Spanish and Portuguese | Topics in the Acquisition of Spanish
S614 | 27231 | K. Geeslin

Professor Kimberly Geeslin
email:  kgeeslin

S614	Topics in the Acquisition of Spanish

T 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 27231/3 cr./BH 147

Topic: Variation in second language grammars

This course examines the intersection of research on language
variation and studies of the stages through which learners pass as
they acquire variable norms.  Arguably one of the most difficult
aspects of a second language to acquire, norms for variation involve
an understanding of which forms are appropriate for the expression
of a given meaning in a single discourse context. The acquisition of
these norms is inextricably linked to a second language speaker’s
ability to indicate group membership through phonological,
morphological, syntactic and lexical choices. Questions such as when
learners begin to acquire variation in the second language, whether
or not advanced learners achieve native-like variation and what form
this variability takes across time will be addressed. Course
readings include theoretical treatments of how variation might be
incorporated into mental grammars as well as recent examples of
original research on the variation of a particular grammatical
structure in learner grammars. Particular emphasis will be placed on
the development of research skills including task design and data
analysis with the goal of promoting individual scholarship.

Students should have access to a general reference text on
sociolinguistics (such as those from S513) and on second language
acquisition (such as those listed on the MA reading list, or
required for S515).

Prerequisite: Hisp S515