Professor, Hispanic Linguistics | Director, Center for Latin American Studies
274 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Rd.,
Areas of Expertise
- Variation Analysis
- (1998) Ph.D., Linguistics, Stanford University.
- (1993) M.A., Linguistics, University of New Mexico.
- (1990) B.A., Spanish and Sociology, Saginaw Valley State University, MI.
Dr. Scott Schwenter, Professor of Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, was appointed Director of the Center for Latin American Studies in September 2020.
With over 20 years of experience in academia, Dr. Schwenter provides the overall vision and leadership of CLAS programing and outreach efforts, develops linkages with partner institutions, oversees Center grant activity, and creates positive synergy among the various Latin American Studies scholars, students, other units on campus, and in the community. He has a wide range of administrative experience in his home department, significant involvement and familiarity with Latin America, and extensive prior participation with a number of CLAS projects.
Schwenter is a variationist sociolinguist and pragmaticist, working on grammatical issues in both Spanish and Portuguese, including comparative aspects of the two languages. His work is corpus-based, and features multivariate statistical analysis of broad-scale patterns across different varieties of Spanish and Portuguese. He is primarily interested in the contextual conditioning of linguistic variables, and why speakers choose to express things in a given way when they are faced with multiple options for conveying the same content. His most recent work has focused on the pronominal systems of both Spanish and Portuguese and also on negation in Romance languages more generally. He is currently writing a comparative grammar of Spanish and Portuguese, to be published by Routledge.