Y OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORN
University of California Berkeley
Y OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY flFj CALIFORN
HE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE
AURELIO M. ESPINOSA, PH. D.,
Assistant Professor of Spanish,
At the Leland Stanford Junior University.
SANTA FE, N. M.
NEW MEXICAN PRINTING COMPANY
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE
AURELIO M. ESPINOSA, PH. D.,
Assistant Professor of Spanish,
At the Leland Stanford Junior University.
SANTA FE, N. M.
NEW MEXICAN PRINTING COMPANY
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF NEW MEXICO
President Hon. L. Bradford Prince, LL. D.
j Hon. William J. Mills
Vice-Presidents < Hon. Frank W. Clancy
( Hon. Ralph E. Twitchell
Recording Secretary William M. Berger
Asst. Recording Secretary Mrs. J. P. Victory
Corresponding Secretary Ernest A. Johnston
Treasurer John K. Stauffer
Curator Henry Woodruff
William G. Ritch.*
L. Bradford Prince, L. L.
William W. Griffin.*
Francisco A. Manzanares.*
L. P. Browne.*
Ruel M. Johnson.*
William A. Vincent.
Mariano S. Oterp.*
Nicolas T. Armijo.*
Angus A. Grant.*
Joshua S. Raynoids.
Wm. C. Hazeldine.*
Pedro Y. Jaramillo.*
Jose E. Chaves.
Samuel P. Foster.*
Thomas B. Catron.
J. Pablo Gallegos.*
Charles H. Gildersleeve.*
D. C. H. Dane.
Walter C. Hadley.*
H. B. Fergusson.
Charles B. Eddy.
W. A. Hawkins.
Mrs. Louisa Bristol.
Rufus J. Palen.
William T. Thornton.
Richard Mansfield White.
Henry C. Carter.
William M. Berger.
Mrs. Ella May Chaves.
Adolph F. A. Bandelier.
Ellen Kearney Bascome.
William W. H. Davis.
E. G. Littlejohn.
George W. Martin.
Reuben Gold Thwaites.
PUBLICATIONS OF THE SOCIETY
No. 1. 1881 Inaugural Address of Hon. W. G. Ritch.
No. 2. 1882 "Kin and Clan," by Adolph F. Bandelier,
No. 3. 1896 "The Stone Idols of New Mexico." (Illu-
strated) by Hon. L. Bradford Prince.
No. 4. 1903 "The Stone Lions of Cochiti," by Hon. L.
No. 5. 1904 Bi-ennial Report; English.
No. 6. 1904 Bi-ennial Report; Spanish.
No. 7. 1906 "The Franciscan Martyrs of 1680."
No. 8. 1906 The Defeat of the Commanches in 1716.
No. 9. 1907 -Bi-ennial Report.
No. 10. 1907 Journal of New Mexico Convention of Septem-
No. 11. 1908 -The California Column.
No. 12. 1908 Carson's Fight with the Commanches at Adobe
No. 13. 1909 Bi-ennial Report.
No. 14. 1909 The Palace, Santa Fe, N. M.
No. 15. 1910 Catalogue of Books in the Library of the
Society, relating to New Mexico and the
No. 16. 1911 "The Spanish Language in New Mexico and
Southern Colorado," byAurelio M. Espi-
nosa, Ph. D.
This article has been written at the request of many
of my New Mexico friends and at the request and
and personal desire of the president of the New Mex-
ico Historical Society, for a popular presentation
of the subject, the Spanish language in New Mexico
and Colorado. I have attempted, therefore, to avoid
all philological discussion, and endeavored to treat
the matter not from the view point of the specialist.
The points which I hope I have made clear, are the
1st. The Spanish language as spoken to-day by
nearly one quarter of a million people in New Mexico
and Colorado, is not a vulgar dialect, as many misin-
formed persons believe, but a rich archaic Spanish
dialect, largely Castilian in source.
2nd. The indigenous Indian elements are unim-
portant, and only the Nahuatl of Mexico has exercised
an important influence, being the language of a semi-
3rd. The influence of the English language on the
Spanish of the entire South-west is one of the greatest
importance, and of the most intense interest to the
philologists and ethnologists.
4th. The Spanish language in New Mexico and in
the entire South-west has had a great influence on the
English vernacular of these regions, and it's study is
of the greatest importance.
5th. The State school of laws of the South-west,
should make the study of Spanish possible in the
public. schools, for the benefit of the Spanish speaking
children of these regions, who have no opportunity
to learn to read their native tongue. To learn En-
glish no one has to forget Spanish or any other
6th. The scientific and compresive study New Mex-
ican Spanish folklore should be encouraged in every
legitimate way by the learned Societies and educa-
tional Institutions of New Mexico.
Stanford University, California, April, 1911.
I. The Sources.
II. Distinguishing Characteristics.
III. The Nahuatl and other Indigenous Elements.
IV. The English Influence.
V. The Influence of Spanish on the English Lan-
VI. New Mexican Spanish Folklore.
1. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth
century of our era, Latin continued to be the spoken
language of a number of it's peoples. This Latin was
not the classic language of Cicero and Virgil, but
popular Latin, as old as classic Latin and different
from it in many respects. This popular Latin was the
principal source of the neo-Latin tongues which were
gradually developed in the different regions of the old
Roman Empire. In the end, the popular Latin lost its
individual existence, leaving, however, its descend-
ants, the Romance languages.
The Spanish language must have been an independ-
ent tongue by the 8th century of our era, though we
have no written specimens, dating earlier than the 10th
century. The oldest Spanish documents of the llth
and 12th centuries, show us a language completely
divorced from the Latin with an independent and
national importance. The Spanish language is a Latin
language, notwithstanding the Germanic and Arabic
elements which entered long after its Latin founda-
tions had been firmly established.
This old Spanish language which we see in its writ-
ten form in the "Misterio de los Reyes Magos," ! and in
"El Gantar de Mio Cid," 2 was perfected in the XlVth
1 A 12th century composition; Ed. of R. Mene"ndez Pidal
2 Ordinarily known as the Poem of the, Cid. The first im-
portant literary poetic composition in the Spanish language,
guage, dating from the llth century, according to R. Mene'ndez
Pidal; Ed. Madrid, 1900.
6 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
and XVth centuries, and its majesty and literary glory
reached their culmination with the Don Quixote of Cer-
vantes 3 and the famous dramatists of the 17th cen
tury, Lope de Vega and Calder6n. 4
2. This Spanish language of the XVIth and
XVIIth centuries, made glorious by such names as
those of Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Calder6n, was
precisely the language which the Spanish Conquista-
dores carried to America. They carried it to Mexico
in the XVIth century, and from there to New Mex-
ico in the XVIIth century. Juan de Onate made the
first permanent settlement in New Mexico as early as
1598, but the Indian revolution of 1860 drove all the
Spaniards out of the new province and a new settle-
ment was not effected until 1693 when Diego De
Vargas re-entered with new and old colonies.
The Sources of the Spanish of New Mexico and
southern Colorado are to be found, then, in the Cas-
tilian Spanish of the XVIth century, together with
other Spanish dialects of less importance, the Anda-
lusian, the Galician and the western Spanish-Portu-
guese dialects. The first inhabitants of New Mexico
represented these many dialects, and furthermore,
the dialects were probably, all represented in differ-
ent chronological stages; Spanish settlers came bo
New Mexico as early as 1598, but the immigration
continued until the middle of the XVIIIth century.
During all that time, however, the Castilian was the
3 Mig-uel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616). The first part
of Don Quixote appeared at Alcala de Henares in 1605.
4 Lope de Vega Carpio (1562-1635); the most prolific drama-
Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681).
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 7
language of the court and the all-important dialect
which all spoke. 1
1 See my Studies on New Mexican Spanish, I, g 2, 3, 6.
(Published in Eevue de Dialectologic Romane, Nos. 2, 3, 1909:
Halle, Germany, and in Bulletin of the University of New
Mexico, Language Series Vol. I, No. 2, 1910.)
3. For more than three hundred years, New
Mexican Spanish has had an isolated and independent
existence; completely divorced from any contact with
the Spanish of Spain or Mexico. Other than the
Nahuati elements introduced from Mexico and the
modern English influence, of which we shall speak
later, no influence whatever has come to disturb the
slow development of this original Castilian treasure,
which wonderfully conservative, and deprived of the
literary culture which enriches a language, remains
to-day as it was brought here in the XVIIth. century,
a Spanish linguistic monument, which no influence
or power can ever destroy.
The Spanish language is extremely conservative.
It is not too much to say, that the French language
reached a period of development, already in the Xllth.
century, which the Spanish dialects have not yet
reached. The New Mexican Spanish, perhaps the
most isolated daughter of the Spanish language of the
Golden Age has been so conservative, that a good part
of its vocabulary and of its grammar, including pho-
nology, has changed but little since the XVIth. and
XVIIth. centuries. The changes, of course, are nu-
merous. No language, however conservative, can stand
still, and phonetic change in linguistic science is to be
expected, just as growth or decay in the biological
'4. The first and most important character of the
Spanish language of New Mexico and southern Colo-
rado, is, therefore, its archaim. I believe there is no
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 9
modern Spanish dialect, either in Spain or America,
that can surpass the New Mexican in archaic words
and expressions, constructions and sounds. The
reasons for this, are evident, when one considers the
long period of isolation and lack of literary culture.
The Spanish of Castile has undoubtedly undergone
more change, than the New Mexican, since the XVIth.
century, owing to the ever increasing influence of the
literary language, and neighboring dialects, which
though unimportant, have never yielded to theCastilian-
Though, the author believes, that New Mexican Spa-
nish, is as archaic, or rather, preserves as many ar-
chaisms as any other Spanish dialects known, it is
also to be noted that the Spanish-American dialects
all preserve many archaisms in common, an for that
matter many of the dialects of Spain have their share
in the phenomenon in question. To state categori-
cally, which are purely New Mexican archaisms is
no easy matter, but some seem fairly certain. This
article is not a comparative philological treastise, (a
matter treated in detail in my Studies in New Mexican
Spanish) hence no comparisons with the other dialects
are made. Among the common New Mexican archa-
isms are: (a) ansi, ansina, asina, naidien, agora, traidrd,
lamber,. ivierno, pos, onque, dende, trujo. mesmo, anque,
ay, comigo, vide, (vi), cuasi (casi), escuro, via (veia),
adrede, endenantes, sospirar (b) quese(que esde) Some
of these are Pan-American. The sound given to II
(ie, a y sound) and to z or c before e or i (ie, as s) is
also Pan-American, but not archaic.
6. As to the all important distinguishing char-
acteristics which are peculiarly New Mexican, we
/iv\ight mention the following:
10 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
(I) Phonetic Changes.
(a) The complete, fall of intervocalic II, in some dis-
tricts, as in the San Luis Valley (Southern Colorado),
and its fall in certain positions in the rest of the New
Mexican Spanish territory. Examples: Cabello-cabeo,
silla-sia, ellos-eos. 1
(b) The change of Spanish s(from whatever source)
to a sound like the English h. This is widespread
among the rural uneducated classess. Examples:
Nosotros-noJiotros, los libros-loh libros, casa-caha. 5
(c) The change of the Spanish ending ado to an
general. 3 Examples: soldau (soldado), comprau (com-
(d) The change of final posttonic e to i after certain
palatal groups. Examples: Suefle-sueni, noche-nochi,
(e) The complete fall of nasal consonantes leaving
nasal vowels. 5
1 Studies in New Mexican Spanish, I 158.
2 Ibid I 153.
3 Ibid g 180 (2).
4 Ibid 47.
6 Ibid I 20.
II. riorpho logical Changes.
Among the morphological changes are:
(a) nos (pronoun) los. l
(b) The charge of accent in the first person plural
of the subjunctive, and of m to n in the same form:
Examples: vayamos vdyanos, [compremos cdmprenos,
(c) Indicative forms made like imperative forms, in
certain verb forms. 3
1 Studies in New Mexican Spanish. I. \ 128.
2 Ibid \\ 10, 142.
3 Ibid g 208.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 11
(d) The change of a to o and o to e by analogy. 4
(e) Several juxtaposed words, resulting in a new
formation, such as: algotro (algun otro), nuay (no
hay), estiotro (este otro), cunos (con unos), pel (para
ellos), quisque (que es que), diay (de alii), etc. 5
4 Ibid g 42, 48.
5 Studies in New Mexican Spanish, Part II, Morphology,
will appear soon in the Revue de Dialectogie Romane.
THE NAHUATL AND OTHER INDIGENOUS
1 A careful preliminary work on the change found in the
Nahuatl Elements in Spanish, may be seen in Harden' s "The
Phonology of the Spanish Dialect of Mexico C%," (Baltimore,
6. The Nahuatl or Nauatl language was the most
important language which the Spsniards encountered
in (J^exico. It was the language of a semi-civilized
Aztec nation, and its influence in the Spanish language
of Mexico was very pronounced. The Nanuatl words
found in New Mexico and Southern Colorado, are
words brought from Mexico in the XVIIth century,
precisely at the same time when the Spanish colonists
were entering slowly into New Mexico by way of
Mexico. Perhaps not more than one hundred Nahuatl
words, all told, are used in New Mexican Spanish. 2
In Mexico they have, on the whole, remained un-
changed since that time, even in cases where in New
Mexico they have later undergone other phonetic
developments, Examples of this last phenomen are:
(1) Nahuatl x (pronounced sh as old Spanish x)
became modern Mexico Spanish./ (as English ft), just
as old Spahish x (sh) became j both in Spain and Ame-
rica; but in New Mexican Spanish the old Nahuatl sh
sound has remained. 3 Examples: 4
Nahuatl xaxal New Mex. Sp. shashal, Mexico Span-
2 Studies in New Mexican Spanish, \ 164.
3 In Southern New Mexico, it is also pronouced J, probably
through Mexican influence (Studies in New Mexican Span,
ish, g 165).
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 13
Nahuatl xoxo New Mex. Sp. shosho, Mexico Span-
Nahuatl xocoqme New Mex. Sp. shocoque, Mexico
(2) Nahuatl tl became in Mexican Spanish, ke or t
or remained, but in New Mexican Spanish t, always.
Nauatl tlapechtli, N. Mex., Sp., tapeiste, Mexican
Nahuatl tlemulli, N. Mex. Sp., temole, Mexican Sp.,
tlemole or klemole.
7. As to the indigenous elements, that is, ele.
ments introduced from the New Mexico Indians and
surrounding tribes, including all together, the Pueblo
Indians of the Rio Grande, the Utes and Navahoes of
the mountains, and wandering Comanches, it is certain
that no important linguistic traces are to be found.
Their influence was little felt, linguistically speaking,
and perhaps not more than a score of words have
found their way into the Spahish language of New
Mexico, from all these Indian races mentioned. *
The writer is not familiar with the New Mexico In-
dian languages and cannot vouch for the origin of
some apparently Indian words. In my New Mex-
ican Vocabularies and Studies, I have only noted some
twenty words for which I could find neither Spanish
nor Nahuatl source. Of these, the following seem to
be of native Indian origin:
1 Batacdn (bean), Pueblo Indians of the North?
2 Cambalachi (trade, market, business affair), Co-
manche. ' /
1 I do dot include, here, the native names of plants and
animals. This would increase the number by at least two-
14 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
3 Canatt (idea, caprice) Pueblo Indians of the
4 ChacMquite (turquoise), Pueblo Indians.
5 Macucha> (coward, akward), Pueblo Indian?
6 Maruca, (wife, woman) Navahoe.
7 Naca or Nacayg, (Spaniard, stranger), Pueblo In-
dians of the North.
8 Techi, (friend, pal), Pueblo Indians.
9 Tegua, (moccasin), Pueblo Indians of the North.
10 Tuta* (no, not at all), Ute.
11 Yugue> (grease, dirt), Apache, or Ute?
THE ENGLISH INFLUENCE.
8. In the year 1846 New Mexico was occupied
by the American Army under Kearney and in 1848 by
the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, it became a part of
the United States of North America. For some sixty
years, therefore, the Spanish speaking inhabitants
of New Mexico have been in continous, direct and ne-
cessary, contact with English speaking people. The
influence of the English language on the Spanish has
been great, considering the short time, some three
hundred words, including verbs, nouns, adjectives
and other parts of speech, having already become a
fixed part of the New Mexican Spanish vocabulary.
The study of these words constitutes some of the
most interesting phenomena of linguistic changes and
speech mixture. A preliminary study of the phon-
etic changes in the New Mexican Spanish words of
English origin is found in the author's Studies in New
Mexican Spanish, x and a detailed study is now in
preparation. Here I shall merely give word lists to
show the tremendous influence of the English on the
Spanish language in our territory. Though it will
be at once seen that many words are those for which
there were no Spanish equivalents, known in New
Mexico, others are additions to the linguistic field.
All told, there are in current use among the unedu-
cated classes of New Mexico and Southern Colorado,
some three hundred words of English origin. 2
1 %% 215,263
2 This does not include many English words and phrarse
used by educated Spanish- Americans, which are straight un-
changed English words and mingled in Spanish conversation-
In the list above, I include only real hispanized vocables,
when half of the people who use them are ignorant of their
16 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
9. The greatest English influence is felt, of
co.use, in the cities, where the English speaking peo.
pie are more numerous, but a large part of the three
hundred words found,in the New Mexican vocabulary
are known and used by people from the mountain and
country districts, where English is spoken only by a
The old people, i. e, those above say, sixty five years
of age use little English in their speech, while the
younger generation, or those between the ages of six
and forty use the largest number of English borrow-
ed words. Among school children, especially in larger
cities and towns, and among those who work in the
cities, as clerks, porters, laundry girls, etc., there is
to be seen not only the greatest English influence, but
even astonishing speech mixture, such as phrases
half Spanish half English etc.. and it is not at all rare
to see Spanish-American people in the stores or
streets, speaking Spanish and mingling here and
there English words, which are not felt to be English.
This speech mixture is not confined to the unedu-
cated and lower classes, but pervades the whole
speech of the Spanish-Americans in New Mexico, Co-
lorado, Texas, Arizona and California. The autor is
familiar, however, only with the conditions in New
Mexico and Colorado. Here, one may often go to an
evening party where both Spanish and English are
spoken, in spite of the fact that only Spanish speak-
ing speaking persons attend. Modern conditions
in society have demanded that the New Mexicans
learn and use English words and phrases. At such
gatherings one hears such expressions as "jugvr al
high five," "Ese es tu widow" (at cards), "Ahi viene tu
felow," "Que ice cream tan fine," "Dame candy, "
AND SOUTHERN ^ COLORADO. 17
"Thank you Seflorita," "You bet si," "Well vdmonos,"
"Hello, Compadre" "Aquivan los refreshments", etc.,
etc. The autor himself is not free from such speech
mixtures. Among the higher educated classes of the
cities, it is not at all rare to find young school children
who speak more English than Spanish, and in some
cases children who ignore Spanish altogether, though
their parents may speak it. They learn English at
school an with their associates and converse often
with their parents in English while the parents reply
in Spanish, and they understand each other perfectly.
. 10. Tne number of people who speak only
Spanish, among the Spanish-speaking inhabitants of
New Mexico and southern Colorado, is by no means
small. Tne total Spanish-speaking population of
these regions I estimated in my Studies in New Mex-
ican Spanish, at about, 250,000, of which some 50,000
are found in Colorado. 1 1 cannot say definitely what
proportion of these, speak only Spanish. A large
number of the people are not at all familiar with the
English language, especially in the remote country
Districts. If I were to make a guess, I would say
that'of the total 250,000 some 80, 000, or one third of the
entire Spanish-speaking population do not speak the
English language, though some of these may under-
stand a few words of English. About two thirds, then,
of the Spanish inhabitants of the regions in question
speak English and understand it, while one third
speak only Spanish, and understands a little En-
glish and about one out of every five persons is totally
ignorant of the English language. There are, of
1 Introduction, page 1. The Santa Fe New Mexican (Oct.
1909), believes I overestimated the population in question by
about 50,000. No statistics are available.
18 SPANISH "LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
course, great differences, if one distinguishes social
classes, the cities, country districts, etc. In the
cities and towns perhaps ninety percent of the New
Mexicans speak English, while the figures may be
easily reversed in the remote districts etc. It is also
to be noted, that in Southern Colorado the percentage
of English speaking Spanish-Americans is larger
than in New Mexico. With this observation must
also be mentioned a curious fact. Throughout the
Spanish speaking regions of the United States, there
has always been a persistent effort to teach these in-
habitants the English language. Generally speaking,
and from the point of view of the schools the effort
has been successful, and fortunately. I am not fami-
liar with the school-laws of the States and Territories
of the South-west, other than those of New Mexico
and Colorado, In Colorado, since long ago, the law
of the State requires that in the school-districts where
the majority of the children are of Spanish parents,
the teacher must know both Spanish and English and
may teach them to read in Spanish, in adition to the
other school branches- And these people speak more*
and better English .than in New Mexico, where no
such law exists, and where, in fact, there is great
animosity on the part of the school authorities, lest
the Spanish speaking children learn to read Spanish.
It has always seemed to me a very foolish argument,
to insist, that to learn English, the children must
forget Spanish. The learning of English is a sure
fact. All are learning it and very quickly. But there
is one danger, namely, that unles the school-laws
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO.
provide for their Spanish instruction, they will forget
their beautiful native tongue. 1
11. We shall not enter here into a philological
treatment of the phonetic changes in words of English
origin, current in New Mexico. Those desiring to
study these phenomena will consult the author's pre-
liminary study in the work already mentioned. We
shall only give examples, to illustrate the English
(a) Verbs directly borrowed from the English, to
which is attached the Spanish infinitive ending:
baquiar from English (to) back plus -iar.
craquiar * * u
chachar " "
deschachar " "
fuliar " "
lonchar " "
puliar " "
pushar " "
ri/iar " "
roseliar " "
shainiar " "
trampiar ' '
tritiar " "
Nearly all verbs are of the first conjugation.
1 I have attempted to answer in $g 9, 10 many questions
touching the problems of speech mixture in New Mexico, pro,
pounded to me in a recent letter by Professor Rudolph Lenz-
of Santiago de Chili.
For the culture value of Spanish, see the excellent article
of Professor Hills of Colorado College. il A Plea for more
Spanish in the Schools of Colorado." Colorado College Studies
Vol. XII. No. 17.
SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
(b) Nouns directly borrowed from the English to
which is attached a Spanish ending:
jaquero ' from the English hackman.
(c) Nouns directly borrowed with regular phonetic
development in toto:
lonchi from the English lunch.
(d) Adjectives regularly and phonetically hispan-
from the English broke.
" " " crazy.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 21
Jul " " " fool.
lain " " " .fine.
ponque " " " punk.
(e) Interjections and oaths.
albechu from the English Fll bet yon.
gurbai " " " Good bye.
jald " " " Hello.
auchi " " " Ouch!
sh6 i i Pshaw!
shoquis " " " Shucks!
sanamagdn " " " Son of a gun!
gi-juis " " " Gee whis!
12. The Spanish translations used for govern-
mental, political, educational, industrial and house-
hold terminologies, furnish materials which are suf-
ficient for a long and interesting study. Frequently,
words as a rule Spanish, are combined in order to
translate the English word of phras'e in question,
while at other times the English terminologies are
translated literally, into a Spanish which is perfectly
clear to the New Mexicans, but which in many cases
would be well nigh unintelligible to our Spanish
brothers in other Spanish countries. I have not yet
made a definite and complete classification of these
phenomena, and shall content myself, here, by giving
a -few of the most interesting. The local Spanish
newspapers are full of such hispanized or Spanish
translated English terms or phrases. Examples:
abridor dejarros, can opener.
alianza de los rancheros, farmers' alliance.
came de bote, canned meat.
casa de corte, court house.
cuerpo de education, board of education.
1 These adjectives are usually not inflected; jaitiinis.
22 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
dipo de la unidn, union depot.
efectos secos, dry goods.
enumerador del censo, census enumerator.
escuela de reforma, reform school.
esteque de pierna, round steak.
frijoles dejarro, canned beans.
frutas evaporadas, evaporated fruits.
implementos de rancho, ranch implements.
jamdn de almuerzo, break-fast bacon.
mdquina de cortar sacate, hay mower.
mdquina de trillar, threshing machine.
mayor de laciudad* city mayor.
medicina de patente, patent medecine.
mesa de libreHa, library table.
notario publico, notary public.
palita de los panqueques, pancake paddle.
patio de maderas, lumber yards.
policia montada, mounted police.
queso de nata, cream cheese.
reserva florestal, foreste reserve.
supervisor de Uorestas, forest supervisor,
tiquete de paso repondo, return ticket.
vendedor de tiquetes, ticket seller.
viaje redondo, round trip.
THE INFLUENCE OF SPANISH ON THE
13. The study of the Spanish influence on the
English language in New Mexico, or for that matter,
in the whole South-west, where Spanish has been
spoken for over three centuries, is one which yet
remains to be done. A careful classification of the
words, considering source, pronunciation and exact
meaning would be a reward to any one who would
undertake such a problem; and although the results
would be of interest and importance, especially
from the view of point of English scholars, it
would not fail to throw light on points of Spanish
historical grammar. Like the other chapters of our
article, this chapter will not enter into a detailed
treatment of the matter in question. I shall merely
indicate in a general way the importance of this sub-
ject and illustrate by examples the character of the
Spanish elements of the English language in New
Mexico and southern Colorado. No doubt, a large
number of the Spanish words and phrases used
here are also current in the English of Texas, 1 Ari-
zona and California, but as I have not made a careful
study of the conditions in all these regions, I shall
merely indicate those, or some of those used in New
Mexico, without indicating source or different mean
1 A careful and interesting study of the Spanish words used
in Texas, is one by, H. Tallichet, " A Contribution towards a
vocabulary of Spanish and Mexican, words used in Texas."
Dialect Notes, Parts IV, V and VI. About four hundred
words are listed of which the author says, only some two hun-
dred are now in current use.
24 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW NEXICO
ings if any, in other regions. I am of the opinion
that New Mexico and Texas have been the great
distributing centers of the large majority of the
Spanish words used in the Spanish south-west, though
of course, to indicate where first introduced, and when
are problems, which though not impossible to solve,
do not concern me here.
14. The Spanish influence on the English speech
in New Mexico and the whole southwest is far greater
than one would first imagine. As for New Mexico and
Colorado, there are some two hundred words in cur-
rent use among those who have lived here for several
years. This would not include, of course, people of
our larger towns and cities, many of whom live among
an English-speaking community with no contact what-
ever with Spanish-speaking people. One must also
consider that a large number of Spanish words which
were in current use in the pioneer days, i. e., 1850-
1880, are rapidly disappearing on account of the pass-
ing away of older institutions, for example such
words as Idtigo (strap), shaps or shaparejos, alcalde,
vaquero, lariat, (rope), bronco, etc.
The Spanish phrases used currently by the English-
speaking inhabitants, here, are also very numerous,
and jus.t as the New Mexicans will canverse in Spanish
and mingle here and there English words and phrases
(see 8), the English-speaking inhabitants may be
often heard conversing in English and mingling here
and there, Spanish words and phrases. I shall now
give in alphabetical order lists (not complete) of Span-
ish words and phrases used in New Mexico and South-
(a) Spanish words current in the English vernacu-
lar of New Mexico and Southern Colorado, with their
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 25
meanings. Since we are concerned with the words
only, we need not indicate, here, the exact pronuncia-
tion. In general they should be pronounced according
to the Spanish rules of pronunciation.
acequia, cequia, irrigation ditch.
qdobe, dobe, mud brick.
arroyo, creek (dry, as a rule).
atole, corn mush.
baile, ball dance.
bronco, wild horse.
burro-, burro, donkey.
caballero, sir, gentleman.
compodre, friend, pal.
conquistador, conqueror, (Spanish).
corral, corral; fenced yard.
disciplina, Penitentes' (flagellant's) whip.
estufa, (Pueblo Indian secret) council hall.
fandango, dance, ball.
fiesta, feast; celebration.
gallo-race, roos terpulling race or game.
Idtigo, saddle strap; qinch strap; halter strap.
lareat(a), cowboys rope (rawhide).
loco, crazy; a little off.
manana, to-morrow; some day.
myordomo, ditch overseer.
morada, Council house of Penitentes.
olla, Indian jug or jar.
26 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
penitente. flagellant brother.
pedn, peon; laborer.
pindn, pinion nut or pinion wood.
placita, courtyard of Mexican house.
pueblo, Indian village.
rancho, ranch; farm,
ranchero, farmer; ranchman.
sarape, Indian blanket.
senor, sir; man.
senora, madam; wife.
sombrero, hat, big wide brimmed hat.
tamale, chile, corn (and meat) sandwich.
tinaja, Indian jar.
tombe', Indian (base) drum.
tortilla, tortilla (Mexican).
vega-grass, meadow grass.
(b) Spanish phrases and one word expressions,
current in the English vernacular of New Mexico and
Southern Colorado, with meanings:
Adios! Good bye!
Buenos dias! Good morning! t
Buenas noches! Good night; good evening!
como le va? how are you?
c6mo estd? how are you?
como estamos? how are you?
con mucho gusto, gladly.
mucho tveno, very good; alright.
no sabe, I don't know; you don't know.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 27
no senor, no, sir.
no weno, no good.
no iveno por nada, no good at all.
poco caliente, a little warm.
poco frio, a little cold.
sabe, or \sabe the burro? do you understand? do you
vamos (pronounced also vamoose) let us go; get out,
vamos the rancho, let us or we, leave the ranch.
! (bueno)good', fine; alright! x
1 I am indebted to some of my students for help in gathering
some of these expressions and words, and in particular to Miss
Matilde Allen, of Cubero, New Mexico.
NEW flEXICAN SPANISH FOLKLORE.
15. The Folklore study of Spanish-America is a
field that is unlimited. In South America a good deal
of research is now being done largely through the
personal efforts of a few specialists such as Dr.
Rudolph Lenz and Sefior Vicufia Cifuentes, of San-
tiago de Chile. l in Mexico very little scientific work
has been done, and in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and
California, nothing that is of importance has been
accomplished. The author of this article has been
gathering in some of these regions both philological
and folklore materials for some eight years, and the
attempt is being made to carry on this research
in a scientific way and in the light of modern philolo-
gical progress. New Mexico on account of the fact
that it is isolated, presents a unique problem in the
folklore field of Spanish-America. The institutions
of learingand learned societies of the territory should
undertake the study of New Mexican Spanish,
Archeology, History, Folklore and Linguistics on a
large scale and encourage studies along these lines
in every possible way. 2
16. I shall not publish the folk materials gathered
in New Mexico for the last few years, until each one
1 Dr. Lenz has recently organized an enthusiastic Chilean
Folklore Society, with "La Eevista de Folklore Cliileno" as its
2 The University of the Territory which by right ought to
deem it its privilege to lend support to such studies has taken
very little interest in Spanish. It is to be hoped that in the
future, some wise president will institute a regular department
of Spanish language, literature and folklore at the University.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 29
of the parts has assumed large proportions. I shall
indicate, here, however, the kind and amount of the
materials gathered, especially for the benefit of those
who in response to a circular letter, which I published
a year ago, have contributed in suchagenerous manner
to increase my store house of New Mexican Spanish
folklore materials. 1 The materials gathered thus far,
mentioning them in the order of provisional literary
importance and stating the amount of material in each
class I am classifying in the following manner:
I. Traditional Spanish ballads. Popular Spanish
ballads composed in Spain previous to the XVIth cen-
tury and preserved here by oral tradition. I have
discovered thus far, eight- in twenty-four versions.
(1) La dama v el pastor or (La Zagala), four ver-
1 So valuable are the materials sent to me, many times, by
my New Mexico friends, that I wish to thank beforehand, and
express my gratitude to the persons who have aided me in the
gathering of materials, and in particular, Mr. Eusebio Cha-
con, of Trinidad, Col'o; Mr. Tito JVLaez, of Trinidad, Colo;
Mr Celso Espinosa, of Albuquerque, N. M: Mr. Francisco
Garcia, of Santa Fe", N. M; Mr. Candido Ortiz, of Santa Fe",
N. M; Mr. George Metzger, of Ranches de Atrisco. N. M;
Mr. Eduardo Espinosa, of Taos, N. M; Mr, J. M. C. Chavez,
of Abiquiu, N. M; Miss Isabel Mordy, of Albuquerque, N.
M; Mr. Jesus M.. Espinosa, of Conejos, Colo; Mr. Jos A.
Ribera, of PeSa Blanca, N. M; Mr. Justiniano Atencio, of
Nutrias, N. M; Mrs. Marianita Wagner, of Albuquerque, N.
M; Miss Benjamina Gutierrez, of Los Griegos, N. M; Mr.
Teofilo Romero, of Barelas, N. M; Mr. Juan C. Garcia, of
Puerto de Luna, N. M; Mr. Crescencio Torres, of Del Norte
Colo; Mr. Manuel Vigil, of Albuquerque, N. M; Mr. Victo-
riano Ulibarri, of Tierra Amarilla, N. M; Miss Maria Espi-
nosa, of Albuquerque, N. M; Miss Rumaldita Chaves, of
Sabinal, N. M; Miss Adelina Montoya, of Bernardo, N. M.,
and many more.
30 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
(2) La Esposa Infiel (assonance in 6), two versions,
(3) La Delgadina, six versions.
(4) La Esposa Infiel (assonance in i), four ver-
(5) Gerineldo, four versions.
(6) El Pastor Desgraciado, one version.
(7) La Aparici6n, three versions.
(8) Las Senas del Marido, one version.
These popular ballads with others, which may be
found, will be published in a separate book, entitled,
"RomancerilloNuevo-Mexicano," as a modest contri-
bution to Don Ram6n Mene"ndez Pidal and his wife
Dofia Maria Goyri de Mz. Pidal, who are to publish a
"Romancero tiadicional Espaflol," or a complete bal-
lad collection of the Spanish ballads old and modern
of all the Spanish countries.
II. Modern ballads. These are many numerous
and some of very literary merit. I shall probably
publish only the best. Among those gathered tfrus
far are the following:
1. Isabel Aranda. one version.
2. Luis Rodarte, one version.
3. Jesus Leal, one version.
4. Luisita, one version.
5. Las maflanas de Belen, two versions.
6. Reyes Ruiz, two versions.
(7) , Pachuca, one version.
.(8) Apolonio, one versiou.
(9) Chaparita, one version.
(10) Rumaldo, one version.
(11) Ignacio Parras, one version.
(12) David, one version.
(13) Cruz Chavez, one version.
(14) Don Fernando, one version.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 31
(15) Paustin Sanchez, one version.
(16) Monteros, two versions.
(17) Macario Romero, four versions.
The last one, "Macario Romero," of which I have
four versions, I consider the jewel of the modern New
Mexican popular ballads, so I shall, here, give one of
the complete versions:
Corrido de flacario Romero.
(Recited by Juanita Lucero, of Juan Tafoya. New
Mex., 18 years of age, who learned it in the same place.
Dice Macario Romero, al capitan Villalplata:
'Conce'dame una licencia, par'ir a ver a mi chata."
Le responde Villalplata: "Macario ^que" vas hacer?
Te van a quitar la vida, por una ingrata mujer."
Dice Macario Romero: parandose en los estribos:
"Si al cabo que me han hacer, si todos son mis
Y el capitan Villalplata: " Por mi licencia no vas;
Si lo llevas en capricho, en tu salud lo hallaras."
Dice Macario Romero, enfrentando a la garita:
"Me voy ver a mi chata, pues nadie me lo quita."
Dice la nina Rosita: "Papa aqui viene Macario."
'Hijita, <; en que lo conoces?' 'Lo conozco en el caballo. '
Dice el papa de Rosita: "Pues <jque plan le forma-
"Le formaremos un baile; las armas le quitaremos."
Luego que llega Macario' lo convidan a bailar,
Pero Romero muy vivo, no se quisoemborrachar.
Dice la nina Rosita: "Les jugaremos un trato.
Ensillate dos caballos, ya estamos perdiendo el rato.
Dice el papa de Rosita: "Macario hombre, hazme
No te la lleves orita, que sea en otra ocasi6n."
Dice MacarioRomero: "Hombreel favor selohiciera;
32 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
Si no me la llevo orita, toda esta gente se riera."
Le dice el papa a Rosita: 'Ya que mal lo has pensado'
<;Que esperanzas te mantienen, d'irte con un des-
Dice la nifia Rosita: "No le diga desgraciado;
Porque el no tiene la culpa. yo soy quien lo he ena-
Al llegar 1'agua grande, iban muy entrenidos;
Cuando menos acordaron, les dieron el primer tiro.
Dice Macario Romero: ",;Porqu6 ora no entran
Que estoy impuesto a matar, las aguilitas volando."
Dice la nifia Rosita: "Tu tirales a matalos,
Tii tirales matalos, yo te cuido las espaldas."
Dice Macario Romero: "Rosita querida mia,
Quiero morir en tus brazos, y alii acabar mi vida."
Dice la nifia Rosita: "Romero, querido mio,
Para morir en mis brazos, todo esto se ha cumplido. '
Dice la nifia Rosifca: "Ora si quedaron bien,
Sale la nifia Rosita, en busca de una pistola.
t'Ora lo veran cobardes, como ora les hago bola."
III. Modern popular "versos." By ''-verso" the New
Mexicans mean, short octosyllabic verse strophies
(as a rule 4, 6 or 8 verses or lines), with assonance of
the even verses only (Romance). They are sung at
dances, social gatherings, or for mere competition
among the composers. These have been for the most
part composed in New Mexican soil, by personsj
usually men, called "puetas," or "cantadores," and
are a good index to the New Mexican Spanish char-
acter and sentiments. I have now in my possession a
little over one thousand of these popular "versos.'*
Here are transcribed a few of them :
AND .SOUTHERN COLORADO. 33
Pintar tu bella hermosura
Quisiera con un pincel,
Pues eres una criatura
Nacida del dios de Israel.
Quisiera ser pajarito,
Pero no de los azules,
Para ir a ver a mi chata,
Sabado, Domingo y Lunes.
Ante noche fui a tu casa,
Tres golpes le di al candau;
No estas buena para amores,
Tienes el suefio pesau.
Mai haya la ropa negra,
Y el sastre que la cort6;
Mi negrita tiene luto
Sin que me haya muerto yo.
Ya la luna tiene cuernos
Y el lucero 1' acompafia,
;Ay que triste queda un hombre,
Cuando una guera lo engafia!
El clavel que tu me dites,
El dia de la Acensi6n,
No fu clavel sino clavo,
Que clavo mi coraz6ri.
34 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
Dicen que lo negro es triste;
Yo digo que no es verdad,
Tu tienes los ojbs negros,
Y eres mi felicidad.
Si quieres que yo te olvide,
Pidele a Dios que.muera;
Porque viv6 es imposible
Olvidar a quien yo quiera.
IV. New Mexican Spanish riddles (adivinanzas).
These are usually recited, not sung, but while some-
times metrical and sometimes not, assonance is usual-
ly present. I have collected 150 of them.
(a) Metrical and assonanced:
En alto vive y en alto mora,
Y en alto teje la tejedora. La arafia.
Una vaca josca 1 paso por el mar
Pegando bramidos sin ser animal. La nube.
(b) Non-metrical though assonanced:
Rita, Rita, que en el monte grita,
Y en su casa calla'dita. El hacha.
Una vieja con un diente,
Recoge toda su gente. La campana.
V. Pastorelas or Los Patores (New Mexican Nati-
vity plays). I have two manuscripts.
VI. Aparici6n de Nuestra Sefiora de Guadalupe.
New Mexican plays treating of the apparition of Our
Lady of Guadalupe. I have one complete and one in-
complete manuscript. The complete M. S. I owe to
the kindness of Mr. Candido Ortiz, of Santa Fe", N. M.
VII. Las Posadas. A dramatic composition, deal-
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 35
ing with episodes from the life of Christ. I have one
VIII. Primera Persecuci6n de Jesus. A dramatic
composition, treating of the slaughter of the innocents
and the flight of the Child Jesus into Egypt. I possess
one very old manuscript.
IX. De'cimas, Inditas, Cuandos (varied ballad like
compositions, some of literary merit, others of no
merit whatever). These are not yet definitely classi-
fied. There are about 50 of these in my possession.
X. Nursery Rhymes. Rhymed nonsense, etc.
Classified under these categories I have a large
collection of such rhmyes as:
"El piojo y la liendre se quieren casar,
Pero no pueden porque no tienen pan."
Entre melon y melamba
Mataron una ternera;
Melon se comi6 la carne,
Melamba la cagalera.
Sefiora Santa Ana,
Sefior San Joaquin,
Arroya este nifio,
Se quiere dormir, etc. etc.
XI. Cuentos (folk-tales.) These are very abund-
ant in New Mexico, both long and short. Among the
very long ones I have versions of:
(1) Pedro de Urdimalas.
(2) Mano Fashico (a series of short anecdotes).
(3) La Zorra.
(4) El Negrito poeta.
(5) Cuentos locales hist6ricos.
XII. Cantadas, Canciones (Songs.) These are
being gathered also by C. P. Lummis, the author of
36 SPANISH LANGUAGE IN NEW MEXICO
"TJie Land of Poco Tiempo." They are semi-learned
in source. I understand Mr. Lummis will make a
complete collection of them, accompanied by the
music, so we await his work with the greatest
XIII. Current New Mexican Spanish customs,
superstitions and beliefs. Here we have another
field that alone is worthy of study and research. In
our region the most interesting fact, at once evident,
is, that, customs, superstitions and beliefs vary
greatly from one region to another. Here are in-
cluded some 200 popular remedies. l
XIV. Proverbs (refranes or dichos.) I have col-
lected about six hundred of these. Many are asson-
anced but rarely metrical:
1. Haz bien y no acates a quien.
2. Pan ajeno hace al hijo bueno.
3. Recaudo hace cocina no Catalina.
4. Las viejas de noche son gatas de dia beatas.
.5. El que da lo que ha menester el diablo se rie
6. Onde hay cuecho hay derecho.
XV. New Mexican Spanish Christian names and
surnames. The former offer intereresting material,
for the study of phonetic change, as in:
Emiterio-Miterio, Eulogia-Ologia, Aurelio-Abrelio,
etc, while the latter are of special interest to History
XVI. The English language in New Mexican Spa-
nish Folk-lore. These materials include for the most
part, short stories, anecdotes, plays on words, and
the like. For example:
1 I have published part of these materials in the Journal of
American Folklore, Dec., 1910.
AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. 37
Give me a match, Quiere comprar el macho.
You damn fool, y la f rezadita azul.
XVII. Christian prayers (Spanish): and Latin
words and phrases (parady of the responses at mass
etc.,) in New Mexican Spanish Folk-lore. Los mu-
chachos traviesos (The mischievous boys), known a
large number of such paredies, and the like, such as:
Padre nuestro que estas en los cielos, 2
Tu cuidas las vacas y yo los becerros. etc., etc.
XVIII. Child rend's games (juegos infantiles),
Some twenty of these, with words etc., and evidently
traditional in character, are in my collections.
XIX. La Cocica popular. 3
5 A most excellent article, entitled; "El Latin en el Folk-lore
Chileno," has just been published by K. E. Laval, in the Re.
vista de Folk-lore Chileno, Vol, I, No. I 1910, Santiago de
3 The materials for this study are being- collected by my
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