DELTA: Documentação de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada
versión impresa ISSN 0102-4450
BATISTA, Ronaldo de Oliveira. Description of indian languages in missionary grammars of the colonial period in Brazil. DELTA [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.1, pp. 121-147. ISSN 0102-4450. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-44502005000100005.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Jesuits wrote two of the Indian language grammar spoken in Brazil in the colonial period. José de Anchieta and Luiz Figueira described the ancient Tupi in 1595 and in about 1621 respectively, and Luiz Vincencio Mamiani the Quiriri Indian Language in 1699. This production aimed at facilitating, through language learning, the contact between Indians and Jesuits and consequently their colonization and catechization. Some methods and practices of Jesuits language description will be analyzed in this paper. To do so, we will follow linguistic historiography methodologies (Koerner 1989, 1996 and Swiggers 1979, 1983) concerning material selection, description and analysis, trying to characterize what we call missionary linguistics in the Brazilian tradition. The analysis of these three pieces of work will show a grammar production form, common to these three authors and its insertion in the wide grammar tradition of the period, later called missionary linguistics. One of its most important characteristics is its relation to what, conventionally, is called in linguistic history, the Traditional Grammar.
Palabras llave : linguistic historiography; Brazil; jesuits; grammars.