I am Judy Hochberg, a linguist and Spanish language instructor at Fordham University in New York City. I started this blog in order to share my knowledge of the linguistic and cultural underpinnings of the most interesting aspects of the Spanish language. “Most interesting” is a truly subjective term. For me, it encompasses aspects of Spanish that are either unusual or surprisingly normal.
My credentials include a BA from Harvard (in linguistics and Romance languages), an MA and PhD from Stanford (in linguistics), and numerous publications in referred journals include Language, Journal of Child Language. and Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Who is this blog for?
- Spanish students. This blog won’t teach you Spanish, but it will help you understand the “why” behind the seemingly arbitrary features of the language that you are attempting to master.
- Spanish teachers. This blog will help you answer the interesting questions that your students will ask (if you are lucky). It will also refresh and deepen the knowledge of Spanish linguistics and the history of Spanish that you probably acquired during your teacher training. Finally, it may suggest lesson topics that will encourage your students to think intellectually about Spanish instead of “just” learning it.
- Native speakers. This blog will provide a fresh perspective on your language, explaining aspects of Spanish that may have always puzzled you (like accent marks) or never occurred to you (like the lack of apostrophes). It will also help you to see your language in a broader context by comparing it to other languages, both related (French, German, Sanskrit) and not (Chinese, Hebrew).
- Linguists and language aficionados. lf you’re just plain crazy about languages, or professionally involved with them, join the club. I hope that my blog will offer you some new insight into familiar topics. And I look forward to your own comments!
Finally, a personal note: I tell my students that El español no está en mi sangre, pero sí está en mi corazón (“Spanish isn’t in my blood, but it’s in my heart.”) Perhaps this is because my father used to practice his high school Spanish with me and my sisters — mostly commands like ¡Acostaos! (“Go to bed!”). Whatever the reason, when I started Spanish classes in 7th grade I knew that I had found my metier, an identification that my later study of other languages and linguistics only intensified. I hope that this enthusiasm comes through in the blog and that we can enjoy Spanish together.