Real Academia Española


Real Academia Española

The "Real Academia Española" (“Royal Spanish Academy”), the RAE, is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one Spanish-speaking nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies. The RAE's emblem is a fiery crucible, and its motto is "Limpia, fija y da esplendor" (“(It) Cleans, sets, and casts splendour”).

History

The "Real Academia Española" was founded in 1713, modelled after the Italian "Accademia della Crusca" (1582) and the French "Académie française (1635)", with the purpose "to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Castilian language with propriety, elegance, and purity". King Phillip V approved its constitution on 3rd October 1714, placing it under the Crown's protection.

Its aristocrat founder, Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Marquis of Villena and Duke of Escalona, described its aims as: "to assure that Spanish speakers will always be able to read Cervantes" — by exercising a progressive up-to-date maintenance of the formal language.

In 1994, it ruled that the Spanish consonants CH (ché) and LL (elle) would hence be alphabetized under C and under L, respectively, and not as separate, discrete letters, as in the past. The RAE eliminated monosyllabic accented vowels where the accent did not serve in changing the word's meaning, examples include: dio ("gave"), vio ("saw"), both had an acutely-accented vowel ó; yet the monosyllabic word: ("I know", the first person, singular, present of saber, "to know"; and the singular imperative of: ser,"to be") retains its acutely-accented vowel in order to differentiate it from the reflexive pronoun se.

In 1959 it added an acute accent (from upper-right to lower-left) to the orthography (spelling) of conjugations, for example, to: reunió ("reunited", "gathered together") a past form of: reunir ("to reunite", "to gather together") to ensure that the individual letters "eu" were spoken "individually", and not as a single-sound diphthong. dubious

The RAE is a major publisher of dictionaries and grammars, and has a formal procedure for admitting words to its publications. Its website includes an online dictionary and other resources, all in Spanish, of course. Its most famous publication is the "Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española" (Dictionary of the Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy), the "DRAE".

Criticisms of the Academy

The Royal Spanish Academy has been criticised, especially in the Spanish-speaking Americas, for being excessively conservative and elitist and slow to change; for excessively concentrating upon linguistic usages of the region of Madrid, while dismissing variant usages from other parts of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries; and for being slow in revising its authoritative Diccionario de la Lengua Española.

Moreover, the dictionary has been criticised for its partial definitions and somewhat limited coverage. Supporters respond that the RAE's purpose is not registering ephemeral Spanish usages, but to protect a united Castilian language and prevent national variants from becoming incomprehensible to other Spanish speakers.

Critics have acknowledged, however, that recent editions of the "Diccionario de la Lengua Española de la Real Academia Española" (the 20th, 21st, and current 22nd editions) show distinct improvement. One welcome innovation was its publication of a paperback edition in 1992. Partnerships with companies such as Telefónica, IBM, and Microsoft, enabled the RAE to update and adapt to the current information-technology era, offering a free on-line version of its Dictionary, which may be consulted free of charge at [http://www.rae.es Real Academia Española] .

Moreover, while it is currently collecting historical Spanish texts, the "Academia" has come under fire for not making its research results available under free licences, despite public funding.

Academicians (académicos de número)

Members of the Academy are "Académicos de número", "Number Academics", chosen from among prestigious persons in the Arts and Sciences, including several Spanish-language authors, known as the "Los Inmortales", "The Immortals" (the possible Spanish translation of their "Académie française" counterparts), they are elected for life by the other academicians. Each academician holds a seat labeled with a letter from the Spanish alphabet; upper- and lower case letters are separate seats.

Current members of the Academy

As of 2006, sorted by date of induction:
* (H) Martín de Riquer Morera, Count of Casa Dávalos (1965)
* (g) Antonio Colino López (1972)
* (e) Miguel Delibes Setién (1975)
* (M) Carlos Bousoño Prieto (1980)
* (A) Manuel Seco Reymundo (1980)
* (Z) Francisco Ayala y García-Duarte (1984)
* (n) Valentín García Yebra (1985)
* (O) Pere Gimferrer Torrens (1985)
* (q) Gregorio Salvador Caja (1987)
* (p) Francisco Rico Manrique (1987)
* (r) Antonio Mingote Barrachina (1988)
* (s) José Luis Pinillos Díaz (1988)
* (J) Francisco Morales Nieva (1990)
* (d) Francisco Rodríguez Adrados (1991)
* (F) José Luis Sampedro Sáez (1991)
* (c) Víctor García de la Concha (1992)
* (U) Eduardo García de Enterría y Martínez-Carande (1994)
* (l) Emilio Lledó Íñigo (1994)
* (C) Luis Goytisolo Gay (1995)
* (L) Mario Vargas Llosa (1996)
* (b) Eliseo Álvarez-Arenas Pacheco (1996)
* (u) Antonio Muñoz Molina (1996)
* (P) Ángel González Muñiz (1997)
* (V) Juan Luis Cebrián (1997)
* (t) Ignacio Bosque Muñoz (1997)
* (K) Ana María Matute (1998)
* (ñ) Luis María Anson Oliart (1998)
* (B) Fernando Fernán Gómez (2000)
* (I) Luis Mateo Díez (2001)
* (N) Guillermo Rojo (2001)
* (k) José Antonio Pascual (2002)
* (E) Carmen Iglesias (2002)
* (m) Claudio Guillén (2003)
* (f) Luis Ángel Rojo (2003)
* (i) Margarita Salas Falgueras (2003)
* (T) Arturo Pérez-Reverte (2003)
* (G) José Manuel Sánchez Ron (2003)
* (Q) Carlos Castilla del Pino (2004)
* (j) Álvaro Pombo y García de los Ríos (2004)
* (o) Antonio Fernández Alba (2006)
* (X) Francisco Brines (2006)
* (h) José Manuel Blecua (2006)
* (a) Pedro García Barreno (2006)
* (R) Javier Marias (2008)

Notable past academicians

"Not an exhaustive list"
*Dámaso Alonso
*Camilo José Cela
*Leandro Fernández de Moratín
*Fernando Lázaro Carreter
*Julián Marías
*Benito Pérez Galdós
*Elena Quiroga
*Gonzalo Torrente Ballester

See also

* List of language regulators

External links

*es icon [http://www.rae.es/ RAE web site]
*en icon [http://www.iberianature.com/material/drae.htm A complaint on the coverage of zoology in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española]


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