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Prospectus

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

Course
2015-2016

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA programme

Description

This course is an introduction to the study of variation in Spanish and Portuguese morphosyntax. Main theoretical and methodological issues will be discussed based on examples drawn from variation studies. 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

Students will acquire knowledge of what the principal axes of syntactic variation in Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese 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 and Portuguese.
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.

Timetable

Timetable

Method of Instruction

Seminar

Course Load

140 hours
In-Class: 28 hours (2 hours p/week x 14 weeks)
Reading and Class Preparation: 56 hours (4 hours p/week x 14 weeks)
Preparation for in-class presentations: 12 hours
Weekly response papers: 14 hours
Final Written Paper: 30 hours

Assessment method

Weekly response papers (25%), final research paper (50%) and oral presentation (25%).

Blackboard

Yes: Blackboard

Reading list

To be announced

Registration

uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact information

Dr. M. Parafita Couto

Remarks

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 first day of class.