P. Wahl

Szczecin University (POLAND)
Spanish (and presumably each of all the other languages, alive and dead) in actual fact is composed of two bands: the standard language and the colloquial one. How different the two bands are may be exemplified with 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos R. Zafón (standard Spanish) on the one hand and the screenplay of 'Volver' by Pedro Almodóvar (colloquial Spanish) on the other. As the two varieties are both languages in every sense of the word, both of them may be analysed at four structural levels: phonic, morphological, lexical and syntactic, and differences occur at each of these four levels. The two languages or bands overlap each other to a large extent, yet the differences can make mutual intelligibility hardly possible; for this reason alone the phenomenon described here should be regarded as one of the fundamental questions of linguistics, but in spite of that it seems to be ignored, or at least not paid sufficient attention to. For example, the colloquial Spanish is almost absent from Foreign Languages Teaching / Learning (FLTL), both from its academic sphere and the applied one. Consequently, students of Spanish are taught only the standard Spanish authorised by the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy), and when they arrive in a Spanish-language country for the first time they may be linguistically at a loss. But before the colloquial Spanish finds the way to the dictionaries, grammars and textbooks of the Spanish language, the problem has to be sorted out theoretically.