Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Sandro Sessarego


Associate ProfessorPh.D., The Ohio State University

Sandro Sessarego

Contact

Biography


I am an Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.  I work primarily in the fields of contact linguistics, sociolinguistics, syntax and human rights. The linguistic study of the Afro-Latino Vernaculars of the Americas (ALVAs) —the languages that developed in Latin America from the contact of African languages, Spanish and Portuguese in colonial times— and the sociohistorical analysis of their evolution form the main themes of my research program. In particular, my investigation combines linguistic, sociohistorical, legal and anthropological insights to cast light on the nature and origins of these contact varieties.


 
EMPLOYMENT
2020-2021 NIAS Individual Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
Summer 2019 Visiting Professor, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Paris-Villejuif
2017-2018 HCAS Core Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
April 2017 Visiting Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Since 2017 Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin
2016-2017 Marie Curie FRIAS COFUND Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies
2014-2017 Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
2011-2014 Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Spring 2011 Assistant Professor, University of Akron

EDUCATION
Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, Ohio State University, USA
LL.M. in Spanish Law, Universidad Internacional de la Rioja, Spain
J.D. in Italian Law, Università degli Studi di Roma, Italy
M.S. in International Business, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bretagne, France
M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics, Ohio State University, USA
M.S. in International Communication, Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy
B.A. in Foreign Languages for Business and Tourism, Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy

MAJOR FELLOWSHIPS/GRANTS/AWARDS (since 2011)
2021 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Fulbright Program
2021 Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme for Experienced Researchers
2020 NIAS Individual Fellowship, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study 
2020 Excellence in Linguistics Research Award, Linguistics Summer School Bolivia
2019 Provost's Authors Fellowship Travel Fund, University of Texas at Austin
2019 LabEx Fellowship, LabEx project on “Fondements Empiriques de la Linguistique”, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Paris-Villejuif
2018 HCAS Fieldwork Grant, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
2017 HCAS Core Fellowship, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
2016 Marie Skłodowska-Curie FCFP Junior Fellowship, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies
2015 College Research Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin
2015 Humanities Research Award,University of Texas at Austin
2015 Summer Research Assignment, University of Texas at Austin
2014 Research Grant, University of Texas at Austin
2014 High Merit Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2014 Nave Special Symposia Grant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2013 Nave Publication Supplement, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2012 High Merit Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2012 Fall Competition, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2011 Graduate School and Provost Subvention, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 
CONTACT INFORMATION
Department of Spanish &Portuguese
University of Texas at Austin
Benedict Hall #2.116
150 W. 21st Street, Stop B3700
Austin, TX 78712-1155
Email: sandrosessaregoATaustin.utexas.edu
 

Courses


SPN 330L • Intro Lang And Ling In Society

45910 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GDC 2.502
GC

Examines the dynamics of language structure and use throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and covers topics such as sound systems, grammatical structures, historical developments, language learning and loss, and dialect differences and their social significance.

SPN 330L • Intro Lang And Ling In Society

44720 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.212
GC

Examines the dynamics of language structure and use throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and covers topics such as sound systems, grammatical structures, historical developments, language learning and loss, and dialect differences and their social significance.

SPN 353 • Sociolinguistics

44735 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A217A
CDGCII

SPN 353 SOCIOLINGUISTICS

This course provides an introduction to sociolinguistic analysis. Sociolinguistics focuses on the symbolic value of language as an expression of group identity based on region, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, age, or other ways of defining group affiliation. We will explore linguistic concepts such as speech community, sociolinguistic variable, phonological and morpho-syntactic variation. The course also surveys a variety of topics related to language in contact, bilingualism, Spanish as a heritage language, etc.  We will focus on research examining the use of Spanish in Latin America and Spain as well as in the U.S.

ILA 381 • Intro Theory & Rsrch Of Ling

43830 • Fall 2019
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.106

Course Description:

This course is a graduate level introduction to Theory and Research of Linguistics, with a particular focus on Contact Linguistics. We will read, discuss, and analyze the social and linguistic factors that regulate contact induced change. We will cover a wide range of language contact phenomena from both linguistic and social perspectives. This will allow us to understand how different social and linguistic factors may shape the outcome of a variety of contact situations. After having provided a theoretical foundation, we will analyze current issues concerning Spanish in contact with other languages. Active participation in class discussion is both expected and encouraged.

SPN 346 • Sounds And Intonation

44490 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.102

Introduction to the study of Spanish phonetics and phonology, focusing on four aspects: mechanisms of sound production, representation of sounds and intonation, dialect variation, and comparison with English.

SPN 330L • Intro Lang And Ling In Society

45240 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BEN 1.122
GC

This course is a graduate level introduction to Theory and Research of Linguistics, with a particular focus on quantitative sociolinguistics. The course will focus on some of the major findings this type of research has yielded. The emphasis of this course will be placed on the analysis of linguistic variation at both the phonological and the morphosyntactic levels. The class will be very hands-on, including training on software programs. Readings, exercises, and discussions will center on methods of data collection, variable rule analysis, and the interpretation of data.

SPN 346 • Sounds And Intonation

45255 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 304

This course offers a comprehensive review of Spanish pronunciation. The fundamental principles of phonetic analysis are introduced in a simple and concise manner in order to show how Spanish sounds are produced, how they fall into patterns, and how they change in different environments. Major attention is devoted to practice with corrective exercises. Throughout this course we will focus on the contrast between Spanish and English sound patterns, an aspect intended to help students understand the major phonetic differences between both languages and at the same time improve individual Spanish pronunciation.   

ILA 381 • Intro Theory & Rsrch Of Ling

45130 • Fall 2018
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118

DESCRIPTION:

This course is a graduate level introduction to Theory and Research of Linguistics, with a particular focus on quantitative sociolinguistics. The course will focus on some of the major findings this type of research has yielded. The emphasis of this course will be placed on the analysis of linguistic variation at both the phonological and the morphosyntactic levels. The class will be very hands-on, including training on software programs. Readings, exercises, and discussions will center on methods of data collection, variable rule analysis, and the interpretation of data.

 

ILA 386 • Variatnist Sociolinguistics

44870 • Spring 2016
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118

Course DescriptionThis course is a graduate level introduction to the central concerns of Hispanic quantitative sociolinguistics. The course will focus on some of the major findings this type of research has yielded. The emphasis of this course will be placed on the analysis of linguistic variation, in particular at the morphosyntactic level. The class will be very hands-on, including training on software programs. Readings, exercises, and discussions will center on methods of data collection, variable rule analysis, and the interpretation of data.

Goals:

Learn about quantitative sociolinguistics

Become familiar with theories of linguistic variation

Learn how to use Varbrul

Required Materials:      

Blas Arroyo, J. L. (2005). Sociolingüística del español. Desarrollos y perspectivas en el estudio de la lengua en contexto social. Madrid: Cátedra.

Tagliamonte, S. A. (2006).Analyzing Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goldvarb X: http://individual.utoronto.ca/tagliamonte/goldvarb.htmt

Additional Materials:   

Chambers, J.K. (2003). Sociolinguistic theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Hudson R. A. (2001). Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Meyerhoff, M. (2011). Introducing sociolinguistics. London: Routledge. 

Milroy, L. & M. Gordon. (2003). Sociolinguistics: methods and interpretation.  Oxford: Blackwell.

Silva-Corvalán, C. (2001). Sociolingüística y pragmática del español. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Tagliamonte, S. (2011). Variationist sociolinguistics: Change, observation, interpretation. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance is required. Only in the case of documented absences(s) will late work be accepted.  Missing classes without a justification will affect the final grade.

Requirements:

Paper presentation (with handout)                                                                      10%

  • The presentation should include an article’s summary and a brief reflection on its content (article’s strengths & weaknesses; questions for class discussion).  

Mini-fieldwork projects (2)                                                                                  25%

Homework assignments                                                                                      25%

Variation Analysis Project                                                                                    40%

  • Conference-style abstract of the final paper (one page of text, single-spaced, 12 point font; additional page allowed for references/data).
  • Presentation of final paper (in English or Spanish with handout) in mini-conference to be held at the end of course (20 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions).
  • Final paper (min. 12 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins).

Grading Scale

Points          Grade

93-100            A

90-92              A-

87-89              B+

83-86              B

80-82              B-

77-79              C+

73-76              C

70-72              C-

67-69              D+

63-66              D

60-62              D-

Less than 60    F

Canvas

Materials for this course will be regularly posted on Canvas, the UT online course management system. 

SPN 346 • Sounds And Intonation

45620 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.122

Introduction to the study of Spanish phonetics and phonology, focusing on four aspects: mechanisms of sound production, representation of sounds and intonation, dialect variation, and comparison with English.

ILA 386 • Spanish In Contact In Lat Amer

45355 • Spring 2015
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM BEN 1.118

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a graduate-level seminar on Contact Linguistics. We will read, discuss, and analyze the social and linguistic factors that regulate contact-induced change. We will cover a wide range of language contact phenomena from both linguistic and social perspectives. This will allow us to understand how different social and linguistic factors may shape the outcome of a variety of contact situations.

In general, we may distinguish three main contact scenarios: 1) cases of language maintenance –involving different levels of bilingualism-; 2) cases of language shift –when one community abandons its own language to adopt the language of a different group; 3) cases in which new languages are created (pidgins, creoles, mixed languages, etc.). Nevertheless, there is a variety of cases which cannot fit so clearly into any of these categories, since they involve the interplay of maintenance, shift and creation phenomena.

After having provided a theoretical foundation, we will analyze current issues concerning Spanish in contact with other languages. In particular, we will focus on the Afro-Hispanic varieties that emerged in the Americas. We will discuss and analyze the main hypotheses and debates concerning their genesis and evolution. Active participation in class discussion is both expected and encouraged.

SPN 346 • Sounds And Intonation

46130 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.122

Introduction to the study of Spanish phonetics and phonology, focusing on four aspects: mechanisms of sound production, representation of sounds and intonation, dialect variation, and comparison with English.

SPN 330L • Intro Lang And Ling In Society

47315 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 105
GC

Examines the dynamics of language structure and use throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and covers topics such as sound systems, grammatical structures, historical developments, language learning and loss, and dialect differences and their social significance.

SPN 353 • Sociolinguistics

47330 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.202
CDGCII

Explores the interrelationship of language and society, with reference to the Spanish-speaking world. Studies how socioeconomic, political, and anthropological factors like race, social class, gender, age, and identity influence linguistics forms.


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  • Spanish and Portuguese

    The University of Texas at Austin
    BEN 2.116
    150 W. 21st Street, Stop B3700
    Austin, TX 78712-1155
    Advising & Registration: 512-232-4506/512-232-4503; Graduate Coordinator: 512-232-4502