Grammar for P’urhepecha speakers: dialectal variation and standard

Cristina Monzón – El Colegio de Michoacán, México

Cristina Monzón, 2017: "Gramática para hablantes de la lengua purépecha: variación dialectal y estándar", Onomázein – N.º especial | Las lenguas amerindias en Iberoamérica: retos para el siglo XXI, 97-114.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.amerindias.06

The P’urhepecha language is spoken in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. It is an agglutinative language referred to by many Spanish speakers discriminatorily as “dialect”. From a linguistic point of view, different varieties of the language have been identified, though there is an acceptable level of comprehension between speakers from the diverse varieties. With the double aim of giving prestige to the P’urhepecha language and illustrating its richness, a grammar is being developed for native speakers. This article presents a lesson of the grammar in process so as to illustrate the methodology used to facilitate the acquisition of the written code, the standard, recently implemented. The variation of each morpheme is supported by several exercises that enable the P’urhepecha reader to successfully identify the morpheme in their own variety and at the same time to associate it with the standard variant. Furthermore, given the fact that the grammar of the language has never been taught at school, basic grammatical concepts are gradually introduced. In this grammar, P’urhepecha is the language employed for examples, sentences and texts, while Spanish is used to explain the grammar and give definitions. A communicative approach is selected to the learning and teaching of P’urhepecha.