Linguistics Courses

Dr. Elizabeth Kissling and Dr. David Giancaspro offer several courses in linguistics, all taught in Spanish. All these courses count towards the linguistics minor.  

LAIS 350

Sociolinguistic Approaches to Spanish

Sociolinguistics is concerned with the study of language in relation to society. This course presents basic concepts, findings, debates, and research methodologies in the field of sociolinguistics. Students will learn approaches to the study of social variation in language and develop practical tools of sociolinguistic analysis by taking part in practical exercises throughout the course of the semester. Students will read research reports that analyze language variables in relation to social factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and level of education. Methodologies and big questions in the field of sociolinguistics will be discussed as we investigate language as a feature of speech communities that are in part defined by their patterns of variation and forms of speech.

LAIS 411

Bilingualism in the US, Latin America, and Spain

Examines phenomena related to societal bilingualism (e.g. language shift, policies, and education) in various communities within the US, Latin America, and Spain, as well as phenomena related to individual bilingualism (e.g. acquisition, processing, and code switching).

LAIS 412

The Sounds of Spanish

In this course students learn about salient differences between the sound systems of English and Spanish in order to improve their pronunciation of Spanish. Students learn how sounds are represented in the mind and why first languages impact accent in second languages. Students analyze a variety of regional and social dialects in order to improve their aural comprehension as well as understand the social significance of language variation and how language is used to craft identities. Students carry out original research projects in sociophonetics.

LAIS 413


Taught in Spanish (and “Spanglish”). Investigates the linguistic practices (e.g., code-switching, lexical borrowing) commonly known as “Spanglish,” with a particular emphasis on understanding both (a) why bilingual speakers employ these linguistic practices (un)consciously in their speech and (b) how speakers’ use of such practices can serve to highlight or downplay their racial and ethnolinguistic identities. Methodological discussions prepare students to conduct research on a Spanglish topic of their own choosing