Sobre historiografía gramatical e codificación lingüística (1955-1971). O Epítome de gramática galega e outros textos


Freixeiro Mato, Xosé Ramón

Research lines

Sociolinguistics and language planning




Universidade da Coruña

Date of publishment


Number of pages



Chapter one of this new study examines the initiatives and proposals surrounding the creation of an official grammar for Galician during the period 1955-1971, and the attempts by the Royal Galician Academy (RAG) during that time to produce a codified set of rules for the language. Chapter two reproduces the never-published Short Grammar of the Galician Language by Leandro Carré Alvarellos, created for the RAG in 1969. Chapters three and four present a selection of correspondence by key players in the standardisation process and other documents relating to the debates and initiatives of the time.

More than half a century after its foundation, the RAG had still not succeeded in producing an official grammar of the Galician language. Upon taking office as President in 1960, Sebastián Martínez-Risco made that founding objective of the academy his own, though ultimately to no avail. The decade did see the completion of two private grammar projects, however, by Ricardo Carvalho Calero and Leandro Carré Alvarellos, respectively: the first, with the institutional endorsement and support of the influential Galaxia publishing group; the second, as a solitary endeavour by the author, with virtually no official backing or recognition. Carré went on to create a Short Grammar of the Galician Language in 1969 for the RAG to include in its proposed standard, though the work remained unpublished. Towards the end of this period, with the tentative prospect of Galician entering the school curriculum, a limited set of spelling and morphological rules was quickly drawn up and decided on in 1970 and 1971, respectively.

Chapter two includes the full text of Short Grammar of the Galician Language, created by Leandro Carré Alvarellos (even though his name does not appear on the original text) and conserved in the private archive of Sebastián Martínez-Risco. Other previously unpublished material includes all correspondence from the Martínez-Risco archive concerning the process of standardisation at the time, and selected letters from the RAG archive; additional extracts from the RAG are quoted in the introductory study, the complete archive being too extensive to reproduce here in full. Further sources relating to the grammar project and language rules developed by the RAG, and other standardising initiatives of the time, are annexed to the letters featured in Chapters three (report by Ramón Piñeiro, proposals by Leandro Carré, first draft of the morphology rules drawn up by the RAG, etc.) and four (motion by Banet Fontenla, articles by Manuel Rabanal, proceedings of a seminar held in Vigo, etc.).