Formas de percibir y nombrar Nuevas realidades

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In the second half of the sixteenth century there were three lexicographical works in the language of Michoacán also known as Tarascan or Purepecha: The Vocabulario en lengua de Mechuacan (1559) written by Fray Maturino Gilberti (c. 1507–1585), the Dictionarito breve y compendioso (1574) compiled by Fray Juan Baptista de Lagunas (?–1604), and an anonymous work known today as the Diccionario grande de la lengua de Michoacán (late sixteenth century, first half of the seventeenth century). Although each shows specific characteristics, it is possible to speak of a lexicographical tradition in which two traditions are interwoven. This study is about the text of Lagunas whose work is according to the “style of Calepino” and departs from other vocabularies of the time. Our goal is to contribute to the knowledge of the task performed by missionary linguists-lexicographers and advance the knowledge of the different ways of perceiving the world that were fundamental to the complex processes of transculturation and translingualization. I follow the proposal of Zimmermann (2009) and conceive the dictionary as a discursive construction. I shall demonstrate that the discourse construed by Lagunas from his humanistic perspective can be seen as a complex process of perception, construction and reconstruction. The discovery of The Other, in turn, was a discovery of the thinking of Lagunas himself.


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