Watching Spanish grow. FAS-based observatory to be a center for language study. By Peter Reuell.

It is estimated that by 2050 the United States will be home to more 130 million Hispanics, making it the largest Spanish-speaking nation on the planet.

But as the language continues to expand, questions will arise. How has Spanish been altered by its interaction with the American linguistic melting pot? How will it sound in a decade? Five decades?

Those subjects — and others — will be among the central issues addressed by the newly created Instituto Cervantes Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University.

Established though a memorandum of understanding signed recently by Harvard President Drew Faust, Dean of Arts and Humanities Diana Sorensen, and Instituto Cervantes Director Víctor García de la Concha, the observatory is intended as an international hub for the study of how the Spanish language has progressed in the United States.

“This agreement will place Harvard and the Instituto Cervantes at the forefront of Spanish language scholarship,” Faust said. “The observatory it creates will serve as a magnet for exceptional scholars from all over the world interested in studying how language evolves over time, as well as through expansion into new areas and interaction with other cultures. I look forward to the insights and understanding that will emerge from this collaboration.”

Read the article: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/06/watching-spanish-grow/

 

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