78684 - History of the Spanish Language (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Maria Josè Rodrigo Mora

  • Foreign language instructor Ana Reyes Carvalho Marti

  • Credits 9

  • SSD L-LIN/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Spanish

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Language, Society and Communication (cod. 8874)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with an expert knowledge of the socio-cultural and historical-political factors which have contributed to the changes that the Spanish language has undergone over time and is still undergoing, with special focus on Spanish as an International Language. The students are introduced to the most influential contemporary theories regarding complex issues such as language spread, shift, death, and language planning and policies, as well as the debate between prescriptivism and non-prescriptivism. They are expected to be able to identify diachronic, diatopic and diastratic variation and the linguistic and cultural features of standard and non-standard and native and non-native Spanishes. Moreover, they are given the opportunity to develop their research competence and presentation skills, either orally or in written form. Language classes aim at improving students’ linguistic competence; over the two year period students’ knowledge of Spanish should reach an equivalent level to C2 in accordance with the European framework in all four abilities. These classes will work in connection with the lectures to improve students’ writing skills in particular.

Course contents

PROF.SSA RODRIGO (Lezioni frontali): Name of the course: “Fundamentos históricos de la lengua española” (Historical foundations of the Spanish language)

The course will guide the student in the study of the key events in the history of the Spanish language and it aims at providing the students with a diachronic perspective, which will expand the student's previous knowledge. This course will also develop their critical comprehension of the current status of the Spanish language as a national and international language. Given that all activities will be developed in Spanish, all students must have achieved a C2 level in Spanish according to the

  Common European Framework of Reference for Languages i n order to enrol in this course .

Firstly, the topics of the course will be dealt with from an external perspective, that is, through a chronological systematization of the ideological and social factors that have contributed towards the linguistic change of the Spanish language since the days of the School of Translators of Toledo until Spain's multilingual make-up in recent years. Secondly, the linguistic change will be dealt with from an internal perspective, through the analysis of the main events in the evolution of the spelling, the phonetics and the phonology, as well as of the morphosyntax and the lexicon during the different periods of the history of the Spanish language.


Dott.ssa Ana Reyes Carvalho

(Required Spanish level C1-C2)

Through a range of texts, students can analyze and  focus on the grammatical structures of the C2 level.

The reading material will be made available for the students with some articles about the situation of Spanish Language today (from a socio-political and cultural point of view) in Spain and Hispanic America.

Hours: 34hs during the Academic Year


PROF.SSA RODRIGO: Compulsory readings

LEZIONI FRONTALI: Lecturas obligatorias

Echenique Elizondo, M.T. y Marínez Alcalde, M. J. (2005), Diacronía y Gramática Histórica de la Lengua Española, Valencia, Tirant lo Blanch.

Ramírez Luengo, J. L. (2007), Breve historia del español de América, Madrid, Arco/Libros.

Lecturas complementarias

Aleza Izquierdo, M. y Enguita Utrilla, J. M. (2002), El español de América: aproximación sincrónica, Valencia, Tirant lo Blanch.

Cano, R. (coord.) (2004), Historia de la lengua española, Barcelona, Ariel.

Cano, R. (1992), El español a través de los tiempos, Madrid, Arco/Libros.

Lapesa, R. (1981), Historia de la lengua española, Madrid, Gredos.

Moreno Fernández, F. (2005), Historia social de las lenguas de España, Barcelona, Ariel.

Moreno Fernández, F. (2015), La maravillosa historia del español, Madrid, Instituto Cervantes. 

Rodrigo, M. (2012), Nebrija ante Alberti. Arquitecturas romances del arte gramatical, Bologna, BUP.

Teaching methods

The language of instruction is Spanish and, as far as possible, lessons will be in the form of seminar/workshop in order to promote and enhance students' active participation throughout the development of the syllabus.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods – Storia della Lingua SpagnolaLSC (LM) (History of Spanish Language LM) 

The course aims at verifying the linguistic competence attained during the practices (starting level C1): 

Practices on Spanish Language Dott.ssa Carvalho 

The student shall succeed the written and oral exams of the lettorato (Practices on Spanish Language) in order to access the oral exam of History of Spanish Language. 

1. Redacción (Writing about topics of the syllabus, 40 lines approximately written in 1 hour and 30 minutes) 

2. Comentario oral (Oral presentation of the morphological, syntactic and lexical characteristics of a short text regarding a topic of the syllabus).

N.B. The final mark of the exercises will consist of the average mark of written and oral exams.

Bibliografía Lettorato Dott.ssa Carvalho

De Ramón, Juan Carlos: (2010), “Por una ley de lenguas (de una maldita vez)”: EL PAÍS (Ed, Digital).

Grijelmo, Álex: (2006), “Los cromosomas del idioma español” : El castellano.org/Página del idioma español.

Moll, Aina: (1992, “El plurilingüismo en España”: EL PAÍS (Ed. Digital).

López Morales, Humberto: (2008), “El futuro del español” :cvc.cervantes.es.

Morán, Carmen: (2012): “La lengua liberada”: EL PAÍS (Ed. Digital).

Pujol Berché, Mercè: (2002): “Política lingüística: lengua, cultura e identidad, el ejemplo de Cataluña” Amnis: Reveu de civilisation contemparain Europe/ Amerique.

Seco, Manuel: (2010), “La Academia Española ante el poder de los hablantes”: El Castellano.org/Página del idioma español.


History of Spanish Language course: lectures (lezioni frontali ) Prof.ssa Rodrigo

In the classroom a short research work will be presented orally with the teacher and in relation to the program (value: 1 to 2 additional points on the final result).

The assessment consists of a Spanish oral exam (starting level C1), concerning the syllabus contents, both about the required readings (see bibliography) and about the class notes from lectures. 

N.B. The final mark, which will be registered, will be the result of adding 1/3 from the lettorato mark and 2/3 from the mark achieved in the oral exam with Prof.ssa Rodrigo.






Teaching tools

The necessary technical and IT equipment will be used in the classroom.

Office hours

See the website of Maria Josè Rodrigo Mora