Antonio del Rincón

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Antonio del Rincón
Born 1566
Died 2 March 1601(1601-03-02) (aged 34–35)

Antonio del Rincón (1566 – March 2, 1601) was a Jesuit priest and grammarian, who wrote one of the earliest grammars of the Nahuatl language (known generally as the Arte mexicana, MS. published in 1595).

A native of Texcoco from the early decades of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and descendant of the tlatoque (ruling nobility of Texcoco), del Rincón was a native speaker of the indigenous language. Historians debate whether both his parents were indigenous Nahuas or whether he was a mestizo of half-Nahua, half-Spanish parentage. Historian Kelly McDonough considers him one of the first Nahua intellectuals.[1] Guzman Betancourt calls him "the first native linguist of the New World". He entered the Company of Jesus at the age of 17 and quickly became known for his good grasp of the Nahuatl language and his sound theology.[2]

His grammar ranks alongside those of Andrés de Olmos and Alonso de Molina as an influential primary source for the language as spoken in the post-conquest period. He was the first scholar to hear and mark the glottal stop and vowel length distinction in nahuatl, and he was an important influence on his later Jesuit colleague Horacio Carochi, who elaborated on Rincon's work in his own famous arte.[3] Nahuatl grammarians have praised Rincón for being the first to analyze the Nahuatl language on its own terms, instead of building on the latinate molds of European grammars. [2] Linguist Una Canger has written that "When Carochi praises Rincón and underlines how he teaches with "such mastery", it is because of the organization of the Arte and because Rincón analyzes the language not according to the Latin model, but on its own terms. What Carochi adopted from Rincón is exactly the organization of the Arte.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McDonough 2011.
  2. ^ a b Guzmán Betancourt 2002.
  3. ^ Smith-Stark 2000.
  4. ^ "Cuando Carochi alaba a Rincón y subraya que enseña con ‘tanto magisterio’, es por la organización del Arte y también porque Rincón analiza la lengua no según el modelo latino, sino conforme a la lengua misma. Lo que ha adoptado Carochi de Rincón es precisamente la organización del Arte." Una Canger, “El Arte de Horacio Carochi”, in Klaus Zimmermann, editor, La descripción de las lenguas amerindias en la época colonial, Frankfurt/Madrid, Vervuert/Iberoamericana, 1997, p. 67.

References[edit]

Guzmán Betancourt, Ignacio (2002). "Antonio del Rincón (1566–1601): primer gramático mexicano" (PDF online reproduction). Estudios de cultura náhuatl (in Spanish). México, D.F.: Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 33: 253–265. ISSN 0071-1675. OCLC 1568281. 
Peñafiel, Antonio (1885). "Introduccion". Arte mexicana compuesta por el padre Antonio Del Rincón de la compañia de Jesus: Dirigido al illustrissimo y reverendissimo s. Don Diego Romano obispo de Tlaxcallan, y del consejo de su magestad, &c. En Mexico en casa de Pedro, Balli. 1595 (PDF facsimile, University of Chicago Library digital collections) (in Spanish) (Reprinted 1885 under the care of Dr. Antonio Peñafiel ed.). México D.F.: Oficina tip. de la Secretaría de fomento. pp. iii–v. OCLC 162761360. 
McDonough, K. S. (2011). "Indigenous Intellectuals in Early Colonial Mexico: The Case of Antonio del Rincón, Nahua Grammarian and Priest". Colonial Latin American Review. 20 (2): 145–165. 
Smith-Stark, T. C. (2000). "Rincón y Carochi: la tradición jesuítica de descripción del náhuatl". In Otto Zwartjes, ed. Las Gramáticas Misioneras de Tradición Hispánica (siglos XVI-XVII). Rodopi.