College of Liberal Arts | Spring 2021

Strengthening Spanish linguistics

The personal experiences of three School of Languages and Cultures faculty members fueled a passion for linguistics, which led them each to pursue a career in Hispanic linguistics. Their work together has continued the strong presence of Spanish linguistics courses and programs at Purdue, and they have made important contributions to their field of study. Most recently they collaboratively published a new volume, Inquiries in Hispanic Linguistics: From Theory to Empirical Evidence.

For Alejandro Cuza-Blanco, professor of Spanish and linguistics, his interest in linguistics was sparked as a high school student in Cuba, where he studied English and French at a language school at night. Daniel J. Olson, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics, worked in a mostly Hispanic community in Texas where nearly everyone spoke English and Spanish. An elective linguistics course as an undergraduate nurtured an interest for Lori Czerwionka, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics.

Following the 2014 Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (HLS) hosted by Purdue, the three researchers came together to edit Inquiries in Hispanic Linguistics. The book contains three major sections that ref lect each professor’s individual area of expertise. Cuza specializes in Spanish morphosyntax and semantics in bilingual populations and second-language learners. Czerwionka’s work addresses Spanish pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and second-language learners’ development of pragmatic norms and intercultural competence. Olson focuses on Spanish phonetics, phonology, and psycholinguistics, particularly in bilingual populations.

The HLS is one of the foremost conferences in the field and routinely attracts over 200 scholars from around the world. The volume showcases current research, and it features papers from some of the most well-known researchers in the field.