Las Osservationi de Giovanni Miranda
Giovanni Miranda’s Osservationi della Lingua Castigliana (Venice, 1566) was the best pedagogical grammar of Spanish of its time; and since it served as a model to French, English, and German grammarians it was important well beyond Italy. Because it was essentially a practical teaching work, one finds in it few theoretical pronouncements. Theory, however, is not totally absent from his book, as becomes obvious in the discussion of the concept of ‘sentence’ or of the ‘parts of speech’, but as a whole the work deals with questions that were thought to be essential to the learner of a language, mostly morphology and certain peculiarities of Castilian grammar and usage. The work is divided into four parts: I, the article, the noun, the adjective, and the pronoun; II, the verb, whose conjugation is dealt with exhaustively; III, the non-inflectional parts of speech in Spanish; and IV, spelling and pronunciation. Throughout the work the author discusses related semantic, lexical, and phraseological subjects, and uses proverbs, anecdotes, and very short stories to illustrate colloquial usage of Spanish. Miranda’s Osservationi were influenced by Giovanni Mario Alessandri d’Urbino’s Paragone della Lingua Toscana et Castigliana (Naples, 1560). Miranda the format of the Paragone, but greatiy expands on it. The Osservationi della Lingua Castigliana can be said to be the first effective pedagogical grammar of Spanish written for speakers of other languages.
Article language: Spanish