Until recently, American Spanish was underrepresented in the body of synchronic and diachronic Spanish language studies. In the 1990s, researchers from several countries started addressing this gap, drawing on archives to build a corpus that would provide input for 46exploring Latin America’s linguistic history and advance a systematic historical reconstruction of Spanish in those countries, while enhancing the understanding of linguistic change dynamics with new evidence from Spanish language sources. This linguistic development based on American diachronic corpuses, originally on paper, hit a major milestone with the first computerized corpus covering the full diatopic and diachronic range of American Spanish: the Corpus Diacrónico y Diatópico del Español de América (CORDIAM), a user-friendly open-access digital platform (www.cordiam.org) that gathers these valuable and fragmented contributions, along with press and literature, in three subcorpora: CORDIAM-Documents; CORDIAM- Literature; and CORDIAM- Press.
This chapter outlines the state of diachronic Spanish corpuses and the extent to which American texts are represented therein, addresses some underlying theoretical-disciplinary and methodological aspects of their design, and highlights five characteristics of the CORDIAM: (i) solid and reliable data, (ii) interface features, (iii) inclusion of metadata for each text, (iv) development of an ad hoc textual typology, and (v) collaborative nature. In conclusion, we discuss pending tasks and future lines of work.