The 2024 program will offer two linguistics seminars, from which participants will choose just one. Either course is available for three (graduate) graded semester credits only.

In Panama City, class will be conducted four 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 Panama, students will be asked to begin reading course materials and/or working with web-based activities before July 9.

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.

Teaching Spanish Pronunciation
(Professor García, 3 semester credits)

This course provides a survey of fundamental concepts in Spanish phonology and phonetics, with the goal of applying this knowledge to the classroom. Students will be able to describe the primary characteristics of the Spanish sound system and how they differ from English. Course topics include the principles of orthography, articulatory descriptions of sounds, phonetic transcription, empirical studies of L2 pronunciation acquisition, and best practices in the teaching of Spanish pronunciation to English speakers. This includes the use of technology in teaching pronunciation, teaching dialectal variation, and working with heritage speakers. Emphasis is placed on the examination and creation of activities that can be used to teach pronunciation and methods for evaluating the pronunciation of learners.

A textbook will be required.

Language Change in Spanish
(Professor Morgan, 3 semester credits)

Why do some verbs have “stem changes” while others don’t? Why is it that only Spaniards pronounce cinco and zapato with the English th sound? Why is México spelled sometimes with an and sometimes with a j? Why are peanuts called cacahuates in Mexico, cacahuetes in Spain, and maní everywhere else? Why does vos compete with  in Hispanic America, while vosotros is used only in Spain? How is it that contar and computar come from exactly the same Latin verb? How are auricular and oreja “predictably” related? Where did the ñ come from? How did Spanish (unlike Italian, French, Catalan, and Portuguese) end up with only five vowel sounds? Learn the answers to these and countless other burning questions in this course!

The world’s languages are dynamic systems, constantly evolving across time due to both internal (linguistic) and external (social) factors. While language change is continuous and inevitable, it is not random. This course explores universals of language change, citing examples from both the history of Spanish and changes now in progress (in both Spanish and English). Our overview of phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical changes over the last two millennia will help us analyze today’s linguistic variation in a new light. Students are introduced to the characteristics that distinguish Modern Spanish from the other Romance tongues, explanations for dialectal variation in Iberia and the Americas, and phenomena that have conspired to give modern-day speakers choices that reflect a linguistic landscape constantly in flux. Special attention will be paid to concepts, phenomena, and examples that can contribute to the Spanish language classroom back home.

A textbook will be required.