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Seeking info on Old Spanish

From:Karapcik, Mike <karapcik@...>
Date:Monday, November 26, 2001, 23:01
        I'm sorry if this is a bit off topic, but I figured there are enough
people with eclectic language interests that I may find some useful
        I am looking for information on old Spanish (1600's and 1700's),
preferably guides to pronunciation, basic grammar, and vocabulary. (A primer
on old Spanish.)
        My father is a volunteer at Ft. Matanzas and the Castillo in St.
Augustine, FL. He has the uniform, and is licensed to fire a musket and
mortar/cannon on the premises. I am primarily seeking this information for
him and the fort's park service, though I have a personal interest in old
and obscure languages.
At the fort, all of the military and firing drills are done in old Spanish.
(They regularly have to explain to people who try to "correct" their Spanish
that it's colonial era Spanish.) The problem is, they don't have anyone on
hand who knows much about old Spanish. The commands were set in the early
1600's, and so were considered "old fashioned" when Las Floridas became a US
territory. There are a few Spanish speakers on staff, but there are many old
terms that are poorly understood, and their pronunciation is based on modern

        I have found one book on Amazon, "An Introduction to Old Spanish : A
Guide to the Study of the History of Spanish With Selected Readings (Romance
Languages & Literature Srs, Vol 130)", by Virgil L. Poulter, ISBN:
0820411701. The problem is, I can't find any good information on the on any
web page. I can't tell if it's a grammar or a study of literature from that
era. (It also may be out of print.)

        So, my questions. First, if anyone is familiar with this book, could
you please let me know if it is what I'm looking for? Second, would any of
the language collectors or students of history out there happen to know any
good references for learning the basics of colonial era Spanish? A book is
preferable [even a college text], though a web page would be good.

        (I have to admit I find the lack of information surprising. I have a
book on Gothic and another on Anglo-Saxon. My Amazon wish list has books on
old French, old English, old Irish, and old Prussian [yes, I add anything
interesting to it]. I've seen similar books for other European languages,
but nothing old Spanish?!? Was Spanish invented in the last century or

Thank you very much for any help,


Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Y.Penzev <yitzchaq@...>