Summer Courses

History of the Spanish Language: Penn-in-Madrid

Summer 2014
Special Session
Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
SPAN 319 951
Spanish 219
Primary Program: 
Penn Summer Abroad
Secondary Program: 
Course Description: 

This course will explore three main issues:

(1) The external history of the Spanish language: How do linguists read history? What cultural and historical events are important for the development of the Spanish language? As linguistic historians, we shall follow a canonical chronology that will examine pre-Roman influences, Iberian Latinities, the linguistic fragmentation of the Peninsula, medieval attempts at standardization, the rise of the Academy, and the linguistic revival of the Autonomías. As critical readers, we shall interpret these linguistic cultures in light of their foundational ideologies and how they contribute towards the creation of a national philological imaginary.  Special attention will be payed to the evolution of the Spanish lexicon.
(2) The internal history of the Spanish language: How did Latin become Spanish? Can the purported cause of a sound change be innocent and free of ideological meaning? What features make Spanish unique in comparison to other Iberian languages? To what end do we make such claims of uniqueness? 
(3) Reading Old Spanish texts.

The course listing presented here is subject to change. Please confirm all information on the the University of Pennsylvania Registrar's website or via Penn InTouch (PennKey required)