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What happened in 1492?

I know that the title to this post is a slightly loaded question. Most people know what happened here in the New World back in 1492...Christopher Columbus ended up here thinking that he had landed in India (hence why we incorrectly refer to Native Americans as Indians). Some other very important things happened back in Europe in 1492 though. Back in Spain, where Christopher Columbus left from, there were big things happening that most people are not aware of. In 1492, the Spanish expelled the last of the Moors and also expelled the last of the Jews from the country. Pretty significant events if you ask me. There is still another event that was pretty important, at least in my thinking, because it had to do with linguistics. Before 1492, the only attempts at writing down a grammar were made by philologists studying Latin, Greek, or other classic languages. It was this year that the Nebrija wrote a grammar of the Spanish language. This was a big deal since, in that day and age, many considered any of the vulgates (French, Spanish, Italian, etc.) to be corruptions of the Latin language. Consequently, Nebrija's grammar was done on Castillian Spanish, the Spanish spoken today. Castillian Spanish became the choice dialect of the language due to King Ferdinand of Castille. Nebrija opened the door for early linguists to start studying the formal structure of many different languages. So, there you have it, four big things happened in 1492, three of which you probably did not know!
Published Apr 21 2006, 07:49 PM by christophergreen
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