Author Q&A: Domnita Dumitrescu and Patricia Lorena Andueza

We caught up with Domnita Dumitrescu and Patricia Lorena Andueza to discuss their new edited book, L2 Spanish Pragmatics. Read on for our exclusive interview to find out what inspired Domnita and Patricia to write the book! 

Domnita Dumitrescu is Professor of Spanish Linguistics (Emerita) at California State University, Los Angeles (USA), where she taught courses in Spanish linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for 30 years. She previously taught Spanish language and literature at the University of Bucharest, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Argentina, and a visiting lecturer at UC Irvine and USC. She was invited to give conferences at several European and Latin American universities, including the University of Alicante, the University of Costa Rica, and the University of Stockholm. She is a member of several editorial boards, and a full member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language. For the past 8 years, she has been the book/media review editor of Hispania, the flagship journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. 

Patricia Lorena Andueza is Associate Professor at the University of Evansville (USA). She teaches Spanish and Hispanic Linguistics courses in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures, as well courses in language acquisition and methodology in the Department of Education. Her areas of expertise are Spanish pragmatics and second language acquisition.

What do you want your audience to take away from the book?

In spite of the existing studies on the performance of speech acts in Spanish, or on how learners of Spanish comprehend such speech acts ,the insights derived from this theoretical and/or empirical work have not yet been applied to the classroom. We believe that presenting empirically validated studies on pragmatics in Spanish can be very useful for the teaching of this important component of speakers’ overall linguistic competence. We intend to highlight not only the social and cultural aspects of learning Spanish L2 pragmatics but also the discursive structure of colloquial conversations in that language. In addition, we address the issue of why learners need to be aware of these aspects by providing specific tasks and activities that can help them move from a traditional curricular approach to a more innovative– and hopefully more interesting– and engaging one.

What inspired you to write this book?

Basically, what inspired us to work on this edited book is the gap we perceived between what research in Spanish pragmatics has found and the way Spanish is still taught today, with very little, if at all, concern for this crucial component of language communication.  

What audience did you have in mind when writing this book?

The goal of this edited volume is to become a reference book on current research on learning and teaching pragmatics in Spanish, and to be of interest to both researchers working on these areas and Spanish instructors in the L2 classroom.

More specifically, we hope to be of interest to:

  • Researchers working on the pragmatics of the Spanish language, using different theoretical frameworks and methodologies (i.e. discourse analysis and conversational analysis, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, cross-cultural and interlanguage Spanish pragmatics, psycholinguistics), as well as researchers working on issues in inter-cultural and intra-cultural pragmatics and communication across Spanish dialects (Pragmatics variation).
  • Professors teaching seminars on Spanish pragmatics, or teaching courses on pragmatics, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, methodology, psycholinguistics, intercultural communication, discourse analysis, etc., who wish to incorporate state-of-the-art research on learning and teaching Spanish pragmatics. 
  • Advanced graduate students working on any of these topics and on Hispanic linguistics in general, and, in general, all scholars interested in the most current research on the process of learning the pragmatics of Spanish (and across languages), and how to teach it in language classes.

Why makes your book stand our from the competition?

We do not want to be presumptuous, but, as we explained before, the mixture of linguistic theory and instructional practice that our books presents, as well as the wide range of topics it touches upon, makes it one of its kind. On the current market. And the readers will certainly appreciate, in addition, the detailed subject index it contains, in English with equivalent Spanish terminology.  

What did you enjoy about editing the book? 

The most enjoyable aspect of editing this book was the scholarly interaction and the human contact that we established with the authors of the chapters, and the other people who helped us complete this project, in particular the series editor, who encouraged us from he beginning and gave us numerous valuable insights, as well as the colleagues who evaluated the manuscript at several stages of its completion, and the editorial staff at Routledge.

The innumerable e-mails messages (sometimes joyous, sometimes anguished, always urgent) we exchanged over a period of almost two years made us feel, in the end, as if we were close family members who just went together through an enriching and enlightening experience: the gestation and birth of our brainchild: this book that we, like every real-life parent, wish for you to appreciate and enjoy!

There is no doubt that this book would have not existed without the valuable contributions of the 12 scholars from Europe, the USA ,and Canada, who wrote its main chapters. They deserve our gratitude, so we would like to mention them by name and give them a round of applause. They are (in the alphabetical order of their last names): M. Belén Alvarado Ortega (University of Alicante, Spain); María Bernal (Stockholm University, Sweden); Laura Callahan (The City College/Graduate Center-CUNY, and Santa Clara University ,USA);Ana M. Cestero Mancera (University of Alcalá, Spain); Victoria Escandell-Vidal (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain); Catalina Fuentes Rodríguez (University of Sevilla, Spain); Susana de los Heros (University of Rhode Island ,USA); Montserrat Mir (Illinois State University, USA); Carlos de Pablos-Ortega (University of East Anglia, United Kingdom); Lynn Pearson (Bowling Green State University, USA); Victoria Russell (Valdosta State University, USA); Cecilia Sessarego (Mount Royal University, Canada).

What is your academic background? 

Domnita Dumitrescu:

My primary academic background is in Spanish language and literature, with emphasis on Spanish linguistics. My first interests, while teaching at the University of Bucharest, were the contrastive analysis between Spanish and other Romance languages (in particular in the field of syntax), translation, and stylistic analysis of literary texts.But later on, when I started anew my teaching career in the USA and earned my PhD from USC, my interests changed, and my love for pragmatics (especially intercultural pragmatics) blossomed in the past two decades, in parallel with my interest in sociolinguistics and language contact, particularly the contact phenomena between Spanish and English in the USA.These new interests of mine are reflected in my recent publications, in particular Aspects of Spanish Pragmatics (Peter Lang, New York, 2011) and El español en los Estados Unidos: E Pluribus Unum? Enfoques multidisciplinarios (co-edition with Gerardo Piña-Rosales, ANLE, New York, 2013). I also actively participated in the international colloquia and the publications of the EDICE Program (Estudios sobre el Discurso de la Cortesía en Español), and recently co-edited with its director, Diana Bravo, from Stockholm University, a book on Sociopragmatic(Roles situacionales, interculturalidad y multiculturalidad en encuentros en español, Buenos Aires, Dunken, 2016). Currently, I am working on the forthcoming new edition of the Diccionario de la Lengua Española (DLE) (and the updating of its current online version), as a member of the Inter-academic Commission of the RAE (Royal Spanish Academy)-ASALE (Association of Academies of the Spanish Language) for the 24th edition of DLE.

Patricia Lorena Andueza:
My academic background is in Spanish pragmatics, as well as second language acquisition and applied linguistics. I have a BA in Hispanic Philology, and a diploma in Editing and Publishing Texts from University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain); a master in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the university Antonio de Nebrija (Madrid, Spain); and a master and a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from Ohio State University. In my doctoral program, my primary specialization was Pragmatics/ Semantics but I also have a master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language and I wrote a thesis on the methodology of teaching discourse markers. Furthermore, over the last decade-plus, which includes graduate school and my career as a professor to this point, I have been carrying out research on Spanish pragmatics linked to some of the themes contained within this volume (such as, irony, humor, discourse markers, conversational analysis, etc.). My work has been published in journals and books within US and abroad. I have also presented my work on these topics at national and international conferences. In addition, I have plenty of experience serving as a reviewer of conference abstracts, manuscripts for selected conference proceedings, and manuscripts submitted to high-quality books.

About the Book

L2 Spanish Pragmatics

L2 Spanish Pragmatics

Edited By Domnita Dumitrescu and Patricia Lorena Andueza

L2 Spanish Pragmatics is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art overview of current research into pragmatics and Spanish language teaching. It presents the research on the teaching of pragmatics and Spanish language as a multifaceted discipline. Written by an international cohort of scholars, the breadth of topics includes innovative topics in the teaching of Spanish, such as genre analysis, discourse markers, politeness and impoliteness, nonverbal communication, irony, and humor, as well as web-based pragmatics resources.

Format – 2018-03-13