Spanish 320

SPAN 320: Advanced Grammar

Prerequisite: SPAN 202

Credit Hours: (3)

A course designed to develop students' understanding of the most difficult grammatical concepts of the Spanish language. Required of all Spanish majors.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

While the students will review the basic concepts of Spanish grammar, such as gender and number, the emphasis in the explanations and exercises will be directed toward the hierarchy of difficulty developed by Stockwell, Bowen and Martin The Grammatical Structures of English and Spanish (1965) which stress those aspects of the comparative structures of English and Spanish which have a negative correspondence:

1. The contrast of Spanish indicative and subjunctive mood in dependent clauses where no such construction exists in English.
2. The contrast of aspect (imperfective or perfective, preterite) with the use of English simple past.
3. The two verbs to translate to be, ser and estar, in all instances except with an event noun as a subject or the present participle.
4. The English for and the two prepositions closest in meaning, por and para.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A portion of the course is based on lectures concerning the basic terminology of linguistic analysis of languages as applied to Spanish. Specific attention will be given to the following:

1. the historical development of the Spanish language and dialects of Spanish as presently spoken.
2. the relationship between the sounds of Spanish and their spelling.
3. the morphology of words, particularly verb forms.
4. the concepts of tense, mood and aspect in verb forms.
5. the pronoun case system.
6. the use of prepositions and adjectives.
7. a simplified organizational scheme for the syntax of sentences.
8. idiomatic constructions used with the most common verbs. Students will be required to complete written exercises inside and outside of class in order to receive practice in using standard Spanish with particular emphasis given to those constructions which require extended practice for English speakers to master.


Goals and Objectives of the Course


1. knowledge of the concepts of Spanish grammar necessary to read at the level required for all upper-level courses with special attention given to problems encountered by English speakers, preterit vs. imperfect; subjunctive vs. indicative; ser vs. estar; por vs. para.
2. ability to translate from English to Spanish and Spanish to English passages with difficult examples of colloquial and idiomatic usage.
3. ability to explain basic grammatical concepts to language learners.


Students should be able:

1. to define these concepts: Vulgar Latin, patria chica; romance languages; romance; ye¡smo; loistas/leistas; intonation; lexical differences; semantic differences; stress; homonym; palabra aguda; palabra llana; palabra esdr£jula; Academia de la Lengua; strong vowels; weak vowels; dieresis; diglyphs; phoneme (phonemic).
2. to list and locate the four major languages and three principle dialects of Spain. 3. to give a rough chronology of development of the Spanish language.
4. to explain the most important differences in Peninsular and General Latin American Dialects of Spanish.
5. to give and use the rules for spelling and accentuation.
6. to give the most important classifications of verbal morphology in Spanish.
7. to list the most important structural relationships between tenses.
8. to define tense, aspect, prefix, suffix, stem, infinitive, person in dealing with verbs.
9. to write a paradigm of a regular verb in the simple tenses.
10. to classify any stem-changing verb and conjugate an example.
11. to write the conjugation of any simple tense of the most common irregular verbs.
12. to give the appropriate imperatives for formal and informal situations, as well as alternative constructions for imperatives.
13. to recognize the tense and mood of any vosotros verb form.
14. to explain the contrast of indicative and subjunctive moods.
15. to explain the basis of sequence of tenses.
16. to demonstrate alternative constructions to the use of subjunctive.
17. to write the appropriate past tense aspect of a verb when shifting a passage from present to past and in translating English to Spanish.
18. to give the accurate translations of verbs which have multiple meanings in the past tense aspects.
19. to give an explanation of the contrast of preterit and imperfective past tense aspects.
20. to explain the difference between a reflexive and a non-reflexive verb.
21. to explain the contrast of meaning of the two verbs, "to be," ser and estar.
22. to give the important special uses and the most important idiomatic expressions with hacer and tener in a translation.
23. to write and translate constructions in true passive voice and in apparent passive constructions.
24. to use appropriate future and conditional constructions.
25. to give and explain, as well as translate, any compound tense verb forms.
26. to explain the morphology of pronouns, the Spanish pronoun case system and its hierarchy.
27. to replace a noun with an appropriate pronoun, translate and/or indicate the antecedent of a pronoun.
28. to explain the logic of adjective placement.
29. to give examples of the differences in por and para.
30. to explain general rules concerning sentence word order and the use or deletion of definite and indefinite articles.


Assessment Measures

The students are tested with hourly examinations and a final examination using translations, multiple choice and short essay questions (90% of the term grade). The balance of the grade is based on a short paper in Spanish or in English dealing with a particular grammatical problem. Students will be asked to collect data from materials in Spanish which exemplify one of the four most difficult grammatical constructions for English speakers and to explain how each writer (or speaker) conforms to or "breaks" the rules of standard grammar.


Other Course Information

Students will have access to standard works on Spanish grammar which will be placed on the strict reserve in the Library. They will also be provided a bibliography of books and articles in Hispania and the Modern Language Journal dealing with the most difficult points of Spanish grammar.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
September 2001 Recommended Leonor Ulloa for Revision