About this book Introduction This volume helps us to understand that the current political disorders in Catalonia have deep cultural roots. What is happening in Catalonia? What lies behind its political conflicts? Editors and affiliations. La Trobe University Melbourne Australia 2. Rovira i Virgili University Tarragona Spain 3. Buy options. To use a protagonist who was not of royal blood, to have a visit to a realistic Spain or any other location the Spanish readers would know something about would have been felt as a major break with this venerable tradition, not to be made until the Lazarillo broke many conventions simultaneously.
Probably, though, the simple fact that the book contains a good story, with lots of exciting action, was most important. His assistance to Queen Briolanja of Sobradisa causes the jealousy of Oriana. Upon receipt of a letter assuring him of Oriana's good graces, he sets out to meet her at the castle of Miraflores, with further adventures on the way, but he must leave the court again after the mind of King Lisuarte is poisoned by treasonous advice from friends of Falangris, brother of Lisuarte. Once again we must emphasize the abbreviated and incomplete nature of this summary of a complicated series of characters and events, typically the despair of anyone who tries to summarize this book or any of the later romances of chivalry.
Surely, however, contemporary readers, with time to spare and an interest in a captivating, complicated narrative, must have found this very quantity of characters and events to be one of the most attractive features of the book. Although the number of events and characters does not allow for any great development of personality -characters are essentially static and unchanging, always good or evil if such is their nature- this deficiency by modern standards was not seen as such by readers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, whom, we may assume, were not interested in personality development, internal problems of the characters, or very much beyond the conflicts, loves, and prophecies found in the book.
Urganda is a mysterious character in herself, whose origin and function are not fully explained. In tracing the castilian history of the romances of chivalry, we could begin worse than by pointing out that the romances of chivalry, as a genre, are firmly centered within the sixteenth century, give or take a few decades at each end. But as with most texts in the age of manuscripts, these were limited in their circulation. As stated in the preceding chapter, the Hispano-Arthurian texts are principally translations. As with most translations, the literary contribution they made, seen in a European perspective, is slight.
The romances of chivalry, then, benefited greatly in their extraordinary popularity in the sixteenth century from the possibilities that printing offered, and in this sense the so familiar Castilian atraso , by which this chivalric material, medieval in inspiration, arrived in Castile later, has a positive side. Because printed works, though still expensive by modern standards, were far cheaper than manuscripts, lesser nobles, and even some well to-do bourgeois, could share in the reading of the romances, something not possible in other countries at an earlier date.
Yet still, contrary to a widely-held misconception, the romances of chivalry were not among the first books published after the introduction of printing in Spain in the last third of the fifteenth century. Not only such religious works as the Vita Christi of Mendoza and the Vida beata of Juan de Lucena, not only doctrinal works such as those of Cartagena were printed during the late 's, 's, and early 's, but also the novels of Juan de Flores and Diego de San Pedro were published, without, however, a single romance of chivalry being published in Castile during this period Printers turned their attention to chivalric material rather suddenly, in the final years of the fifteenth century and beginning of the sixteenth, as if motivated by a previously non-existent demand on the part of a body of readers -the nobles- not in a position, or not needing, during the final years of the reconquest, to divert themselves with this type of literature.
As with other forms of literature, the printers first began by publishing materials already available in manuscript; thus we see published a series of short, translated works with a chivalric flavor, such as Oliveros de Castilla , Paris e Viana c. We can only speculate about the reasons, and none of the potential reasons would completely explain the phenomenon. Printing, more compact than handwriting, and the use of paper rather than parchment or vellum made economically possible longer works than were possible in the age of parchment, and the in creased speed with which printed material could be read also made increased length desirable The language of the earlier works may have seemed archaic to the readers, and the style more primitive The Castilian readers may well have preferred more sober and action-filled romances, a taste already seen in the choice of foreign works to translate Before leaving this early period of the Castilian romances of chivalry, it is appropriate to mention the publication of a number of semihistorical works with some chivalric elements, either written shortly before their publication or, more often, written earlier and published for the first time in the early sixteenth century to satisfy the tastes of much the same public as that which read the romances.
However, quite apart from the question of their value as historical sources, the entertainment value of these semihistorical works can easily be seen. Their elaborate descriptions of castles and armor, the numerous and fully described battles and tournaments, the almost superhuman protagonists, show that they have more in common with the romances of chivalry than is usually realized Some books, in fact, have title pages with an illustration of a chivalric scene, indistinguishable from those of the romances of chivalry The romances of chivalry's greatest popularity in Castile coincides neatly with the reign of Carlos V During this time the composition and publication of new romances, and the reprinting of the classics of the genre, flourished as it never had before and never would again.
That this great popularity of the romances was due to the model of and encouragement from the royal court is beyond question. Although no romances were dedicated to Carlos, several were to members of the high nobility who formed part of court society. Other factors may have played some role in the romances' popularity.
Their harmony with the spirit which led to the conquest and colonization of the New World, basic parts of which took place during Carlos V's reign, may possibly have been an additional factor in their popularity Yet we can hardly help but conclude that the lack of interest in chivalric fiction of Carlos' more sober son, Felipe II, was a factor in the books' decline. It is hard to picture Felipe taking a romance of chivalry to read at the Escorial Similarly, none of the well-known authors of the period wrote a romance of chivalry: neither Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, nor Guevara, nor Jorge de Montemayor, nor even Ercilla attempted the composition of a romance, to say nothing of Lope, who tried virtually every other genre.
Like historical writing, the chivalric romance was a form of literature in which innovation was seen as unnecessary -at least overt innovation, since there is a subtle evolution, found in the increasing sophistication of conversation and in the expanding love element and greater role of women. We should also remember that the world portrayed in the romances of chivalry was one which would appeal strongly to a section of Spanish society, but only to a section.
It was a simple world, devoid of subtle philosophical or religious concerns. An individual could win fame and fortune primarily through his military abilities, whether exercised in serious battles or in less serious activities such as tournaments; scholarship and the world of books played, in the romances, a very secondary role. The knights-errant were often possessed of a crusading spirit and a religious element is always present.
This is one of the ways these romances most reflect the values of Spanish culture, though ostensibly set in very remote kingdoms and epochs; this crusading spirit presumably influenced the young reader Teresa de Cepeda, and even more Loyola, also a reader of romances of chivalry Rivadaneyra's life of Loyola, BAE , 60, 14 b , who sometimes acted like a knight-errant a lo divino Rivadeneyra, pp.
Yet the knights' faith was the simple faith of the soldier, an uncritical acceptance of the correctness of Catholicism and the necessity of helping it, with arms, to vanquish infidels. For all of these reasons, then, it is not surprising that the intelligentsia were to turn against the romances. The criticisms to which we have previously referred began, logically enough, when the romances had become sufficiently popular to attract the critics' attention; the earliest comments are from the 's. However, these attacks rapidly deteriorated from sensible observations about the inherent defects of the books themselves to a series of complaints about the pernicious effects that they allegedly had on the souls of the readers, and how the books occupied time which might have been more usefully employed in reading more spiritually uplifting material.
In fact, the criticisms of the romances degenerated into a series of topoi , which were repeated by various moralist writers who had no direct knowledge of the works they attacked One effect of the criticisms was to place the authors of the romances somewhat on the defensive. In the prologues and dedications of the later romances, in which the authors often discuss their works and their motives, there is a constant emphasis on the benefits readers would receive from them. In his concern for his subjects and for the persons he encountered in his travels, in his interest in seeing that justice was done and that right triumphed over wrong, in his humility, chastity, and calm temperament mesura , the hero of the romances of chivalry offered to the readers the supposedly beneficial picture of the ideal medieval ruler.
The knights are saints or Biblical figures, and encounter adventures either taken directly from the religious material or of clear religious inspiration. None of these romances achieved any great popularity, and there is considerable doubt whether they succeeded in supplanting the original romances of chivalry as escape reading for idle readers; perhaps instead they were read by a new class of readers who were unable, because of the criticisms of them, to read the original romances.
Although the criticism of the romances was followed by a decline in the composition of new romances, it has not been possible to establish the relationship between these two trends. There are many other alternative explanations for the declining interest of potential authors in the romances.
The general rise in literary standards, due in greatest measure to contacts with Italy, gave rise not only to the poetry of Garcilaso but to the pastoral novel, which made a spectacular appearance on the literary scene in the 's. The same period also saw the introduction of the Renaissance epic.
The Lazarillo , with its anti-hero, as a response to the romances of chivalry has been suggested by many scholars But certainly one of the principal causes, if not the single most important cause, of the decline in composition of new romances was the abdication of Carlos V in favor of his son Felipe. That Carlos' reign ended in is no coincidence. Olivante de Laura , published in , bears a dedication from the printer rather than the author, which suggests that it had been written earlier. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that the romances of chivalry disappeared even though the composition of new romances had been abandoned.
The reprinting of the major romances, and even some of the minor ones, continued throughout the last half of the sixteenth century. As I have explained elsewhere infra , this publication of new editions of familiar texts did not occur evenly, but in several waves of publication, and the dates of these waves allow the conclusion that the romances were still read by the upper and upper-middle classes. Detailed information on the sixteenth-century book trade within Spain is not available, the only surviving documents being prepublication contracts, inventories of books made at death, and fragmentary information about private libraries But information is available, in considerable detail, about the book trade between Spain and the Spanish colonies in the New World in the later sixteenth century, because of the legal requirement for inventories of goods shipped, and the systematic conservation of such documents.
These inventories are particularly valuable for the years after Leonard, p. Although the Spanish colonies' reading tastes may not have been identical with those of Spain, the mother country and her colonies were closer culturally at that time than they were ever to be again, and the publications, for example, of the Cromberger family, which benefited from its Sevillian location to publish to a considerable extent for the New World trade, do not differ as dramatically as Leonard believes from those of publishers in other parts of Spain whose New World trade was less Lacking evidence to the contrary, then, these documents provide some information about Spanish reading tastes in the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
It was Irving Leonard, however, who has most thoroughly investigated these documentary materials He found that romances of chivalry remained an important item in the book trade throughout the last years of the sixteenth century and in the opening years of the seventeenth, since the book dealers continued to sell, and the public to buy, those romances which had remained available since their last printings of ten to twenty years before.
Were this the case, of course, Cervantes' repeated declarations that he intended to attack the romances by writing the Quijote could be interpreted as a disguise of his true, perhaps philosophical, intention. Yet the facts do not support this conclusion, since the romances were read right up until , and their disappearance was even more remote in the last decades of the sixteenth century, when Cervantes probably began the composition of Part I It is true, of course, that no new romances, and few reprints, were published after There is evidence, however, to attack the notion, even more commonly held than the one just referred to, that the Quijote achieved with its publication its declared purpose of completely ending the popularity of the romances of chivalry.
When Lope praises the romances in Thomas, p. A useful parallel can be drawn with the Western movie of the United States, also an art form of escapist intent, whose connection with the past on which it claims to be based can at times be very loose indeed. The Western was one of the earliest types of motion picture, which reached its greatest heights during the first half century after the beginning of motion pictures.
The genre has been so exploited and become so hackneyed that parodic Westerns, such as Cat Ballou , can be made. Yet it would be a serious mistake to consider the Western film dead. Perhaps most significant is the undisputed fact that even those who are bored with and contemptuous of Westerns, and would never see one, know what they are, and have a general acquaintance with the main works and the stock situations of the genre.
When, then, did the Spanish romance of chivalry die? The answer to this question must be that it did not die suddenly, on any specific day or within any specific year or even decade. Like an aged person, it lingered on, gradually failing for years, well into the seventeenth century, before it could be said to be completely dead. It is more a case of it fading away, losing gradually the interest of larger proportions of the public , being restricted to ever smaller circles of active readers.
Whether this is the case or not I have not the data to determine, but from the nineteenth century onward those romances which were available have been read fairly widely, culminating in the current interest in the romances by modern novelists Certainly the present revival has not run its course, and we will see further editions and influence of the romances in this, the twentieth century. Previous books on romances of chivalry, such as that of Henry Thomas, have tended to talk about the externals of the romances -their popularity, their publication-, rather than give the readers a complete picture of what a romance of chivalry was.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that the complicated plots of the romances are inevitably confusing and hard to Summarize, and those writers who do include such summaries often abandon them after a few pages, feeling that they are surely boring their readers and perhaps boring themselves as well To avoid this pitfall and yet give the reader of this volume a taste of what a romance of chivalry was like, this chapter offers a composite summary of the action of a romance of chivalry, made up of the elements commonly found in them.
What follows, therefore, is not a description of any one romance, but is true in spirit to all of them. I have offered in footnotes a series of selections from various romances which illustrate the points being discussed. The romance of chivalry is always set in the past, even far in the past, though never before the birth of Christ. As is well known because of Cervantes' imitation of this feature in the Quijote , the romances are surrounded by trappings intended to give them an air of pseudo-historicity.
Following classical and medieval precedent, the protagonist of a romance of chivalry is always male and invariably of royal blood -a prince. His lineage is usually specified. Through some mishap he is separated from his parents and his homeland when still a baby; he may be stolen away by evildoers, or carried off by a boat, or simply be abandoned by his mother because of the circumstances surrounding his birth, which often was illegitimate He grows up in the court of another king, far away, though he may have been sheltered at first by farmers or other such humble people He will eventually learn his true identity and be reunited with his parents and family, either at the midpoint or near the end of the book The protagonist shows signs from a very early age of his royal blood and the corresponding great abilities which were thought of as the natural endowments of a great ruler.
He is exceptionally handsome , so much so that he captivates and gains the affection of all who see him, save those of evil nature. He may walk or talk at a younger age than normal. Being fearless, like mythological infants such as Hercules, he may perform extraordinary feats as a baby or young boy. Lions, symbols of royalty, instinctively respect him.
He is exceptionally strong and vigorous, possessed of excellent health, never ill unless wounded. He can easily defeat a boy of the same age, who will more than likely be physically smaller, since the protagonists of the romances of chivalry are swarthy individuals, taller and huskier than the persons they come in contact with see the text quoted in note As stated above, the prince and king-to-be, in short, conforms very closely to the image of the ideal medieval ruler.
While still at the court in which he has grown up he will receive instruction from tutors, such as a Spanish prince would; his attitude toward his studies will be respectful, not rebellious. He will learn what is taught him, which often includes a variety of languages , later to serve him in good stead, but his inclination is obviously not to books nor to the world of learning. His studies do not continue past his youth. The protagonist has Wanderlust. There is always opposition to this desire of his, some attempt made to convince or force him not to leave -scarcely surprising considering that he is so young He may have to depart secretly an action that Don Quijote was to imitate By this time he will have been or will seek to be dubbed a knight, by the person of highest status he can manage to find and convince to do so -a king or an emperor is ideal -, and will have received as gifts his first set of arms and armor, his shield white as befits a new or novel knight Later, after some especially noteworthy or significant adventure, he will take as a heraldic symbol an animal, natural phenomenon, flower, or some similar item, such as are found in any inventory of coats of arms, which in their origin were based on just such a practice.
Once he has left the court where he has grown up, the knight-errant for such he now is will travel extensively. His travels will be both through familiar and unfamiliar parts of the world: Europe, Asia, sometimes North Africa, sometimes to imaginary places made up by the author. The New World, of course, had not yet been discovered. He may visit London, Paris, or Constantinople, cities already with some chivalric tradition, but never Rome, Jerusalem, nor a Spanish city such as Toledo or Santiago.
The travels of the knight offered the author of the romance an opportunity to entertain his readers, always eager for discussions of new and marvellous places, and display whatever geographic knowledge he might have, and his powers of imagination. The knight will primarily travel by land, on horse or occasionally on foot, but he may well have occasion to journey by sea or by means of some supernatural means of transportation.
His travels may be for various purposes: to see, serve, elope with, or retire from his lady, to attend a tournament announced in some more or less distant city, to go to the aid of kings or queens in need of military assistance to repel invaders or to claim what is rightfully theirs, to obtain a healing agent for someone ill, to help free someone held captive, to catch a glimpse of some beautiful woman, to get to know the identity of or to find his parents There may be no more significant reason than the fact that someone he encounters has requested his company.
The knight never seeks money; indeed, money is so seldom mentioned, as Don Quijote correctly points out to Sancho, that it seems that the protagonists of the romances live in a primitive era, outside the money economy altogether. The only times we find money mentioned at all is in terms of a prize or reward more often a valuable object , or as a tribute or tax demanded by an evil ruler as, for example, in Cirongilio de Tracia , III, The knight expects and receives hospitality from those he meets along his way; similar to the modern Indian holy man, it was considered both a duty and an honor to provide for someone as valuable to society as the knight.
His physical needs, modest in any event, are thus easily met. To the extent that the knight seeks anything, he seeks prestige, fame, and reputation, and his adventures are a means of obtaining these. However, besides his extraordinary deeds, he also attains fame and reputation because of the qualities of his personality -the gracious way the knight treats others, for example, magnanimously setting free the enemies he has vanquished.
Although he will never boast of or even recite his feats -for that would be a symptom of pride-, and may often disguise his identity, using, for example, borrowed armor with a different heraldic symbol, the news traveled fast in the chivalric world, and the knight-errant rapidly became well known and sought after. He is, in effect, proving that he is of royal abilities, and a fit ruler for the kingdom or empire which he will in the course of time inherit. Part of the knight's reputation, as we have just indicated, is based on something besides his ability as a fighter.
He will, in fact, have a great many desirable qualities: intelligence, a calm temper, magnanimity.
Madrid: isting Cosmopolitanism. In any event, they do not form part of Spanish literature In contrast with a genre such as the Golden Age epic poem, the subject of over dense pages in which Frank Pierce outlines the history of its study in Spain 30 , there is relatively little to be said about the criticism of the romances of chivalry, especially in the Golden Age itself. But as with most texts in the age of manuscripts, these were limited in their circulation. Mumbai noun Mumbai The city formerly known as 'Bombay' Cat. In this castle a group of the protagonists is enchanted, to remain there a hundred years. Errors contain documental value for the diachrony of a language since they indicate the sensitization of a speaker to a linguistic structure, which is a clear sign of the existence of the variation that is necessary for a change to arise Labov
His mesura and cool temper were important virtues, for one with a hot temper too easily gets into unnecessary fights. The knight has a highly developed ethical sense, and always helps the more deserving of two parties to a conflict; in fact, he feels he has a responsibility to help those deserving persons in need of his help, of which there are many.
The knight does not seek occasions for serious fighting, though he does for the less serious fighting which was intended as entertainment. He avoids conflict whenever possible, and only engages in it when reconciliation with his opponent is impossible, when the adversary cannot be made to see the inevitable error of his ways. He will be a good courtier, even though court life is not to his taste He is neither wordy nor taciturn, and may be able to play musical instruments and compose verses. With all these desirable qualities and abilities, it is scarcely surprising that the knight is widely liked and respected.
They may be simply jealous of him, jealousy being both a sin and a flaw in one's personality, or they may seek revenge for some defeat they have received at his hand Not infrequently he may gain an enemy as a consequence of an interest in, or from, a female. Such enemies may invent falsehoods about the knight, accusing him of treason which he would never dream of committing. He may be accused of love for an inappropriate person, such as a married queen Or the accusations may be less serious.
Usually the ultimate fate of the knight's evil accusers is death, either because a battle is required to show, through combat, which party is telling the truth and to cleanse the knight's honor and reputation, or because the malcreants are put to death by the king when exposed, or because they cannot bear living in humiliation, which in the chivalric world, again reflecting contemporary Spanish values, was felt to be intolerable. The knight-errant and protagonist will not, however, seek the death of his enemies.
Among the evil characters the knight will come into contact with on his travels are giants. As I have explained elsewhere , the giants were not supernatural beings but merely very large and ugly men, who believed themselves to be superior to ordinary men and therefore free from the troubling need to follow society's rules. Giants are clearly the villains of the romances of chivalry.
Never Christians , they usurped kingdoms because of their whim, and carried off women with the intent of raping them and men to be sold as slaves. One may well note here a reflection of the Spaniards' attitude toward the Moors. The giants are haughty and disrespectful. They offer the knight the chance to show his extraordinary abilities in defeating and killing them; in the case of giants, he does not hesitate to put them to death. Occasionally one finds a good or reformed giant , and sometimes dwarfs , evil or otherwise.
Several other characteristics of the knight in the romances of chivalry need mentioning. Because he is such a likeable person and a good companion, the knight is seldom alone. This is not because he has a squire, since the role of squires in the Spanish romances of chivalry, as Don Quijote knew, is a very secondary one. It is rather because friends of similar age, or relatives, accompany him on his travels. Often he travels with knights that he meets by chance on the road. The knight is also an outdoorsman. He is not upset by the discomforts of travel in those primitive times, and frankly enjoys the nature by which he is usually surrounded.
He goes through beautiful forests, climbs gentle hills, comes across fresh, clear rivers , is woken in the morning by the singing of the birds, and makes his meals when necessary from what nature provides. His main diversion, aside from tournaments or an occasional sarao with the ladies, is caza de monte. Correspondingly, the knight does not like urban life.
Cities, as well as creature comforts, make him uneasy and restless. To visit a castle, palace, or court the latter usually set in a city may be attractive for a time, but once the tournament is over or his business concluded, the knight feels he must be on the road again, an attitude clearly reflected by Don Quijote in II, 57 and 58 of the Quijote.
The knight may even be surmised to have a certain scorn for those who do not share this view. One of the saddest moments in the life of a knight-errant or in the life of a king, perhaps the protagonist's father, a former knight-errant is when he finally accedes to his throne. While the knight feels comfortable in small groups and is glad to have company, he dislikes large gatherings of people. In a military action, conscious of his status, he will not mix with the common soldiers, though he will quite routinely accept a meal from shepherds if he encounters them on his travels.
The tournament is the only exception to this, since tournaments are a basic element of the Spanish romances of chivalry, and they bring together a large body of knights. It may safely be concluded that the tournaments are as frequent as they are because the Spanish readers found them entertaining, strange as this may seem to the modern reader who has lost the taste for this type of sport.
A tournament would be given by a king, who himself gained status by staging one and by having distinguished knights in his court, even for a short time; the king also would enjoy recapturing some of the pleasure of the company of other knights, which he cannot enjoy as frequently as in his youth. A tournament usually had some prize or prizes to be awarded, some attraction which would draw knights.
They came not so much for the prize to be awarded since the winner, our protagonist, would invariably give it away in his turn, often to a woman present at the tournament whom he wished to impress. The knight entered the competition for the honor of winning the prize, the status gained thereby, and the social obligations he created with his gift.
The most common sport at the tournaments was the fight with lances, long, thick poles with which two knights at a time ran at each other, on horseback, each attempting with the blow of the impact to knock the other from his horse. The force of the impact was considerable, and often the thick lances would break; the two knights would continue using additional lances until one was victorious Although physical injury was not the object in this sport, which was often a game among friends, it was not uncommon for someone to be hurt.
A sort of impromptu tournament, semi-serious, which the knight might encounter was the paso , in which someone would block the road, or a bridge, and the knight could not continue his travel unless he admitted something unacceptable that his lady was less beautiful than another, for example , or defeated in battle the knight maintaining the paso.
That this type of adventure antedated the Spanish romances, and is found in the fifteenth-century Passo honroso -itself a reflection of literature -, is so well known as almost to make it unnecessary to mention it here. Along with tournaments and pasos , battles are also an essential part of the romances of chivalry, and here again the knight-errant is able to show his exceptional abilities.
Always held for a serious and just reason -to repel an attack, for example- the battles are invariably bloody affairs in which many are killed , unless, as occasionally happens, the two sides to a conflict decide to have a limited number from each side determine, through fighting, the outcome The protagonist is usually not a main participant at the beginning of a battle, since he remains calm and somewhat detached, and the duty of fighting would first be assumed by the person s the knight is aiding.
But when the knight-errant, the hero of the story, has his anger aroused, he becomes a terrifying opponent. He wields his sword and charges through the battle, cutting off heads and arms, penetrating armor with the force of his blows. Not unusual is the blow which descends through the helmet, the neck, and part of the trunk, severing an opponent almost into two parts. There is often a religious element to these battles, in which the knight, though not necessarily a Christian, helps the Christian side, which will in any event be more deserving for other reasons. Women and love usually play a secondary role in the Spanish romances of chivalry, serving more as background, or providing motives for action , than taking part in the action themselves.
Ladies did not travel for pleasure or amusement; in fact, except for women in search of assistance or carrying out some vow, they did not travel at all unless forced to by evil-doers. We can summarize by saying that both literally and figuratively, women are the spectators at the tournament. Love, of course, was seen as a refining element, felt to improve men, and the knight will fall in love at some point with the woman he will eventually marry, though not much significance was given to the marriage vows, to judge from the number of children conceived out of wedlock.
But love was still a pretext for adventures, rather than a main focus of attention. The knight's courtship of his lady, consequently, will usually be secret, and beset with external difficulties, even if the lady is agreeable, which is not always the case, especially at the beginning The romance will usually end with the marriage of the knight perhaps a joint marriage, together with some of his friends or relatives , the birth or conception of a son, and the protagonist's accession to the throne Women in need of assistance, ranging from queens to humble servant girls, are the basis for many of the knight's deeds Errors contain documental value for the diachrony of a language since they indicate the sensitization of a speaker to a linguistic structure, which is a clear sign of the existence of the variation that is necessary for a change to arise Labov As Company indicates , the primary goal of the publication of textual data for linguistic purposes is to produce a text that reflects a state of language.
This implies conserving the heterogeneity and instability inherent in a text, and letting the scholar decide the linguistic interest of the phenomena reflected in it. Conclusion In these pages, I have discussed the methodology for selecting, transcribing, editing, and making accessible to scholars documents of linguistic interest for researching the diachrony of the variety of Spanish in contact with Catalan in Majorca.
The main objective in assembling such a corpus is to create the necessary infrastructure to advance the study of Majorcan Spanish through the use of linguistic data that is useful, trustworthy, and easy to access. Hopefully, the experiences and reflections found here will benefit researchers examining other geographic areas where there are similar Spanish-Catalan contact situations. In the corpus of the APS these reductions appear as much in the writings of monolingual Castilian speakers as in those of Majorcans and thus they seem to be a trait associated with colloquial register rather than attributable to contact with Catalan.
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