Who Copied Whom?
Alonso de Molina and the Vocabulary Appended to Andrés de Olmos’ Arte (1547) of Nahuatl
Is the vocabulary appended to a late copy of the Franciscan missionary Andrés de Olmos’ grammar of Nauatl from 1547 an addendum produced by the same author, thus constituting the earliest known lexicographic work of colonial America? By reviewing the debate surrounding this vocabulary found in the so-called Fischer (Tulane, or TULAL) manuscript and examining it using new insights into dictionary-making in the early modern world, I argue that it postdates the 1540s. In contrast to the assumption that the Fischer vocabulary was a source for the famous Spanish-to-Nauatl dictionary from 1555 by the Franciscan missionary Alonso de Molina, I demonstrate that the author of the vocabulary employed Molina’s later dictionaries from 1571 as its main lexicographic sources. The potential relation to Molina’s early dictionary is also examined and similarly indicates that the Fischer vocabulary was copied from Molina rather than vice versa, although the vocabulary may have been composed at different times.
- 2.The manuscript, the vocabulary and the debate
- 3.Beyond Nebrija: The relationship of the Fischer vocabulary to Molina’s dictionaries
- 4.Molina’s stage-1 entries and the Fischer vocabulary
- 5.Elaborateness, specificity and distribution error
- 6.Residual formats and implicit cross-references
- 7.A post-1553 entry