Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Language and History, Linguistics and Historiography


Peter Lang

Place of Publication


Inclusive pages




Peer Reviewed



This paper analyzes the polemics surrounding the discursive legitimation and political institutionalization of different spelling systems circulating in mid-nineteenth-century Spain. In 1843, teachers associated with Madrid's Literary and Scientific Academy of Primary Education developed a simplified orthography and began to implement it in schools. In response to this independent initiative, Queen Isabel II signed a Royal Decree in 1844 that mandated the exclusive use of Royal Spanish Academy's orthography in Spain's primary education. The Literary and Scientific Academy contested the imposition and took actions to oppose its implementation, by organizing meetings and publishing essays to defend both the simplified orthography and the legitimacy of the institution. My study examines official documents, textbooks, pamphlets, minutes, etc., which provide us with a record of this linguistic ideological debate that reveals a struggle over authority and power within the linguistic and educational markets.


History of Spanish, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Spelling, Language ideologies, Education


Modern Languages | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


Paper provided by the author, who affirmed the permission of the publisher to make it available following an embargo of 10 years.



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