SIL Mexico

Vocabularios y Diccionarios Indígenas "Mariano Silva y Aceves"

(the "Mariano Silva y Aceves" series of vocabularies and dictionaries)

Dr. Mariano Silva y Aceves was a Mexican intellectual and humanist who was very concerned about the education of rural Mexicans, many of whom were speakers of indigenous languages who had little knowledge of Spanish. In 1933 he founded the Instituto Mexicano de Investigaciones Lingüísticas [Mexican Institute for Linguistic Research]. He stimulated many scholars to do original field work in Mexican Indian languages and published their results in the journal he edited, Investigaciones Lingüísticas, until his untimely death in 1937.

Dr. Silva y Aceves was interested in linguistic science, not for its own sake, but as a tool to facilitate well-reasoned and workable ways of incorporating the Indian population into the structure of the nation. He rejected any imposition of the Spanish-speaking culture on the Indians and maintained a high regard for the Indian language and culture. He promoted the use of the Indian language in education and in the development of the natural human resources of the indigenous population.

The brief duration (1933-1937) of the Instituto Mexicano de Investigaciones Lingüísticas coincided with the beginning of the Instituto Lingüístico de Verano in Mexico. William Cameron Townsend and Kenneth Lee Pike, SIL's founders, were among the regular contributors to Investigaciones Lingüísticas.

The Instituto Lingüístico de Verano is honored to publish a series of vocabularies and dictionaries bearing the name "Mariano Silva y Aceves".

—Doris Bartholomew


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