Royal Spanish Academy
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|Motto||Limpia, fija y da esplendor ("Cleans, fixes, and gives splendor")|
|Junta de Gobierno|
|Affiliations||Association of Spanish Language Academies|
|Royal Spanish Academy|
Spanish: Real Academia Española
|Official name: Real Academia Española|
The Royal Spanish Academy (Spanish: Real Academia Española, 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 22 other hispanophone (Spanish-speaking) nations through the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language. The RAE's emblem is a fiery crucible, and its motto is "Limpia, fija y da esplendor" ("Cleans, fixes, and gives splendor").
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 that the changes the Spanish language undergoes [...] do not break the essential unity it maintains throughout the hispanic world."
The proposed language guidelines are shown in a number of works. The priorities are the Dictionary of the Spanish Language formerly known as DRAE (from the Spanish: Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española), which has 23 published editions 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 Royal Spanish Academy was founded in 1713, modeled after the Crusca Academy (1582), of Italy, and the French Academy (1635), of France, 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 in the Americas. Several reforms were introduced in the Nuevas Normas de Prosodia y Ortografía (1959, New Norms of Prosody and Orthography), 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, Orhtography).
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".
Article 1 of the statutes of the Royal Spanish Academy says the following:
[...RAE][…]tiene como misión principal velar porque 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 este 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 don’t break the essential unity that maintains in all the Hispanic world. It must equally care that this evolution conserves the genius proper of the language, as it has been consolidating with the centuries, as well as establishing and spreading the criteria of propriety and correction, and of contributing to its splendor. To achieve these ends, it will study and promote the studies about history and about the present of Spanish, it will spread the literary writings, especially classics, and non-literary which it deems important for the knowledge of such matters, and it will attempt to keep alive the memory of those who, in Spain or in the Americas, have cultivated our language with glory. As member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, it will keep a special relation with the corresponding and associated academies.
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 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, although upper and lower case letters are separate seats.
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 Academies of the Spanish Language
- Diccionario de la lengua española (Dictionary of the Spanish Language). The 1st edition was published in 1780, the 22nd edition in 2001 and the 23rd edition in 2014, which since 2001 can be consulted online for free as of October 2017 and was published in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries to mark the tricentennial of the founding of the RAE).
- 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.
- Ortografía de la lengua española (Orthography of the Spanish Language). 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.
- 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 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 305-page volume directed to people who received secondary education, and which can be adaptable for school use; it was first published in 2011.
- 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. Can be consulted online since 2006.
- Diccionario del estudiante (Student's Dictionary, 1st edition: 2005). Directed to students in secondary education between 12 and 18 years-old.
- Diccionario práctico del estudiante (Student's Practical Dictionary, 1st edition: 2007) is an adapted version for Latin America of the Student's Dictionary.
- Diccionario de Americanismos (Dictionary of Americanisms) is a listing of Spanish language terms of the Americas and their meaning. First edition published in 2010.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Ediciones del diccionario académico" (PDF). Real Academia Española. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Diccionario de la lengua española". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Diccionario esencial de la lengua española". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Prólogo" (PDF). Real Academia Española. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Nueva gramática. Morfología y sintaxis". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "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
- "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.
- "Nueva gramática básica". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- "Diccionario del estudiante". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- "Diccionario práctico del estudiante". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- "Diccionario de americanismos". Real Academia Española. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
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