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Sandro Sessarego

PdD (Linguistics), University of Texas at Austin

Room 322

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 22886
Email sandro.sessarego (AT) helsinki.fi

 

 

 

Research interests

  • Contact linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics and syntax

Current research

Afro-Veracruz Spanish

The linguistic study of the Afro-Hispanic Languages of the Americas (AHLAs) and the historical analysis of their evolution form the main themes of my research program.

First, the AHLAs have much to offer to linguistic theory, since they are rich in structures that would be considered ungrammatical in standard Spanish and that, for this reason, may be used as a powerful testing ground for formal linguistic hypotheses, which have traditionally been built on standardized language data.

Second, the AHLAs are also intriguing from a historical perspective, since the majority of them do not show the radical grammatical restructuring commonly found in creole languages, even though they are spoken in regions of Spanish America where the demographic conditions for creoles to emerge appear to have been in place in colonial times. In contrast, we do find creoles in similar former co lonies, which were ruled by the British, the French or the Dutch. To understand how certain AHLA structures came into place, we must understand the sociohistorical contexts in which these languages formed.

This project focuses on one of such AHLAs: Afro-Veracruz Spanish (AVS), an Afro-Hispanic dialect spoken in rural villages in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. This study will lead to the production of Sessarego’s  new book, "Afro-Veracruz Spanish: African Diaspora and Creole Genesis".