Spanish/English Contrasts

A Course in Spanish Linguistics

Second Edition

M. Stanley Whitley

"Spanish/English Contrasts is targeted specifically at current and future teachers of Spanish to English speakers, and it may be useful for translators . . . A good candidate for a course on the structure of Spanish or for a comparative linguistics course."
+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

An invaluable text in language and linguistics because it has a unique scope: a one-volume description of the Spanish language and its differences from English, and ranges from pronunciation and grammar to word meaning, language use, and social and dialectical variation. Designed for survey courses in Spanish linguistics with technical concepts explained in context for beginners in the field, Spanish/English Contrasts brings out the ways in which insights into the two languages have evolved as scholars have built on the work and research of others in the field. A bilingual glossary of linguistic terms is provided to facilitate discussion in either language.

This second edition is thoroughly updated to incorporate insights and issues that have come to the fore from the explosion of research in the past twenty-five years in all of the areas covered by the book. It includes an expanded bibliography and index, and adds new exercises for student application and class discussion. Its approach remains broadly based however, in order to accommodate a range of areas and data rather than focusing narrowly on one single theory or research area, and it continues to emphasize implications for language teaching, translation, and other practical applications.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

0 General introduction: Language and interlanguage
0.1 Language, lects, and linguistics
0.2 Comparing and contrasting languages
0.2.1 Correspondences between languages
0.2.2 Implications of the correspondences
0.3 Interlanguage and sources of problems
0.4 The limits of linguistics in language teaching

Part One: Phonology
1 Introduction to phonology
1.0 Phonology vs. orthography
1.1 Review of phonetics
1.1.1 Classes of sounds
1.1.2 Voicing
1.1.3 Place and manner of articulation
1.1.4 Vowels
1.1.5 Features
1.2 Phonemes, allophones and rules
1.3 Phonemes and examples

2 Phonemes
2.0 Comparing Systems
2.1 Consonants
2.1.1 General comparison of consonant systems
2.1.2 Consonants with different articulations:/t d/
2.1.3 Unshared consonants The ene/n/ The jota/x/ The flap and trill /r r/
2.1.4 Dialect variations Lleismo vs. yeismo Distinction, seseo, ceceo, ceseo: /s 0/
2.2 Vowels and diphthongs
2.2.1 Two vowel systems
2.2.2 Dipthongs
2.2.3 Hiautus, syneresis, and the analysis of glides
2.2.4 Linking (liaison, enlace)
2.3 The combining of phonemes into syllables and words
2.4 Phonemic vs. orthographic representation
Notes for chapter 2
Exercises for chapter 2

3 Phonological rules
3.0 Types of rules: Categorical and variable, general and dialectical
3.1 Spanish rules
3.1.1 Glide strengthening
3.1.2 Nasal assimilation
3.1.3 Lateral assimilation
3.1.4 S-Voicing
3.1.5 S-Aspiration
3.1.6 Spirantization of /b d g/
3.1.7 D-Deletion (or Fricative deletion)
3.1.8 Other consonatal processes: /x n l r r tf f/
3.1.9 Vowel weakening
3.1.10 Vowel gliding
3.2 English Rules
3.2.1 Aspiration
3.2.2 Preglottalization
3.2.3 Flapping
3.2.4 Palatalization before Yod
3.2.5 L- Velarization
3.2.6 Dipthongization
3.2.7 Vowel reduction
3.2.8 Schwa deletion
3.3 Order of Difficulty: Ranking phonological problems
Notes for chapter 3
Exercises for chapter 3

4 Stress and intonation
4.0 Suprasegmentals
4.1 Stress
4.1.1 Stress position
4.1.2 Degrees of stress
4.1.3 Stress and rhythm
4.2 Intonation
Notes for chapter 4
Exercises for chapter 4

Part Two: Grammar
5 Basic Notions of grammatical description
5.0 The grammar of language
5.1 Morphology: Morphemes, allomorphs, and rules
5.2 Syntax: Word order, constituency, and function
5.3 Grammaticality

6 Verb Morphology
6.0 Verb forms and their nomenclature
6.1 Spanish finite verb forms
6.1.1 Endings as slots for morphemes
6.1.2 Stem changes: Regular or irregular? Orthographic changes Morphophonemic changes Other changes
6.2 English finite verb forms and modals
6.3 Nonfinites and compound forms
6.3.1 Infinitives
6.3.2 Gerunds and participles
6.3.3 "Absolutes"
6.3.4 Perfects, progressives, passives
6.4 Verb + verb and auxiliaries
Notes for chapter 6
Exercises for chapter 6

7 Tense and mood
7.0 Approaches to tense and mood
7.1 The tense system of Spanish and English
7.1.1 Systemic meanings Present perfect, present, future Past perfect, past, conditional Future perfect and conditional perfect Summry of the tense system
7.1.2 Nonsystemic extensions: present, future, conditional
7.1.3 Aspect and tense: Preterite and imperfect
7.2 The contributions of auxiliaries
7.2.1 Meanings of modals
7.2.2 "Secondary" modifications: Perfect and progressive
7.3 Mood: Indicative vs. subjunctive
7.3.1 The tense system in the subjunctive
7.3.2 The meaning of mood: Theories and approaches The subjunctive as a set of uses The subjunctive as a marker of meaning
7.3.3 Summary of mood usage
Notes for chapter 7
Exercises for chapter 7

8 Noun phrase syntax and morphology
8.0 Nouns and noun phrases
8.1 Functions of noun phrases with verbs
8.1.1 Subject and direct object
8.1.2 Indirect object: The involved entity
8.1.3 Variation between direct and indirect objects
8.1.4 Different construction, "reverse" construction
8.2 Noun morphology
8.2.1 Number and the count/mass distinction
8.2.2 Gender
8.3 Modifiers in the noun phrase
8.3.1 Noun phrase constituents
8.3.2 Possession and other noun-to-noun relationships
8.3.3 Articles, demonstratives, and other determiners
8.3.4 Adjectives and agreement
8.4 NP without N
8.4.1 Nominalization and pronominalization
8.4.2 The Spanish neuter
Notes for chapter 8
Exercises for chapter 8

9 Pronouns
9.0 Pronouns as proforms
9.1 Nonreflexive pronouns
9.1.1 Person
9.1.2 Gender
9.1.3 Case
9.2 Variation in the pronoun system
9.3 Reflexives
9.3.1 Pseudo-reflexive or "spurious" se
9.3.2 True reflexive se
9.3.3 Reciprocal se
9.3.4 Lexical or inherent se
9.3.5 Meaning-changing and/or inchoactive se
9.3.6 Intransitivizing se
9.3.7 Reflexive se of emotional reaction
9.3.8 Causative se
9.3.9 Passive and impersonal se
9.3.10 So-called "unplanned occurences"
9.3.11 Summary
9.4 The syntax of pronouns
9.4.1 Pronominalizing with clitics
9.4.2 Sequences of clitics
Notes for chapter 9
Exercises for chapter 9

10 Adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions
10.0 The uninflected words
10.1 Lexical relationships
10.2 Analysis and classification
10.2.1 Classification by meaning and formation Adverbs Prepositions Conjunctions
10.2.2 Classification by position and function: The adverbial phrase
10.3 Semantic problems
10.3.1 'But'
10.3.2 'So'
10.3.3 'To, in, from'
10.3.4 'For' and 'by'
10.3.5 Abstract relationships
10.4 Lexically or grammatically fixed usage
10.4.1 Relators that introduce adverbial idioms
10.4.2 Relators that are functors
10.5 More on the verb connection: Particles and direction/manner
Notes for chapter 10
Exercises for chapter 10

11 Word order and constituency
11.0 Rules of syntax
11.1 Phrase structure rules
11.1.1 Sentences
11.1.2 Phrases
11.1.3 NP compements and appositives
11.1.4 Summary
11.2 Frrom deeep to surface structure
11.2.1 The nucleus
11.2.2 Satellites
11.2.3 Transposed satellites and "personal" a
11.3 The meaning of Spanish word order
11.3.1 Nucleus with satellites
11.3.2 Nouns with determiners and quantifiers
11.3.3 Nouns with adjectives
11.3.4 Summary and generalization
Notes for chapter 11
Exercies for chapter 11

12 Questions, negations, passives and commands
12.0 Simple affirmative active declarative sentences
12.1 Questions
12.1.1 Tag and yes/no questions
12.1.2 Information (Wh-) questions
12.2 Negating and disagreeing
12.3 Passive and related structures
12.4 Commands
Notes for chapter 12
Exercises for chapter 12

13 Complex sentences
13.0 Compound vs. complex sentences
13.0.1 Types of embedded clauses
13.0.2 Reduced clauses
13.1 Noun clauses
13.1.1 As subjects
13.1.2 As objects With creer vs. believe With decir vs. say/tell With preferir, querer, intentar vs. prefer, want,try With mandar and impedir vs. order and prevent With hacer vs. make, have With ver vs. see Querer + V vs. poder + V Clitic promotion
13.1.3 Noun clauses that are questions
13.2 Adverbial clauses
13.2.1 Preposition + clause
13.2.2 Subordinating conjunction + clause
13.3 Relative clauses
13.3.1 Relativization according to NP type
13.3.2 Headless relatives and clefting
13.3.3 Nonrestrictive relative clauses
13.3.4 Reduced relative clauses
13.4 Comparative sentences
13.4.1 Patterns and forms
13.4.2 The structure of comparative sentences
13.5 Complex sentences: General summary
Notes for chapter 13
Exercises for chapter 13

Part Three: Beyond grammar

14 Introduction to the study of words and usage
14.0 What it means to know a word
14.1 An example: The meaning of compadre
14.2 The ranges of usage and meaning

15 Words and their meanings
15.0 The lexicon
15.1 Derivational morphology
15.1.1 Affixes
15.1.2 Compounding
15.1.3 Shortening: Clipping and acronyms
15.1.4 Morphophonemics: Phonology in the lexicon
15.2 Cognates: True friends, or false?
15.3 Dialect differences in vocabulary
15.4 Different lexicons, different meanings
15.4.1 Differences in denotation and connotation
15.4.2 Verbs of being: Ser vs. estar
15.5 Idioms
Notes for chapter 15
Exercises for chapter 15

16 Language knowledge and language use
16.0 Linguistic and communicative competence
16.1 The pragmatics of the speaker-hearer relation
16.1.1 Address and referenc, and tu vs. usted
16.1.2 Style, style shiftin, stylistics
16.1.3 Words of group identity: Argot and slang
16.1.4 Speaking strategies: Politeness and genderlect
16.2 Proverbs and other cultural allusions
16.3 Communicative functions in discourse
16.3.1 Grammar in discourse
16.3.2 Accuracy and function in proficieny development
16.3.3 Discourse organization
16.3.4 Speech acts and their verbal lubricants
16.4 Aptitude and attitude in language learning and use
Notes for chapter 16
Exercises for chapter 16

1 English/Spanish glossary of linguistic terminology
2 Phonological index


General Index


"What was a very good introduction to applied Spanish linguistics is even better, and it remains the best work in its genre. Nowhere else will the interested nonspecialist find such a rich and accessible trove of information on how Spanish works as a linguistic system for communication, along with discussion of how it can best be taught and learned."—Modern Language Journal

"Spanish/English Contrasts is targeted specifically at current and future teachers of Spanish to English speakers, and it may be useful for translators . . . A good candidate for a course on the structure of Spanish or for a comparative linguistics course."—Canadian Modern Language Review


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

M. Stanley Whitley is professor of Spanish and linguistics at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, and coauthor of Gramática para la composición.

408 pp., 7 x 10

Aug 2002

408 pp., 7 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-87840-381-3
Aug 2002

408 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-827-3
Aug 2002

Related Titles