Professor of Spanish
237 Gilbert Hall
Office Hours: 
Fall 2017: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00-10:30 and 2:00-2:30 or by appointment

Sarah E. Blackwell (Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh, 1994; M.A. in Spanish, Middlebury College in Madrid, 1983; B.S. in Speech/Language Pathology, Northwestern University, 1980) specializes in semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis and has research interests in cognitive and functional linguistics, discourse reference and anaphora, discourse connectives and markers, and pragmatic variation and discourse coherence in Spanish and English. She is the author of the book Implicatures in Discourse: The Case of Spanish NP Anaphora (John Benjamins, 2003), in which she analyzes Spanish conversations and oral film narratives to seek support for a pragmatic theory of anaphora. Dr. Blackwell's articles on Spanish anaphora have appeared in Hispania (1998) and the Journal of Pragmatics (2000, 2001). More recently, her research has focused on the pragmatic and cognitive motivations influencing native Spanish speakers' and L2 Spanish learners' use and omission of subject pronouns, the influence of cognitive and interactional 'frames' on native Spanish speakers' spoken discourse, and the semantics and (meta) pragmatics of discourse connectives in Spanish. Dr. Blackwell was Special Issues Editor of the Journal of Pragmatics from 2003-2008 and currently serves on the editorial board of the journal.

Recent Peer Reviewed Research Articles:

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2017. "Frames of reference and antecedentless anaphora in Spanish conversation." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, forthcoming.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. and Margaret Lubbers Quesada. 2016. “Semantic and pragmatic causal relations in native speaker and L2 learner discourse: The uses of the connective porque in four narrative tasks.” Pragmatics & Language Learning, 37-64.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2016. “Porque in Spanish oral narratives: Semantic porque, (meta)pragmatic porque or both?” Interdisciplinary Studies in Pragmatics, Culture and Society, Alessandro Capone and Jacob L. Mey (eds.), 615-651. Heidelberg: Springer.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. and Margaret Lubbers Quesada. 2012. “Third-person subjects in native speakers’ and L2 learners’ narratives: Testing (and revising) the Givenness Hierarchy for Spanish.” Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Kimberly Geeslin and Manuel Díaz-Campos (eds.), 142-164. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2010. “Evaluation as a pragmatic act in Spanish film narratives.” Journal of Pragmatics 42, 2945-2963.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2009. “What’s in a pear film narrative? Framing and the power of expectation in Spanish.” Spanish in Context 6.2, 249-299.

  • Quesada, Margaret Lubbers and Sarah E. Blackwell. 2009. “The L2 acquisition of null and overt Spanish subject pronouns: A pragmatic approach.” Selected Proceedings of the 11th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Joseph Collentine, Barbara Lafford, and Maryellen García (eds.), 117-130. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters and Edited Volumes

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2016. “Implicatura y presuposición”. Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica, Javier Gutiérrez Rexach (ed.), 632-649. London/New York: Routledge Publishing.

  • Howe, Chad, Sarah E. Blackwell, and Margaret Lubbers Quesada (eds.). 2013. Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 342 pp.

  • Blackwell, Sarah E. 2012. “Semántica y pragmática: El significado de las palabras vs. el significado del hablante” (Capítulo 1). Modelos y fundamentos de la pragmática y sociolingüística hispánica, Susana de los Heros and Mercedes Niño-Murcia (eds.), 3-28. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.



Undergraduate Courses

  • SPAN (LING) 3050    Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
  • SPAN (LING) 4120    Topics in Spanish Semantics and Pragmatics

Graduate Courses

  • SPAN (LING) 6350     Hispanic Linguistics: Theory and Analysis
  • SPAN (LING) 6850     Spanish Applied Linguistics      
  • SPAN (LING) 6950     Spanish Semantics and Pragmatics
  • SPAN (LING) 8010     Topics in Spanish Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis
  • ROML (LING) 8000    Topics in Discourse Analysis