Collection: Stephen Griffin Collection >> Hispano-Anglo grammar, containing the definitions, structure,...
containing the definitions, structure, inflections, reference, arrangement, concord, government and combination of the various classes of words in the Spanish language ...
By Matthias J. O'Conway ...
|Main Creator:||O'Conway, Matthias James, 1766-1842.|
|Published / Created:||
Philadelphia: Printed for Thomas Dobson, at the Stone-house, no. 41, South second street. Fry and Kammerer, printers, 1810.
Formerly in the library of The American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia.
Errors in pagination : pages 222, 226 misnumbered 122, 126. Errata, p. .
Mathias James O'Conway, aka Maitias Ó Conmhaí (3 Feb. 1766-28 Nov. 1842), was born in Galway town to Matthias O'Conway, said to have been a town merchant, and his wife, Isabel O'Hogan. He had an older brother, John. He was a native Irish speaker, only learning English when aged eight upon attending the Augustinian school in the town. By his own account he first became intrigued with languages upon coming into contact with Jewish refugees from Gibraltar when he was aged about fourteen (c. 1780). Following a street fracas in Dublin in early 1783, he was obliged to leave Ireland, never to return. He first settled in Grenada in the Carribean; by April 1784 he was living in Philadelphia. He became a member of the Pennsylvania militia, and was posted to the territory of the Seneca, learning elements of "three of their languages." He married Rebecca Archer of Carlisle, Penn., who was the American-born daughter of an Irish couple. Their first child, Cecelia, was born in December, 1787, by which time he set himself up as a schoolteacher in Pittsburgh. The couple would have nine children, eight of whom survived childhood, two sons dying young in Latin America. O'Conway worked for decades on several monumental philological works, but much was unpublished. Some of his papers were lost, but a great deal survives in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin. They show awareness of the works of Bishop John O'Brien and Aodh Buidhe Mac Cruitin, but clearly contains his own independent research and conclusions. "O'Conway was almost certainly the first person to write and publish language-learning books in the USA. One of these, his 'Hispano-Anglo grammar (1810) - [available in NLI at LO 12828], was a grammar of Spanish for the English speaker and also a book of dialogues and topical vocabulary lists of everyday use... O'Conway's life and work thus await serious study from those who can evaluate his contribution to the evolution of linguistics and language teaching in the United States and his place in the history of Irish and indeed Spanish lexicography."
Physical description: xv, 399,  pages ; 23 cm
|Contained in:||Stephen Griffin Collection|
LO 12828: Stephen Griffin Collection