LI Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest

September 22-24, 2022
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-4434

For questions about local arrangements, please contact Dr. Medina-Rivera at or 216-832-6941.

Thursday Keynote Address

From changing perspectives on ‘good language learners’ to challenging perspectives on ‘good bilingual patients’
Maricel Santos
San Francisco State University

Maricel Santos Among language experts, who among us isn’t passionate about the question, “what makes a good language learner”? Indeed, we are driven to question overly simplistic, monolingually-biased views of competence. After several decades of research and theory-building, we more confidently assert: language learners don’t come to be viewed as ‘good’ or bad’ because of anything inherent in their skills or actions, but rather as a consequence of their interactions with other language users.

In healthcare, the discourse around ‘good patients’ and other ideals such as ‘patient compliance’ and ‘patient cooperation’ remain largely under-examined and under-theorized , particularly in comparison to the literature on “good language learners” in language acquisition. In this plenary, I highlight key points of overlap and divergence in debates about “good language learners” and “good patients”. I also cite several examples in healthcare – in clinical care, risk messaging campaigns, and health education - where untested assumptions about “the good bilingual patient” contribute to linguistic inequities and unjust health outcomes.

Let’s channel the knowledge and perspective we have gained from interrogating our own discourse about the ‘Good Language Learner’, and find ways to disrupt harmful representations of “good patients” in linguistically minoritized communities. I end with a list of action steps for language professionals – including sociolinguists, language teachers, or bilingual education activists -- who want to help steer a “bilingual turn” in patient representation in U.S. healthcare.

Friday Keynote Address

Native Speakers, Interrupted,
Differential Object Marking and Language Change in Heritage Languages

Silvina Montrul
University Illinois at Urbana, Champaign

Silvina Montrul The potential role of bilingual speakers in the process of historical language change has been widely entertained in linguistics. This talk is about how immigrants change their language, and whether there is continuous or broken transmission across generations. With novel empirical data from three immigrant languages in the United States, I show how heritage speakers (second-generation immigrants) drive morphosyntactic changes, when certain environmental characteristics are met. I present the final analysis of a major experimental research project investigating variability in the expression of Differential Object Marking (DOM) in Hindi-, Spanish- and Romanian-speaking immigrants in the United States across generations as well as cross-generational data from native speakers in the homeland. I consider the relationship between social and cognitive factors and timing in language acquisition, bilingualism, and language change. I argue that the changes observed in the grammars of heritage speakers, such as omission of DOM in required contexts, are unlikely directly transmitted by first-generation immigrants. Rather, heritage speakers may reinforce, and even drive, incipient attrition in the parental generation.

Saturday Presidential Address

Northwestern Amazonian Spanish as a macro-region: The role of the (socio-)linguist
Margarita Jara
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Margarita Jara The Amazon rainforest, home to many and diverse indigenous language populations, expands over a vast territory in South America, the most extensive river system in the world. In the western area, Spanish coexists with many indigenous languages since colonial times. As a result of the long-term language contact, new varieties of Amazonian Spanish emerged. Studies on these varieties are still scarce, although they have increased in the last decade. Recent research shows that Spanish linguistic features are shared across political borders and point to a macro-region. In this plenary session, I will discuss the socio-historical and linguistic contexts of the expansion of the Northwestern Amazonian Spanish in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, emphasizing the contextual relationship between the Andes and Western Amazon.

Considering that the verbal system of the American Spanish macro-dialectal zones varies significantly, I focus on Spanish past verb forms from Northwestern Peruvian Amazonian Spanish corpora. The analyses of these verbal forms, widely studied in Spanish linguistics, will be discussed in the context of reflections on language variation and language ideologies toward Amazonian Spanish varieties formed under intense and prolonged contact with indigenous languages. The presentation will highlight the roles (and responsibilities) that (socio)linguists have in linguistic documentation, in increasing the visibility of Amazonian languages and their linguistic varieties, as well as areas in need of future research.

Conference Registration

Registration and Payment information can be found on the Cleveland State University's ShopNet site.
Registration Fees:

  • Faculty: $120.00
  • Graduate Students and guests: $60.00

Hotel Accommodations

Hotel accommodations can be made at the following hotels:

Indigo Hotel
651 Huron Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Hilton Garden Inn
1100 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Kimpton: Schofield Hotel
2000 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Discover Cleveland

Visit Discover Cleveland which includes places to eat.

Airport & Transportation

CSU is located in downtown Cleveland and can be easily accessed from several major highways. Download driving directions to CSU and a campus map .

If you're flying, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is only 20 minutes from downtown. From the airport, you can take a taxi to your destination or hop on the Red Line train to Tower City in Public Square (0.8 miles from the University). From Public Square, ride the Health Line Bus to CSU ($2.50 one way) or take a 17-minute stroll up Euclid Avenue.

For more information

For more information about the LASSO, please contact Rachel Showstack.

For a full schedule, click here.

Browse the contents of LASSO Annual Meeting 2022:

Keynote Presentations
All 2022 Events