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Mariia Mykhalonok, M.A.

Mykhalonok_Mariia ©© Heide Fest
Graduate Research Assistant | PhD Candidate

Research areas: Artistic code-switching | The language of song lyrics | Latin popular music | Morphosyntax of the Spanish language

PhD project (working title): Heterogeneity of reggaeton songs: Aspects of their production and reception (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Konstanze Jungbluth)

Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Scientific memberships: The International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM); Societas Linguistica Europaea

BA-Course in Summer term 2022 (Online): Contemporary Latin popular music: Looking at the lyrics from a linguistic perspective

Kulturwissenschaften: Vertiefung // Linguistik: Vertiefung

Cultural and Social Studies: Consolidation // Media – Image, Text and Language

6/9 ECTS

Although popular song lyrics are often denied of any poetic and/or aesthetic value, recent research has demonstrated that one of the most criticized music genres – rap – is in fact a sophisticated art form rooted in Western poetic traditions (e.g. Bradley 2009; Caplan 2014). Since songs are at the same time poetic and musical acts, their lyrics submit simultaneously to the requirements of poetic form and musical texture. As a result, the language of songs is rather peculiar and involves alterations at all linguistic levels. Further important factors, which shape the language of popular lyrics, are conventions of a particular music genre, the individual creativity of songwriters, and a unique delivery of each artist.

During this course, we will examine linguistic features of most popular Spanish-language songs belonging to such ‘genres’ as bachata, Latin pop, reggaeton, salsa, and Latin trap. Latin music has been constantly growing in popularity around the world since the ‘Latin boom’ of the early 2000s, and despite (or because of?) being performed predominantly in Spanish, it appeals to wide audiences. We will explore, among others, the verbal means through which Latin music attracts listeners of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The students will be able to choose the lyrics of which songs they would like to analyse.

Here you can find more information about the course.


Interview with Mariia Mykhalonok "Wie aus einer kleinen Leidenschaft zur spanischen Sprache ein PhD Projekt entstanden ist" in ViaSprachen Newsletter of Viadrina SprachTutoring (in German)

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