MADRID – The “Nueva gramatica” (New Grammar) prepared by the 22 worldwide Spanish Language Academies was unveiled on Thursday as a “call to illuminate the reality” of Spanish-speakers, according to the head of the Royal Spanish Academy, Victor Garcia de la Concha.
The presentation ceremony for the grammar was presided over by Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who emphasized in his remarks that the publication constitutes “an historic service to the unity of Spanish and, overall, to better cohesion among the Hispanic peoples.”
The monumental work – the first two volumes of which are some 4,200 pages in length – has been in preparation for 11 years by the 22 Spanish Language Academies around the world and, for the first time, shows regional differences.
Before more than 700 invited guests, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who although he could not physically attend the presentation delivered a videotaped speech, said that the publication of the “New Grammar” is a “cultural deed of the first order.”
Also present via video because of the delicate state of his health was Spanish author Miguel Delibes, who said that “my greatest wish would be for this Grammar to get to the people and merge with them, because – in short – the people are the true owners of the language.”
Garcia de la Concha echoed those sentiments with different words, saying that the Grammar “comes from the people and seeks the people. Here are all the voices, all the ways of speaking forming a great polyphony. Within the lines of scientific analysis a discourse of humanity circulates throughout (its) 4,000 pages.”
The basic text of the Grammar was approved in March 2007 at the conference of the academies held in Medellin, Colombia, and since then the hundreds of academics working on the project have been honing the different chapters to ensure that they are “absolutely homogeneous” and have worked on such complex elements as the indexes and the examples illustrating grammatical constructions. EFE