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Fabrica, or Dictionary of Vernacular Arabic and Italian Language
Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (1588–1670) was a German priest and missionary. Born in Schurgast (present-day Skorogoszcz, Poland), he entered the Franciscan order in 1624 and devoted himself to learning Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. In 1630 he went to Palestine as a pastor, where he continued with his language studies. In 1635 he returned to Rome where he joined the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda de Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). In 1636 he became a teacher at the Mission of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, and ...
Manual Vocabulary of the Spanish and Mexican Languages: In Which are Contained the Words, Questions, and Answers Commonly and Usually Found in the Treatment and Communication Between Spaniards and Indians
This work, published in Mexico City in 1611, is the first edition of the most important and most frequently reprinted Spanish work on Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. It contains both a Spanish-Nahuatl (pages 1-100) and a Nahuatl-Spanish (pages 101-160) dictionary, in which the Nahuatl words are spelled out phonetically. Classical Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire, was written with a pictographic script. About 1.5 million people in Mexico still speak dialects of Nahuatl that are descended from the language spoken by the Aztecs.
The Second Art: the Science of Expression
This work by Isma’il bin Mustafa bin Mas’ud al-Kalanbawi deals with proper usage in the Arabic language. The work takes the form of a list of 20 questions and answers about different aspects of the language. The book was transcribed in 1805 (1220 AH). The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who ...
Excerpts from al-Kulliyyat
Transcribed in 1805, this manuscript is comprised of excerpts from al-Kulliyyat, a dictionary of terminology and language differences compiled by Abu l’Baqa al-Husseini al-Kafawi al-Hanafi (died 1683 [1094 AH]). The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of ...
Comments on the Summary of al-Miftah
This early 19th-century work by Qara Hafiz Efendi on Arabic rhetoric (balaagha) is a commentary on Talkhis al-Miftah (The summary of al-Miftah) by al-Khateeb al-Qizweeni (died 1338 [739 AH]). Talkhis al-Miftah was itself a commentary on Miftah al-Uloom (The key to knowledge), by Abu Yaaqoob as-Sikaki (died 1228 [626 AH]). Al-Qizweeni was a student of as-Sikaki, and both men were important scholars of Arabic rhetoric. Efendi’s work also contains excerpts from another work, a dictionary of language usage, figurative speech, and simile by Abu l'Baqa al-Husseini al-Kufawi Al-Hanafi ...
On Substantiation Through Transitive Relations
This work by the prominent Shafi’i theologian Muhammad al-Amidi (died 1233 [631 AH]) consists of three parts. The first part, on pages 1 and 2, discusses the difference between metaphors and similes in figurative speech. The second part, on pages 3–10, deals with the use of analogies and transitive relations to prove a case. Al-qiyas, or the use of transitive relations to substantiate a case, is one of four pillars in Islamic jurisprudence. It is also widely used by grammarians. The last part, on page 11, is the ...
Notable as the first Bulgarian grammar, this book is also culturally significant because of the role that its author, Neofit Rilski (1793–1881), played in the promotion of secular education in Bulgaria and in the establishment of a modern Bulgarian literary language. Neofit, a priest associated with the Rila Monastery, was a leading figure in the 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival and its concomitant education reform. He was the first headmaster of the Gabrovo School, the first secular school in Bulgaria. In the midst of a national debate in the 1830s ...
Grammar of the Slavic Language
Ivan N. Momchilov was a noted teacher and textbook writer during the 19th-century era of the Bulgarian National Revival. As a teacher, he recognized the need for a basic primer for his pupils on Church Slavic, and set about writing such a work. His 1847 Grammar of the Slavic Language was Momchilov’s first textbook and the first Church Slavic grammar to be published in Bulgarian and by a Bulgarian. It was compiled using several other grammars as its foundation, namely those by the Russian Ivan Stepanovich Peninskii, by the ...
Hieroglyphs: Commentaries on the Sacred Letters of the Egyptians and Other Peoples
Hieroglyphica by the Italian humanist Pierio Valeriano (1477–1560), also known by the Latinized version of his name, Pierius Valerianus, is the first modern study of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Originally published in Basel, Switzerland, in 1556, the book became very popular in Europe. It was reprinted in the 16th and 17th centuries and translated from the original Latin into French and Italian. This Latin edition was published in Lyon, France, in 1602. Valeriano partly based his book on the Hieroglyphica of Horapollo, who is said to have been an Egyptian priest ...
Vocabulary of the Language Used by the Indians in These Missions
This manuscript, by an unknown author probably writing at one or several Catholic missions in the 18th century, was found at the College for the Propagation of the Faith in Popayán, New Granada (the Spanish viceroyalty that comprised all or parts of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela). It consists of 103 pages, most of which are taken up by a glossary of words in the Siona indigenous language with their Spanish equivalents. This part of the work is organized in columns, with the Siona words on the left and ...
Chibcha Dictionary and Grammar
This manuscript is a glossary with prayers, confessions, and sermons in the Chibcha language. It was compiled by an unknown hand, most likely in the mid-16th century (as suggested by the style of handwriting). The work was used by missionaries in the evangelization of the Muisca, the Chibcha-speaking people who lived in the central highlands of New Granada. The Spanish learned early in their colonial role that to accomplish their religious and other objectives they needed to communicate with the people in their native languages. As early as 1580 the ...
A Study of the Saliba Language
This 1790 manuscript contains a grammar and partial glossary of the Saliba language, compiled by an unknown writer in San Miguel del Macuco (present-day Orocué, Colombia), and used by Jesuit missionaries. A note on the manuscript reads: “Under the Royal Order of our Catholic Monarch Charles IV, God preserve him, for demanding the greater learning and intelligence of the dictionary." The manuscript also includes a letter addressed to Charles IV by Friar Clement of Saint Xavier, in which the friar states that he has requested the Saliba language dictionary recommended ...
The Art and Vocabulary of the Achagua Language
Arte y bocabulario de la lengua achagua: Doctrina christiana, confessionario de uno y otro sexo e instrucción de cathecumenos (The art and vocabulary of the Achagua language: Christian doctrine, the confession of both sexes, and instruction in the catechism) attests to the linguistic effort undertaken by the Jesuit missionaries in the borderlands of present-day Colombia and Venezuela. As its long title explains, this small manuscript volume, written in beautiful calligraphy and now preserved in the National Library of Colombia, contains several items: a grammar of the Achagua language, an extensive ...
A Guiding Light to the Indians
Lucerna yndyca (A guiding light to the Indians) is a manuscript dating from 1715–22 containing a Castilian–Quechua dictionary and selections of the Gospels translated from Latin into Quechua, the predominant Andean language at the time of the Spanish conquest. The text is annotated with comments by the author, Esteban Sancho de Melgar y Santa Cruz. Melgar, a late-17th century academic, is known for his work Arte de la Lengua General de Inga Llamada Qquechhua (The art of the general language called Quechua) published in Lima in 1691. This ...