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"Department of Spanish and Portuguese"

Gerardo Augusto Lorenzino
(Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies)
435 Anderson Hall

PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese


Research Interests

My interest on language structure and change has its non-linguistics roots with a former passion for chemistry, which I studied all the way up to graduate school before considering a career in linguistics.  My research encompasses several language types and speech communities and it is formally and empirically informed by theories of contact linguistics. I could outline my research projects as follows:

(1) Pidgins Creoles and Cognitive-Based Linguistic Theory:
Cognitive-based models of language study such as grammaticalization theory applied to lexico-semantics and pragmatic-discourse in Portuguese- and Spanish-lexified Creoles as a mechanism to explain common patterns and developmental trends in comparative creolistics.

(2) Language Use, City and Identity:
By studying the Quechua and Spanish varieties spoken by urban migrants from Santiago del Estero (northwestern Argentina), living in Buenos Aires, I would like to know more about how bilingual minority groups adapt their communicative practices as an integral component for redefining identity. The study examines language choices and structural changes in language varieties used by migrant Santiagueños as a way to pose basic questions about the relationship between language, the city and identity.

(3) Language Contact and Political Borders:
Barranquenho is a mixed Spanish-Portuguese dialect spoken in the town of Barrancos in southern Portugal. I'd like to understand how theories of second language acquisition, sociolinguistics and contact linguistics can explain the fuzzy linguistic boundaries separating the regional dialects on both sides of the political Portuguese-Spanish border.

(4) Natural Second Language Learning and Representation in Literary Texts:
The application of natural second language learning and contact linguistics perspective to representation in literary texts involving Spanish and Portuguese in contact with Indigenous languages.

Most Recent Publications

1. With Jonathan Holmquist and Lotfi Sayahi (eds.). Selected Proceedings of the Third Workshop in Spanish Sociolinguistics . Cascadilla Press. 2007
2. The Morphosyntax of Spanish-lexified creoles . Munich: Lincom. 2001.
3. The Angolar Creole Portuguese of São Tomé (West Africa): its grammar and sociolinguistic history. Munich: Lincom. 2000.

1. Immigrants’ languages, lunfardo and lexical diffusion in popular porteño Spanish. Papia 23. 2013.
2. 'El contacto español-quechua en la novela de formación Shunko”. Revista Philologica Romanica 11. 2011.
3. 'African vs Austronesian Substrate Influence on the Spanish-based Creoles'.  In John Holm & Susanne Michaelis (eds.), Contact Languages: Critical Concepts in Language Studies, volume IV.  New York: Routledge, pp. 309-408. 2008.
4. 'Angolar Syntax'. In Holm and Patrick (eds.), Comparative Creole Syntax. Westminster: Battlebridge Press. 2007.
5. 'Linguistic, historical and ethnographic evidence on the formation of the Angolares: a maroon descendant community in São Tomé (West Africa)'. Portuguese Studies Review 13. 2006.
6. 'Language and Identity: The Case of Quechua-Speaking Santiagueños'. In Ashley and Finke (eds.), Language and Identity. NY: Cummings and Hathaway. 2004.

Teaching Interests

Teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Spanish Syntax, Languages in Contact, Hispanic Dialectology, Spanish Phonetics and History of the Spanish Language. Our growing graduate and undergraduate program in Hispanic Linguistics combined with other linguistically-oriented researchers and course offerings in the departments of Anthropology, Communication Sciences, Education and TESOL makes Temple University an exciting place to pursue a degree in Hispanic linguistics.

Selected Honors and Distinctions

2007: Luso-American Foundation Research Fellowship
2005: Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fellowship
2003: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal) Research Fellowship
2000: Endangered Language Fund, Research Grant


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