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.
- Essential terminology. History of language versus History of linguistic ideas. Diachronic and synchronic analysis. Language and discourse. Language and text.
- Linguistic historiography. A brief history of its development. Holy tongues. Rhetoric and Grammar. Linguistic canon and literary canon.
- Theories on the origins and linguistic evolution. Biblical, Comparative, Missionary Linguistics.
- Classical Latin, Popular Latin and Late Latin. Literary Latin in Hispania.
- The Visigoths. Disintegration of Romania. Birth of the first Romance dialects. Germanic influence. First Romance texts.
- The Arabs in Spain. Influence of Arabic in the Romance vernaculars. Mozárabe. The Xartjas.
- The expansion of the Christian kingdoms. The Reconquista. Different dialects of Latin. The Castilian epic.
- Castilian Hegemony. Alfonso X and his cultural program. Literary Castilian. First reflections on language.
- Humanism in Castile. Linguistic experimentation. Latin and Greek neologisms. Nebrija and Gramática de la lengua castellana.
- Castilian expressivity. Normativization. The Italian influence.
- The boom of literary Castilian. Conceptismo and Culteranismo. The great authors. First synchronic analyses of Spanish.
- American Spanish. Spanish expansion in the colonies. The andalucista theory.
- The Age of Enlightenment in Spain. Language taxonomies. La Real Academia de la Lengua and El Diccionaro de Autoridades. Prescriptivism. French influence.
- The Age of Enlightenment in America. The development of national identities and regional literatures.
- Contemporary Spanish. The language of technology in literature and art. The influence of English.
- American Spanish after independence. Andrés Bello and separatist theories. Bolívar.
- Spanish in the United States. Urban and rural literature. Literature and code switching. Junot Diaz.
- 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!
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.
Fall 2017, Fall 2018