Modern Languages 523
Leal, Tania Lorena
Assistant Professor

I am a linguist who specializes in second language acquisition, particularly on the acquisition and processing (comprehension) of syntax and morphology. My research explores bilingualism broadly construed and is is purposefully interdisciplinary, incorporating elements from applied linguistics, generative linguistics, and psycholinguistics. I’m particularly interested in real-time language comprehension and in advancing the characterization of the underlying linguistic knowledge of second language learners and heritage speakers. I am also keenly interested in the current methodological and epistemological issues that have arisen in the field as a by-product of conducting research that integrates different approaches. My current research investigates how second language learners and heritage speakers acquire and process morpho-syntactic elements such as clitics. Some of this work has appeared in journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Second Language Research, Lingua, Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics and the International Journal of Bilingualism. I am currently serving as Associate Editor for the journal Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism and contribute to the editorial boards of Second Language Research and Languages.

Currently Teaching

SPAN 325 – Intermediate Grammar and Writing

Essential points of grammar, with emphasis on syntax and development of writing skills.

SPAN 459 – Hispanic Linguistics

Topics include linguistic perspectives on Mexican-American Spanish and bilingualism, phonology, semantics, dialectology/sociolinguistics. Taught in Spanish.

SPAN 453 – Theory of Spanish Morphosyntax

An introduction to the current theories of syntax and morphology to describe specific aspects of the structure of Spanish. Central notions of generative grammar.

SPAN 599 – Independent Study

Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work. Graduate students doing independent work which cannot be classified as actual research will register for credit under course number 599, 699, or 799.

SPAN 696D – Hispanic Linguistics

This course is designed to explore theoretical and applied issues involving language and linguistics. Throughout the course we will examine an array of perspectives. In the light of the readings students will develop original research projects.

SPAN 920 – Dissertation

Research for the doctoral dissertation (whether library research, laboratory or field observation or research, artistic creation, or dissertation writing).