Sara Zahler

Sara Zahler

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Contact

Humanities 222
Education

PhD Indiana University

Sara Zahler
About

 

Teaching

Morphology and Syntax, Spanish and Latin American Dialectology, History of the Spanish Language, Second Language Acquisition, Foreign Language Teaching Methods, Individual Differences, Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Research

Language Variation and Change, Second Language Acquisition, Individual Differences
My research focuses on language variation and change in first and second languages. Languages cannot be boiled down to a discrete set of rules, as often is found in grammar manuals and language textbooks. Rather, languages are characterized by variation that is not random, but rather probabilistic in nature; the way we use language can vary according to linguistic factors, the social context, and even cognitive constraints. My research falls squarely within this field of linguistics: I seek to explain the sources of language variation and change in Spanish as a first and second language, using experimental, sociolinguistic and corpus-based methodologies. Thus far, my research has focused on three principal areas: (a) language variation and change in first languages; (b) the second language acquisition of sociolinguistic variation; and (c) the causes of inter-individual variation in second language acquisition, with a specific focus on working memory and phonological short-term memory.

Recent research projects of mine have examined:

  • The historical change of morphosyntactic forms in French and Spanish
  • The role of frequency and priming in morphosyntactic variation across varieties of Spanish
  • The role of working memory in subject expression variation in first and second language Spanish
  • Variation in Spanish trill pronunciation in first and second language Spanish
  • The role of working memory and phonological short-term memory on a number of morphosyntactic and phonological phenomena in second language Spanish. 

For more information:  www.szahler.com