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~~~The Department of Spanish provides several offerings in Spanish linguistics, ranging from introductions to the discipline (undergraduate SPAN 3240 and graduate SPAN 6050 and SPAN 6070) to upper division Spanish phonetics (SPAN 4540) to advanced topics courses (undergraduate/graduate SPAN 5400 and graduate only SPAN 6400) that explore special interests in specific areas, such as Spanish morphology and Spanish sociolinguistics. We also offer a graduate course in methods of teaching college Spanish (SPAN 6500) and a graduate course in History of the Spanish language (SPAN 6600). Our courses in Spanish linguistics are designed both to help students better understand the language of 400+ million people worldwide and its speakers and to prepare future language teachers and scholars.

In all of our Spanish linguistics classes, the Spanish language is the object of study. Resources developed here at WMU support these classes by providing access to websites, newspapers, recorded audio/video clips, and live streaming internet radio and television from contact varieties of Spanish spoken around the world as well as a multimedia database of Spanish dialectology.

Our Spanish linguistics offerings strive to help the student understand the theoretical workings of the Spanish language, how the language varies and changes through time, place and circumstance, and how language practices reflect and shape human interactions and perceptions. Thus, our students learn both the linguistic structure and the social functions of language in the Spanish-speaking world.

 

 

Descriptions of WMU courses in Spanish Linguistics

SPAN 3240: Introduction to the Study of Spanish Linguistics
Taught every fall and spring semester
~ 3 hrs.
A general survey of the different fields of Spanish linguistics, both "theoretical" (e.g., phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics) and "applied" (e.g., pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and bilingualism). Provides students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which linguists study the Spanish language and prepares students for more specialized studies in the different fields of Spanish linguistics.
Prerequisites: SPAN 3160 and 3170.

SPAN 4540: Spanish Phonetics
Taught annually
~ 3 hrs.
An alternative or complement to SPAN 4530, Advanced Spanish Conversation. Particularly recommended for future teachers of Spanish. Provides a practical approach to the improvement of non-native pronunciation and "accent". Emphasizes the sound system of Spanish through aural/oral practice, written transcription, and contrastive analysis with English.
Prerequisites: SPAN 3160, 3170, and one additional 3000-level Spanish course. SPAN 3240 is recommended.

SPAN 5400: Studies in Spanish Linguistics
Taught every fall and spring semester~ 3 hrs.
Topics vary according to area and will be announced. Each course carries separate credit, although all are listed under 5400. Thus, a student may take any or all of the offerings at various times for credit.

Representative topics of SPAN 5400 which may be treated in this area include: Recent topics taught:

Prerequisite: SPAN 3160, 3170, 3240.

Graduate-level classes:

SPAN 6050: The Linguistic Systems of Spanish
Taught biennially ~ 3 hrs.
Recommended for graduate students of Spanish with little or no prior experience in linguistics. This course provides a foundation in the areas of Spanish linguistics that focus on language structure at various levels. Areas covered may include phonology (sound contrasts, syllable structure, stress, intonation), articulatory and acoustic phonetics (pronunciation and perception), morphology (word formation), and syntax (phrase and sentence structure). The course prepares students for the advanced study of more specialized topics in Spanish linguistics.

SPAN 6070: Variations and Changes in Spanish
Taught biennially ~ 3 hrs.
Recommended for graduate students of Spanish with little or no prior experience in linguistics. This course provides a foundation in the areas of Spanish linguistics that study how the Spanish language and its usage vary and change through time, place, context, and circumstance. Areas covered may include temporal variation (history of the Spanish language), regional variation (Spanish dialectology, Spanish in contact), contextual variation (Spanish pragmatics), social variation (Spanish sociolinguistics), as well as issues in the documentation of such variation (Spanish documentary linguistics). The course prepares students for the advanced study of more specialized topics in Spanish linguistics.

SPAN 6400: Topics in Spanish Linguistics and Methodology
Taught annually ~ 3 hrs.
The advanced study of selected aspects of Spansih linguistics and methodology. Course varies according to topic and may be repeated with permission of adviser. Representative topics include:

Recent topics taught:

SPAN 6500: Methods of Teaching College Spanish
Taught annually in fall semester ~ 3 hrs.
Intended for new teaching assistants in Spanish, although other students may be admitted by permission. Establishes the methodology for teaching Spanish language at the university level. Some areas covered are: how to teach in Spanish, the development of appropriate classroom tasks and activities, evaluating and testing, and aspects of second language acquisition theory. Participants create and share materials to be used in their own language classrooms.

SPAN 6600: History of the Spanish Language
Taught biennially ~ 3 hrs.
This course focuses on different aspects involved in the development of the Spanish language. Topics to be considered may include, among others, the evolution of different linguistic systems of Spanish and the socio-cultural factors and context that influenced its development. The course will entail analysis of texts that reflect changes in language usage and attitudes toward language.

Spanish Home ~ Professor Vann's Homepage ~ Graduate Programs ~ Spanish Faculty ~ Major & Minor ~ All Spanish Courses

The Department of Spanish
Contact: robert.vann@wmich.edu
410 Sprau Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5338
USA
Tel: 269 387-3042
Fax: 269 387-3103

 

This page written and maintained by Dr. Robert E. Vann
Last revised November 3, 2013