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As the books and vouchers of the secretary-treasurer had been examined by an auditing committee consisting of Messrs. G. Nelson Graham and Arturo Torres, and found well-kept and correct, the report was accepted.
The call for a report from the standing Committee on Honorary Members brought forth the statement that one vacancy in the list g existed, and, while no person had as yet been selected to fill it, progress was being made. The report was accepted and the committee continued.
The first item of new business was introduced by the reading of the following letter from Señor O. Méndez, president of the organizing committee of the Pan-American Congress, to be held in Panama in June, 1926, inviting the American Association of Teachers of Spanish to send a delegate:
PANAMÁ, NOVIEMBRE DE 1925
Señor Secretario de la American Association of Teachers of Spanish
Del 18 al 25 de Junio de 1926 se reunirá en esta ciudad, convocado por el Gobierno de la República, un Congreso Pan-Americano, conmemorativo del que inició Bolívar hace un siglo y se reunió en Panamá el 22 de Junio de 1826. Durante las sesiones de ese Congreso, entre otros actos importantes, se erigirá el monumento al Libertador que acordó la Quinta Conferencia Internacional Americana y se instituirá la Universidad Bolivariana, según se acordó, asimismo, en el Tercer Congreso Científico Pan-Americano de Lima.
No se ocultará a usted la trascendencia internacional de estos actos, por la fraternidad y armonía efectivas que están llamados a desarrollar entre nuestros pueblos y por los hermosos ideales de paz y mejoramiento que algunos de ellos entrañan.
Colocado Panamá en el centro del universo, es el lugar más indicado para que en él se abracen y compenetren las razas que pueblan nuestro continente y para que de él partan, y se difundan así, por todos los ámbitos del mundo, las nuevas ideas y los nuevos ideales de redención.
Vocero de éstos es sin duda la institución que usted tan dignamente dirige y por ello tenemos el honor de invitarla cordialmente para que se haga representar por medio de delegados en aquellos actos.
Envío a usted con la presente el Prospecto del Congreso y, en espera de una acogida favorable, me es grato suscribirme con toda consideración su muy atento y S. S.,
Another letter from Dr. L. S. Rowe, Director-general of the Pan-American Union, was also read, urging the Association to accept the invitation from Panamá.
Miss Josephine W. Holt moved that the invitation be accepted and Professor Catherine L. Haymaker proposed that the secretarytreasurer, Professor Alfred Coester, be elected the delegate of the Association provided attendance thereto would not interfere with his other plans. Professor Coester replied that he would be willing to attend, though attendance would necessitate his returning from South America sooner than he intended. He believed that this Congress gave our Association an opportunity for greater national and international recognition through the personal contacts that would be made there and through the public accounts which would be printed about its meetings. Furthermore, he hoped that our Association would have some influence on the relations of the United States with Spanish America, at least to the extent that, at some future time, diplomatic representatives would have learned some Spanish from those who teach the language, though their qualification for office continue to be acquaintance with a senator.
Both these motions being carried, Professor Lacalle moved that the delegate's expenses, caused by attending the Congress, should be met by the Association. Motion was carried.
President Barlow then announced that the Executive Council had no quorum present either personally or by proxy and inquired if the business of the council should be brought before the general meeting, since the general meeting is the legal superior of the Council. A mo
tion by Professor Hendrix that the business should be brought before the general meeting was voted affirmatively.
The first item was the election of associate editors of HISPANIA to replace Messrs. Coester, Dale, and Doyle. Professor Gutiérrez moved ntra that the three men be continued as associate editors of HISPANIA. The motion received an affirmative vote.
The next proposition was that of reappointing Mr. L. A. Wilkins to serve for three years as the representative of the Association with the Instituto de las Españas. Mr. Wilkins was reappointed.
Letters were read from Mrs. Fiñeau, president of the El Paso Chapter, and from Mr. A. H. Hughey, superintendent of the El Paso schools, inviting the Association to hold its next annual meeting in that city, and the invitation was accepted.
Mr. Arthur Klein of New York was then elected advertising manager of HISPANIA to serve for the term of three
Professor E. C. Hills was re-elected representative of the Association at the educational congress in Chile, whenever it may be held. A motion was made and carried that for this meeting and hereafter the secretary-treasurer may reimburse himself for the expenses incurred in attending the annual meetings whenever in his judgment the Association's finances permit.
Election of officers was the next event. William S. Hendrix was elected president for 1926; for the same period Miss Brita L. Horner was elected for third vice-president, and Mrs. I. K. Fiñeau as member of the Executive Council; for the constitutional two-year period, Alfred Coester was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
Before retiring as president, Mr. Barlow proposed a rising vote of thanks from the visiting members of the Association to the Columbus Chapter for their courtesies and warm welcome. President Hendrix was then installed and after some appropriate remarks entertained a motion to thank the retiring officers for their efforts on behalf of the Association during the past year.
The Columbus Chapter concluded the morning by giving a lunch to the visitors. The attendance at the meeting was highly representative of the Association, since there were members present from Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York, as well as from the Pacific Coast; from South Carolina and Texas, as well as the Middle West.
THE IMPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE IN SPANISH
During the past year there have appeared in the pages of HISPANIA two articles dealing with the imperfect subjunctive. In the March number, 1925, Professor George Irving Dale, then of Washington University, St. Louis, and now of Cornell University, discussed the relative frequency of the uses of the -ra and the -se forms in Spanish-American literature, based on a study of translations made for the Spanish edition of Inter-América. Current statements on the subject by Cuervo, Bello, and other grammarians were questioned in the November issue by Francis B. Lemon of Rawlins, Wyoming. The latter's discussion is based on a study of four of the recent Spanish dramatists, supplemented by an examination of some of the works of three present-day Spanish novelists and of two Spanish-American writers. With most of Mr. Lemon's statements the present writer is in accord, but he feels moved to take exception both to the underlying assumptions and to the conclusions expressed by Professor Dale.
The article under consideration opens with the declaration: "The statement is generally made in grammars that in Spanish America the form of the imperfect subjunctive in -ra is more often used than the form in -se." This statement would seem to be the result of a vague impression rather than of a count of noses. An examination of twenty-nine out of thirty-two grammars and beginning books published in the United States and Great Britain fails to reveal any such statement. Neither Ramsey's Textbook of Modern Spanish nor Olmsted and Gordon's Unabridged Grammar, of the larger ones, makes any reference to Spanish-America in this connection. There are three others, not accessible at the time of the examination, two of which, so far as memory serves, do not refer to the matter. Of works in Spanish, the Bello-Cuervo Grammar, except in Cuervo's Nota, núm. 94, Cuervo's Apuntaciónes, two Colombian and two Mexican grammars, and one Chilean grammar do not consider the subject at all. R. Lenz, in his La Oración y sus Partes, page 433, par. 280, makes some observations on the Chilean usage, and says that in certain sections the people use exclusively the -ra form, although the -se form is known. In the center of the country cultured people prefer in conversation, and many use exclusively,
the -ra form. He adds that some make frequent use of the form in -se, because, being rarer, they believe it more elegant. Hills and Ford's Spanish Grammar makes the statement, without adducing proof, that the -ra form is the more frequently used in Spanish America, adding that there are some parts where its use is almost universal. In the revision of that work which bears the name of First Spanish Course a shorter statement is given in a note in the very middle of page 137 that "the form in -ra is more common in Spanish America." Shapiro's A Beginner's Spanish Grammar, Appendix D, makes the same statement, apparently an echo of Hills and Ford. It can hardly be said with any exactness that there is an approximate unanimity of opinion on this subject in the grammars.
The authority of the eminent scholars (Hills and Ford) who make the statement quoted is such as to lend great weight to their assertion and their known caution would lead us to believe that they have sufficient evidence to establish the fact, as no serious modification has been made in the original affirmation for which they stood sponsors.1 Whether they have at any time published their data bearing on the subject does not appear. Such an expression from them would constitute a useful contribution to the facts in the case. A former colleague of mine brought up in Mexico has suggested that the -ra sound is phonetically easier to utter than the -se, and that this in itself might account for the more frequent use of that form in conversation and by uneducated people, whereas considerations of sound and literary taste may account for a larger use of the -se form by the educated groups.
The choice of articles produced in translation in the issues of Inter-América has obvious disadvantages as a proof of Professor Dale's assertion. The reader has neither the time nor the material with which to check up on the translation. The suggestions made as to the psychology of the translators are ingenious guesses, but
1 It is possible that these authors derived their statement from Cuervo's Nota núm. 94 to Bello's Gramática Castellana. This note ends with these words: “En América (a lo menos en Colombia) es de raro uso la [forma] en -se en el habla ordinaria, y en lo escrito solo la emplean los que imitan adrede el lenguaje de libros españoles." This statement, so far as it implies a slavish copying of Spanish authors, seems unjust to a number of Cuervo's notable countrymen and contemporaries, as well as to later writers who were living when Cuervo wrote. Men of scholarship and standing like S. Camacho Roldán, M. A. Caro, J. M. Marroquín, and Jorge Isaacs, who were marked by individuality and independence of mind, were beyond such criticism.