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A theoretical research seminar on Language Variation and Language Change in Latin America


Admission requirements

To be registered as student of the (Research) Master Latin American Studies.


This course is an introduction to the study of variation in Latin American Spanish morphosyntax. Main theoretical and methodological issues will be discussed based on examples drawn from studies of variation in Spanish. Our main focus will be the observation, description, and explanation of morphosyntactic variation and change across time and space in Latin America. Readings, discussions, and practical sessions will center on theoretical issues and methods of data collection (e.g. corpora, elicitation techniques and experimental methodologies).

Course objectives

Student will acquire knowledge of what the principal axes of syntactic variation in Latin American Spanish are, considering the following points:

a. The contribution of different tools (databases, atlases, questionnaires, corpora, internet, descriptive manuals, etc.) to the study of morphosyntactic variation in Spanish.
b. Different theoretical approaches to the study of linguistic variation.
c. The weight of language contact to establish the boundaries between them and other linguistic variables.
d. The effect of non-linguistic factors (social, cultural, legal, etc.) in the study of language variation.



Method of Instruction


Assessment method

Weekly response papers, final research paper and oral presentation.


Information on the timetable and on any changes in the programme will be posted on Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced


Register via uSis.


  • Students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate in class discussion. All readings assigned for the week must be done prior to class. Every student is expected to contribute to class discussion through oral questions and comments every class. In order to facilitate class discussion, students will write a response to the weekly readings.

  • A detailed class syllabus will be provided on the fist day of class.

Contact information

Dr. M. Parafita Couto