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 fieldwork and research have also taken me to Highland Ecuador and Cuba. In 2005, I completed a book on the Cuban ritual language of Palo Monte (a religious practice some-what 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. Recent books of mine include Fonética y fonología españolas (2010), a completely revised and much expanded version of Schwegler & Kempff (2007, 4th edition) and the edited volume Palenque (Colombia): oralidad, identidad y resistencia. Un enfoque inter-disciplinario (co-edited with G. Maglia of the Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá) which appeared in 2012. An English translation of that same book will appear in Benjamins series Creole Language Library in the coming months. 2016 (in press). Also on creole languages is the following volume edited by me (and J. McWhorter & L. Ströbel): The Iberian challenge: Creole languages beyond the plantation setting (eds., forthcoming in 2016).
My publications include several books and over 60 scholarly articles. I am founding co-Editor of the Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana (RILI), and Associate Editor of the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. I have organized many conferences, and pre-sented over 200 papers at national and international meetings, and taught as Visiting Professor at several institutions (University of Amsterdam, Brigham Young University of Utah, Academia de Ciencias in Havana, Universidad de la Coruña (Spain), etc.). In early 2012, I participated in a voyage around the world (literally so) while teaching at Semester at Sea (http://www.semesteratsea.org/), with stops in the Caribbean, Amazon (Brazil), Africa (Ghana, S. Africa), and Asia (India, Vietnam, China, Japan, etc.). In the Spring of 2013, I completed an extended lecture tour in Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which included a Blockseminar on “Spanish in contact with other languages” at Heidelberg University. In December of 2013, I had the privilege to lecture on THE WORLD, arguably the world’s most luxurious private ship. In 2014, my lectures, fieldwork, and teaching led me on a 100-day tour around the world (literally), from Hong Kong to Thailand, on to Sri Lanka, Europe, and South America (Colombia). Part of that tour included a seminar at the University of Mannheim, Germany. I am about to leave for a similar lecture tour to Aruba, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.
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.
(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). Palenque (Colombia): orality, identity and resistance. 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|