Real Academia Española
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|Motto||Limpia, fija y da esplendor ("[It] cleans, [it] fixes, and [it] gives splendor")|
|Junta de Gobierno|
|Affiliations||Association of Spanish Language Academies|
|Royal Spanish Academy|
Spanish: Real Academia Española
|Official name: Real Academia Española|
The Real Academia Española (English: Royal Spanish Academy), generally abbreviated as RAE, is the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone (Spanish-speaking) nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies. The RAE's emblem is a fiery crucible, and its motto is "Limpia, fija y da esplendor" ("[It] cleans, [it] fixes, and [it] casts splendour").
The RAE dedicates itself to language planning by applying linguistic prescription aimed at promoting linguistic unity within and between the various territories, to ensure a common standard in accordance with Article 1 of its founding charter: "... to ensure the changes that the Spanish language undergoes [...] do not break the essential unity it enjoys throughout the Spanish-speaking world."
The proposed language guidelines are shown in a number of works. The priorities are the Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española (Dictionary of Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy or DRAE), edited periodically twenty-three times since 1780, and its grammar, last edited in October 2014. The Academy has a formal procedure for admitting words to its publications.
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.
The Real Academia Española was founded in 1713, modelled after the Italian Accademia della Crusca (1582) and the French Académie française (1635), with the purpose "to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Castilian language with propriety, elegance, and purity". King Philip V approved its constitution on 3 October 1714, placing it under the Crown's protection.
Its aristocratic founder, Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Marquis of Villena and Duke of Escalona, described its aims as "to assure that Spanish speakers will always be able to read Cervantes" – by exercising a progressive up-to-date maintenance of the formal language.
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 of America. Several reforms were introduced in the Nuevas Normas de Prosodia y Ortografía (1959), and since then the rules have undergone continued adjustment, in consultation with the other national language academies. The current rules and practical recommendations are presented in the latest edition of the Ortografía (1999).
In 1994, the RAE ruled that the Spanish consonants "CH" (ché) and "LL" (elle) would hence be alphabetized under "C" and under "L", respectively, and not as separate, discrete letters, as in the past. The RAE eliminated monosyllabic accented vowels where the accent did not serve in changing the word's meaning, examples include: "dio" ("gave"), "vio" ("saw"), both had an acutely accented vowel "ó"; yet the monosyllabic word "sé" ("I know", the first person, singular, present of "saber", "to know"; and the singular imperative of "ser", "to be") retains its acutely accented vowel in order to differentiate it from the reflexive pronoun "se".
The primary article of the statutes of the Royal Spanish Academy say the following:
[...] tiene como misión principal velar por que los cambios que experimente la Lengua Española en su constante adaptación a las necesidades de sus hablantes no quiebren la esencial unidad que mantiene en todo el ámbito hispánico. Debe cuidar igualmente de que esta evolución conserve el genio propio de la lengua, tal como ha ido consolidándose con el correr de los siglos, así como de establecer y difundir los criterios de propiedad y corrección, y de contribuir a su esplendor. Para alcanzar dichos fines, estudiará e impulsará los estudios sobre la historia y sobre el presente del español, divulgará los escritos literarios, especialmente clásicos, y no literarios, que juzgue importantes para el conocimiento de tales cuestiones, y procurará mantener vivo el recuerdo de quienes, en España o en América, han cultivado con gloria nuestra lengua. Como miembro de la Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española, mantendrá especial relación con las Academias Correspondientes y Asociadas.
Which, translated into English, reads:
[...] [RAE] has, as its primary mission, to ensure that the changes experienced by the Spanish language in its constant adaptation to the needs of its speakers, [while] not breaking the essential units that maintain understanding [for the speakers of Spanish]. [We] must equally care for this evolution and conserve the genius property of the language, as it has been consolidated with the run of the centuries, and to establish and spread the [core changes] and correction, and to contribute to its splendor. To achieve these ends, [we shall] study and promote the studies about the history and about the present [form] of Spanish, spread literary writings, especially classics, and not writings, which it deems important for the knowledge of such matters, and attempt to maintain the memory of those, in Spain or in [the continents of] America, which have cultivated our language with glory. As member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, [one must] maintain special relation with the corresponding academies and associates.
Members of the Academy are known as Académicos de número (English: Academic Numerary), chosen from among prestigious persons in the arts and sciences, including several Spanish-language authors, known as Los Inmortales (English: the Immortals), similarly to their Académie Française counterparts. The Números are elected for life by the other academicians. Each academician holds a seat labeled with a letter from the Spanish alphabet; upper- and lower-case letters are separate seats.
- (A) Manuel Seco Reymundo (1980)
- (O) Pere Gimferrer Torrens (1985)
- (q) Gregorio Salvador Caja (1987)
- (p) Francisco Rico Manrique (1987)
- (d) Francisco Rodríguez Adrados (1991)
- (c) Víctor García de la Concha (1992)
- (l) Emilio Lledó Íñigo (1994)
- (C) Luis Goytisolo Gay (1995)
- (L) Mario Vargas Llosa, Marquis of Vargas Llosa (1996)
- (u) Antonio Muñoz Molina (1996)
- (V) Juan Luis Cebrián Echarri (1997)
- (t) Ignacio Bosque Muñoz (1997)
- (ñ) Luis María Anson Oliart (1998)
- (I) Luis Mateo Díez Rodríguez (2001)
- (N) Guilermo Rojo Sánchez (2001)
- (k) José Antonio Pascual Rodríguez (2002)
- (E) Carmen Iglesias Cano, Countess of Gisbert (2002)
- (i) Margarita Salas Falgueras, Marquise of Canero (2003)
- (T) Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez (2003)
- (G) José Manuel Sánchez Ron (2003)
- (j) Álvaro Pombo y García de los Ríos (2004)
- (o) Antonio Fernández Alba (2006)
- (X) Francisco Brines Bañó (2006)
- (h) José Manuel Blecua Perdices (2006)
- (a) Pedro García Barreno (2006)
- (S) Salvador Gutiérrez Ordóñez (2008)
- (R) Javier Marías Franco (2008)
- (D) Darío Villanueva Prieto (2008)
- (m) José María Merino (2009)
- (g) Soledad Puértolas Villanueva (2010)
- (P) Inés Fernández-Ordóñez Hernández (2011)
- (Q) Pedro Álvarez de Miranda de la Gándara (2011)
- (e) Juan Gil Fernández (2011)
- (f) José B. Terceiro Lomba (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 (2014)
- [F] Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (2016)
- [H] Félix de Azúa Comella (2016)
- [U] Clara Janés Nadal (2016)
- [s] María Paz Battaner Arias (2017)
- [K] Federico Corriente Córdoba (elected in 2017)
- (M) vacant
- (J) vacant
Notable past academicians
- Niceto Alcalá-Zamora
- Vicente Aleixandre
- Dámaso Alonso
- José Martínez Ruiz "Azorín"
- Vicente Bacallar y Sanna
- Pío Baroja
- Jacinto Benavente
- Carlos Bousoño
- Camilo José Cela
- Miguel Delibes
- José Echegaray
- Wenceslao Fernández Flórez
- Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
- Antonio Machado
- Salvador de Madariaga
- Julián Marías
- Francisco Martínez de la Rosa
- Ramón Menéndez Pidal
- Armando Palacio Valdés
- José María de Pereda
- Benito Pérez Galdós
- Manuel José Quintana
- Gonzalo Torrente Ballester
- Juan Valera
- José Zorrilla
- Joint publications of the RAE and the Association of Spanish Language Academies
- Diccionario de la lengua española (Dictionary of the Spanish Language) (1st edition: 1780, 22nd edition: 2001, the 23rd edition was published on the 16th of October, 2014 in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries to mark the tricentennial of the founding of the RAE). The first edition is in public domain.
- The Diccionario esencial de la lengua española (Essential Dictionary of the Spanish Language) was published in 2006 as a shortened work to span between the 22nd and 23rd editions.
- Ortografía de la lengua española (Spelling [Book] of the Spanish Language, 1st edition: 1741, latest edition: 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. The first edition is in public domain.
- Nueva gramática de la lengua española (New Grammar of the Spanish Language, 1st edition: 1771, latest edition: 2009). 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 first edition is in public domain.
- 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). 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. The Gramática básica (Basic Grammar) is a 250-page pocket reference intended for school use, to be published in late 2010.[needs update]
- 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).
- Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Doubts, 1st edition: 2005). Resolves doubts related to the use of the Spanish language.
- Diccionario del estudiante (Student's Dictionary, 1st edition: 2005). Replaces the Diccionario escolar de la RAE (RAE School Dictionary, 1996).
- Diccionario práctico del estudiante (Practical Student's Dictionary, 1st edition: 2007) is an adapted version for Latin America, and is for sale only in the Americas.
- "Real Decreto 1109/1993, de 9 de julio, por el que se aprueba los Estatutos de la Real Academia Española". (Artículo 1: ... "que los cambios que experimente la Lengua Española en su constante adaptación a las necesidades de sus hablantes no quiebren la esencial unidad que mantiene en todo el ámbito hispánico.") Noticias Juridicas. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- Real Academia Española (1999). Ortografía de la Lengua Española (PDF) (in Spanish). pp. v–viii. ISBN 84-239-9250-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- "El diccionario de americanismos incluye setenta mil entradas", Diario ABC (27 de febrero de 2010), 2010
- "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
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