Latin American Linguistics

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aim is to make students acquainted with Hispanic-American linguistics through the study of the origins and evolution of the Castilian language arrived in America and its diachronic, diatopic, diastratic and diaphasic variants, paying attention to the various forms of contact with other languages (indigenous, African and languages of the European emigrants) and through the commentary of heterogeneous texts. It also aims to provide the appropriate methodological skills. Specific in-depth studies will concern some case studies (the Dominican or Mexican or Argentinian sphere, etc.) referring particularly to memory, culture and literature.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: To be able to describe and evaluate the specific characteristics, origin and current configuration of American Spanish in its many temporal, geographical, social and situational variants. Familiarity with the bibliography and methodologies for the study of linguistic variation and contact between languages. A deeper and more conscious linguistic and metalinguistic competence of American Spanish.

Applying knowledge and understanding: To know how to orient oneself with confidence in the variety of Spanish American variants, that convey a plurality of cultures that are both local (often resulting from a crossbreeding with indigenous and African elements) and global, with particular regard to case studies. Critically analyze texts strongly influenced by different dialects. Assimilate the pan-Hispanic and multicultural perspective in the study of Hispanic language and literature.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course is entitled Fundamentals of Hispanic American Linguistics and Case Studies and and is divided in the following three didactic units that will be developed in sequence:
A: Origin and evolution of the Spanish of America, dialectal and cultural areas. Phonetic, morphosyntactic and lexical aspects of Hispanic American variants.
B: Dominican Spanish and the Caribbean cultural area.
C: Peruvian Spanish.
The didactic unit A offers a synthesis of the history of the Spanish language and the diachronic evolution of Spanish in America, from 1492 to today, with multiple forms of contact, focusing on general characteristics, dialectal areas, national variants and illustrative texts. The object of the study is the Spanish of America today: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary.
The didacti unit B studies Dominican Spanish with an itinerary through the antillan context, natural and human geography, history, music, cinema and Dominican literature (contemporary authors).
Didactic Unit C covers some aspects of Peruvian Spanish.
Students interested in acquiring 6 cfu will study units A and B; students interested in acquiring 9 cfu have to study the complete syllabus.
The course syllabus is valid until February 2021.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is held partially in Spanish. The examination materials and bibliography suppose a solid linguistic knowledge and a conscious use of terminology.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lessons; reading and commentary of texts; individual and group work; viewing and commentary of videos and documentaries.
Teaching Resources
The course has a website on the online platform Ariel (, where students will find a detailed bibliography of each didactic unit, critical articles for in-depth studies and a digital anthology of original texts to be analyzed, that will be commented in class.
Students who are not attending class have a simplified bibliography that will allow them to prepare themselves properly. For unit A they will have ti study the reference manual: Carmen Saralegui, "El español americano: teoría y textos", Pamplona, Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, 1997 (II ed. 2004), ISBN 9788431321505; integrated by the Introduction and the chapter. 6, "Léxico y formación de palabras" (pp. 23-49 and 261-315), of the manual by Milagros Aleza Izquierdo-José María Enguita Utrilla (coords.), "La lengua española en América: normas y usos actuales", Universitat de València, 2010 (full download here:
For unit B they will have to study two works by Orlando Alba: "Una mirada panorámica al español antillano", Santo Domingo, Editora Nacional, 2016, download:
and " Como hablamos los dominicanos. Un enfoque sociolingüístico", Santo Domingo, Grupo León Jimenes, 2004, pp.14-191 e 326-335, download:
They will also have to read the following three Dominican novels: - Juan Bosch, "La Mañosa" (1936)
- Ramón Marrero Aristy, "Over" (1939)
- Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, "Life has no name" (1966)
which will be available in ARIEL with critical comments.
For unit C, the complete bibliography is available on the Ariel website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the professor, interactions between professor and student and the analysis and commentary of texts. It will normally be held in Italian, although with reference to texts in Spanish.
The interview aims to verify the acquisition and elaboration of knowledge, both basic and specific, in the field of Hispanic American Linguistics and its historical and geographical contexts. It will also assess the ability to critically assimilate readings, the correct use of terminology, and the ability to reflect critically and personally on the proposed issues.
The final mark is expressed on a scale up to 30, and the student has the right to refuse it (in which case it will be recorded as "withdrawn").
International students or incoming Erasmus students are invited to contact the professor as soon as possible. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or with DSA must be agreed with the professor and the competent office.
Unita' didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Manera Danilo
Unita' didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Manera Danilo
Unita' didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Mancosu Paola