Spanish is a look into the roots of the language, and from these roots, he hopes new understanding can grow.

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460: A Brief History of the Spanish Language by David A. Pharies

DDC_460

460.9: Pharies, David A. A Brief History of the Spanish Language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. 237 pp. ISBN 0-226-66682-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 400: Language
  • 460: Spanish and Portuguese languages
  • +09: History

Anyone who speaks a language understands that they have a history. Words, phrases, and pronunciations have changed over time, bringing with them new constructions, new ideas, and new ways of expressing ourselves. David A. Pharies’s Brief History of the Spanish Language sets out to show how all that happened for a single language: Spanish. Starting with a refresher on the concepts of sociolinguistics, phonology, and morphology, he takes the reader through the last two millennia, from Latin to Castilian to Modern Spanish. He stops along the way to take a look a few pieces of the language in more depth, such as the noticeably lisped sounds in Castilian Spanish and the way that modern Spanish is taking on a decidedly more English air.

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468: 1001 Pitfalls in Spanish by Marion P. Holt and Julianne Dueber

468.2421: Holt, Marion P & Julianne Dueber. 1001 Pitfalls in Spanish. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1997. 278 pp. ISBN 0-8120-9650-9.

Dewey Construction:

  • 400: Language
  • 460: Spanish and Portuguese languages
  • 468: Standard Spanish usage
  • 468.2: Structural approach to expression
  • 468.2421: Structural approach to expression for persons whose first language is English

As a kid growing up in Europe (I was a military dependent and spent almost the entire 1990’s overseas), I tried to learn the languages of the lands we lived in (except Turkish—it had a completely different structure than anything I was used to). French came first, with its flowing consonants and almost-constant sensuality. When compared to the German I had to learn five years later, it was, to me at least, the superior language. And like all things, primacy helps memory. I still have a lot more of my French than my German. But, coming from a foreign background, I had to pick up the local language is bits and pieces and muddled through many conversations. Many times, I simply translated my English thoughts word for word, causing unfortunate mix-ups in meaning and garbled communication.

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