This year’s program will offer two linguistics seminars. Participants will enroll in just one course. Each seminar is available for three (graduate) semester credits only.

In Montevideo, class will be conducted four or five hours a day, for a total of ten days; time will be spent on organization and analysis of data in order to add a new perspective to the out-of-class language experience. In order to take better advantage of the linguistic and cultural resources once in Uruguay, students will be asked to begin reading course materials and/or working with web-based activities before July 8.

Graded credit for successful completion of the program will be issued on an official Ohio State transcript. Ungraded (S/U or Pass/Fail) credit is not available for this program. The content and rigor of the Summer Seminars Abroad are consistent with the academic standards of The Ohio State University. Specific course content is summarized below.

Verbal Aspect:
Preterit and Imperfect in Spanish

Professor Lunn, 3 semester credits

The contrast between preterit and imperfect is usually described as one of tense (preterit tense vs. imperfect tense), which invites the misunderstanding that one of them is “more past” than the other. In fact, the contrast is one of aspect, a concept that we will explore in this course. The aspectual contrast between preterit and imperfect is central to the organization of narrative in Spanish, so we will analyze numerous texts, some of them by Uruguayan writers, in order to explore the communicative possibilities of preterit vs. imperfect. In addition, participants will query native speakers to find out how they choose between these two verb forms.

Picture This:
An Illustrated Spanish Grammar

Professor Morgan, 3 semester credits

Like every other human language, Spanish is a system of contrasts. Perhaps nowhere are these contrasts more effectively brought to life than in the now classic Visual Grammar of Spanish posters developed by the applied linguist William Bull decades ago. The series of over 400 pictures captures the essence of everything from adjective placement and verbal aspect to prepositions, pronouns, mood, contrary-to-fact statements, and the plurality of inalienables. Our syllabus will be built around these posters, which will provide a point of departure for both practical review and theoretical analysis. Lest anyone envision a stroll through a grammar museum, however, be warned that the course will include a fast-paced scavenger hunt for additional scripts and scenes to illustrate the nuances of Spanish.

Whitley, M. Stanley and Patricia V. Lunn. 2010. Teaching Spanish Grammar with Pictures: How to Use William Bull’s Visual Grammar of Spanish. Washington: Georgetown University Press. More information here.