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Jean-Marie Fournier
Aimée Lahaussois
Valérie Raby

1. Parties du discours, catégories, notions

Diego de Basalenque’s linguistic work on Matlazinca: The “tratado de las partículas” (1640) and the parts of speech

Otto Zwartjes

Texte intégral


  • 1 Most information from this introduction is from Zwartjes (2017a and 2017b).

1This paper concentrates on the “Tratado de las partículas de la lengua Matlaltzinga” (“treatise on particles”) written by the Augustinian priest Diego de Basalenque (1577-1651), who worked in several missions, such as San Luis, Valladolid and Charo, Mexico1. He taught Grammar, Philosophy, Theology and indigenous languages–mainly Matlazinca (in Basalenque’s work ‘Matlaltzinga’), a language of the Otomanguean linguistic family (Otopamean subfamily) and Pur’épecha (also called Tarascan, or the language of Michuacán, which is an isolate). He composed two different grammars of these two languages, and a Matlazinca-Spanish and Spanish-Matlazinca dictionary. The grammar of Tarascan is much better known among scholars, since several editions are available (see Zwartjes 2017b), whereas his work on Matlazinca is understudied.

2The ‘Tratado de las partículas’ is included in a work entitled: Arte de la lengua matlaltzinga (1640). We have been able to trace three manuscripts and there exists one modern edition (Manrique Castañeda 1975). The copy housed in the John Carter Brown contains the following sections:

  • Arte abreviado (“abridged grammar”);
  • Prólogo (“prologue”);
  • Cartilla (“primer/spelling book”);
  • Arte de la lengua Matlaltzinga (“Grammar of the Matlazinca language”);
  • Tratado de las particulas de la lengua Matlaltzinga, (“treatise on the Particles in the Matlazinca language”), the section to be analysed in this paper;
  • “Modos y frases particulares desta lengua matlaltzinga (“[speaking] manners and particular phrases in Matlazinca”);
  • Several sections, such as body parts, toponyms, kinship terms;
  • Suplementos (“supplements”) to the Arte.

Basalenque’s ‘tratado’ is not the final section of his Arte, since “Finis” is written as colophon at the bottom of the preceding section, the final paragraph of the Arte devoted to conjunctions. The ‘tratado’ is an independent section between the Arte and the Vocabulario the latter (not included in the JCB copy). As I will demonstrate, the ‘tratado’ is not just an index of all the particles described in the Arte; a great number of particles discussed in the ‘Tratado’ do not occur in the Arte or the Vocabulario. Since the ‘tratado’ also has a short prologue with some theoretical observations, the work has an independent status within the entire work, although there are many cross-references between sections.

3Generally, missionary grammarians are straightforward in their parts of speech systems, but when the ‘particle’ is studied, they could not rely on specific models. The term ‘particle’ itself has a long history since Antiquity, as we shall see below, and it is obvious that Basalenque inherits this broad and rather vague term, when he applies it in his “grammaire étendue”, his method of teaching Matlazinca. The four “indeclinable” parts of speech in the Arte are without exception alphabetically arranged word-lists in Matlazinca-Spanish, starting with prepositions, followed by adverbs, interjections and conjunctions. Most entries in these word-lists are not included in the ‘tratado de las partículas’. On the other hand, we find in the ‘tratado’ some remarks, explaining that certain particles are in fact ‘adjectives’, adverbs’, ‘relatives’, etc. and often these lemmas are not included in the corresponding sections in the Arte. Apparently Basalenque had something different in mind when he composed his ‘tratado’; it is obvious that he attempts to include here specific material which does not fit in his grammar (“Arte”) or in his vocabularies. The following questions will be dealt with:

  • What is a ‘particle’ in Matlazinca, according to Basalenque’s view?
  • How can we relate Basalenque’s theory on the particle to the tradition?
  • Does Basalenque’s work contribute to the historiography of linguistics, and in particular, the subfield of “Partikelforschung”?

The classical heritage

  • 2 “La conjonction est porteuse d’une fonction cohésive, elle unifie, tandis que l’articulation est p (...)

4In Aristotle’s Poetica (20, 1457a) we find the dichotomy between noun (ὄνομα) and verb (ῥῆμα). Both share the feature φωνὴ σημαντικὴ (‘with significance’). In addition, Aristotle describes two other concepts, ἄρθρον and σύνδεσμος which share both the feature of a φωνὴ ἄσημος (‘without significance’, ‘meaningless’), but which are both complementary to each other. The conjunction has a cohesive and unifying function, and the ‘articulation’ has the function of ‘delimitation’2. Already in Antiquity, there were written treatises devoted specifically to the σύνδεσμοι, as for instance the work of Apollonius of Alexandria (Lallot 2001).

5The direct continuation of the concept of σύνδεσμος is the Latin calque coniunctio, but the concept of Greek μόριον (‘piece’, ‘portion’) was translated with the term particula (Haßler 2007, p. 87), the diminutive of the word pars. In the Greek tradition, the term σύνδεσμος is used with many different meanings and is generally defined in a negative way:

  • 3 In Hebrew grammars written in Latin, also called the third ‘part of speech’, apart from nouns and (...)

(1) for any part of speech which is not inflected. In the tripartite parts of speech system, it includes any element except the noun and the verb. Following the Aristotelian tradition, Latin grammarians describe ‘conjunctions’ (σύνδεσμοι) as elements which “co-signify” (consignificantia)3. Another term used in the grammatical tradition is the concept of syncategoremata (Padley 1976, p. 130). Priscian is one of the most influential grammarians for Spanish missionary grammarians from Antiquity, together with Donatus (although often indirectly transmitted via Antonio de Nebrija). In Priscian’s definition of the coniunctio the same term “consignificare” is used:

Coniunctio est pars orationis indeclinabilis, coniunctiua aliarum partium orationis quibus consignificat, uim ue ordinem demonstrans.

(2) for all the parts of speech which are not inflected, i.e. in the classical eight parts of speech system, the four “indeclinable parts of speech”, preposition, adverb, conjunction and interjection;

(3) for any ‘part’ which is not one of the eight traditional parts of speech (noun, verb, participle, pronoun, preposition, adverb, conjunction, interjection). It is not a dictio, nor a pars, but a smaller entity, for which the diminutive particula was used.

  • 4 The latter is used by Melanchthon and Scaliger, cited in Haßler (2007, p. 89). As Kroon (1995, p.  (...)

6It is obvious that it is impossible to give a clear definition of the particle, since it is used for a wide range of linguistic phenomena. Authors give their definitions or descriptions in terms of meaning, morphology, syntax, functional discourse markers, pragmatic-communicative markers, markers of speakers’ ‘intentions’ (mode, evidentiality, etc.), stylistic function in rhetoric, poetics (embellisment). Since many of these topics fall outside of the traditional concept of ‘grammar’ they are not always highlighted in early-modern grammars. Nevertheless, in Mesoamerican and Philippinian sources, particles are always included, but the amount of information given varies from author to author. Most of them regard particles as elements used for elegant speech, embellishment, which are optional and for that reason, fall outside the traditional parts of speech system. Most missionary grammars follow the eight parts of speech system using the Latin grammar of Antonio de Nebrija as their model. Nebrija’s system is a direct continuation of the model of grammarians of Latin, who in turn closely followed the Stoics and the Greek-Alexandrian grammarians. In the Τέχνη of Dionysius Thrax, we find an eight parts of speech system, the noun, verb, participle, pronoun, article, preposition, adverb and the conjunction (σύνδεσμος). The latter category is subdivided into nine subclasses, and three of them, the interrogatives, expletives and adversatives, are not included in the model of the Stoics (Haßler 2007, p. 87). One of these are the expletives (παραπληρωματικοι), which are ‘fillers’, used in poetry for prosodic reasons (metri causa). This specific subcategory could have inspired missionary grammarians, often defining ‘particles’ as unnecessary elements, which can be used in ‘elegant speech’ for reasons of embellishment or eloquence, or as Basalenque puts it as “galanamente” (“elegantly”, see below). Haßler (2007, p. 87) demonstrates that there was disagreement about the function and meaning of these elements, which some saw as mere “packaging material” whereas others considered them meaningful. The particle is par excellence an element which is used metri causa, or ornatus gratia4. As I shall demonstrate below, Basalenque is not an exception.

The particle in Spanish grammars

7As far as I could trace, there are no independent treatises written in Spain, antedating Basalenque’s ‘tratado’, devoted exclusively to the particles. On the one hand, Spanish grammars follow the tradition of the eight parts of speech (Latin grammar of Antonio de Nebrija), who follows Donatus (Ramajo Caño 1987, p. 50), the first four are “declinable” (with declensions and conjugations), the others are not. Other grammarians recognise three parts of speech. Villalón distinguishes the noun, verb and the ‘article’, and other authors, such as Sánchez de la Brozas, distinguish the noun, verb and ‘particles’ (particulae) (Ramajo Caño 1987, p. 52) and the same tripartite division is made by Correas. In his grammar of Greek Arte griega (1627) he distinguishes the noun, (ὄνομα), verb (ῥῆμα) and μόριον ἦ λέξις, which is translated as “Nonbre, verbo i partikula o dizion”. Furthermore, he subdivides the latter, the invariable ones, as “Preposizión, Adverbio, i Konxunzión”, i.e., all the words which are not nouns or verbs (Correas 1954 [1625], p. 333).

  • 5 “Ved pues, si puso con razon Aristóteles primera, y principal parte del culto razonar las que él l (...)

8In Spain, a remarkable grammar appeared, written by Gregorio Garcés (1791). As Haßler (2007, p. 93-98) demonstrates, particles are not to be regarded as “packaging material” (‘material de embalaje’), but their main function is connecting words making speech more eloquent, “giving force to the sentence” (Garcés 1791, p. xxix; Haßler 2007, p. 94). Garcés adheres to Quintilian’s approach, according to whom the conjunction (= ‘particle’) is the most essential part of good speaking manners, linking one phrase to another. It is the most essential part of what he calls “raciocionio” (“reasoning”)5.

Basalenque’s theory on the particles and his views regarding the internal structure of the word

9Basalenque distinguishes three types of particles: anteposed, interposed and postposed. What Lagunas,–a Franciscan authors who wrote a grammar of Tarascan (Pur’épecha), the main sources for Basalenque’s Tarascan grammar–, calls inseparable verbal prepositions (“preposiciones verbales inseparables”), such as Latin am-, com-, dis-, di-, re-, Basalenque labels them as “dicciones prepositivas de verbos” (p. 85).

10The use of hyphens throughout the work of Basalenque is a great step forwards for this early period. These hyphens indicate the borders between what we call “morphemes” today, and Basalenque often uses this system with great precision. He uses ‘dashes’ —, in other cases he puts the segment in question between slashes /…/ and commas are also used, but often he attempts to indicate the morpheme boundaries within the word, as for instance on f. 35 v: Cax-qui-ni-tu-nigtta-qui-caqui “tu eres mi vida”). Notwithstanding, his segmentation with dashes, slashes and commas and the use of spaces between morphemes are not consistent; often a cluster is written as one word and in other cases the same word is written with spaces in between. It is evident that most missionary grammars are inconsistent regarding the use of spaces. A full-fledged morpheme theory was non-existent and these were the first steps in the history of descriptive linguistics, describing non-Western languages, many of which are agglutinating and/or polysynthetic.

11The compilation of an independent “treatise” on particles between the grammar and the dictionary is a novelty in Mesoamerica.

  • 6 “En esta lengua se allan particulas antepuestas, interpuestas y pospuestas, con las quales el verb (...)
  • 7 In Hebrew grammars written in Latin, also called the third ‘part of speech’, apart from nouns and (...)

12Basalenque gives some theoretical background in his prologue to his ‘tratado de las partículas’. According to him, particles “signify something more than the verb or the noun on themselves signify”6. He does not mention any grammarian from Antiquity, nor authors from Spain or the New World. His definition is based on a commonly known definition from Antiquity, mainly in the Aristotelian tradition, where ‘conjunctions’ (σύνδεσμοι) are elements which “co-signify” (consignificantia)7. The noun and verb are inflected, and as such have ‘accidents’; particles, on the other hand, do not have inflectional endings and “co-signify”.

Basalenque’s particles of Matlazinca

  • 8 In many cases, although not all of them, the particles described by Basalenque are affixes. Howeve (...)

13Here follows a more systematic overview of the particles8 included in the ‘tratado’:

14Initials, initial letters: The so-called “initials”, or “initial letters” or particles are also explained in the prologue of the ‘Vocabulario’. Some of them are also included in the ‘Tratado’ and most of them are also defined in the Arte. The i- is prefixed to the noun; In is classified as one of the so-called “letras iniciales” (“la ordinaria particula inicial”) (vid. litera 1 in the ‘Cartilla’ cf. glossa 3). Nin is according to Basalenque an “initial particle” (“particula initiativa”) of some nouns.

15‘Relatives’: Relatives are according to the terminology of Basalenque in fact affixal pronouns (which are prefixed in Matlazinca), for instance cu is a ‘relative’. Nine ‘relatives’ are discussed in the Arte: three persons, three numbers, including the dual and most of them are also included in the ‘tratado’.

16Adjectives: Basalenque describes certain particles as equivalents for ‘adjectives’, since they correspond with the Spanish adjectives “sucio” (“dirty”), “negro” (“black”), “blanco” (“white”) and “limpio” (“clean”).

17Demonstratives: According to the terminology of Basalenque, Latin ecce is a “particula demonstrativa”, in Matlazinca Quinhi.

18Interrogatives: Ya in Matlazinca is a ‘particula interrogativa”.

19Prepositions: Not many prepositions are included in the ‘tratado’, since they are included in separate chapters of the Arte (f. 86 v-88 r). Pinita corresponds with the three Latin prepositions in, ad and versus. Ypy is another preposition which Basalenque includes in his ‘tratado’, meaning “encima, arriba” (“on the top of”, “up”).

20Conjunctions: Although Basalenque does not mention the category of the ‘conjunction’ when he describes the particles ca and cata, he translates them with the Spanish quando (‘when’). These are not found in the corresponding chapter on conjunctions, which is in fact very brief section, including only the equivalents of the Spanish conjunction “y” (with five equivalents, without further explanations) and the translation of the Latin ‘disjunction’ vel (“or”).

21(In)definiteness: Some particles in the ‘Tratado’ are defined in terms of (in)definiteness, as the particle ba which makes the noun “indefinite and not limited”. The particle chi is defined in terms of “indefiniteness”.

22Compound forms: As occurs in other languages, particles can be combined. Basalenque explains that several particles are in fact coalescences of two separate particles, such as in bura, which is according to Basalenque a combination of the two particles bu and ra. Other examples are cara and ypy.

23Apocopated forms: One particle is, according to Basalenque an apocopated form: Da, which comes in fact from the particles dapuracah, datetzon, or dandacah.

24Logical-semantic relations: parataxis, temporal phrases: Ca, cata (conjunction, “when”); Cu is translated as ‘antes que’ (“before” and “when”).

25Possessive markers: Bo “makes possession”(“hace posesión con la primera persona plural (boma hani “nuestra casa”) (“our house”); ni “hace posesión”, etc.

26TAM-markers (tense, aspect, mode): Several ‘particles’ in the ‘tratado’ are defined in terms of aspect. Many of them are translated by Spanish periphrastic constructions with the infinitive or gerund. Bu is interposed in order to express “frequentación”, bura when an action is completed (“quiere decir acabado todo”), cana means “hacer la accion a buen tiempo” (“doing an action on time”), muntexi is used when an action is realised quickly (“dice hacer presto la accion”); nen is used when an action is ‘en route’ or ‘in transit’ (Sp. “de camino”, “quando caminaba”); ninqui is used when an action is continuing (“proseguir lo que se iba haciendo”); pa corresponds with Spanish ir or venir + gerund (“voy predicando”), expressing a process over time; puexi corresponds with ‘antes’, also used for the equivalent of the pluperfect tense; “frequentative verbs” are constructed with rahaca.

27Discourse markers: Quihequixemi is according to Basalenque an expression which corresponds with Latin ergo and is used in order to draw a conclusion (“se pone para conclusion de lo que sea dicho”).

28Evidentiality: Xucan is a reportative evidential marker which is translated with Spanish ‘dizque’ (“hearsay”, or secondhand knowledge).

29Formation of causatives: Pu is used for the person who causes the action (“hace hacer la accion”).

30Plural markers: Ne is a particle which is used as plural marker, according to Basalenque (“hace pluralidad”). This is explained in the paradigm of the noun in the Arte (huema ‘el hombre’; thema los dos hombres and nema los hombres (f. 9 v-103).

31Particles expressing locus in quo: Cho “the action of the verb takes place “over there” (allí) (also co, cora, core, hora, horu).

32Particles used to express ‘elegancia’ used ‘galanamente’: Some particles are not defined at all, or only in vague terms, such as cati which is used as embellishment (“dice elegancia”). The personal prefixes are often labeled as “elegant”, these are not optional markers. They cannot be omitted, but Basalenque considered them as elegant: Mue, or muequin: is used each moment expressing elegance (“se pone cada momento por gala”; Taqui “causes elegance” (“causa elegancia”).

33Pragmatics, politeness-markers: Chu expresses “exageration” and “reverence” (“dice exageracion y reverencia”); He is used as honorofic, when an inferior person speaks with a superior, as God; Ri is also an honorific (“es de reverencia”), sometimes it is combined with he.

34Modality: Ho expresses “impossibility, translated with the Spanish verb “poder” (“to be able to”); Nah expresses “possibility”.

35Negation: Yaxi and yaxiho are negations, the latter also expresses “impossibility” of the action of the verb. In the appendix, a complete list is given of the particles in the ‘tratado’.


36Since Antiquity definitions of ‘particle’ vary from author to author. Basalenque based his grammar and dictionary on Western models, but it is obvious that he had to make important decisions when he compiled his work. He studied the language and compiled an extra treatise devoted to ‘particles’, inserted between the Arte and the Vocabulario. There is no Old-World model of any European language where we can find comparable approaches. Basalenque shares with Cáceres, describing Otomi, and Nágera y Yanguas (Mazahua) the classification of interposed and postposed particles, but Basalenque’s tripartite division of his linguistic works with an independent section entitled “tratado de las partículas” is as far as I can trace unique in Meso-America. Notwithstanding, in South American sources, we find a comparable case, the ‘Tratado de las partículas’ attributed to the Jesuit Pablo Restivo. Different from Basalenque, it seems to be more like an index of the particles treated in the Arte. As the front page indicates, it also circulated as an independent work (see also Zwartjes, forthcoming). Basalenque’s definition of the particle shares with authors from Antiquity the concept of ‘consignificare’. The ‘tratado’ includes some personal prefixes and possessive markers which are also dealt with in the Arte. The ‘tratado’ also contains at the beginning of each letter information which is also found in the ‘cartilla’. Some particles in the ‘tratado’ also occur in the Arte, but most items in these word-lists are not included in the ‘tratado’. The same applies to the ‘vocabulario’, which includes some of the particles described in the ‘tratado’ (such as ‘initial letters’, defined in the Prologue, as well as personal prefixes for verbs, valency markers, etc). Nevertheless, the majority of the items of the ‘tratado’ are not included in the dictionary.

37Within the Spanish tradition, it is common that particles are discussed at the end of the Arte, but usually they are not discussed outside of it. The earliest grammars of Zapotec (Córdoba) and Otomi (Cáceres), to mention a few, follow the same structure, but Basalenque’s ‘tratado’ is different. It was not an independent treatise in the strict sense, but has to be seen as a complementary study within the major work of the ‘cartilla’, ‘arte abreviado’, ‘arte’ and the vocabularies. Basalenque’s “mise en page” of what we today call “morphemes” is remarkable, since he uses often hyphens, commas, and even slashes in his text in order to indicate the morph boundaries of the ‘particle’ described. Basalenque’s work antedates Garcés’s study on particles in Spain and without any doubt he deserves to be studied as an important author who has contributed to what has been called “Partikelforschung”. Basalenque tried to develop a different approach, but it is also obvious that the ‘tratado’ is far from consistent. It is a high desideratum that in the near future an in-depth study of each particle of Matlazinca, as discussed by Basalenque, has to be written.


Primary sources

Basalenque Diego, 1640, Arte de la lengua matlaltzinga mui copioso y assi mismo una suma y arte abrebiado, MS John Carter Brown and Monterrey.

— 1714, Arte de la lengua tarasca, Mexico, Francisco Calderón.

Cá[r]ceres Pedro de, 1905, Arte de la lengua othomi [c. 1580], Nicolás León éd., Boletín del Instituto Bibliográfico Mexicano, 6, p. 43-155.

Córdoba Juan, 1578, Arte en lengua zapoteca, Mexico, Pedro Balli.

Correas Gonzalo, 1954, Arte de la lengua española castellana [1625], Emilio Alarcos García éd., Revista de Filología Española, anejo LVI, Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

Garcés Gregorio, 1791, Fundamento del vigor y elegancia de la lengua castellana, expuesto en el propio y vario uso de sus partículas, 2 vols, Madrid, Viuda de Ibarra.

Lagunas Juan Baptista, 1574, Arte y dictionario: con otras Obras, en lengua Michuacana, Mexico, Pedro Balli.

Nágera y Yanguas Diego de, 1637, Doctrina y enseñança en la lengva maçahva, Mexico, Juan Ruiz.

Secondary sources

Baratin Marc, 1989, La naissance de la syntaxe à Rome, Paris, Minuit.

Baratin Marc et Desbordes Françoise, 1981, L’analyse linguistique dans l’Antiquité classique, Paris, Klincksieck.

Barnes Jonathan, 2009, « Quelques remarques sur la caractérisation des connecteurs chez Priscien », Priscien. Transmission et refondation de la grammaire, de l’Antiquité aux modernes, M. Baratin, B. Colombat, L. Holtz éd., Turnhout, Brepols, p. 365-383.

Haßler Gerda, 2007, « Las partículas entre la gramática y la lexicografía », Das gefesselte Wort. Beiträge zur Entwicklung von Wörterbücher und Grammatiken des Spanischen, Mechtild Bierbach, Barbara von Gemmingen, Yvonne Stork éd., Bonn, Romanistischer Verlag, p. 86-101.

Kroon Caroline H. M., 1995, Discourse Particles in Latin. A study of nam, enim, autem, vero and at, Amsterdam, J. C. Gieben.

Lallot Jean, 2001, « Apollonius Dyscole », Corpus de Textes Linguistiques Fondamentaux (article 4629). En ligne : [].

Lütten Jutta, 1977, Untersuchungen zur Leistung der Partikeln in der gesprochenen deutschen Sprache, Göppingen, Alfred Kümmerle.

Manrique Castañeda Leonardo éd., 1975, Diego Basalenque, Vocabulario de la lengua castellana vuelto a la matlaltzinga [1642], Mexico, Biblioteca Enciclopédica del Estado de México.

Padley G. A., 1976, Grammatical Theory in Western Europe 1500-1700. The Latin tradition, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Ramajo Caño Antonio, 1987, Las gramáticas de la lengua castellana desde Nebrija a Correas, Salamanca, Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.

Zwartjes Otto, 2017a, b, Articles 4629 and 4623: « Diego de Basalenque », Corpus de Textes Linguistiques Fondamentaux. En ligne : [ ;]

— [forthcoming], « Between grammars and dictionaries : Treatises on particles in Diego de Basalenque’s work on Matlazinca and Pablo Restivo’s work on Guarani ».


1 Most information from this introduction is from Zwartjes (2017a and 2017b).

2 “La conjonction est porteuse d’une fonction cohésive, elle unifie, tandis que l’articulation est porteuse d’une fonction discriminante et sert à distinguer les subdivisions éventuelles d’un énoncé ou à délimiter les énoncés les uns par rapport aux autres” (Baratin 1989, p. 20). See also Baratin & Desbordes (1981, p. 101) and Barnes (2009).

3 In Hebrew grammars written in Latin, also called the third ‘part of speech’, apart from nouns and verbs, is also called dictio consignificans (Padley 1976, p. 99). According to this definition, the particle has the status of a ‘dictio’, as in Correas (partikula o dizión), vid. supra.

4 The latter is used by Melanchthon and Scaliger, cited in Haßler (2007, p. 89). As Kroon (1995, p. 37) demonstrates, “The view that particles are meaningless fillers is not exactly new.” See. e.g. Servius’ comment (4th century) on Vergil). For an overview of the history of ‘particles’ from Antiquity onwards, see also Lütten (1977).

5 “Ved pues, si puso con razon Aristóteles primera, y principal parte del culto razonar las que él llama conjunciones, y nosotros partículas, cuyo ser consiste en ocupar cada una aquel lugar que le corresponde, poniéndose ántes, ó despues.” (ibid.)

6 “En esta lengua se allan particulas antepuestas, interpuestas y pospuestas, con las quales el verbo vel el nombre que las tiene denota y significa algo mas de lo que significaba por si solo” (f. 94 v).

7 In Hebrew grammars written in Latin, also called the third ‘part of speech’, apart from nouns and verbs, is the dictio consignificans (Padley 1976, p. 99).

8 In many cases, although not all of them, the particles described by Basalenque are affixes. However, a translation as ‘clitics’, ‘prefixes’, ‘infixes’ and ‘suffixes’ or ‘bound morphemes’ would be anachronistic, although the term ‘afijo’ was already in use in this period. Apart from that, these terms are also not covering all the ‘particles’ by Basalenque, since the term ‘affix’ is in fact hyponym of ‘particle’ in Basalenque’s view. Not all the particles in the ‘tratado’ are bound morphemes either.


Université Paris Diderot, Histoire des théories linguistiques (UMR 7597)

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