Los textos de evangelización: recursos lingüísticos

Mercedes Montes de Oca Vega


Mercedes Montes de Oca Vega invites us to consider as linguistic resources the doctrinal texts composed during the Colonia by the priests in charge of converting the indigenous population to Christianity. She considers that these works deal with the conceptual problem of expressing a message that would be both clear enough to the receiver as well as accepted by the Church. In order to show how this was done, she analyzes the different mechanisms of linguistic expression of two key concepts included in Nahuatl doctrinal texts: God and Devil. She also directs her attention to three other linguistic resources used for the creation of new Catholic vocabulary in Nahuatl: borrowing of Spanish words, use of instrumental particles, and semantic extension of some basic word forms in order to introduce new applications and senses for them. Montes de Oca considers these strategies to be the result of the encounter of two different religious experiences and an attempt to give coherence to Catholic concepts within the indigenous way of thinking.

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