Baird
Office
Voter Hall 208
Tel
(802) 443-5456
Email
bbaird@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
By appointment

Courses Taught

Course Description

Language and Ethnic Identity
Language is a central feature of human identity. In this seminar we will explore the multiple ways in which language is used in society to express, create, and perform these identities. We will analyze—from a sociolinguistic perspective—how variation in speakers’ linguistic resources (e.g., pronunciation, syntax, word choice, language choice) can serve as tools to shape, stereotype, or subvert national, regional, and other types of ethnic identities. We will draw examples from linguistic research, literature, film, television, political discourse, popular songs, the internet, and other media in the United States as well as in other societies. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

The Sounds of Language: Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology
In this course we will study the description and analysis of speech: how the sounds of language are physiologically produced, acoustically represented, and psychologically perceived and categorized. Through acoustic and phonological analysis, students will develop the skills to distinguish and produce the sounds of the world’s languages, as well as explore the sound systems of different languages, in order to determine which patterns differ and which patterns are common to all. Students will hone their analytical and technical skills by solving phonological problem sets as well as by using computer software (Praat) to analyze the acoustics of speech. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

SCI

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Course Description

Spanish in the US
Aside from Mexico, there are more Spanish speakers in the US than in any other country. In this seminar we will explore various facets of Spanish-speaking populations in the US, including, but not limited to, linguistic aspects (e.g. Spanglish, Mock Spanish, Latinx English), and the use and reception of Spanish in public spaces (e.g. literature, television, music). Fundamentally, we will consider the diversity of Spanish speakers in the US and myths about them and the language(s) they speak. In addition to conducting original research, students will engage in community outreach in order to help dispel polemic stereotypes. (Two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AMR, LNG, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Independent Work
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

Beginning Spanish II
This course is a continuation of SPAN 0101. Intensive reading, writing, and oral activities will advance students’ proficiency in Spanish in an academic setting. (SPAN 0101 or placement exam) 6 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

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Course Description

Intermediate Spanish II
A course for students seeking to perfect their academic writing skills in Spanish. The course is also an introduction to literary analysis and critical writing and will include reading and oral discussion of literary texts. The course will also include a thorough review of grammar at a fairly advanced level. This course may be used to fulfill the foreign languages distribution requirement. (SPAN 0201, SPAN 0210, or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Spanish for Heritage Speakers
This course is specifically designed for heritage speakers, i.e., individuals who grew up speaking Spanish at home but were formally educated in another language, or individuals from similar contexts. In this course students will learn about different aspects of their own varieties of Spanish, social perceptions towards them, and how these varieties are valid forms of communication. Additionally, students will study grammatical differences between their varieties of Spanish and a more formal, academic Spanish. The grammatical aspects will primarily focus on written Spanish, vocabulary, and verb tenses that tend to vary in different varieties of Spanish. (by placement exam or waiver) 3 hrs. lct.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
This course is an introduction to the theory and methodology of linguistics as applied to the study of Spanish. The course’s goals are to understand the basic characteristics of human language (and of Spanish in particular), and to learn the techniques used to describe and explain linguistic phenomena. We will study the sound system (phonetics/phonology), the structure of words (morphology), the construction of sentences (syntax), as well as the history and sociolinguistic variation of the Spanish language, as spoken in communities in Europe, Latin America, and Northern America. We will examine texts, speech samples, and songs, illustrating these linguistic phenomena. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World
What does it mean to be bilingual? In this course we will study bilingualism with a special emphasis on Spanish-speaking bilinguals in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Course topics will include social, political, linguistic, and psychological aspects of bilingualism. Special attention will be paid to societal bilingualism, language use among a group or community, individual bilingualism, how an individual’s language use changes in different contexts and throughout an individual’s lifespan, and government and educational policies throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will study texts, speech samples, and media that highlight different aspects of bilingualism. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World
What does it mean to be bilingual? In this course we will study bilingualism with a special emphasis on Spanish-speaking bilinguals in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Course topics will include social, political, linguistic, and psychological aspects of bilingualism. Special attention will be paid to societal bilingualism, language use among a group or community, individual bilingualism, how an individual’s language use changes in different contexts and throughout an individual’s lifespan, and government and educational policies throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will study texts, speech samples, and media that highlight different aspects of bilingualism. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) (not open to students who have taken SPAN/LNGT 0377) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Spanish in the US
Aside from Mexico, there are more Spanish speakers in the US than in any other country. In this seminar we will explore various facets of Spanish-speaking populations in the US, including, but not limited to, linguistic aspects (e.g. Spanglish, Mock Spanish, Latinx English), and the use and reception of Spanish in public spaces (e.g. literature, television, music). Fundamentally, we will consider the diversity of Spanish speakers in the US and myths about them and the language(s) they speak. In addition to conducting original research, students will engage in community outreach in order to help dispel polemic stereotypes. (Two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AMR, LNG, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Independent Study
The department will consider requests by qualified juniors and senior majors to engage in independent work. (Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Honors Thesis
The department will award honors, high honors, or highest honors on the basis of a student's work in the department and performance in SPAN 0705. (Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Mayan Language Revitalization
This course is specifically designed for students accompanying Professor Baird to Guatemala in January 2020. Students will spend the first week of the term on campus where they will learn about language revitalization strategies, the social and historic context of contact between Spanish and Mayan languages and cultures, and receive a brief introduction to the Mayan language K’ichee’. Afterwards, students will travel to Guatemala in order to collaborate with locals in a language revitalization campaign. This collaboration will include the planning and production of national radio programs, visits to local schools, and the creation and dissemination of materials. Only students that have met all of the requirements may enroll in this class. Requirements include at least 1 previous course in Spanish (300 and above), and participation in all required meetings during the Fall 2019 semester. Please note: This course had to be pre-enrolled because of the substantial planning and logistics involved. The course is therefore already full. However, students interested in this topic or in pursuing future research in this area should contact Prof. Baird to inquire about opportunities. (Approval only)

Terms Taught

Winter 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LNG, SOC, WTR

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Areas of Interest

Hispanic Linguistics, Mayan Linguistics, Phonetics, Phonology, Bilingualism & Language Contact, Language Revitalization, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics.

Community Engagement

Campaign by Middlebury College Spanish Majors Aims to Challenge Racial Stereotypes

Students Assist with Mayan Language Revitalization Project

Professor Uses Broadcast to Promote Use of Mayan Languages

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., Hispanic Linguistics, The University of Texas at Austin

M.A., Hispanic Linguistics, The University of Texas at Austin

B.A., Spanish, Minor in Linguistics, Brigham Young University

Publications

(*indicates student co-author)

Baird, Brandon O. (2021). Bilingual Language Dominance and Contrastive Focus Marking: Gradient Effects of K’ichee’ Syntax on Spanish Prosody. International Journal of Bilingualism, 25(3): 500-515.

Baird, Brandon O. (2019). Ciudadano maya 100%: Uso y actitudes de la lengua entre los bilingües k’iche’-español. Hispania, 102(3): 319-334.

Baird, Brandon O. (2018). Syntactic and Prosodic Contrastive Focus Marking in K’ichee’. International Journal of American Linguistics, 84(3): 295-325.

Baird, Brandon O., Marcos Rohena-Madrazo, & *Caroline Cating. (2018). Perceptions of Lexically Specific Phonology Switches on Spanish-origin Loan Words in American English. American Speech, 93(1): 79-107.

England, Nora C. & Brandon O. Baird. (2017). Phonology and Phonetics. In Aissen, Judith, Nora C. England, & Roberto Zavala, (eds.). The Mayan Languages, (pp. 175-200). New York: Routledge.