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Alboronía, chinchorro, andancia... the words that traveled from Andalusia to America more than 500 years ago and are still preserved


The Cádiz language congress addresses the influences of the different Spanish languages, especially Andalusia, on Latin American language and literature

Two young people pass in front of the IES Columela, in Cádiz, with posters with typical expressions from Cádiz.Paco Puentes

Words with a euphony such as alboronía, soberado, empella... traveled by boat from Andalusia during the conquest and colonization of the lands of what was then called the New World and "they are still maintained today in America," says the Dominican philologist María José Rincón, as well as It happened with terms like chinchorro, andancia, fret... This lexicographer adds that "they were not only words, but also phonetic features, such as lisp, aspiration, yeísmo, the neutralization between -l and -r", the trace that was left in the different Spanish of America, adds the author of the

Dictionary of Dominican Spanish


She was one of the voices of the panel that on the influences of Andalusian languages ​​on the other side of the Atlantic was held this Thursday almost at the end of the ninth International Congress of the Spanish Language (CILE), in Cádiz.

The philologist Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga, who presided over the debate, points out another obvious legacy: "The use of you instead of you."

More information

The 'bastinazo' of speaking in Cádiz

Regarding the arrival of words by sea, with illiterate or scholars, in the mouths of conquerors, religious, soldiers of fortune, civil servants, writers... the language historian and professor at the University of Seville Lola Pons points out that it was "western Andalusia , which in the 16th century was the Kingdom of Seville, the area that had the greatest demographic weight in the mass of Spaniards who marched to America”.

"Therefore, its linguistic profile leads the varieties of Spanish that are implanted there," she replies.

The language historian Lola Pons, at the Palacio de Congresos de Cadiz, the main venue of the International Congress of the Spanish Language, on Monday 27. Alejandro Ruesga

Pons, a contributor to EL PAÍS, stresses, however, that those Spanish languages ​​of America, "like any language, cannot be defined or characterized only by what happened in its first stage", cannot be limited to what happened in the 16th century and with Andalusia as its origin.

The Dominican lexicographer María José Rincón, in front of the Gran Teatro Falla, in Cádiz, on Monday 27. Alejandro Ruesga

That contribution, however, deepened until the eighteenth century.

"American ruralization and the Bourbon port management measures favored overseas trade, and this intensified the traffic of ideas", adds Pons, who is currently leading a research project "on the linguistic landscape in Andalusia", in which "the traces of multilingualism and multidialectalism on public roads”.

He gives an example: "It is exciting to read in Latino shops in Seville that 'almojábanas' [cheese and flour cakes] are being sold, an old Andalusian culinary Arabism."

For Pons, who also participated in the panel, it is significant that in 1812, the year of the first liberal Constitution in Spain, which counted for its approval in the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri in Cádiz with an important presence of more than fifty deputies who came from America, "is culturally the last child of contact with the American Creoles."

Only a decade later the independence processes of the American colonies with respect to the Spanish metropolis were unleashed.

But beyond this transmission of language, there was also the creation of a new and peculiar literature.

"America and Andalusia are twinned by a baroque conception of language," says the journalist and writer from Algeciras (Cádiz) Juan José Téllez, another of the speakers, who recalls an anecdote by the Cuban Alejo Carpentier when he received two Andalusian writers at his home Alfonso Grosso from Seville and Fernando Quiñones from Cádiz.

"Why do you write so baroque?" they asked him.

“Because it is enough for Simenon to say 'it rains in Paris' for us to imagine it, but the diversity of America, with all its ethnic groups or its flowers, makes the baroque essential”, recalls Téllez.

The writer and journalist from Cádiz Juan José Téllez, at the Palacio de Congresos de Cádiz, the main venue of the International Congress of the Spanish Language, on Wednesday. Paco Puentes

A traveler throughout the Americas, Téllez highlights some key figures in the birth of great Latin American literature: the Peruvian Inca Garcilaso, mestizo, “a character between America and Spain;

the Cuban Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, or Alonso de Ercilla”, from Madrid, author of the great epic poem

La Araucana


about the conquest of Chile.

“But that exchange also affected folklore.

The carnival of the whites of Montevideo cannot be understood without that of Cádiz”, and Téllez adds: The Andalusians brought indigenous words that were integrated into the Spanish of Spain.

It is inevitable, languages ​​are built with infections from others”.

A miscegenation that even, he adds, creates doubts about where some words came from, and gives the example of “peach, which is used in America and Andalusia to refer to the apricot, although it is not known where it crossed from.

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" he wonders.

The philologist Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga, on Wednesday at the Palacio de Congresos de Cádiz. Paco Puentes

The Andalusian languages ​​reached more territories on the back of colonization.

Rodríguez-Ponga, rector of the Abat Oliba CEU University, in Barcelona, ​​points it out: “There are linguistic features of Spain that jumped from Mexico to the Pacific islands.

Philippine Spanish also shows that influence.

In addition, in current languages ​​that emerged from that contact, such as the apricot from the Philippines or the Chamorro from the Mariana Islands, words were created that combine Spanish and local traits, such as 'siboyas' (onions)”.

Is there a return linguistic journey today?

Given, above all, the large Latin American immigration in Spain, with almost a million people, according to the INE.

“It is a phenomenon pending study, but, without a doubt, it will have an impact,” says Rincón, director in her country of the Guzmán Ariza Institute of Lexicography, dedicated to the study of the lexicon of Dominican Spanish and the construction of dictionaries.

"And music with Caribbean roots, with its lyrics, will also have an influence."

However, that return already began years ago, Téllez qualifies, "with soap operas, which are ahead of literature, which is canonical."

In the end, languages ​​belong to the speakers and they prevail over writers, no matter how exalted they are, or from academies, no matter how normative they want to be.

In the streets of Cádiz there are two good examples that the language belongs to the people and comes out where it sees fit, as Téllez recalls: the word “aliquindoi”, which means to be attentive, and comes from the pronunciation, in its own way, of the English expression “

Look and do it

”, which had that meaning to alert the lookouts on English ships.

And another, part of the legend or reality, is the rude "chumino" (vulva and vagina of the female genital tract, says the


It seems that its origin comes from when the English sailors arrived in Cádiz and so that the prostitutes would show them their genitals they would blurt out: “

Show me now!


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Source: elparis

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