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SPA4007 : Spanish and Romance word analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian MacKenzie
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Present-in-Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present-in-Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Non-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. Independent study will develop research skills, data retrieval and analysis, and organizational capabilities.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination502M30In-class assessment (multiple-choice).
Written Examination1202A70N/A
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.

Reading Lists