Friday , 19 April 2024

Exhibit on Nebrija, grammarian who helped preserve Filipino vernacular languages

Did you know that Tagalog had its first grammar published before many European languages? The linguistic milestone can be greatly credited to the Spanish grammarian Elio Antonio de Nebrija, who played a pivotal role in that development.

On March 12, Instituto Cervantes held the exhibit Nebrija en Filipinas, dedicated to celebrating the cultural contributions of Nebrija (1444-1522). Nebrija’s legacy extends to languages like Tagalog and Cebuano, which had grammars published ahead of many European languages.

Nebrija en Filipinas, tailored for Filipino audiences, is an adaptation of the Nebrija exhibition organized by the National Library of Spain in 2022, commemorating the 500th anniversary of Nebrija’s death.

Through informative panels and displays of books, the exhibit highlights Nebrija’s cultural contributions and seek to contextualize them within the publication of the first grammar of the Philippine vernacular languages. These linguistic endeavors were directly shaped by Nebrija’s teachings.

Nebrija was a highly reputed scholar during the Renaissance period in Europe. His book Introductiones Latinae, a groundbreaking manual for teaching Latin, not only earned him recognition in Spain but also garnered international fame. He also wrote bilingual dictionaries in Latin-Spanish and a Gramática de la lengua castellana, published in 1492, which is recognized as the first grammar of modern European languages. It became the model for Spanish friars who attempted to analyze the grammar of the new world, both in America and the Philippines.

The exhibit Nebrija en Filipinas, which will run until June 12, is organized by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with Fundación Antonio Nebrija (Madrid), the Embassy of Spain and AECID, Biblioteca Nacional de España, and the University of Sto. Tomas (Manila).

Nebrija en Filipinas is an adaptation of the original exhibit Nebrija, curated by Dr. Teresa Jiménez Calvente, with the addition of panels focused on the Philippines composed by Marlon James Sales, of UP Diliman. The exhibit will have a second leg from August to October in the Miguel Benavides Library of UST.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *