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"Department of Spanish and Portuguese"

Jonathan Holmquist
425 Anderson Hall

Jonathan HolmquistPhD, Princeton University
Associate Professor of Spanish

Research Interests

My most recent research has allowed me to extend my interest to another geographical area, the “altiplano” in the region of Chimaltenango, in Guatemala. Under a Temple University Seed Grant Award and also an Internationalization Grant from Temple, I am working on a collaborative project with Dr. Hana Muzika Kahn (also from our department). We are combining our backgrounds in sociolinguistics and comparative literature to evaluate language contact in a bilingual community where Spanish and Kaqchikel Maya are spoken. Dr. Kahn is examining oral tradition in Spanish and Kaqchikel and I am examining regional Spanish, including Maya Kaqchikel influences. We are collaborating on a sociological study of the place of Kaqchikel and Spanish in the community. We have recently returned from two more months in the town of Parramos, where we have recorded oral interviews and collected oral narratives.

Most Recent Publications

Holmquist, Jonathan; Lorenzino, Augusto; and Sayahi, Lotfi. Selected proceedings of the Third Workshop in Spanish Sociolinguistics (Temple University, 2006. New York: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 2007.

Articles :
Spanish / Kaqchikel-Maya contact in town and village: A focus on youth.  International journal of the Linguistics Association of the Southwest. Submitted.

Spanish/English contact in rural Puerto: Variation, context, and text.  Spanish in context (John Benjamin’s Publisher)10(3: 390-409. 2013.

Frequency rates and constraints on subject personal pronoun expression: Findings from the Puerto Rican highlands. Language variation and change 24:203-220. 2012.

“Gender and variation: Word-final /s/ in speech in Puerto Rico’s western highlands”. In Manuel Díaz-Campos (ed.), The Handbook of Spanish sociolinguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 230-243.

Gender in context: Features and factors in men's and women's speech in rural Puerto Rico. In Maurice Westmoreland and Juan Tomas Testa (eds.) Selected proceedins of the Fourth Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (SUNY Albany, 2007). New York: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 2008. Social stratification in women's speech in rural Puerto Rico: A study of five phonological features. In Lotfi Sayahi (ed.) Selected proceedings of the Second Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (SUNY Albany, 2004). New York: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 109-119. 2005.

Coffee farmers, social integration and five phonological features: Regional socio-dialectology in west-central Puerto Rico. In Lotfi Sayahi (ed.) Selected proceedings of the First Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (SUNY Albany, 2002). New York: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 70-76. 2003.

Seed Grant for Collaborative Research and Internationalization Grant

Language contact, maintenance and revitalization in the Guatemalan highlands: An interdisciplinary approach. The grants have supported research during the periods of July through June, 2011 and March through August, 2013.


Teaching Interests

I have been teaching for over 30 years and have taught students ranging from 3 and 4 year olds to doctoral students.  My goals at all ages and levels of study have been similar: to interact personally with my students and to challenge them in a way that will develop interest in subject matter as well as in producing quality work at the level appropriate for them.  At Temple I teach primarily in the areas of sociolinguistics and dialectology, descriptive linguistics for language learning and teaching, and Spanish language and grammar.  My advanced undergraduate and graduate courses provide for detailed and technical language study, frequently in combination with an examination of social dimensions and context of language use.  My dissertation students have carried out scholarly students in the areas of Spanish sociolinguistics, language in contact, and language learning.



Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Anderson Hall 4th Floor 1114 West Berks Street Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
Phone: (215) 204-8285 Fax: (215) 204-3731