Prof. Dr. Francisco Moreno-Fernández
Alexander von Humboldt Professor
Professor of Ibero-American Linguistic, Cultural, and Social Studies
Francisco Moreno-Fernández is a Spanish dialectologist and sociolinguist. He has studied Linguistics, Sociology, and Political Science and holds a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics. He has been Professor of Spanish Language at the University of Alcalá (Spain) since 1996 and he has been Professor of Ibero-American Linguistic, Cultural, and Social Studies at Heidelberg University since September 2019. Francisco Moreno-Fernández holds an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, which was awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and endowed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Prior to his appointment at Heidelberg University, Francisco Moreno-Fernández directed the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University, where he masterminded the Observatory of Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States. During his university career, he has conducted his research as a visiting fellow at various universities, including the Universities of London, New York (Albany), Québec, and Tokyo. He has also been visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg, Universidade de São Paulo, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, among others. Between the years 2008 and 2013, Francisco Moreno-Fernández lead the Instituto Cervantes worldwide as Academic Director. He is a full member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, and is a corresponding member of the Cuban, Chilean, Mexican and Spanish Academies of the Spanish Language.
Francisco Moreno-Fernández’s research interests lie at the intersection between language and society. During his academic career, he has initiated and developed multiple international research projects with interdisciplinary perspectives. At Heidelberg University, he is currently directing the development of a transversal research program in Ibero-American Studies under the guiding theme of “Spaces and Dynamics”. Aside from this, his ongoing projects focus primarily on the analysis of socio- and geolinguistic phenomena of the Spanish language in Europe and the Americas:
- Public discourse on the pandemic in Latin America. Awareness, understanding, and social attitudes – A case study on Argentina: The goal of this cooperative project is to analyze the socio-communicative dynamics of discourse on the COVID-19 pandemic in educational contexts in Argentina. In order to understand the discursive construction of social representations, both, the discourses on education produced by the media as well as the discourses of the educational institutions themselves and their political representatives are being studies.
- El español en Europa analyzes the demographics of the Spanish-speaking community in Europe, taking into consideration the native speakers, the speakers with non-native competence in Spanish, and those learning the language. The project focuses on the social, cultural, and educational spaces that Spanish speakers inhabit and create across Europe.
- International network PRESEEA: Proyecto para el Estudio Sociolingüístico del Español de España y de América. International research project on the sociolinguistics of the Spanish language in Spain and Ibero-America, aiming at creating a corpus of spoken Spanish with particular consideration given to geographic and social aspects. The overarching aim of the international network is to link research in this field and to promote the exchange of knowledge.
- Research project CORPEEU: Corpus del español en los Estados Unidos. This project aims at building a corpus of the spoken and written Spanish language that has been documented in the US since 1960. This linguistics corpus will allow for studies to be carried out in different fields of research on the basis of linguistic data. These samples are classified according to the geographical and social origin of the speakers, the date the samples were produced, as well as based on the styles, genres, and contexts of the Spanish speaking community in the US.
- INMIGRA. Integration of Migrants in Spain. The main goal of the project is to analyze and facilitate the integration of the immigrant population in Spanish society. The project is funded by the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the European Union. Moreno-Fernández was founder and principal researcher of the project and currently acts as an academic advisor and researcher.
- VARILEX-R. Lexical Variation of worldwide Spanish. This project, created by Hiroto Ueda (Tokyo University), has an enormous amount of linguistic information at its disposal, which has been collected in 61 Spanish-speaking cities on several continents. The linguistic data were collected through questionnaires that included questions regarding 981 lexical, phraseological, and syntactic aspects of contemporary Spanish that is spoken daily in urban environments. Varilex-R, developed by Ueda and Moreno-Fernández, is a database in which linguistic data is classified by country of origin.
Editor of journals
- Spanish in Context (editor-in-chief, John Benjamins)
- Journal of Linguistic Geography (co-editor, Cambridge University Press)
- Lengua y migración / Language & Migration (founder and editor-in-chief, Universidad de Alcalá)
Member of editorial or academic boards
- International Journal of the Sociology of Language (de Gruyter)
- Journal of World Languages (Taylor and Francis Online)
- Boletín de Filología de la Universidad de Chile (Universidad de Chile, Departamento de Lingüística)
- Lingüística Española Actual (Arco/Libros)
- Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana (Iberoamericana/Vervuert)
- Oralia (Arco/Libros)
- Archiletras (Prensa y servicios de lengua)
Selection of publications on topics related to Spanish sociolinguistics
- El español en Europa. Demolingüística del español en Alemania, with Óscar Loureda, H. Álvarez Mella, and D. Scheffler (Madrid, Instituto Cervantes: 2021).
- Alemania y sus hablantes de español, with Ó. Loureda, Á. Mella, and D. Scheffler, in El español en el mundo. Anuario del Instituto Cervantes 2020 (Madrid: Instituto Cervantes/Bala perdida, 2020, 321-354).
- Variedades de la lengua española (Routledge, 2020).
- La lengua española en su geografía, 4th ed., (Madrid: Arco/Libros, 2019).
- A Framework for Cognitive Sociolinguistics (London/New York: Routledge, 2017, translation of the revised and updated Spanish original publication Sociolingüística cognitiva, Madrid/Frankfurt a.M.: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2012).
- Atlas de la lengua española en el mundo, with J. Otero, 3rd ed., (Barcelona: Ariel/Fundación Telefónica, 2016).
- La maravillosa historia de la lengua española (Madrid: Espasa, 2015).
- “Spanish and migration”, in Lacorte, M. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Hispanic Applied Linguistics, (London/New York: Routledge, 2014, 624-638).
- Las lenguas de España a debate, co-authored with F. Ramallo (Madrid: Uno y Cero Ediciones, 2013).
- “Panorama de la sociolingüística hispánica” (Español Actual, 98/2012).
- Las variedades del español y su enseñanza (Madrid: Arco/Libros, 2010).
- Principios de sociolingüística y sociología del lenguaje (4th revised and updated ed., Barcelona: Ariel, 2009).
- Spanish in Spain: The Sociolinguistics of Bilingual Areas (International Journal of Sociology of Language, vol. 184, 2007).
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PHOTO CREDITS Prof Moreno-Fernández: © Humboldt-Stiftung/Elbmotion