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Graduate Hispanic Linguistics

The Hispanic Linguistics Program at The Ohio State University offers one of the most distinguished and comprehensive Graduate programs in the nation. Ohio State is one of the largest research universities in the United States and there are many resources on our campus to support the study of Hispanic Linguistics from distinct perspectives. Specifically, OSU has nationally ranked Departments of Linguistics, Psychology, Philosophy, Speech and Hearing Sciences as well as a Center for Cognitive Sciences. Students and faculty enjoy the benefits of the 9 million volume OSU library as well as state of the art research and instructional facilities.

The students in our program are international, national and local, including graduates of our own undergraduate linguistics concentration. OSU's rich academic environment offers a unique opportunity for students to receive comprehensive preparation as Hispanic Linguistics scholars and we are building a track record of placing them in the growing field of Hispanic Linguistics. We invite you to explore our web site to learn more about what we do and to contact us if we can help you pursue interests related to ours.

Research Areas

Our faculty have many overlapping areas of research and are by no means limited to the following concentrations. However, the following descriptions give an idea of how our collaborative and individual work has developed thus far. Please refer to individual faculty web pages for further detail and links to papers.

Dr. Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza works on phonetics and phonology, both from a theoretical and an experimental perspective. She is interested in how phonetic data can help us develop theoretical models to explain sound patterns. In addition, she is interested in second language acquisition of phonology, with a focus on new methodologies and instructional implications. She leads the collaborative project, Our Voices/Nuestras Voces, that explores the acquisition of Spanish sounds.Her mentoring experience has also allowed her to develop expertise in sociophonetics, especially on how phonetic analysis and understanding can shed light on phonetic variation and vice versa. She supervises the Speech Analysis Lab where SPPO members with similar research interests can work on their projects. Among Dr. Fernando Martínez-Gil’s main interests and research areas are the phonology and morphology of Spanish and Galician. He has recently published work on Chicano Spanish syllable merger, and vowel reduction in Galician lexical phonology. He has (co-)edited four books on Spanish and Ibero-Romance linguistics, and published extensively on synchronic topics in this area of research.  He is currently finishing the book Fonología de las vocales del español, and (co-)editing Handbook of Spanish Phonology, both of them to be published by Routledge. His current research is focused on the phonology of Spanish voiced obstruents, and Galician lexical phonology. Professor Emeritus Terrell Morgan is working on a second addition of his book, Sonidos en contexto: Una introducción a la fonética del español con especial referencia a la vida real, published by Yale University Press as well as creating a suite of digital ancillaries for users everywhere. Dr. Holly Nibert’s research interests fall within phonology and phonetics, and the acquisition of a second-language (L2) sound system. She has numerous publications on Spanish intonation, including its acquisition by L2 learners with English as an L1. Her most current work focuses on the L2 acquisition of Spanish segments (including both vowels and consonants). She and Dr. Grinstead co-supervise the SPPO Language Acquisition Lab, which has a sound booth for use by faculty and graduate students."

Dr. Fernando Martínez-Gil main interests in historical linguistics are the evolution of the phonology and morphology of the Ibero-Romance languages, especially Spanish and Galician-Portuguese. He has recently published work on the palatal increment in the doy-type of Spanish verbs and on the historical role of prosodic factors such as word minimality in sound change in Hispano-Romance. He is currently working on the historical evolution of Old Spanish voiced palatals, the prosody of vowel syncope, the historical evolution of Spanish syllable structure and stress, and the historical emergence of vowel alternations in the Old Galician-Portuguese 2nd and 3rd conjugation verbs.

In this area, Dr. Grinstead and lab participants, are pursuing an NSF-funded project looking at the development of pragmatic implicatures in child Spanish-speakers, in particular, those identified with the developmental language disorder known as specific language impairment (SLI). Other work in the lab looks at literacy outcomes for Spanish-speaking children diagnosed with SLI, through our collaborations with the Department of Speech & Hearing Science, and at neurocognitive measures of syntactic development, in conjunction with the Neuroscience Project at FES-Iztacala, of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In parallel, Dr. Nibert continues her work on L2 phonology, focusing on L2 vowel quality especially, which includes her collaboration with recent PhD students at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Dr. Laura Stigliano specializes in syntax and its interfaces, encompassing both theoretical and experimental approaches. As a syntactician, she aims to understand the principles governing the structure of natural language and its interaction with other grammar components, such as morphology and semantics. She’s interested in a diverse array of phenomena, including ellipsis, islands, resumption, and quantification. While her primary emphasis is on Spanish, her investigations also extend to languages like Galician and Hungarian.

This area of our program was led for many years by the formidable lasting contributions of Prof. Dieter Wanner and Prof. Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach. Prof. Wanner was a leader in the domain of historical syntax and Romance Linguistics and Prof. Gutiérrez-Rexach was one of the foremost figures in the field of Spanish syntax and semantics. Prof. Wanner has retired and Prof. Gutiérrez-Rexach passed away in April of 2016. Read the departmental announcement of Prof. Gutiérrez-Rexach’s passing here and an obituary by Javier’s former student Prof. Melvin González-Rivera, of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, here.

In this area, Dr. Anna Babel specializes in sociolinguistics, language contact, and linguistic anthropology.  Much of her research, including her ethnography Between the Andes and the Amazon, has drawn on qualitative and qualitative data from the Quechua-Spanish contact region of central Bolivia. She is also centrally interested in the effects of awareness on language, and on the extent to which people are able to control sociolinguistic variables in their speech.  She is in the process of initiating a research project on mobility, in particular the transatlantic migration of Bolivians to Barcelona, Spain.  Encompassing language contact, migration, and political activism, her teaching and service center on the political and social dimensions of Latinx languages and communities in the US.  She serves as the faculty sponsor for the Sociolinguistics Lab at The Ohio State University, which is available to graduate students and faculty conducting research in the field of sociolinguistics. Dr. Glenn Martinez works in the area of language policy and planning with a focus on Spanish in the United States. His recent work investigates language policies, language and literacy practices, and language pedagogy in the health care sector. He has studied the implementation of language access policies in hospitals and clinics and the acquisition and use of Spanish within the health care workforce. His current projects focus on language concordant counseling for patients with diabetes funded by the National Institutes of Health and on the distribution of language access services across the continuum of care funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Professor Emeritus Terrell Morgan, together with three other sociolinguists, he has launched the first-ever “Census of the Voseo” in an attempt to quantify, document, and better characterize second-person singular pronoun use across the Hispanic world.  Dr. Scott Schwenter is a specialist in morphosyntactic variation and pragmatics, specializing in Portuguese, Spanish and the comparative analysis of these and other Romance languages. He is currently writing a comparative grammar of Portuguese and Spanish (under contract with Routledge) and contributing chapters on “Null Objects in the Romance Languages” and “Morphosyntactic Variation and Change in Brazilian Portuguese” to the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. His recent publications have appeared in Language Variation and Change, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, and Journal of Pragmatics. Meanwhile, Drs. Morgan and Schwenter have been investigating plural forms of address in Castilian, (Brazilian and European) Portuguese, Catalan, and Galician, in which pronouns such as ustedes, os senhores, and vostés are no longer productive for many speakers.

Dr. Holly Nibert is the Director of the Spanish and Portuguese Language Programs, and she is interested in the principles and practices of L2 classroom instruction, instructor training, and language program direction. She is co-author of two Spanish language textbooks published by Pearson, including the beginner-level title ¡Arriba! Comunicación y cultura, since its fifth edition in 2008, and the new intermediate-level title Día a día, in its first edition in 2015.