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SPAN2010 Exploring Spanish Linguistics

Module Overview

The unit introduces you to relevant issues of contemporary Spanish linguistics and establishes the basis for future application of linguistic principles.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This course provides an introduction to formal aspects of Spanish linguistics for students who have already been introduced to the study of linguistics in the first year. The main aims of the module are to: • examine basic aspects of formal Spanish linguistics, including phonetics semantics, morphology and syntax; • evaluate theoretical studies in different areas of linguistics; • develop your basic knowledge in Spanish linguistics in order to critically assess relevant linguistic theories and studies.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key theoretical constructs in current linguistic theory
  • The main characteristics of formal Spanish linguistics
  • The main characteristics of formal Spanish linguistics
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of elements of theory and how they can be applied to study particular languages
  • Show that you have developed your critical and linguistic skills by preparing and analysing three short written assignments
  • Work effectively in different modes: presenting findings orally, collaborating with partners, exchanging ideas in seminars and carrying out short written assignments based on real linguistic data
  • Apply the linguistic skills acquired in this module in your own language learning
  • Make connections between the structure of Spanish and relevant issues in contemporary Hispanic linguistics such as language variation, language acquisition and bilingualism
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Isolate and recognise sounds in Spanish
  • Provide a syntactic analysis of any structure in Spanish
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in common linguistic theory and practice
  • Understand and analyse key structures in Spanish and how they compare to other languages you know
  • Evaluate linguistic tools for data analysis


The module introduces you to relevant issues of contemporary Spanish linguistics and establishes the basis for future application of linguistic principles. Building on general linguistic knowledge gained in LING 1001 this module covers areas of the sound system of Spanish and its theoretical basis; Spanish morphology, such as verbal morphology and word formation; relevant issues of Spanish syntax, such as word order variation, subject positions and clitic pronouns. In the last part of the module, the effects of the contact of languages on the structure of Spanish will be introduced. Connections between Spanish and English and Portuguese will be drawn when appropriate

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • 1 lecture • 1 seminar per week The lectures serve to introduce, analyse and investigate key aspects of Spanish linguistics (e.g. phonology, morphology, syntax, and structural properties of language change in the Spanish-speaking world) whereas the seminars provide you with preliminary general guidance to apply that knowledge to the analysis of real Spanish data in the form of exercises. Learning activities include • A specific short assignment to be carried out (i.e. phonetic transcription and analysis.) which will be assessed. • An oral presentation of a relevant topic of Spanish linguistics of your choice, which will be assessed.

Follow-up work4
Completion of assessment task40
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Wider reading or practice40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Teschner, Richard (1999). Camino oral: Fonética, fonología y práctica de los sonidos del español. 

Teschner, Richard and Castro-Paniagua, Francisco (1993). Lo esencial de la lingüística española. 

Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert, and Hyamsn, Nina (2006). An Introduction to Language. 

Zagona, Karen (2002). The Syntax of Spanish. 

Azevedo, Milton (2005). Introducción a la lingüística española. 

Hualde, José Ignacio, Antxon Olarrea and Anna María Escobar (2001). Introducción a la lingüística hispánica. 

Module site on Blackboard. Reserve collection of readings in the library. 


Assessment Strategy

The formal assessment tasks provide evidence of your ability to think critically about the structures learnt and the methods used to investigate each of the studied linguistic areas of Spanish. One short written assignment task will help consolidate both your knowledge and analytical skills as you are asked to interpret and analyse phonetics data using the linguistic tools introduced in this module. In an oral presentation of a relevant aspect of Spanish linguistics, you have the opportunity to independently explore a particular topic, allowing you to both gain a more in-depth knowledge of that area and share your findings with the rest of the class. A final examination, verifies that you have understood certain notions and concepts which are fundamental for this module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (500 words) 25%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%
Oral presentation  (10 minutes) 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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