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Words on the Move–Spanish Through Time, Literally

Have you ever thought about the language you speak? If the answer is yes, surely you might have wondered: Where does my language come from? How does it change? What are its relationships with other languages? How do its literary and cultural production reflect such evolution and connections?

In this course we will approach classic works of Spanish literature within the methodological frame of linguistic historiography, and the reading and analysis of these texts will help us understand how the Spanish language changes overtime, and challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity.

The class will be interactive in format: class participation and joint efforts are very important. We do not have a textbook but a series of readings in Sakai that work like a course pack. We will have four CPR (Class Preparation Response), and work on a digital project which final products include a group presentation and a research and assessment portfolio.

THEMES

  1. Essential terminology. History of language versus History of linguistic ideas. Diachronic and synchronic analysis. Language and discourse. Language and text.
  2. Linguistic historiography. A brief history of its development. Holy tongues. Rhetoric and Grammar. Linguistic canon and literary canon.
  3. Theories on the origins and linguistic evolution. Biblical, Comparative, Missionary Linguistics.
  4. Classical Latin, Popular Latin and Late Latin. Literary Latin in Hispania.
  5. The Visigoths. Disintegration of Romania. Birth of the first Romance dialects. Germanic influence. First Romance texts.
  6. The Arabs in Spain. Influence of Arabic in the Romance vernaculars. Mozárabe. The Xartjas.
  7. The expansion of the Christian kingdoms. The Reconquista. Different dialects of Latin. The Castilian epic.
  8. Castilian Hegemony. Alfonso X and his cultural program. Literary Castilian. First reflections on language.
  9. Humanism in Castile. Linguistic experimentation. Latin and Greek neologisms. Nebrija and Gramática de la lengua castellana.
  10. Castilian expressivity. Normativization. The Italian influence.
  11. The boom of literary Castilian. Conceptismo and Culteranismo. The great authors. First synchronic analyses of Spanish.
  12. American Spanish. Spanish expansion in the colonies. The andalucista theory.
  13. The Age of Enlightenment in Spain. Language taxonomies. La Real Academia de la Lengua and El Diccionaro de Autoridades. Prescriptivism. French influence.
  14. The Age of Enlightenment in America. The development of national identities and regional literatures.
  15. Contemporary Spanish. The language of technology in literature and art. The influence of English.
  16. American Spanish after independence. Andrés Bello and separatist theories. Bolívar.
  17. Spanish in the United States. Urban and rural literature. Literature and code switching. Junot Diaz.
  18. XXI century Spanish. Language and Literatures in the digital era.

Prerequisites: SPAN 371 or SPAN 373

Literary and Cultural History of the Spanish Language

Why do so many people speak Spanish all across the world?
He said ahorita, should I wait?
Is Spanglish a language?
If any of these questions make you curious, SPAN 621 is the course for you!

Spanish and Spanish American literary works will help us understand how the Spanish language changes overtime, and challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity.

Literary and Cultural History of the Spanish Language

Have you ever thought about the language you speak? If the answer is yes, surely you might have wondered: Where does my language come from? How does it change? What are its relationships with other languages? How do its literary and cultural production reflect such evolution and connections?

In this course we will approach classic works of Spanish literature within the methodological frame of linguistic historiography, and the reading and analysis of these texts will help us understand how the Spanish language changes overtime, and challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity.

The class will be interactive in format: class participation and joint efforts are very important and a good percentage of your grade will be based on your productive performance as part of a community of learners and designers. We will study on a text book and integrate a panoply of other multimedia resources accessible online from the syllabus. We will have four CPR (Class Preparation Response), and work on a digital project which final products include a group presentation and a research and assessment portfolio.

THEMES

  1. Essential terminology. History of language versus History of linguistic ideas. Diachronic and synchronic analysis. Language and discourse. Language and text.
  2. Linguistic historiography. A brief history of its development. Holy tongues. Rhetoric and Grammar. Linguistic canon and literary canon.
  3. Theories on the origins and linguistic evolution. Biblical, Comparative, Missionary Linguistics.
  4. Classical Latin, Popular Latin and Late Latin. Literary Latin in Hispania.
  5. The Visigoths. Disintegration of Romania. Birth of the first Romance dialects. Germanic influence. First Romance texts.
  6. The Arabs in Spain. Influence of Arabic in the Romance vernaculars. Mozárabe. The Xartjas.
  7. The expansion of the Christian kingdoms. The Reconquista. Different dialects of Latin. The Castilian epic.
  8. Castilian Hegemony. Alfonso X and his cultural program. Literary Castilian. First reflections on language.
  9. Humanism in Castile. Linguistic experimentation. Latin and Greek neologisms. Nebrija and Gramática de la lengua castellana.
  10. Castilian expressivity. Normativization. The Italian influence.
  11. The boom of literary Castilian. Conceptismo and Culteranismo. The great authors. First synchronic analyses of Spanish.
  12. American Spanish. Spanish expansion in the colonies. The andalucista theory.
  13. The Age of Enlightenment in Spain. Language taxonomies. La Real Academia de la Lengua and El Diccionaro de Autoridades. Prescriptivism. French influence.
  14. The Age of Enlightenment in America. The development of national identities and regional literatures.
  15. Contemporary Spanish. The language of technology in literature and art. The influence of English.
  16. American Spanish after independence. Andrés Bello and separatist theories. Bolívar.
  17. Spanish in the United States. Urban and rural literature. Literature and code switching. Junot Diaz.
  18. XXI century Spanish. Language and Literatures in the digital era.

Literary and Cultural History of the Spanish Language

“Why do so many people speak Spanish all across the world?”

“He said ahorita, should I wait 🤔?”

“Is Spanglish a language?”

If any of these questions make you curious, SPAN 621 is the course for you! The course studies canonical and folk answers to such basic yet often confusing questions such as: “Where does Spanish come from?”; “How does it change?”; “What are its relationships with other languages?”; “How do its literary and cultural production reflect such evolution and connections?” Through the lens of linguistic historiography, we will discover how the Spanish language changes overtime, and we will challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity.

 

Learning Approach and Methodologies

  1. PBL (ABP)

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project Design Elements include:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product – Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom
  • The course will be founded on the notion that students learn best when they are stimulated and when they bring their own interests to bear on the course material. Further, students will be expected to approach this course with academic rigor and to expand their skills as scholars and researchers.
  1. Linguistic Historiography, Design Thinking, History of Books, Digital Humanities

 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  1. Strengthen your tools of critical analysis by focusing your attention on the different dimensions of Spanish linguistic reality and its thought literature from today to Latin origins, observing backwards the influence of their meanings in linguistic history.
  2. Strengthen your ability to produce clear, concise and potent arguments that include an analysis of linguistic, historical and literary data and that are based on evidence.
  3. Strengthen your ability to participate in and cultivate environments of productive dissent and experimental thought. D. Develop a deeper understanding of the distinctive constructions of Spanish linguistic identity in various historical, cultural and literary contexts and how those constructions transform history, culture, and relations of power.
  4. Develop skills to critically analyze primary sources.

Pre-requisites: SPAN 301 or 302; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.

Previously Offered:

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020