Iberoromanische Sprachwissenschaft

Dialect contacts in contexts of migration. The case of the Equatoguinean immigrants in Madrid, Spain

Sandra Schlumpf-Thurnherr

Sociolinguistic study about the immigrants from Equatorial Guinea in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain. Primary research methodology: semi-directed interviews composed of life story interviews; linguistic questionnaires.

Summary: Despite the fact that Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking country in the Sub-Saharan Africa — and constitutes, therefore, a singular case in the Spanish-speaking world —, it has very little visibility in studies about the Spanish language. In a similar way, the Equatoguinean immigrants have never been subject of any research on language and migration. This project aims to study the sociolinguistic situation of the Equatoguineans in Madrid, especially the importance of languages and language / variety contacts during the integration process, as well as the immigrants’ attitudes towards the involved languages and dialects.



Sandra Schlumpf-Thurnherr, Beatrice Schmid, Ángel Berenguer-Amador

Since 1999, the language of the Eastern Sephardim (Judenspanisch, Ladino, Judesmo, Spaniolisch) constitutes an important research topic of the linguistic section of the Seminar für Iberoromanistik at the University of Basel. 

Our interest is focused primarily on the investigation and documentation of the modern Judeo-Spanish language in order to investigate how it had been applied orally and in written form by the descendants of the Jews expelled in 1492 from the Iberian Peninsula. We are essentially studying the language of the Sephardic communities in the former Ottoman Empire during the second half of the 19th century and first decades of the 20th century.

Link to the Ladino-research group


"Yanito" among the young population of Gibraltar: Bilingualism, Identity and Language attitudes

Marta Rodríguez García

Gibraltar is a British territory located at the southern edge of the Iberian Peninsula in which a unique cultural and linguistic situation has evolved. Previous studies have shown interest in generational analysis, focusing special attention on linguistic changes and evolution. Those analyses register an almost-exclusive use of Spanish among the oldest generation and a drastic switch to English (official language) among the youngest generation. The use of English, not only in official and formal situations, but also in a familiar context, seems to be accompanied by the loss of Spanish among the young (Kellerman 2001; Moyer 1992; Weston 2013). However, no much research has been done on either a comprehensive analysis of bilingualism and its connection to language attitudes and identity, or on the language of younger generations.

This project focuses on getting an understanding of the linguistic situation among the young population in Gibraltar. The aim is to determine if bilingualism and the vernacular language of the community: yanito/llanito continue to be part of the linguistic and cultural identity of the new generations aged between 18 and 35. For this purpose, the project conducts an analysis of two different objects using an online methodology: first, focus groups and daily conversations in search of speech patterns and pragmatic elements; secondly, attitude questionnaires to show linguistic attitudes and perceptions of this sector of the population which represents the future of the linguistic community of Gibraltar.




Instrucción explícita de la gramática del español como lengua extranjera

Ángel Berenguer-Amador

Este proyecto pertenece al campo de la enseñanza explícita de la gramática —especialmente la sintaxis— del español como lengua extranjera. Parte del modelo de procesamiento del input (VanPatten 2015) y sigue el principio metodológico de atención a la forma (Long 2015: 316-321), que presta atención especial a las conexiones entre lengua y significado. Dentro de esta línea y aplicada a la enseñanza del español, se halla la gramática operativa de Ruiz Campillo (1998, 2006).

En esta primera fase del proyecto, la investigación se centra en la enseñanza de las construcciones concesivas, especialmente en los usos de los modos y de los tiempos verbales.


Referencias bibliográficas:

Long, Mike (2015): Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Ruiz Campillo, José Plácido (1998): La enseñanza significativa del sistema verbal: un modelo operativo. Tesis doctoral. Universidad de Granada. http://www.educacionyfp.gob.es/dam/jcr:a3e64396-a56e-47ca-8fd5-1b2bb29d1e4f/2004-bv-01-02ruiz-campillo-pdf.pdf

Ruiz Campillo, José Plácido (2006): «El concepto de no-declaración como valor del subjuntivo. Protocolo de instrucción operativa de la selección modal en español», en: Pastor Villalba, Carmen (ed.): Actas del programa de formación para profesorado de ELE 2005–2006.Múnich: Instituto Cervantes de Múnich. https://cvc.cervantes.es/ensenanza/biblioteca_ele/publicaciones_centros/PDF/munich_2005-2006/04_ruiz.pdf.

VanPatten, Bill (2015): «Input Processing Instruction in Adult SLA», en: VanPatten, Bill y Williams, Jessica (eds.): Theories in Second Language Acquisition. An Introduction. New York / London: Routledge, 113-134.


Short introduction to the current research projects in the field of Spanish Sociolinguistics at the University of Basel (presented at the 11th Days of Swiss Linguistics, University of Fribourg, 6th November 2020), S. Schlumpf-Thurnherr & M. Rodríguez García

Iberoromanische Literaturwissenschaften

Harm den Boer

Reading the Qu'ran among Conversos. A Study on a 17th century Spanish full translation of the Qur'an and other texts, manuscript EH 48 D 20 of Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos. Together with Pier Mattia Tommasino. 2014-2018


Harm den Boer and Pier Mattia Tommasino, "Reading the Qur'an in the 17th Century Sephardi Community of Amsterdam. Leer el Corán en la comunidad sefardí de Amsterdam en el siglo XVII", Al-Quantara, 35/2, 2014, 461-491.

Edition and study:

Reading the Qur'an among Conversos.

Libro del Alcorán, ms. EH 48 D 20 Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos. Ed. Harm den Boer, Pier Mattia Tommasino, et.al. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2018 (Heterodoxia Iberica).


Harm den Boer, Fernando Pancorbo Murillo

Western Sephardi Oratory: between Iberian baroque rhetoric and Jewish Homiletics (17th and 18th centuries). 2012-2020.


Harm den Boer. "Perfil literario de Samuel Mendes de Sola". In A Sefardic pepper-pot in the Caribbean: History, Language, Literature, and Art, ed. Michael Studemund-Halévy. Barcelona: Tirocinio: 327–61. Colección Fuente clara. Estudios de cultura sefardí 36.


Jorge Ledo, Harm den Boer

Heterodoxia Iberica

Study and edition of unpublished works written in Iberia 1400-1800 that were either forbidden or listed on the Index of the Spanish and/or Portuguese Inquisitions; that were written by or on behalf of religious minorities: Jews, exiled Conversos, Moriscos, Protestants; that contain anti-imperial political thought.

Series directed by Jorge Ledo and Harm den Boer with the same title at Brill Publishing House.



Iberian Heterodoxies / Iberian Heterodoxes (1400-1700). Organized by Jorge Ledo, Harm den Boer and Fernando Pancorbo. Universität Basel, Seminar für Iberoromanistik, 8 and 9 September 2016.



Erasmus, Desiderius. 2014. Moria de erasmo roterodamo: a Critical Edition of the Early Modern Spanish Translation of Erasmus’s Encomium Moriae. Introduction by Jorge Ledo and Harm den Boer. Notes by Jorge Ledo. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Heterodoxia iberica, volume 1.


Harm den Boer (Universität Basel), Carsten Wilke (CEU, Budapest)  (Initiators)

Sephardi Manuscript Culture and Religious Polemics


A Study on the Rhetoric and Dialectics of Early Modern Iberian Jewish Religious Polemics and their Manuscript Diffusion

Conference/Workshop programmed 12 January 2018, Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky, Project "Manuscript Cultures" (Dr. Irina Wandrey) and Institut für die Geschichte des deutschen Judentums.