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Semester 1

Bilingualism and Language Contact in the Spanish-speaking World (Ordinary) (ELCH09025)


European Languages and Cultures - Hispanic Studies





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The course is completely taught and assessed in Spanish. A C1 Level of Spanish is required. Entry is subject to a language test by the relevant subject area on arrival and at the discretion of the course organiser.

Course Summary

Do languages change when in contact with each other? Can they borrow their structure, or just words? How can new languages emerge from language contact situations? The central topic of this course is language contact, bilingualism and language change related to the Spanish-speaking world. This course engages with a specific field of the study of Hispanic Linguistics, both from a theoretical and an applied perspective. The goal of this course is to provide students with a level of knowledge that enables them to make connections between the history and the structure of Spanish, as well as identify issues arising in bilingual societies and language contact contexts around the geographies of the Hispanic world.

Course Description

The course will engage with various linguistic concepts and sociolinguistic perspectives in order for students to understand the effects of direct contact between speakers of Spanish and other languages in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts, such as: colonization, slavery, migration, media, social networks, education systems, language policy, etc. During this course students will be able to analyse and understand the situation of the bilingual societies of the Hispanic countries, bilingual speakers attitudes and ideology, the history of language contact from Latin to Spanglish, and the results of the contacts of Spanish with other languages in the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and North America. Students will also be provided with theoretical and applied groundings in topics related to the formation of a bilingual speaker and with an overview of current bilingual regions in the Spanish-speaking societies today. The outcomes of all these contacts are varied and include pidgin and creole formation, bilingualism, sociolects, language death, language attrition, code-switching, and borrowing.This is a seminar-based course which will include analysis of primary source texts, accompanied by recommended secondary readings. Each week, a presentation will be provided by the tutor, followed by workshop-based discussions of the course readings and group activities for practicing linguistic analysis. Students' learning and understanding will be tested through coursework assignments and a final exam. This course will be delivered and assessed in Spanish.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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