Module Catalogue 2022/23

SPA4007 : Spanish linguistics III: sound change and morphological change

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian MacKenzie
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
SPA2019Spanish linguistics II: variation and change
Pre Requisite Comment

To take SPA4007 students must have taken (and passed) SPA2019.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To explore how Spanish grew out of proto-Romance (late spoken Latin), by considering (i) the sound changes that have affected the vocabulary and (ii) the associated restructuring of the language’s morphology. A comparative perspective will be adopted, enabling students to see how other Romance languages, such as French, Catalan or Italian, have taken different historical trajectories, having started from the same baseline.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics include:
1.       Changes affecting consonants
2.       Changes affecting vowels
3.       Creation of the modern Spanish noun system
4.       Development of “radical changing verbs”
5.       Where the modern pronouns come from
6.       Development of verb tenses
7.       Changes in inflectional morphology
8.       Syntactic changes

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A broad knowledge of the main developments in historical Spanish linguistics. A more detailed knowledge of specific aspects of the history of Spanish and Romance, particularly phonology and morphology. A more detailed understanding of etymology.

Intended Skill Outcomes

- Development of ability to think critically about language
- Development of general logic and analytical capabilities
- Ability to selectively obtain information from the Internet
- Ability to use library resources
- Enhancement of practical command of a foreign language

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials120:306:00Non present-in-person contact hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Present-in-Person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion167:0067:00Non-contact hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching71:007:00Present-in-Person
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities52:0010:00Non present-in-person contact hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00Non-contact hours
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SPA8017Spanish Linguistics III: Sound Change and Morphological Change
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and small group teaching will provide hands-on learning support to deliver core technical and conceptual elements of the syllabus. Lecture materials and structured research and reading activities will enable students to think critically and to familiarise themselves with relevant academic debates. Guided independent study will develop research skills, data retrieval and analysis, and organizational capabilities.

Evaluation from last year showed that a majority of students appreciated the online elements as part of the module contact hours.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70N/A
Written Examination501M30In-class assessment (multiple-choice).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exams will test students’ practical ability to analyse and solve problems while under time pressure. They will also test their ability to present an argument in a clear and rational way.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.