Maria Isabel Kalbermatten


Associate Professor in Spanish and LALACS, and Chair in Modern Languages, Literature, and Cultures

My interest in Linguistics dates back to my years in high school, where I enjoyed Spanish classes and I was deeply attracted to the Spanish grammar and the syntactic analysis of complex sentences. That particular interest caused me to pursue a degree in Spanish.

During my years in school, I realized that although teaching was a vocation for me, linguistic research was also a strong calling. Thus, after I received my degree as a Professor of Spanish, Literature and Latin at the National Teacher Training Institute of Parana, Entre Rios, I applied to study for a Licenciate Degree in Letters at the Catholic University of Santa Fe, Argentina. As a graduate student in Argentina, I participated in the ALFAL International Congress in Santiago de Chile (2000) where I met Professor Francisco Ocampo, who told me about the Linguistics Program at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota. So, after I received my Licenciate Degree in Letters, I decided to apply to study in Minnesota. I received my PhD in June of 2006 after defending my dissertation: "Verbal Irony as a Prototype Category in Spanish: A Discoursive Analysis."

I have extensive experience in language teaching. In addition to having worked as a Spanish Teacher at different high schools in Santa Fe for fifteen years, I have been Teaching Assistant and Associate Professor of Linguistics at the College of Letters at the Catholic University of Santa Fe for eleven years. I have also been Professor of Language and Literature Methodologies at a National Superior Private Institute that trains future kindergarten and elementary teachers. Finally, I have been a Graduate Instructor for seven separates courses in Linguistics or Spanish Language and Composition at the University of Minnesota. I also have been a member of the Central Committee of Teacher Training in the Ministry of Education of Santa Fe Province (Argentina) and served for five years as a Principal of a High School in the city of Santa Fe.

My research interests are centered in two areas: one area is Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Linguistics, and the other is Conversational Analysis and Pragmatics. As an Associate Professor in Santa Fe, I worked with two of my academic colleagues on two different projects dealing with education topics. Both projects gave me the opportunity to participate in international conferences (Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica and Chile), workshops for teachers, and the amazing experience of writing a book about strategies of teaching spelling in elementary schools. My current scholarly focus is on the use of verbal irony, sarcasm, parody and humor in real conversations, and on strategies to help students to improve their writing skills in Spanish.

XII Annual Conference of the International Society for Luso-Hispanic Humor Studies - Minneapolis October 2010


Licenciada en Letras, Catholic University of Santa Fe, Argentina; Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Minnesota.

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SPA-250Hispanic Diversity152015/SP, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, 2010/FA, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/FA, and 2007/SP
SPA-370SPA thru Linguistics122016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, and 2006/FA
SPA-103Hispanic World III112016/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/FA, 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, 2007/SP, and 2006/FA
MLC-357Language Teaching Methods52016/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2009/FA
SPA-330SPA Beyond Translation52016/SP, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2010/SP, and 2008/SP
SPA-102Hispanic World II52015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, and 2008/FA
SPA-101Hispanic World I22016/FA and 2013/FA
MLC-125Argentinean Culture12009/JN
MLC-302Humor and Irony12008/JN
SPA-344Special Topic: Spanish and the Americas12007/SP