Dr. Armin Schwegler
Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Associate Editor, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages
Co-founding (former) editor of Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana (RILI)
|History of Spanish, dialectology, historical linguistics, typology, Creoles, Language and Globalization, population genetics (DNA- and linguistics-based research to reconstruct the African origins of Latin America's Black population)|
ACADEMIC HONORS (Selection)
1988 President’s Fellow in the Humanities. University of California, Berkeley.
1991 Fulbright Award to study African influences in Colombian Spanish.
2006 Outstanding Professor of the Humanities, UCI (1 such award per year)
2009 Humanities Faculty Teaching Award, UCI (1 such award per year)
2014 Advancement to Full Professor, Step VII
My research and course offerings emphasize the study of the Spanish language from a linguistic perspective, while also exploring language in its social, cultural and historical contexts. During the past few years, this has led me to explore in depth how population genetics (DNA) research can complement linguistic and historical research in an effort to reconstruct Latin America's extensive African origins (slave trade). See "latest publications" on this website for references to recent investigations of mine.
Courses I routinely teach include History of the Spanish Language, Intro to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, Latin American Spanish, Spanish in the USA, Introduction to Pidgin and Creole Languages, Language and Globalization, and the Senior Capstone Seminar in Global Cultures. As of late, I have also been teaching courses on “Genetics, the Brain, and the Origins of Language(s)”.
Upon completing my Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, my focus was on the history and typology of the major Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian). Since then, I have become fascinated by "marginal" speech communities that are of great historical importance to understanding the evolution of American Spanish. Included among these communities is the maroon village of El Palenque de San Basilio (Colombia), where a Spanish Creole is still spoken today. My latest work on Palenque combines population genetic (DNA) research and linguistic field studies (available upon request).
My PUBLICATIONS include several books and almost 60 scholarly articles. My FIELDWORK and research have taken me to many other places in Latin America, including Highland Ecuador and Cuba. In 2005, I completed a book on the Cuban ritual language of Palo Monte (a religious practice somewhat akin to Santería), whose true African roots can now be traced for the first time. I am also actively researching Central West-African languages (especially Kikongo), once widely spoken in the Americas during the slave trade. My Fonética y fonología españolas (2007) is currently being prepared for its 5th edition. An English translation of Palenque (Colombia): oralidad, identidad y resistencia. Un enfoque interdisciplinario (G. Maglia & A. Schwegler, 2012) will appear in 2017 in Benjamins’ series Creole Language Library under the title of Orality, identity, and resistance in Palenque (Colombia): An interdisciplinary approach. The most recent collective edited volume by me is The Iberian challenge: Creole languages beyond the plantation setting (2016, co-edited with J. McWhorter and L. Ströbel).
In my TEACHING, I have always sought to inform and engage students. In 2006, I received the Outstanding Professor of the Humanities award, and in 2009 the Humanities Faculty Teaching Award at UCI. In recent years, I have taught as Visiting Professor at several institutions (University of Amsterdam, Brigham Young University of Utah, Academia de Ciencias in Havana, the Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogotá, the University of La Coruña, Spain, Middlebury College, VT, etc.) and worked in Costa Rica as Director of UC's Education Abroad Program (1999-2001). Perhaps my most exciting teaching activity outside of UC Irvine was with Semester at Sea (University of Virginia), whose Spring 2012 voyage took me around the world (literally so), from the Americas to Africa, Asia, and beyond. Since 2013 I have gone on extended lecture and teaching tours in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Aruba, and throughout Latin America.
From 1999 to 2001 I worked in Costa Rica as Director of UC's Education Abroad Program. I am currently Director of Global Cultures (an interdisciplinary B.A. program) at UC Irvine, and a regular faculty member in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Native - Swiss-German
Fluent - French, German, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Palenquero (Spanish-based Creole of Columbia)
Read - Romansh, Catalan, Occitan, Latin, Russian
1987 to the present: I have been the principal organizer of over a dozen national and international conferences on Romance Linguistics and Pidgin and Creole languages.
Latin American Spanish/Portuguese (especially synchrony and diachrony of colloquial Afro-American speech [Caribbean Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, etc.]).
African influences in Latin America (language & culture)
Iberian-based Creoles (Palenquero, Papiamentu, etc.)
Ritual languages of Black America ("Habla Congo" of [Cuba], "lumbalú" of Palenque [Colombia], etc.)
Africanizing religious practices of Latin America
Population Genetics (with emphasis on Africa <--> Latin America)
My course offerings emphasize the study of the Spanish language from a linguistic perspective, while also exploring language in its social, cultural and historical contexts. Courses I routinely teach include the "History of the Spanish Language", "Intro to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology", "Latin American Spanish", "Spanish in the USA", "Introduction to Pidgin and Creole Languages", and "Origins of languages:Evolution, genetics, and the brain". For informal student reactions to my teaching, visit http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=151494
I have taught as Visiting Professor at several institutions (University of Amsterdam, Brigham Young University of Utah, etc.) and worked in Costa Rica as Director of UC's Education Abroad Program (1999-2001). In 2002 and 2003, I offered a series of research seminars at various institutions in Cuba (e.g. Academia de Ciencias in Havana). In the summer of 2008 and 2009, I taught courses on creole languages at the University of Coruña (Galicia, Spain). In the summer of 2010, I taught mini-seminars in Bogota and Cartagena (Colombia). I have repeately taught graduate summer courses at Middlebury College (Vermont), and in the Spring of 2013, I went on an extended lecture tour in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. As part of that tour, I taught a "Blockseminar" on Spanish in Contact with other languages (worldwide) at the University of Heidelberg. In the summer of 2014, I returned to Germany to teach a seminar on "Spanish in Contact with Other Languages" at the University of Mannheim. My next lecture tour (Spring 2015) will take me to Colombia (Bogotá, Neiva, Cali, Cartagena).
Latest articles (on DNA-based research/population genetics):
(2014) Colombia’s population crucible: Y chromosome evidence from six admixed communities in the Department of Bolivar. Co-authored with M.C. Noguera (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Instituto de Genética, Bogota, Colombia), L. Gusmão (Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology, University of Porto, Portugal), et al. In Annals of Human Biology 41(5):453-459.
E-print version available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/03014460.2013.852244
(2016) Combining population genetics (DNA) with historical linguistics: On the African origins of Latin America's Black and Mulatto populations. In S. Sessarego & F. Tejedo (eds.), Spanish Language and Sociolinguistic Analysis. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pp. 33-88.
(Forthcoming). Genética poblacional (ADN) y lingüística histórica: Sobre los orígenes africanos de la población de El Palenque de San Basilio (Colombia). To appear in Centros de irradiación y periferias de la lengua española, ed. José María Santos Rovira. Lugo: Axac.
(2016) The Iberian challenge: Creole languages beyond the plantation setting, ed. Armin Schwegler, John McWhorter, Liane Ströbel. Series: Lengua y Sociedad en el Mundo Hispánico. Madrid / Frankfurt: Iberoamericana/ Vervuert Verlag.
|(Forthcoming). Orality, identity and resistance in Palenque (Colombia): An interdisciplinary approach, ed. Armin Schwegler, Bryan Kirschen & Graciela Maglia. Translation into English of 2012 book by Maglia & Schwegler (eds.). Creole Language Library. Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins.|
(2012) Palenque (Colombia): oralidad, identidad y resistencia. Un enfoque interdisciplinario, ed. Graciela Maglia & Armin Schwegler. Bogota: Instituto Caro y Cuervo & Universidad Javeriana. TO ORDER:
|(2010) Fonética y fonología españolas: teoría y práctica, 4th ed. (completely revised edition; co-authored with Juergen Kempff and Ana Ameal Guerra). New York: John Wiley & Sons.|
|(2007) Fonética y fonología españolas: teoría y práctica. 3d edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Co-authored with J. Kempff.|
|(2006) Una lengua en la diáspora: el judeoespañol de Oriente. Co-edited with Yvette Bürki & Beatrice Schmid. Special volume of Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana (RILI), 7.|
|(2005) Lengua y ritos del Palo Monte Mayombe: dioses cubanos y sus fuentes africanas. Frankfurt: Vervuert Verlag / Madrid: Iberoamericana. [Co-authored with Jesús Fuentes]|
|(2004) Creoles, Contact, and Language Change [Co-authored with Genevieve Escure]|
|(2002) Palenque, Cartagena y Afro-Caribe: historia y lengua [Co-authored with Yves Monino]|
|(1996) "Chi ma nkongo": lengua y rito ancestrales en El Palenque de San Basilio (Colombia). 2 vols. To be published by Vervuert Verlag, Frankfurt am Main.|
|(1990) Analyticity and Syntheticity: A Diachronic Perspective with Special Reference to Romance Languages. Empirical Approaches to Language Typology, 6. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.|
|Link to this profile||http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2476|