BA Italian and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Spanish Linguistics

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA20772
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course unit covers the fundamentals of Spanish linguistics, with special attention being paid to the sounds, the words and the sentences of Spanish. Relevant comparisons with English are made when appropriate. Dialectal variation as well as the implications of linguistic analysis for the teaching and learning of second languages are also discussed. 

Pre/co-requisites

This course unit is combined with LELA20772 Spanish Linguistics, and therefore can't be taken as well as this unit (SPLA20772).

Aims

  • To introduce students to the linguistic study of Spanish.
  • To provide students with the basic linguistic tools necessary to describe and analyse linguistic data.
  • To engage students in the analysis of real-world linguistic data.
  • To allow students to establish a connection between theoretical research and pedagogical practice in the language classroom.
  • To enable students to use their knowledge of linguistics to facilitate the process of teaching and learning a language, with special attention to Spanish.
  • To help raise awareness of intra- and inter-language diversity and multilingualism in a global world.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the semester, you will have:

  • assimilated basic concepts in modern linguistics;
  • acquired the knowledge of the linguistic features of Spanish and the tools necessary to describe and analyse the structure of the Spanish language in terms of its sounds, its words and its sentences, as well as compare the structure of Spanish with that of English;
  • developed critical awareness with regard to the weight of the arguments provided by research to date, as well as the scope and limitations of the different proposals in the field;
  • acquired a foundation that can be applied to related fields such as the teaching and learning of second languages, translation and interpreting and the formal analysis of literary and non-literary texts.

Intellectual skills

The successful completion of this unit will enable you to develop:

  • analytical skills and the ability to deal with abstract concepts;
  • the ability to empirically test abstract ideas in linguistics;
  • argumentation skills;
  • problem-posing and problem-solving skills;
  • the ability to obtain, analyse and organise additional information about relevant topics;
  • critical awareness;
  • creativity and originality of thinking.

Practical skills

By completing this course unit, you will:

  • be able to analyse Spanish data on three different levels (sounds, words and sentences), which will be accomplished via the completion of a number of regular practical assignments;
  • establish relevant comparisons with English, thus improving your knowledge of the structure of English;
  • improve the teaching and learning of foreign/second languages by becoming more linguistically informed.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

This unit will enable you to acquire and/or further develop:

  • information-retrieval skills, including the ability to obtain additional information about relevant topics;
  • the ability to apply analytical skills to everyday problems;
  • oral and written presentation skills;
  • independent research skills (library, electronic databases, internet materials, language samples);
  • the ability to synthesise information;
  • argumentation skills;
  • critical awareness;
  • awareness of linguistic diversity in a global world.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
translation (emphasis on comparative linguistics; metalinguistic awareness; lexical accuracy; eye for detail); editing (attention to detail; sentence structure); proofreading (attention to detail; spelling-to-sound correspondences); application to literary analysis (the importance of the form of literary texts); linguistic analysis (Google®, etc.).
Oral communication
the teaching and learning of foreign languages (not only Spanish, but also English, through comparison of the two languages; note the importance of linguistically informed foreign-language teachers). In this regard, the study of linguistics enhances the improvement of one’s own language skills (awareness of sentence structure, knowledge of the sound system of the language; appropriateness of language utterance in real-world situations, i.e., discourse, etc.);
Other
The study of linguistics enables students to apply their mastery of the discipline and the skills acquired (see above) to a number of areas, including (but not limited to):

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting within unit (if Summative)
Final exam (or open-book exam, if online) 70%
Three written group assignments Three written group assignments (i.e., analysis) (to be done in groups, online if necessary, and to be submitted via Turnitin by a group leader)  30% (10% each)

Resit Assessment

Assessment task Final Exam

 

 

Feedback methods

  • Formative feedback during seminars in class (via Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate) regarding the relevance and coherence of students’ responses/participation in discussion.
  • Formative and summative feedback for group assignments aimed at helping students’ monitor their own progress and foster a guided learning process through theoretical-practical lectures and seminars with structured and supported peer-led learning.
  • Office hours (likely online, via Zoom) and email consultation throughout the semester.
  • Meetings during office hours to discuss the final paper throughout the semester; annotated paper outline/draft.

 

Recommended reading

General 

Alvar, M. 2000. Introducción a la lingüística española. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel. 

Azevedo, M. 2005. Introducción a la lingüística española. New Jersey: Pearson. 

Crain, S., y D. Lillo-Martin. 1999. An Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Hualde, J.I., Escobar, A. Olarrea, A. and Travis, C. 2010. Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Hulst, H. van der. 2008. A Mind for Language. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt. 

Pountain, C. 2003. Exploring the Spanish Language. London: Arnold. 

Stewart, M. 1999. The Spanish Language Today. London: Routledge. 

Villa-García, Julio and Álvaro González-Urzúa. 2016. A conversation on Spanglish. In theLINGUIST@NTNU, National Taiwan Normal University. 

Whitley, M.S. 2002. English/Spanish Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 

The sounds of Spanish 

Alarcos, E.. 1967. Fonología española. Madrid: Gredos 

Hualde, J. I., Escobar, A. Olarrea, A. and Travis, C. 2010. Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Hualde, J. I. 2005. The Sounds of Spanish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Whitley, M.S. 2002. English/Spanish Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 

The words of Spanish 

Hualde, J.I., Escobar, A. Olarrea, A. and Travis, C. 2010. Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

RAE. 2009. Nueva gramática de la lengua española. Madrid: Espasa. 

Wheatley, K. 2006. Sintaxis y morfología de la lengua española. New Jersey: Pearson. 

Whitley, M.S.: English/Spanish Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics (2nd ed.) (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2002). 

The sentences of Spanish 

Bello, Andrés. 1847 / 1970. Gramática de la lengua castellana. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sopena. 8a edición, corregida y aumentada por Rufino José Cuervo y Niceto Alcalá Zamora. 

Bosque, I., and Gutiérrez-Rexach, J. 2009. Fundamentos de sintaxis formal. Madrid: Akal.  

Hualde, J. I., Escobar, A. Olarrea, A. and Travis, C. 2010. Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Larson, R. 2010. Grammar as Science. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 

Radford, A. 2009. Analysing English Sentences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

RAE. 2009. Nueva gramática de la lengua española. Madrid: Espasa. 

Wheatley, K. 2006. Sintaxis y morfología de la lengua española. New Jersey: Pearson. 

Whitley, M.S.: English/Spanish Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics (2nd ed.) (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2002). 

Zagona, K. 2002. The syntax of Spanish. Cambridge University Press. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Julio Villa-Garcia Unit coordinator

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