Mexico’s ‘Commission for the Defense of the Spanish Language’ (1981-82)

Robert J. Baumgardner


This paper focuses on one of the most intriguing and short-lived corpus language planning efforts in the history of Mexican Spanish—the Comisión Para La Defensa del Idioma Español (Commission for the Defense of the Spanish Language). Formed in 1981 and disbanded the next year, the Commission’s concentration during its short tenure was the cleansing of Mexican Spanish grammar of so-called errors as well as the Mexican Spanish lexicon of English borrowings. Those linguists who worked on the Commission were both prescriptive as well as descriptive in perspective, and hence some very valuable linguistic work resulted. This paper compares some of the Commission’s findings with the state of English borrowing in Mexican Spanish today.

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