Structure of Spanish

  • BU Course Number: CAS LX384/LS508
  • Prerequisites: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics and CAS LS 303 or a higher level Spanish course, or permission of the instructor.
  • BU HUB: N/A
  • Offered at the undergraduate level

*This course is taught in Spanish.

Course Description. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the structure of the Spanish language, with a focus on its morphology and syntax. We examine the internal structure of words and the inflectional and derivational processes that constrain them. In addition, the course introduces key concepts such as morpheme, affix, grammatical class, linguistic gender, nominalization, and verbalization. We also investigate fundamental principles of syntactic theory and analysis, with an emphasis on the hierarchical relationships among words at the phrasal level. We use naturalistic speech data, collected from around the Spanish-speaking world, to critically examine key assumptions and tools of contemporary syntactic theory, including X-bar theory, binary branching, thematic role assignment, and the concept of the sentence. We give special attention the notion of ungrammaticality as it relates to syntactic and morphological variation and change.