Upcoming

Dec 7, 2019

Integrating the History of Spanish and the History of New York: On the Political Nature of Linguistic Research

José del Valle (CUNY Graduate Center)

Time: 11am - 12noon
Venue: Room S135, Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007


Linguistic history has been practiced, by and large, as the reconstruction of how a formal grammatical system evolves through time. If we take Spanish as an example, we will easily identify a model that consists of a description of Latin grammar followed by the set of changes that affected this classical language and resulted in its becoming Old Spanish. The narrative focuses, firstly, on linguistic evolution in the central–northern regions of the Iberian Peninsula and, secondly, on the southward expansion of this new language as it became, on the one hand, the administrative language of a powerful kingdom (Castile) and, on the other, a cultivated form of literary expression.

This lecture, after presenting this traditional (and still dominant) model, will question its universal validity by identifying its ideological and socio-political underpinnings. This critique will lead into an alternative strategy to linguistic history that focuses not on the transformation of formal grammatical systems but on the linguistic transformation of human communities.

Monthly Lectures 2019-2020

Date Title Speaker (Affiliation)
Oct 5, 2019 Cordless or cordfree? What's the difference? Mark Aronoff (Stony Brook University)
Nov 2, 2019 White Settler Colonialism, Integration and Language Eve Haque (York University, City University of New York)
Dec 7, 2019 Integrating the History of Spanish and the History of New York: On the Political Nature of Linguistic Research José del Valle (CUNY Graduate Center)
Feb 1, 2020 Foreign Loanwords and Pronunciation Choices in American English: Place Names and Other Proper Nouns Mary Sepp (CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College)
Mar 7, 2020 TBA Angela Reyes (CUNY Hunter College)
Apr 4, 2020 TBA Tammy Gales (Hofstra University)
May 2, 2020 TBA TBA
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