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The Structure of Spanish


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This course is an introduction to the modern scientific study of Spanish structure (syntax), and establishes the basis for future application of linguistic principles. The content included is an overview of basic linguistic properties with a focus on Spanish. The goal of this course is to provide students with a level of knowledge that enables them to make connections between the structure of Spanish and relevant issues in contemporary linguistics. Thus, course readings and activities will include a theoretical part and a more applied part which will link the structure of Spanish with discussions of research in sociolinguistics, the linguistic effect of language contact, language change, and classroom acquisition of Spanish as well as natural language acquisition of Spanish in order to apply the theoretical constructs studied.
This course trains students to analyze those points of the Spanish language that non-native speakers find hard to use and native speakers find hard to explain.

Course objectives

  • Acquisition of skills and techniques for learning how particular languages work and behave, with a particular focus on morphosyntactic variation Spanish.

  • The student will also get some practice in using those skills/techniques to discover the organizing principles of the Spanish language.

  • Awareness of the diversities and similarities of language systems.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars
The structure of the course will be lecture-discussion, with a large component of problem-solving.

Course Load

In-Class: 28 hours (2 hours p/week x 14 weeks)
Reading and Class Preparation: 56 hours (4 hours p/week x 14 weeks)
Preparation for presentations: 16 hours
Final Written Paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

  • 40% Theoretical part- written exam

  • 40% Applied Part-Group Research Project

  • 20% Presentations

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Re-sit: individual paper for all parts


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

Hualde, J.I., Olarrea, A., Escobar, A.M. & Travis, C. E. (2010) Introducción a la Lingüística Hispánica. Cambridge University Press.

Zagona, K. (2002). The syntax of Spanish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other relevant readings will be made available via blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
mw. Dr. M. Parafita Couto

Coordinator of Studies: M.A.G. van Leeuwen MA

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate in class discussion. All readings assigned for the week must be done prior to class. Every student is expected to contribute to class discussion through oral questions and comments every class. In order to facilitate class discussion, students will write a response to the weekly readings.

A detailed class syllabus will be provided on the first day of class.