SPAN 507, bilingualism

Fall 2019, Tuesday 5:00-7:30 pm

Spanish 507, Bilingualism

This course examines issues related to Spanish in the United States with an additional focus on Chicago. The main questions we will explore include these:

  • What makes bilingual acquisition of Spanish as a minority language different from monolingual acquisition, from second language acquisition, and from bilingual acquisition in bilingual societies?
  • What are some of the morphosyntactic, lexical, and phonological characteristics that distinguish U.S. Spanish from other varieties of Spanish?
  • What characterizes Chicago as a Spanish-speaking space? What do three generations of Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish look like in the city?

            Students will access the CHISPA corpus (Chicago Spanish, Potowski & Torres in progress) and analyze a linguistic feature that we agree on. In order to do so, you must complete IRB training.

            Some course readings are in Spanish and others are in English. Both Spanish and English will be used in class discussions and presentations. This means that students must be able to read, speak, and understand Spanish with a high degree of proficiency. Students may complete written assignments in Spanish or English, whichever you prefer.


Readings: Required. All are available on the Blackboard course site.

Carreira, M. & Beeman, T. (2014). Voces: Latino students on life in the United States. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. Pp. 48-60.

Erker, D. (2018). Spanish dialect contact in the United States. In K. Potowski (Ed.), The handbook of Spanish as a heritage/minority language. Routledge.

Escobar, A. & Potowski, K. (2015). El español de los Estados Unidos. Cambridge University Press. Capítulos 3-6.

Montrul, S. (2018). Morphology, syntax and semantics in Spanish as a heritage language. In K. Potowski (Ed.), The handbook of Spanish as a heritage/minority language. Routledge.

O’Rourke, E. & Potowski, K. (2016). Phonetic accommodation in a situation of Spanish dialect contact: Coda /s/ and /r̄/ in Chicago. Journal of Hispanic & Lusophone Linguistics, 2 (9), 1-44.

Otheguy, R. (2016). The linguistic competence of second-generation bilinguals: A critique of ‘incomplete acquisition.’ In C. Tortora, M. den Dikken, I. Montoya and T. O'Neill (Eds.), Romance linguistics 2013: Selected papers from the 43rd Linguistic       Symposium on Romance Languages (301-319). Benjamins.

Otheguy, R., García, O. & Reid, W. (2015). Clarifying translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: A perspective from linguistics. Applied Linguistics Review, 6 (3), 281–307.

Otheguy, R. & Zentella, A. (2012). Spanish in New York: Language contact, dialectal leveling, and structural continuity. Oxford University Press. Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6.

Potowski, K. & Torres, L. (In progress). Spanish in Chicago. Oxford University Press. Chapter 2.

Shin, N. (2018) Child heritage speakers’ morphosyntax: Rate of acquisition and crosslinguistic influence. In K. Potowski (Ed.), The handbook of Spanish as a heritage/minority language. Routledge.

Silva-Corvalán, C. (1994). Language contact and change: Spanish in Los Angeles. Oxford University Press. Chapters 2, 3, 6, 7.

Zentella, A. (1997). Growing up bilingual.  Wiley-Blackwell. Chapters 1-7, 9, 10, 12.


Optional readings, available on Blackboard

DeGenova, N. & Ramos-Zayas, A. (2006). Latino crossings. Chapter 6.

De Houwer, A. (2009).  Bilingual first language acquisition. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. 

Henriksen, N. (2015). Acoustic analysis of the rhotic contrast in Chicagoland Spanish: An intergenerational study. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 5 (3), 285–321.

Montrul, S  (2008).  Incomplete acquisition in bilingualism: Re-examining the age factor.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.