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Royal Spanish Academy

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Royal Spanish Academy
Real Academia Española
AbbreviationRAE
Formation1713; 311 years ago (1713)
FounderThe Duke of Escalona
PurposeLinguistic prescription and research
HeadquartersMadrid, Spain
Region served
Hispanophone regions and populations
Official language
Spanish
Director
Santiago Muñoz Machado
Main organ
Junta de Gobierno
AffiliationsAssociation of Spanish Language Academies
Websitewww.rae.es Edit this at Wikidata

The Royal Spanish Academy (Spanish: Real Academia Española [reˈal akaˈðemja espaˈɲola], generally abbreviated as RAE) is Spain's official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, and is affiliated with national language academies in 22 other Hispanophone nations through the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language.[1]

The RAE dedicates itself to language planning by applying linguistic prescription aimed at promoting linguistic unity within and between various territories, to ensure a common standard. The proposed language guidelines are shown in a number of works.

Motto[edit]

In the awareness, according to the vision of the time that the Spanish language had reached a moment of utmost perfection, the purpose of the Royal Academy was "to establish the voices and words of the Castilian language in their greatest propriety, elegance and purity." . This purpose was represented with an emblem formed by a fiery crucible placed on the fire, with the legend Limpia, fija y da esplendor ("cleans, fixes and gives splendor").[2] [3] Therefore, the institution was born as an effective work center, as the founders said, "at the service of the honor of the nation."

This vocation for collective utility became the main hallmark of the Spanish Academy, differentiating itself from other academies that had proliferated in the golden centuries and that were conceived as mere occasional literary gatherings.

History[edit]

In 1711, Spain, unlike France, Italy and Portugal, did not have a large dictionary with a comprehensive and collegially elaborated lexicographical repertoire.7 The initial nucleus of the future Academy was formed that same year by the eight novatores who met in the library of the palace of Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Duke of Escalona and Marquess of Villena, located in the Plaza de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid.[4]

The Spanish Academy was founded in 3 August 1713 on the initiative of Pacheco, with the purpose of "fixing the voices and words of the Castilian language in their greatest propriety, elegance and purity".[5] The objective was to fix the language in the state of fullness that it had reached during the 16th century and that had been consolidated in the 17th century. The Italian Accademia della Crusca founded in 1582 and the Académie Française founded in 1635 were taken as models for its creation.[6] The first official session of the new corporation was held at the residence of Pacheco on 6 July 1713, an event that is recorded in the book of minutes, begun on 3 August 1713.[7] Its creation, with twenty-four elected members[8] was approved on 3 October 1714 by Royal Decree of Philip V, that gave the academy the right to be called the "Royal Spanish Academy".[9] This meant that the academicians enjoyed the preeminences and exemptions granted to the servants of the Royal Household.[5] It had its first seat at number 26 Valverde Street, from where it moved to Alarcón Street, corner of Felipe IV, its definitive seat.[10]


The RAE began establishing rules for the orthography of Spanish beginning in 1741 with the first edition of the Ortographía (spelled Ortografía from the second edition onwards). The proposals of the Academy became the official norm in Spain by royal decree in 1844, and they were also gradually adopted by the Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. Several reforms were introduced in the Nuevas Normas de Prosodia y Ortografía (1959, New Norms of Prosody and Orthography). Since the establishment of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language in 1951, the Spanish academy works in close consultation with the other Spanish language academies in its various works and projects. The 1999 Orthography was the first to be edited by the twenty two academies together.[11] The current rules and practical recommendations on spelling are presented in the latest edition of the Ortografía (2010).

The headquarters, opened in 1894, is located at Calle Felipe IV, 4, in the ward of Jerónimos, next to the Museo del Prado. The Center for the Studies of the Royal Spanish Academy, opened in 2007, is located at Calle Serrano 187–189.

Pacheco in 1700
Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Marquis of Villena c.1700

Fundamentals[edit]

RAE motto from the title page of one of its publications.
Inauguration of the RAE building in Madrid by Alfonso XIII, 1894
Title page of Fundación y estatútos de la Real Académia Españóla (Foundation and statutes of the Royal Spanish Academy) (1715)

According to Salvador Gutiérrez, an academic numerary of the institution, the Academy does not dictate the rules but studies the language, collects information and presents it. The rules of the language are simply the continued use of expressions, some of which are collected by the Academy. Although he also says that it is important to read and write correctly.[12] Article 1 of the statutes of the Royal Spanish Academy, translated from Spanish, says the following:[13]

The Academy is an institution with legal personality whose main mission is to ensure that the changes experienced by the Spanish language in its constant adaptation to the needs of its speakers do not break the essential unity it maintains throughout the Hispanic world. It must equally ensure that this evolution preserves the characteristic nature of the language, as gradually consolidated over the centuries, as well as establishing and disseminating the criteria for its proper and correct use, and contributing to its splendor.

To achieve these ends, it shall study and promote the study of the history and present of Spanish, it shall disseminate the writings, literary—especially classics—and non-literary, that it deems important for the knowledge of such matters, and will seek to keep alive the memory of those who, in Spain or in the Americas, have cultivated our language with glory.

As a member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, it shall maintain a special relation with the corresponding and associated academies.

Composition[edit]

Partial view of the library at the RAE

Members of the Academy are known as Académicos de número (English: Academic Numerary), chosen from among prestigious people within the arts and sciences, including several Spanish-language authors, known as The Immortals (Spanish: Los Inmortales), similarly to their French Academy counterparts. The numeraries (Spanish: Números) are elected for life by the other academicians. Each academician holds a seat labeled with a letter from the Spanish alphabet, with upper and lower case letters denoting separate seats. Only eight letters of the alphabet do not have—nor have they had in the past—representation in the seats of the RAE: v, w, x, y, z, Ñ, W, Y.[14]

Countries with a Spanish language academy

The Academy has included Latin American members from the time of Rafael María Baralt, although some Spanish-speaking countries have their own academies of the language.

Current members[edit]

Seat Member Year
O Pere Gimferrer Torrens 1985
p Francisco Rico Manrique (pending renewal)[15] 1987
c Víctor García de la Concha 1992
l Emilio Lledó Íñigo 1994
C Luis Goytisolo Gay 1995
L Mario Vargas Llosa 1996
u Antonio Muñoz Molina 1996
V Juan Luis Cebrián Echarri 1997
t Ignacio Bosque Muñoz 1997
ñ Luis María Anson Oliart [es] 1998
I Luis Mateo Díez Rodríguez 2001
N Guillermo Rojo Sánchez [es] 2001
k José Antonio Pascual Rodríguez 2002
E Carmen Iglesias Cano 2002
T Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez 2003
G José Manuel Sánchez Ron [es] 2003
j Álvaro Pombo García de los Ríos 2004
o Antonio Fernández Alba [es] (pending renewal)[16] 2006
h José Manuel Blecua Perdices [es] 2006
a Pedro García Barreno [es] 2006
S Salvador Gutiérrez Ordóñez [es] 2008
D Darío Villanueva Prieto 2008
m José María Merino Sánchez 2009
g Soledad Puértolas Villanueva 2010
P Inés Fernández-Ordóñez Hernández [es] 2011
Q Pedro Álvarez de Miranda de la Gándara [es] 2011
e Juan Gil Fernández 2011
f José B. Terceiro Lomba [es] 2012
r Santiago Muñoz Machado 2013
b Miguel Sáenz Sagaseta de Ilúrdoz 2013
n Carme Riera Guilera 2013
Z José Luis Gómez García 2014
B Aurora Egido Martínez [es] 2014
F Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón 2016
H Félix de Azúa Comella 2016
U Clara Janés Nadal 2016
s María Paz Battaner Arias 2017
J Carlos García Gual [es] 2019
M Juan Antonio Mayorga Ruano 2019
K José María Bermúdez de Castro Risueño 2022
i Paloma Díaz-Mas 2022
d Dolores Corbella Díaz [es] 2023
q Asunción Gómez Pérez 2023
X Clara Sánchez 2023
A Pedro Cátedra García [es] TBA[a]
R Javier Cercas TBA[a]
  1. ^ a b Numerary was elected but has not yet taken the assigned seat
View of the front facade of the RAE building

Notable past academicians[edit]

Publications[edit]

Joint publications of the RAE and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language
  • Diccionario de la lengua española (Spanish Language Dictionary). The 1st edition was published in 1780, and the 23rd edition in 2014.[17] It can be consulted for free online as of October 2017[18] and was published in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries to mark the tricentennial of the founding of the RAE.[citation needed]
    • The Diccionario esencial de la lengua española (Essential Dictionary of the Spanish Language) was published in 2006 as a compendium of the 22nd edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language.[19]
  • Ortografía de la lengua española (Spanish Language Orthography). The 1st edition was published in 1741 and the latest edition in 2010. The edition of 1999 was the first spelling book to cover the whole Hispanic world, replacing the Nuevas normas de prosodia y ortografía (New Rules for Prosody and Spelling) of 1959.[citation needed]
  • Nueva gramática de la lengua española (New Spanish Language Grammar, 1st edition: 1771, latest edition: 2009).[20][21] The latest edition is the first grammar to cover the whole Hispanic world, replacing the prior Gramática de la lengua española (Grammar of the Spanish Language, 1931) and the Esbozo de una Nueva gramática de la lengua española (Outline of a New Grammar of the Spanish Language, 1973). The Nueva gramática de la lengua española is available in 3 different versions: The Edición completa (Complete Edition) includes 3,800 pages in two volumes to describe morphology and syntax (published December 4, 2009) plus a third volume of phonetics and phonology and a DVD (early 2010).[citation needed]
    • The Manual edition is a single 750-page volume, which was presented at the 5th Congress of the Spanish Language which convened virtually in Valparaíso, Chile, due to the earthquake, and was released on April 23, 2010.[22]
    • The Gramática básica (Basic Grammar) is a 305-page volume directed to people who received secondary education, and which can be adaptable for school use; it was first published in 2011.[23][24][25]
    • The RAE has also published two other works by individual editors: Gramática de la lengua española (Grammar of the Spanish Language, by Emilio Alarcos Llorach, 1994) and Gramática descriptiva de la lengua española (Descriptive Grammar of the Spanish Language, 3 volumes, directed by Ignacio Bosque and Violeta Demonte, 1999).[citation needed]
  • Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Doubts, 1st edition: 2005). Resolves doubts related to the use of the Spanish language. Can be consulted online since 2006.[26]
  • Diccionario del estudiante (Student's Dictionary, 1st edition: 2005). Directed to students in secondary education between 12 and 18 years-old.[27]
    • Diccionario práctico del estudiante (Student's Practical Dictionary, 1st edition: 2007) is an adapted version for Latin America of the Student's Dictionary.[28]
  • Diccionario de americanismos (Dictionary of Americanisms) is a listing of Spanish language terms of the Americas and their meaning. First edition published in 2010.[29]

See also[edit]


Bibliography[edit]

  • Sánchez, José; Sanchez, Jose (May 1944). "Evolution of the Spanish Dictionary". Hispania. 27 (2): 131. doi:10.2307/334365.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ASOCIACIÓN DE ACADEMIAS DE LA LENGUA ESPAÑOLA" (PDF). Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 4, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Medina, Alberto (2013). Valle, José Del (ed.). A Political History of Spanish: The Making of a Language. Cambridge University Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-107-00573-0.
  3. ^ "The feat of the Real Academia Española". Language Collections Blog. Cambridge University Libraries. Retrieved 7 July 2024.
  4. ^ Concha, Víctor García de la (10 June 2014). La Real Academia Española. Vida e historia (in Spanish). Grupo Planeta Spain. p. 19. ISBN 978-84-670-4202-3.
  5. ^ a b "Ortografía de la lengua española". Real Academia Española y Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (in Spanish). Madrid: Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on 5 July 2024. Retrieved 10 July 2024.
  6. ^ Kukuk, Nick (12 June 2023). "The Real Academia Española in the Age of Social Networks". ILCEA (51). doi:10.4000/ilcea.17329.
  7. ^ Concha, Víctor García de la (10 June 2014). "La Gesta Del Diccionario". La Real Academia Española. Vida e historia (in Spanish). Grupo Planeta Spain. p. 43. ISBN 978-84-670-4202-3.
  8. ^ Concha, Víctor García de la (10 June 2014). "La Gesta Del Diccionario". La Real Academia Española. Vida e historia (in Spanish). Grupo Planeta Spain. p. 35. ISBN 978-84-670-4202-3.
  9. ^ Terry, Edward Davis (1960). "The Founding Date of the Real Academia Española". Romance Notes. 2 (1): 31–35. ISSN 0035-7995. JSTOR 43800040.
  10. ^ Répide, Pedro (2011). Las calles de Madrid. Madrid: Ediciones La librería. p. 751. ISBN 9788487290909.
  11. ^ Real Academia Española (1999). Ortografía de la Lengua Española (PDF) (in Spanish). pp. v–viii. ISBN 84-239-9250-0. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  12. ^ Plaza, J. M. (12 December 2013). "Dequeístas, leístas y compañía... hay una salida" [Dequeístas, leístas, and company... there is a way out]. El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  13. ^ "ESTATUTOS Y REGLAMENTO DE LA REAL ACADEMIA ESPAÑOLA" (PDF). Real Academia Española. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 28, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "Académicos". rae.es/ (in Spanish).
  15. ^ "Académico Francisco Rico Manrique".
  16. ^ "Academico Antonio Fernandez de Alba".
  17. ^ "Ediciones del diccionario académico" (PDF). Real Academia Española. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  18. ^ "Diccionario de la lengua española". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  19. ^ Diccionario esencial de la lengua española. Real Academia Española. 2006. ISBN 9788467023145. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  20. ^ "Prólogo" (PDF). Real Academia Española. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  21. ^ Nueva gramática de la lengua española. Real Academia Española. 2009. ISBN 9788467032079. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  22. ^ "El diccionario de americanismos incluye setenta mil entradas", Diario ABC, no. 27 de febrero de 2010, 2010, archived from the original on 2016-03-04, retrieved 2010-04-04
  23. ^ "La Real Academia Española y la Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española presentan la Nueva gramática de la lengua española.", Real Academia Española, 2010, archived from the original on March 25, 2010
  24. ^ "La Real Academia Española y la Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española presentan la Nueva gramática de la lengua española". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "Nueva gramática básica". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  26. ^ "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Diccionario del estudiante". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  28. ^ "Diccionario práctico del estudiante". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  29. ^ "Diccionario de americanismos". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2017.

External links[edit]