Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Linguistics, Spanish

  • Language Level


  • Prerequisites

    The student must be registered for Spanish III or have an equivalent level.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    The course is aimed at students with a high level of Spanish. The goal is to provide students with a basic knowledge of linguistics. The course consists of a general introduction to Spanish linguistics, the nature of language, and linguistic analysis. It will survey some of the major areas of linguistics, such as Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, and Syntax. The syllabus will cover both theoretical and practical issues, and will focus on the development of the students’ analytical skills. In order to achieve this goal, all theoretical classes will be implemented with practical (individual) exercises which will challenge the students’ understanding of the main linguistic notions.



    Language and linguistic knowledge
    - What is language? What is linguistic knowledge?
    - Competence versus Performance.
    - The creativity of language.
    - Universal grammar and the innatist hypothesis.

    An introduction to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
    - Definition of basic concepts: phoneme, allophone, free variation and complementary distribution.
    - Classification of consonants according to articulation point, articulation mode and activity of vocal chords.
    - Spanish vowels and main allophones.
    - Vowels and semi-vowels.
    - Syllabification. Stress and Intonation.
    - The historical evolution of sibilants across the Spanish speaking world.


    Spanish Morphology
    - Definition of basic concepts: word, morpheme, affix and allomorph. - Inflectional morphology: nouns and verbs. - Derivational morphology: nominalization, adjectivization, verbalization, adverbialization and prefixation.
    - Compound words.


    - Sentence structure: syntactic categories and phrases.
    - Lexis and subcategorization.
    - Projection principle, Thematic theory and Case theory.
    - Movement: traces, NP and Wh- movement and constraints.
    - Spanish syntax.
    - Null subject in Spanish: Pro-drop.
    - Sentence classification: simple and complex sentences.
    - Historical development of Hispanic clitics.
    - Syntactic distribution of clitics across Spanish varieties.
    - Word order in Spanish: from verb sentence initial order in old Spanish to present day word orders in Spanish varieties.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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