Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Juan J. Colomina-Almiñana

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain)

Juan J. Colomina-Almiñana



Philosophy of Language; Linguistic Anthropology; Bilingualism; Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness; Cognition: Intensional and Inductive Logic; Philosophy of Science; Metaphysics (specially Time); Points of View and Perspectivism; and Carnap’s and Russell’s Legacies.


Juan J. Colomina received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) in 2009. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (MALS), and an affiliate of the Department of Philosophy. His books include Los problemas de las teorías representacionales de la conciencia (Tenerife: Universidad de La Laguna, 2010) and Implicaciones de la teoría de los actos de habla (Madrid: EAE, 2011), and he has coedited (with V. Raga) La filosofía de Richard Rorty (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2010.)
 He has also published more than fifty articles in several collected books and international journals. His research areas of interest focus on the boundaries between Semantics and Pragmatics, Philosophy of Language, Linguistic Anthropology, Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, Philosophy of Science, and Logic. In 2012, he received the Young Researcher Award from the Spanish Society of Logic. He is a member of the Research Group for Logic, Language, Epistemology, Mind, and Action (LEMA) at the University of La Laguna in Spain, whose main project is “Points of View and Temporal Structures” (FII2011-24549).

Professor Colomina-Almiñana is PI of the IUPLR Linguistics and Latina/o Speech Communities Working Group.


MAS 309 • Bilingualism In The Americas

35090 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.124
(also listed as LIN 312)

FLAGS:   Wr  |  CD  |  GC


Bilingualism is a complex phenomenon that refers to the capacity to speak and communicate indistinctly in two or more different languages. Then, it is not a semantic feature of the natural language; it is a pragmatic characteristic of its use. Since language is a property of groups of speakers, bilingualism is a skill showed and belonging to certain individuals. Because of the nature of our contemporary society, this phenomenon is a lived reality for a number of individuals in several communities inside and outside the US. This is to say, the fact that several communities in the Américas conserve a native language besides the official one extends between the members of these communities the knowledge and use of different ways to communicate.

The main purpose of this course is to analyze the linguistic, cognitive, social, and cultural aspects of this complex phenomenon. To do so, the course supposes that the main characteristics of the (different variables of the different) languages are independent of the origin of these communities. The course will primarily focus on the relationship that is established between English (as the vernacular language) and the second co-existent language, especially the binomial with Spanish (approximately 70% of course material) and other common US bilingual language experiences as well. The idea is to analyze the bilingual speaker in context within the community to which she belongs, especially relating to Mexican American and US-Latino communities.


Multiple Voices. An Introduction to Bilingualism, by Carol Myers-Scotton (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006). Additional texts will be available on the Blackboard.          


25% Final Paper

25% Two Short Essays (12.5% each)

10% Peer-Review Sessions

10% Oral Presentation

30% Attendance and Participation

(5% additional extra-credit short essay)

MAS 374 • Mistranslating Latinos

35163 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GWB 1.130
(also listed as LIN 373, PHL 354, SPC 320C)

This course is oriented around the problem of translation (literary, cultural, political, sociolinguistic) as it relates to the cultural production and/or language use arising in Latina/o communities. Depending upon the expertise of the individual instructor, the course might address translation from different angles: issues of linguistic or cultural relativism, complications of literary translations, the mistranslations that ensue when translating cultural texts from one medium to another (the stage to the screen or the page to the stage, for instance).

MAS 374 • Socioling:mex Amer/Lat Studies

35464 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GWB 1.130

Description: "Sociolinguistics  for MALS Majors" examines the presence and use of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and other "indigenous" languages in the US, focusing particularly on those aspects that characterize Latina/o communities, such as language acquisition; language maintenance, change, and loss; language contact phenomena such as code-switching  or lexical borrowing; linguistic identity and ideology, linguistic attitudes, and the interaction between language, gender, race, ethnicity, and social class.

Students will explore the different linguistics aspects that help shaping identity, identify and illustrate historical developments relevant to the presence of Latina/o populations in the US, discuss the diversity of US Latina/o communities and its linguistics implications,  and explain and analyze important language policy challenges posed by the presence of other language­ speaking communities in the US (mainly those involving Hispanic and Latina/o populations). Students will also have the option to complete written assignments in Spanish, since instructor is Spanish and Catalan native speaker (plus also speaks other 6 languages).

Therefore, this is not only a course about language but also about the Latina/o populations that speak those languages.

Texts/Readings:The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics, edited by M. Diaz-Campos  (specially Part V, which analyzes Spanish in US Latino communities); The handbook of Hispanic Linguistics, edited by J.l. Hualde, A. Olarrea, and E. O'Rourke, Wiley, 2012 (specially Parts 3 and 4, which analyze aspects of US Spanish); "Fighting words: Latina girls, gangs, and Language Attitudes," by Norma Mendoza-Denton, in Speaking Chicana, edited by L. Galindo, University of Arizona Press, 1999.

Grading: 25% Final exam; 25% Final research paper; 25% Short review essays; 25% A&P

MAS 319 • Bilingualism In The Americas

36395 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 3.116

Please check back for updates.

MAS 319 • Bilingualism In The Americas

36473 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 3.116

Please check back for updates.

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