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The goddess Fortuna has played with the destiny of the Congress that we inaugurate today until delivering it to the city of Cádiz and placing it at the gates of the Atlantic, moving it from its first location in the beautiful White City of the high Andean mountains. We prepared with all the Academies a program based on the motto "Miscegenation and interculturality". Arequipa would have been a magnificent location to develop it due to its geographical and historical location in the heart of miscegenation. A lug

ar emblematic for the succession of cultures that took place in Peru until reaching the Inca and the encounter with the Spanish culture and language.

We propose to study, in the extensive program, the assumptions of fusion, absorption and even disappearance of elements of archaic culture as a result of colonization, but also the endless enrichments caused by contact, which left their reflections in educational and government institutions, religious constructions, civil infrastructures, the plant of cities, architecture and the plastic arts and, what matters most to us, in linguistic relations of all kinds, some that implied diglossia, others egalitarian coexistence and, in any case, an intense relationship of loans and reciprocal influences.

We put at the center of the Arequipa celebration a Peruvian writer and anthropologist, José María Arguedas, who represents as few the coexistence of cultures and miscegenation, interculturality respectful of all the concurrent traditions in the formidable American melting pot. Arguedas's literature, and his own biography, express the defense of archaic culture at the same time as the acceptance of everything that had advantageous contact with the European.

In these days of Congress we will present the special edition, included in the commemorative collection of the Asale, of his most significant novel:

Deep rivers


We regret that the original design could not be maintained. We dedicate an affectionate memory to the nation and to the sister Academy of Peru, which had developed so much work in its organization.

We are welcomed by Cadiz, which is no less significant venue for the IX International Congress of the Spanish Language. There is a reason in sight to celebrate the election: Cadiz was the end of the known land, the place that warns of the

Non Plus Ultra

, and which, however, consolidated the maritime route that connected Europe with America.

Spain brought to America, for three centuries, our language and culture

, as they had been formed during the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Enlightenment and generated intercultural relations that involved conceptions of the world that emerged in the West Indies, at a great distance and without any connection with European thought and ways of life.

Miscegenation was the consequence of coexistence, displacement or absorption. Perhaps in specific cases it was located at the limits of ethnocide, as some politicians and anthropologists have defended, who would have wanted the historical petrification of the beliefs and ways of life of the original communities. But the dominant assessment of the phenomenon is the one that estimates that

Intercultural relations and miscegenation gave rise to more empowered communities

to organize and be happy.

Cadiz, like many other Spanish territories, was for three centuries a supplier of men and women to colonial America, who carried their ways of life and their language, the speeches of Lower Andalusia, which has so influenced the dialectal varieties alive on the other side of the Atlantic.

But Cadiz was also, when the American nations began to separate from Spain and definitively take the reins of their political destiny,

The starting point of the language and culture of freedom

, which flooded both sides of the Atlantic at the same time.

The concept of citizen was being invented since the end of the eighteenth century, to replace that of subject, and the first declarations of his rights were being prepared. They were the sounds of a revolution that became nominally effective with the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, from the English colonies of North America, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of August 26, 1789, and the Constitutions that were promulgated immediately to govern the coexistence of nations. among which the Cadiz of 1812 stands out.

The language on both sides of the Atlantic will receive, this time at the same time,

The impact of words that express new ideas

. It was generated in the transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century an intense renewal of language that constituted a true revolution of words, of a scope never before known.

Revolution, reform, national sovereignty, nation, national unity, homeland, division of powers, legislative power, arbitrariness, constitution, judiciary, accountability, public official, human rights, equality, freedom, security, property

... Many newspapers of the time are dedicated to giving an account of the meaning of revolutionary words and even go so far as to give for deliveries relations of definitions of fashionable words. So does the

Patriotic Weekly

In relation to the word


. Or

The Censor

with words

Government, Basic Laws, Constitution and Patriotism


The words at this time ceased to have a neutral and indifferent meaning, typical of the Old Regime. Henceforth the acceptance or not of the new

It will also have political significance

and can determine that the person who employs them is qualified as





conservative, absolutist








The most expressive example of this instrumentalization was, in Spain, that of burlesque dictionaries, which were published in the early years of the nineteenth century to hurt political opponents mocking their inclination to use new words or

New meanings of old words whose definitions ridicule

. Highlights the

Dictionary raisonné


manual for intelligence of certain writers who by mistake were born in Spain

. Useful and necessary work in our days. It was published a couple of times in Cádiz in 1811 anonymously, but it was learned that it had been inspired by absolutist deputies, such as Pastor Pérez or Freire Castrillón, as was proven in the process initiated against Bartolomé José Gallardo, anonymous author of the

Critical dictionary

burlesque, which replied with sarcasm to the previous one. The dictionary prepared by the Jesuit Thiulen also achieved notoriety.

The convenience of spreading political ideas and teaching the people to handle them determined a great diffusion of pamphlets, political catechisms, leaflets, speeches, sermons, harangues, proclamations, couplets, anagrams, projects, press articles, which served for the political education of citizens.

The specific educational function that they intended to develop, in Cádiz and Spain of the early nineteenth century, political and burlesque dictionaries was assumed in America mainly by the

Political catechisms

. These were pieces published as pamphlets or small books very accessible, which explained with simplicity the new words that

They enshrined constitutionalism and bills of rights.

For example, the

Royal Catechism

, or Royal Primer; The very influential

Catechism of the State

of Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva, initially published in Madrid in 1793, or the

Royal Patriotic Catechism

of Cañete, which circulated in Upper Peru.

In Buenos Aires in 1811 the

Public Catechism for the Instruction of Neophytes or Recent Converts to the Guild of the Patriotic Society

. In Chile, José Amor de la Patria wrote in 1811 a

Christian Political Catechism

. The

Catechism or patriotic, Christian and political dispertador

, published in 1814, dedicated to "the countrymen and military volunteers of the province of Salta". In New Granada, the priest Juan Fernández de Sotomayor published the

Catechism or popular instruction

, published in 1814. The first properly republican catechism published in Mexico was the Catechism of the Republic or elements of the federal popular republican government of the Mexican nation, published by M. N. Vargas in 1827. Here appeared concepts such as

Fatherland, people, sovereignty, republic, free man




Basic in the definition of the political entities that emerged with independence

. Also

patriot, patriotic society, republican government, independence, free peoples


These were times of passionate language and excitement for language, which have not revived so strongly in the last two centuries.

But, since then, the language of freedom has traveled again and again between the two shores of the Atlantic and the RAE and the sister Academies of America have received

The most beautiful of inheritances

: the task of preserving its unity, enriching it and keeping it away from the interference of those who do not respect these irreversible conquests or seek to take away from the people their exclusive rights over the creation and transformation of language.