Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2020

Francisco Moreno-Fernández

At the University of Heidelberg, Francisco Moreno-Fernández is set to head the new interdisciplinary Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies.

  • Nominating University: Heidelberg University


In Castilian Spanish a swimming pool is a “piscina”, in Mexican Spanish an “alberca.” The Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires was shaped by the massive influx of Italian immigrants, and the varieties of Spanish heard in New York nowadays clearly reveal the influence of English. Languages vary, intermix and are the product of dynamic contacts in diverse regions. The linguist Francisco Moreno-Fernández is a world-leading expert in investigating the relationships between language and society. One aspect of his research deals with the influence of the cultural region, political and demographic developments as well as the subjective perception of identity and prestige on language. Moreno-Fernández, who is seen as one of the most influential social-linguists in research into Spanish-speaking communities in Latin America and the United States, focusses in particular on migration movements and their role in the complex formation and development of linguistic, social and cultural regions.

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Francisco Moreno-Fernández at Heidelberg University, Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies HCIAS

Brief bio

Prof. Dr. Francisco Moreno-Fernández was born in Spain. He is a professor of Hispanic Linguistics and since 2013, he has been the Executive Director of the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard, Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States. He took his doctorate in 1984 at the University of Alcalá, Spain, to which he returned as an assistant professor after a postdoctoral Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Albany, United States. Moreno-Fernández was made a full professor in 1996. Visiting professorships have taken him to Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Chile and the United States. From 1998 and 2005 consecutively, Moreno-Fernández was Director of the Instituto Cervantes in both São Paulo and Chicago. He is a corresponding member of several academies, including the Real Academia Española. In September 2019 he took up his position as a Humboldt Professor at the University of Heidelberg.

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