Graduate Hispanic Linguistics


About | Research Areas

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.

Phonetics & Phonology

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. 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. Dr. Terrell Morgan is creating a suite of digital ancillaries for his Sonidos en contexto: Una introducción a la fonética del español con especial referencia a la vida real, published by Yale University Press. In addition, he has developed a line of research around the reconfiguration of the consonant inventories of various Spanish dialects due to variable pronunciation of the so-called 'trilled /r/'. 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."

Historical Linguistics

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.

Syntax, Semantics

 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.

Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics

In this area, Dr. Anna Babel continues to work on language contact and linguistic anthropology. Her research draws on quantitative and qualitative data from a Quechua-Spanish contact region in central Bolivia. She investigates how linguistic features are linked to social representations, and the way that complex social factors are integrated into language structure. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her current research projects focus on applying social theory to structural and cognitive approaches to linguistics. She is editing a volume with Cambridge University Press, to appear, entitled Awareness and Control in Sociolinguistic Research. She has also published recent studies in Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, the Journal of Language Contact and Language in Society. 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. Dr. Terrell Morgan is preparing to deploy a new edition of his online catalog of dialect samples from the Spanish-speaking world, which will include a more user-friendly interface and a host of newly acquired data. 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 currently working on negation in both Portuguese and Spanish from a pragmatic perspective and differential object marking and clitic pronoun phenomena in both Portuguese and Spanish from a comparative variationist perspective. He has recently contributed chapters to The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics, edited by Robert Bayley, Richard Cameron and Ceil Lucas; The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics, edited by Manuel Díaz Campos; Aspect in Grammatical Variation, edited by James A. Walker; and the volume Grammaticalization and (Inter-)Subjectification, edited by Hubert Cuyckens and Kristin Davidse.  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.

Second Language Teaching

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.

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