A Grammar of God: Translation, Grammar and Memory in the Arte y reglas de la lengua tagala (1610)

2017-04-05T01:23:29Z (GMT) by Marlon James Sales
This dissertation investigates the translationality of missionary linguistics through an analysis of the <i>Arte y reglas de la lengua tagala </i>and its role in the transcultural commemoration of Christianity as a colonial religion in the early modern Philippines. Published in Castilian in 1610 by the Spanish Dominican friar Francisco Blancas de San José, the text is the primary model for many subsequent colonial grammars of Tagalog, the basis of the modern-day Philippine national language called Filipino. It is argued that beyond its contributions to a linguistic analysis of Tagalog, the text should be read as a grammar of God because its prescriptivist tendencies in formulating grammatical rules also provide modes with which the colonial conceptualizations of divinity are to be articulated in the indigenous tongue. In both the theoretical and practical components of this dissertation, translation is considered as a process inherent in missionary grammatization that serves to commemorate the problematic equivalences of the colonial encounter. It is through this process that Tagalog is endowed not only with structures based on the categories of Latin, but also with historicizing themes that constitute a hybridized pastoral discourse on colonial Christianity.