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Key People:Robert BlyAnthony MundayRosario FerréGregory RabassaEdward FitzGerald...(Show more)Related Topics:Romance languagesLadino languageGalician languageMozarabic languageCastilian dialect...(Show more)

Spanish language, Spanish Español, romantic language (Indo-European family) talked as a an initial language by some 360 million world worldwide. In the at an early stage 21st century, Mexico had actually the greatest variety of speakers (more 보다 85 million), complied with by Colombia (more 보다 40 million), Argentina (more 보다 35 million), the United claims (more 보다 31 million), and Spain (more than 30 million).


Spanish is the (or an) main language the 18 American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela) and also of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, along with Spain in Europe and also Equatorial Guinea in Africa.


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Although many South and main Americans use native Indian languages as their first language, Spanish is proceeding to spread out there. Approximated numbers of speakers (both as a very first language and as a 2nd language) room as follows, in stimulate of number importance: Mexico, 110 million; Colombia, 41 million; Argentina, around 40 million; Spain, much more than 38 million; Venezuela, some 27 million; Peru, 26 million; Chile, much more than 16 million; Ecuador, much more than 14 million; Cuba, some 11 million; Guatemala, practically 10 million; Bolivia, more than 8 million; the Dominican Republic, more than 8 million; El Salvador, some 6 million; Honduras, 6 million; Nicaragua, almost 6 million; Paraguay, much more than 4 million; Costa Rica, around 4 million; Puerto Rico, an ext than 3 million; Uruguay, an ext than 3 million; Panama, 3 million; Equatorial Guinea, 627,000 (mostly 2nd language). There space 100,000 to 200,000 speaker of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), mainly in Israel.


Spanish is additionally known (particularly in Latin America, but increasingly in Spain itself) together Castilian, ~ the dialect from which contemporary standard Spanish developed. The dialect arose in Cantabria in the ninth century roughly the town of Burgos in north-central Spain (Old Castile) and, together Spain to be reconquered native the Moors, spread out southward to central Spain (New Castile) around Madrid and also Toledo by the 11th century. In the so late 15th century, the kingdoms that Castile and Leon combined with the of Aragon, and also Castilian ended up being the main language of all of Spain. The regional dialects that Aragon, Navarra, Leon, Asturias, and Santander were crowded out gradually and today survive only in diverted rural areas. Galician (a language with many similarities come Portuguese), spoken in northwestern Spain, and Catalan, spoken in eastern and also northeastern Spain, were also much decreased but began a renewal in the so late 20th century.

The dialect of Spanish used in Arab-occupied Spain prior to the 12th century was referred to as Mozarabic. A remarkable archaic kind of Spanish with numerous borrowings from Arabic, that is recognized primarily native Mozarabic refrains (called kharjahs) added to Arabic and Hebrew poems.

Spanish dialects

Outside the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish is spoken in practically all of central and south America except Brazil (where Portuguese is spoken), and in the Canary Islands, parts of Morocco, and the Philippines. Latin American Spanish has actually a variety of regional dialects; every are derived from Castilian but differ in several points of phonology from europe Spanish. Typical of Latin American Spanish is the usage of the /s/ sound whereby Castilian has the lisplike /th/ sound (for native spelled through a z or c before e or i) and also replacement the the Castilian /ly/ sound (spelled ll) v a /y/ sound or even with the /zh/ sound the the z in English azure or the j in French jour.

In Spanish the situation system of Latin has actually been fully lost other than for subject and object creates for pronouns. Nouns are marked for mrs or feminine gender, and plurals are significant by the enhancement of -s or -es; adjectives readjust endings come agree with nouns. The verb system is complicated but, by and large, regular: it provides indicative, imperative, and subjunctive moods; preterite, imperfect, present, future, conditional, and also a selection of perfect and progressive tenses; and passive and reflexive constructions.

The dialect spoken by many Spanish speakers is basically Castilian, and indeed Castellano is quiet the name used for the language in number of American countries. The other languages talked in Spain incorporate Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Caló, Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Extremaduran, Fala, and Galician. The dominance of Castilian amongst Spanish dialect is the an outcome of the specific circumstances that the Reconquista (the occupation of Moorish Spain by the Christian claims of Spain, perfect in 1492), with which the language infect the south. Having created itself in Spain, the Castilian dialect, perhaps in the southern, or Andalusian, form, to be then exported come the new World during the period of discovery from the mid-15th to the mid-16th century.

Standard Castilian is no much longer the language that Old Castile, i beg your pardon was related to as rustic and also archaic currently in the 15th century, but a modified kind developed in Toledo in the 16th and 17th centuries and, an ext recently, in Madrid. Spanish-language American nations have arisen their very own standards, differing largely in pronounced level (in i beg your pardon they often agree v the southern Spanish dialects) and in vocabulary (in which loanwords native English are much more frequent), yet differentiation is comparatively slight, and some americans still regard true Castilian as their model. On the whole, American creates of Spanish are an ext musical and suave than the Castilian of Madrid, but it is impressive how little deformation, or creolization, that the language has occurred.

Judeo-Spanish is the continuation of an archaic form of Castilian, mirroring the state of the language prior to 16th-century standardization. The expulsion the the Jews native the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 influenced mainly the humbler classes, with the affluent preferring “conversion,” however the latter regularly later decided voluntary exile to work out in England and also the Netherlands, wherein their Sephardic tongue precariously survives together a spiritual language in a few communities. Earlier refugees fled come the Middle east and, as soon as settled, ongoing to develop learned functions in a literary archaic kind of Castilian written in an adapted Hebrew script.

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Written Spanish

The an initial texts in Spanish covers scattered words glossing 2 Latin messages of the 10th century, one indigenous Rioja and the other from Castile; the language in the two documents shows couple of dialect differences. An additional document, written about 980, seems to be Leonese in character. The Mozarabic kharjahs are the next oldest surviving texts, however by the middle of the 12th century, the renowned epic city Cantar de mío Cid (“Song of my Cid”) had appeared in a language that is usually Castilian. Literary functions in Leonese show up until the 14th century and in a conventionalized Aragonese till the 15th century, but Castilian to be destined indigenous the very first to get the top hand, also making an impact on Portuguese, especially during the 15th and early 16th centuries. For a complete treatment of Spanish-language literature, see Spanish literature; Latin American literature.