Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Sergio Romero

Assistant ProfessorPh.D. Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania

Fellow of Peter T. Flawn Centennial Assistant Professorship in Spanish Language and Literature, LLILAS and Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Sergio Romero


  • Phone: 512.232.4525; 512.232.2420
  • Office: BEN 4.104; SRH 1.323
  • Office Hours: T 11:30-12:30 PM, W 2:00-3:00 PM, TH 11:00 - 12:00 PM


Language variation and change; linguistic anthropology; Christian registers in indigenous languages; Mayan languages; Nahuatl; Quechua


LAS 381 • Hispanicizatn Indg Lang Lat

40440 • Fall 2016
Meets T 500pm-800pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as ILA 386)

DESCRIPTION: This seminar examines the lexical, structural, social and stylistic influence of Spanish on the indigenous languages of Latin America.  It seeks to clarify the scope of changes in grammar and discourse induced by contact with Spanish. It starts with a critical review of theories of contact followed by the analysis of case studies representative of typologically distinct indigenous languages. It ends with a critical assessment of the study of contact phenomena in Latin America. Readings will cover not only change in phonology, morphology and syntax but also the emergence of new discourse genres and language ideologies. Case studies to be considered include, among others, Nahuatl, K’iche’ Maya, Yucatec Maya, Q’eqchi’ Maya and Quechua.


Knowledge of Spanish and/or an indigenous language of Latin America is desirable but not required.


Brody, Jill

            1995   Lending the unborrowable: Spanish discourse markers in indigenous languages. In Spanish in four continents: Studies of language contact and bilingualism. C. Silva-Corvalan, ed. Pp. 132-147. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Campbell, Lyle

            1985   The Pipil Language of El Salvador. Berlin: Mouton.

Flores-Farfán, Jose Antonio

            1999   Cuatreros somos y toindioma hablamos: Contactos y conflictos entre el náhuatl y el español en el sur de México. Mexico City: CIESAS.

Hanks, William

            2010   Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hill, Jane, and Kenneth Hill

            1999   Hablando mexicano: la dinámica de una lengua sincrética en el centro de México. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional Indigenista & CIESAS.

Karttunen, Frances

            1985   Nahuatl and Maya in Contact with Spanish. Austin: University of Texas Department of Linguistics.

Kockelman, Paul

            2003   The meanings of interjections in Q'eqchi' Maya: from emotive reaction to social and discursive action. Current anthropology 44(4):467-490.

Mannheim, Bruce

            2011   The Language of the Inka since the European Invasion. Austin: University of Texas Press.


            2002   Contact linguistics: Bilingual encounters Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Romero, Sergio

            2015a The emergence of of double and triple negation in K’ichee’ Mayan: A variationist perspective. Language Variation and Change 27(2).

            2015b            Language and Ethnicity among the K’ichee’ Maya. Provo: University of Utah Press.

Sankoff, Gillian

            2002   Linguistic Outcomes of Language Contact. In Handbook of Language Variation and Change. J.K. Chambers, P. Trudgill, and N. Schilling-Estes, eds. Pp. 638-668. Malden: Blackwell.


LAL 385K • Intensive Nahuatl II

39543 • Spring 2016
Meets MT 930am-1100am SRH 1.319

Intensive cultural and literacy-focused training in an indigenous languagein preparation for research.

LAS 328 • Clnlsm/In Lng/Rev In Mesoam

39674 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as SPC 320C)

This course examines the ambivalent role Mesoamerican languages have played as discursive vehicles of colonial power, on the one hand, and of subaltern contestation, on the other. It explores the inherent ambiguity of language in various discursive incarnations in Mesoamerican languages from the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 to the rise of the Maya Movement in Guatemala in the twentieth century.

LAS 328 • K'Ichee' Peoples: Cul/His/Lang

39644 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SRH 1.313

This course is an introduction to the life and language of the K’ichee’ Maya, an ethnically diverse people speaking related varieties of the same language in the western highlands of Guatemala.

LAS 392S • Lang/Christnty In Col Lat Amer

40669 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm MEZ 1.204
(also listed as SPN 383M)


This seminar will explore the cultural and linguistic implications of the encounter between Native American and Catholic religious traditions after the European conquest. Focusing especially on Mesoamerica and the Andes, we will examine the development of the Spanish missionary project, the dilemmas of translating Christian theology and ritual, the rise of pastoral registers in indigenous languages, the notion of syncretism and its problems, the development of Native American Christianity in the Colonial period and the rise of indigenous ‘folk Catholicism’. Special attention will be given to the Nahua of Central Mexico, the Maya of Yucatan and Highland Guatemala and the Quechua of Southern Peru and Bolivia. We will do extensive readings of indigenous primary sources, and detailed analysis of key texts. Participants will be required to have a reading knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese. Knowledge of Nahuatl, a Mayan language or Quechua would be desirable. 


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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712