Faculty

Carmen Silva-Corvalan

Professor of Spanish

Contact Information
E-mail: csilva@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-0960
Office: THH 156G

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
 

Biographical Sketch

Carmen Silva-Corvalán is Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1979. She also studied at the University of Chile in Santiago, where she obtained a B.A. in English Language and Literature, and at the University of London, where she obtained an M.A. in Education. Professor Silva-Corvalán is interested in variationist approaches to syntax, in sociolinguistics, and in language acquisition. Her research program is concerned with the examination of language in specific situations of use with the purpose of accounting for the meaning and distribution of linguistic forms. She has published extensively in these areas of linguistics. Her research has also focused on languages in contact and, more specifically, on Spanish-English bilingualism. Her current research deals with the development of grammar and communicative skills in dual first language acquisition. Her latest book is Bilingual Language Acquisition. Spanish and English in the first six years (Cambridge University Press). She is co-editor of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition and is on the Board of Editors of other professional journals. Among these are Oralia, Southwest Journal of Linguistics, Moenia, Revista de Lingüística Teórica y Aplicada, and Spanish in Context.

Education

  • B.A. English Language and Literature, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1/1970
  • M.A. Education, University of London, England, 1/1973
  • M.A. Linguistics, University of California - Los Angeles, 1/1977
  • Ph.D. Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1/1979

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Professor of Spanish, University of Southern California, 01/01/1992-  
    • Professor of Linguistics, University of Southern California, 01/01/2001-12/10/2011  
    • Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Southern California, 01/01/1999-01/01/2002  
    • Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California, 01/01/1995-01/01/2000  
    • Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Southern California, 01/01/1984-01/01/1992  
    • Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Southern California, 01/01/1979-01/01/1984  
    • Associate Professor of Linguistics, Departamento de Linguistica, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 01/01/1978-01/01/1979  
    • Associate Professor of English, Departamento de Lenguas Modernas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 01/01/1973-01/01/1978  
    • Assistant Professor of English, Departamento de Lengas Modernas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 01/01/1970-01/01/1973  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Silva-Corvalan researches the interplay of social and linguistic forces motivating language variation and change in monolingual situations. She explores the constraints which condition syntactic variation in Spanish and other Romance languages and the issue of language permeability in situations of societal bilingualism. She is currently researching the acquisition of two and three languages from birth by children living in Los Angeles.
    Research Keywords
    Romance languages, Spanish, societal bilingualism, Los Angeles, variation theory, bilingual acquisition, sociolinguistics
    Research Specialties
    (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1979) Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and Professor of Linguistics: language variation and change in monolingual situations; syntactic variation in Spanish and other Romance languages; language change in situations of societal bilingualism; Spanish language in the U.S.A.; acquisition of two and three languages from birth.
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests
    I am interested in variationist approaches to syntax, in sociolinguistics, and in language acquisition. My research program is concerned with the examination of language in specific situations of use with the purpose of accounting for the meaning and distribution of linguistic forms. These studies seek to uncover the relationship that exists between language variation and change, and between language variation and such social factors as age, sex, ethnicity, and level of education. My current research involves the simultaneous acquisition of two languages, focusing specifically on Spanish and English. This current interest is an extension of my work on Spanish-English adult bilingual speech in Los Angeles, which I carried out thanks to two NSF grants awarded to me in the 1980s.

    Funded Research


    USC Funding
    • College Faculty Development grant.. English-Spanish bilingual development from ages 1;7 to 5;11: The directionality of crosslinguistic influence.: This research focuses on subject realization, word order, and agreement markers in the speech of Spanish monolingual children. The outcome will serve as reference to evaluate bilingual development., $2,500, 2010-2011   

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina, Co-Chair of International Project PRESEEA, http://www.linguas.net/portalpreseea
    • ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Bangor University, Wales., Research Associate, http://www.bilingualism.bangor.ac.uk

    Conferences and Other Presentations


    Conference Presentations
    • "English influence on different Spanish language subsystems in bilingual first language acquisition.", International Symposium on Bilingualism 7,, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Utrecht University, The Netherlands, July 2009., 2009-2010   
    • "Language maintenance and shift: the case of Spanish in the Southwest.", Talk/Oral Presentation, University of South Carolina, April 2010, University of South Carolina, Invited, 2009-2010   
    • "The vulnerability of SER and ESTAR in unbalanced Spanish-English bilingualism. ", International Workshop: Languages in Contact, May 2010, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Univ. of Wuppertal, Germany, Univ. of Wuppertal, Germany, Invited, 2009-2010   
    • "Variation in the use of deber and deber de in written and oral materials from Latin America and Spain.", XXXIX Simposio Internacional de la Sociedad Española de Lingüística, Feb.1-4 2010, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Univ de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Sociedad Española de Lingüística, 2009-2010   
    • "Early Spanish-English bilingualism: Theoretical issues, empirical analyses.", Linguistic Asso. of the Southwest 36th Annual Meeting, Keynote Lecture, Paper, University of Colorado, Denver, University of Colorado, Denver, and LASSO., Invited, 2007-2008   
    • "Lenguas en contacto: los límites de la convergencia gramatical.", Coloquio Internacional In Memoriam Manuel Alvar, Keynote Lecture, Paper, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, Invited, 2007-2008   
    • "Spanish language and culture in the USA: Current situation and future perspectives.", III Seminar on International Spanish Academies, Keynote Lecture, Abstract, Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, Ministry of Education, Spain (Los Angeles Office), Invited, 2007-2008   

    Publications


    Book Chapter
    • Silva-Corvalan, C. (2011). Lenguas en contacto: los límites de la convergencia gramatical. Variación lingüística y contacto de lenguas en el pp. 291-310.. Madrid: Iberoamericana/Vervuert.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C. (2009). La adquisición bilingüe (y trilingüe): aspectos sintácticos, morfo-sintácticos y léxicos. IX Encuentro Internacional de Lingüística en el No pp. 13-34. Hermosillo, Sonora: UNISON (Universidad de Sonora, Mexico).
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., Sánchez, N. (2007). "Subjects in early dual language development: a case study of a Spanish-English bilingual child.". pp. 3-22.. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C. M. (2007). "Aspectos del desarrollo bilingüe español-inglés de niños en edad preescolar". In Haciendo lingüística. pp. 325-336. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela.

    Encyclopedia Article
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., Lynch, A. (2008). Bilingüismo. In: Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos. (Humberto López Morales, Ed.). 251-272.. Madrid, Spain: Santillana.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., Potowski, K. (2008). La alternancia de códigos. In: Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos. (Humberto López Morales, Ed.). 272-276. Madrid, Spain: Santillana.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., MacGregor, P. (2008). Creencias y actitudes. In: Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos. (Humberto López Morales, Ed.). 276-283. Madrid, Spain: Santillana.

    Journal Article
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., Eddington, D. (2011). Variation in the use of deber and deber de in written and oral materials from Latin America and Spain. Spanish in Context. Vol. 8 (2), pp. 257-271.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C., Montanari, S. (2008). "The acquisition of ser, estar (and be) by a Spanish-English bilingual child: The early stages.". Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. Vol. 11 (3), pp. 341-360.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C. (2008). The limits of convergence in language contact. Journal of Language Contact. (Thema 2), pp. 213-224.
    • Silva-Corvalan, C. (2007). "Early Spanish-English bilingualism: Theoretical issues, empirical analyses.". Southwest Journal of Linguistics. Vol. 26 (2), pp. 1-19.


    Honors and Awards

    • Research Associate, ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism, U of Bangor, Wales, 9/1/2008-  
    • Treasurer, Latin America Linguistic Association, 1987-1999  
    • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, for my book Language Contact and Change, 1995  
    • National Science Foundation Grant, 1988-1990  
    • Joint Committee for Education and Cultural Cooperation Between Spain and the USA - Grant, 1988-1989  
    • National Science Foundation Research Grant, 1983-1985  

    Service to the Profession


    Editorships and Editorial Boards
    • Co-editor, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (Cambridge Univ. Press), 01/01/2005-  
    • Member of Board of editors, Estudios de Sociolionguistica, 08/01/2004-  
    • Member of Board of Editors, Documentos de Espanol Actual, 2004-  
    • Member of the Board of Editors, Spanish in Context, 2001-  
    • Member of Board of Editors, Moenia. Revista Lucense de Linguistica y Literatura, 2000-  
    • Member of Board of Editors, Oralia, 1999-  
    • Member of Board of Editors, R.L.A. (Revista de Linguistica Teorica y Aplicada), 1996-  
    • Member of the Board of Editors, Probus, 1992-  
    • Member of Board of Editors, Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 05/01/2008-2011  
    • Member of the Board of Editors, Language in Society, 1995-2009  
    • Associate Editor, Lingüística, 1990-2004  
    • Member of the Board of Editors, Studies in Language, 1997-2003  

    Professional Memberships
    • International Association for the Study of Child Language, 2007-  
    • Linguistic Association of the South West, 1991-  
    • Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina, 1981-  
    • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, 1979-  
    • Linguistic Society of America, 1979-  
    • British Council Scholars' Association, 1973-  


  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 156
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0358