Like so many other languages in Spanish South America, Guarani, as spoken in the 17th and 18th centuries, is documented in grammars, dictionaries, and catechisms. These texts were primarily written for priests as tools of basic communication with the indigenous population. The Jesuit system of Reductions (protected Indian villages), however, led language learners to face other language uses beyond the elementary level. To teach these, other texts were created, such as the one presented in this paper that deals with the translation of a booklet on the early history of the Guarani Reductions. Its pedagogical features, together with its descriptive significance for our grasp of the language used, will be explained. A close examination of both the old grammars and contemporary texts will lead to a clearer understanding of the constitutive particularities of the language.
©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston