The lexicographic studies of Fernando Ortiz Fernández

Sergio O. Valdés Bernal


This article analyzes the lexicographical studies undertaken by the distinguished Cuban anthropologist and ethnologist Fernando Ortiz Fernández concerning the Spanish spoken in Cuba. It begins with a brief exposition of the factors conducive to the rise of the Cuban modality of Spanish and of those scholars who dedicated themselves to its description before Ortiz’s efforts. It then examines Ortiz’s own work, especially concerning Africanisms in Cuban dialect. The article notes the repercussions in Ortiz’s thought of his youthful experience in Menorca, and calls attention to an entire series of linguistic works by Ortiz published in various Cuban journals that blazed a trail for those who, up to the present, have continued to study and describe the Spanish spoken in Cuba.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/714378