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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Programs
Hispanic Linguistics

Courses in Hispanic Linguistics


Spanish 797HB – Spanish in the U.S. / Sociolinguistic Aspects. This course explores the Spanish spoken in the US and its variety throughout the different geographical and social dialects in the country. The nature of the changes that take place in the language of the subordinate group in a high developed and complex society will be examined under the framework of the sociolinguistic theory. The course prepares students to critically read texts and develop their own research in the field. The work developed by students focuses on collecting and analyzing data and understanding the role played by the extra linguistic variables in the motivation of linguistic change processes.

Spanish 797FS – Advanced Seminar in Second Language Acquisition. This seminar explores current research topics in second language acquisition from a theoretical linguistics perspective. Participants are encouraged to carry out experiments that help bridge the gap between research on first and second language representation and/or development. Students are expected to request IRB approval for further presentation and publication of research results.

Spanish 797RM – Research Methods in Sociolinguistics
This seminar explores the challenges of being a sociolinguist. In this seminar the students will learn how to collect samples of naturally-occurring speech; understand some of the problems involved in recording speech interactions; be acquainted with some of the ethical issues involved in human-subjects research in general, and in sociolinguistic research in particular (obtain proper consent, interview people following ethical guidelines, and treat data confidentially). Students are expected to request IRB approval for further presentation and publication of research results.

Spanish 697GG – Constraint-Based Lexicalist Syntax. The goal of this course is to present a Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) analysis of various linguistic phenomena in Spanish and other Romance languages. Students are introduced to ways in which a constraint-based lexicalist approach to syntax can handle inflection, agreement, subcategorization, binding, raising, control, passive constructions, long-distance dependencies, and constraints on word order. We examine how the descriptive mechanisms presented by the theory allow us to represent the interface between syntax and other dimensions of linguistic structure, such as the lexicon, semantics and pragmatics. Students are expected to use HPSG to analyze different linguistic phenomena in Spanish and other Romance languages, such as clitic licensing, subject-verb inversion, null-subjects (and objects), NP agreement, and unbounded-dependency constructions. One of the general goals of this course is to help students understand the differences and similarities in contemporary syntactic theory between derivation-based and constraint-based approaches.

Spanish 697AT – Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory. In this course, we study the contribution of specific linguistic theories to the description of first and second language representation and development, including Principles and Parameters, the Minimalist Program, and constraint-based non-transformational theories. We look at some examples of SLA research in Spanish and other languages, and discuss how theories shape the way researchers design their experiments and interpret their data. By the end of the course students are expected to prepare a research proposal that could be used for individual projects.
Pre-requisites: although this course has no pre-requisites, it is recommended that students take a syntax course before enrolling. Some of the options are: Spanish 579, Ling 401, Ling 601.

Spanish 697TS - Introduction to Spanish Intonational Phonology (Armstrong) In this course we will focus on the intonational system of Spanish, but also other intonational systems such as Catalan and Portuguese.The course is divided into three parts: 1.) The notion of intonation from a phonetic perspective as well as basic models of intronation, paying special attention to the Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) model (presently the most common model used for the description of Spanish dialects). 2.) Students Ear-training and transcription of intonation using the Sp_ToBI (Spanish Tones and Breaks Indices) system. Students will also be familiarized with the system for Catalan, Cat_ToBI. 3.) Reading and criticism of articles on intonational aspects of dialects of Spanish and other Romance languages. These articles will deal with different aspects of information including intonational focus, pitch range and alignment. Students will carry out a mini-experiment at the end of the course on some aspect of Romance intonation.

Spanish 674 – Bilingualism and Language Contact. This course focuses on language contact situations in the Spanish speaking world. Important theoretical problems are addressed by the study of linguistic phenomena in bilingual and multilingual context as well as the role played by the contact language in the motivation of linguistic change processes. The proposed course intends to offer the students an approach to the knowledge of linguistic concepts as applied to the study of the live varieties of the Spanish spoken around the world. Fieldwork and analysis of live/real discourse will be required.

Spanish 672 – Hispanic Dialectology. This course examines and compares diachronic and synchronic surveys of the dialects of Spain, Spanish America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Some theoretical approaches and methodologies to study dialect classification are considered. Also, the course revises the debates on the origins and historical development of Spanish dialects in Latin America as well as the most recent developments in the fields of Dialectology.

Spanish 697RM - Research Methods in Language Acquisition
This course is an overview of research methods used in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. Students analyze the different types of research projects, and learn the necessary steps to prepare a research report, including how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, design a methodology for data gathering, code and analyze the data, and report their findings. We look at those issues both in quantitative and qualitative research. We discuss the different settings where second language research can be conducted and the implications for research validity and reliability.

Spanish 597FFA - Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology In this course we will focus on the intonational system of Spanish, but also other intonational systems such as Catalan and Portuguese.The course is divided into three parts: 1.) The notion of intonation from a phonetic perspective as well as basic models of intronation, paying special attention to the Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) model (presently the most common model used for the description of Spanish dialects). 2.) Students Ear-training and transcription of intonation using the Sp_ToBI (Spanish Tones and Breaks Indices) system. Students will also be familiarized with the system for Catalan, Cat_ToBI. 3.) Reading and criticism of articles on intonational aspects of dialects of Spanish and other Romance languages. These articles will deal with different aspects of information including intonational focus, pitch range and alignment. Students will carry out a mini-experiment at the end of the course on some aspect of Romance intonation.

Spanish 597S – Introduction to Discourse Analysis. This course focuses on the relationships between language and society, and the language use beyond the boundaries of a sentence/utterance. These theoretical problems comprise language use in social contexts (not only spoken but also written speech) and dialogue and interaction between speakers.

Spanish 597AP - Introduction to Applied Linguistics
This course is an introduction to the field of Applied Linguistics. We start by examining the evolution of foreign language instruction since the 19th century. Then, we look into current issues in the field, such as: input and input processing, output and interactionist theories, form focused instruction, noticing and awareness in SLA, feedback techniques, and the development of communicative competence. We look at some of the current research projects and findings related to those issues, and how they can help influence the pedagogical practice of foreign language teachers.

Spanish 579 – Structure of Modern Spanish. This course presents the syntax and morphology of contemporary Spanish using current generative theories. This class does not presuppose any knowledge of the theoretical framework, since the basic theoretical assumptions will be introduced in the course.

Spanish 512 – Spanish as Language Minority in the US. This course focuses on Spanish spoken in the United States, the relationship of a dominant language to subordinate language(s), the nature of the changes that take place in the language of the subordinate group in a high developed and complex society, and the role played by the contact language in the motivation of linguistic change processes. The course intends to offer the students a first approach to the knowledge of basic linguistic concepts as applied to the study of the live varieties of the Spanish language that are spoken in the United States. Also, diverse aspects of heritage language maintenance and development will be explored.

Spanish 597J – Foreign Language Methodology This course is an introduction to different methods and approaches to foreign language teaching. During the course students learn how to prepare a foreign language lesson, and develop the necessary abilities to become language instructors. This course is required for all new TAs.

Besides the courses in Hispanic Linguistics listed above, graduate students in our program are encouraged to complement their coursework with courses from the Linguistics Department.