Talking Funny: Language Variation in Spanish and English Literary Texts
General Catalog Course Title:
Freshman Seminars
Terms Offered:
Spring 2016
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
Fall 2014
Spring 2014
Course Thread: 
Cultural Forms in Transit
Course Thread: 
Visible Language
Azvedo, Milton

 For centuries fiction authors have used literary dialects containing nonstandard spelling and regional syntax and vocabulary to represent colloquial and regional speech, foreigners’ talk, and mixed languages. Our goal in this seminar is to read passages from some of their works, analyze the ways in which nonstandard speech is represented in writing, and use that analysis as a point of departure for commenting on social and cultural implications of language variation. Spanish and English literary works to be read will include Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Guillermo Cabrera Infante's Tres Tristes Tigres. The seminar is taught in English with readings in both English and Spanish. Regular class attendance is a strict requirement, and grades will be based on required participation in class discussions and a final oral presentation on an individual project. The reader will be available at the Copy Central on 2560 Bancroft Avenue. Although the seminar is conducted in English, students must be comfortable with Spanish–they need to understand spoken Spanish and be able to read Spanish with some fluency–about the equivalent of four years of high school Spanish minimum. 

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.