Matthew Kanwit

Assistant Professor, Hispanic Linguistics


2820 Cathedral of Learning


Personal Website:


  • PhD, Indiana University
  • MA, University of Georgia
  • BA, University of Richmond (VA)

Selected Publications

Neumann, F., & Kanwit, M. (accepted). Acquiring variable commands at home and abroad: Examining optatives and imperatives in L1 and L2 Spanish. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. 

Kanwit, M., & Pisabarro Sarrió, S. (accepted). Are the systems the same? Applying the comparative method to variable intensification in the Spanish and Catalan of Tarragona, Spain. Spanish in Context.

Kanwit, M., & Terán, V. (accepted). Proposing a tripartite intensifier system: the case of re, muy, and bien in Buenos Aires and Tucumán, Argentina. In D. Pascual y Cabo, I. Elola, B. Regan, & A.Y. Long (Eds.), Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Kanwit, M. (2019). Beyond the present indicative: Lexical futures as indicators of development in L2 Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 103(2), 481-501.

Kanwit, M., & Geeslin, K. (2018).  Exploring lexical effects in second language interpretation: The case of mood interpretation in Spanish adverbial clauses. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 40, 579-603.

Kanwit, M., Elias, V., & Clay, R. (2018). Acquiring intensifier variation abroad: exploring muy and bien in Spain and Mexico. Foreign Language Annals, 51, 455-471.

Nemogá, M., & Kanwit, M. (2018). Analyzing the production of a non-standard form: Variable use of preterit andar in bogotano Spanish. Sociolinguistic Studies, 12(3-4), 395-417.

Terán, V., & Kanwit, M. (2018). Variable past-time expression across multiple tasks in Tucumán, Argentina. Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada / Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 605-637. 

Kanwit, M. (2018). Variation in second-language Spanish. In K.L. Geeslin (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Spanish Linguistics, (pp. 716-736). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

​Neumann, F., & Kanwit, M. (2018). New perspectives on automatic and morphophonological alternations: Harmonic processes in two Peninsular varieties of Spanish. Borealis: An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 7, 97-112.

Kanwit, M., & Quesada, M.L. (2018) Learner and native-speaker differences in the acceptability of gustar-type psychological verbs in Spanish. IRAL (International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching), 56(3), 279-313.

Geeslin, K., Gudmestad, A., Kanwit, M., Linford, B., Long, A.Y., Schmidt, L., & Solon, M. (2018). Sociolinguistic competence and the acquisition of speaking. In M.R. Alonso Alonso (Ed.), Speaking in a Second Language., (1-25). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Kanwit, M. (2018/2014). Encantado de conocerte virtualmente: Native/non-native speaker electronic chats in Spanish. International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest, 33(2), 59-90.

Kanwit, M. (2017).  What we gain by combining variationist and concept-oriented approaches: The case of acquiring Spanish future-time expression. Language Learning, 67(2), 461-498.

Kanwit, M., Terán, V., & Pisabarro Sarrió, S. (2017). Un fenómeno bien curioso: New methods for analyzing variable intensification across four dialects of Spain and Argentina.Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 10(2), 259-295.

Kanwit, M. (2015). The role of discourse topic in evidentiality marking: Variable (de)queísmo in Caracas. eHumanista/IVITRA, 8, 446-470. (Invited, refereed contribution to special issue on evidentiality in the Romance languages.)

Kanwit, M., Geeslin, K.L., & Fafulas, S. (2015). Study abroad and the SLA of variable structures: A look at the present perfect, the copula contrast, and the present progressive in Mexico and Spain. Probus, 27(2), 307-348.

Kanwit, M., & Geeslin, K. (2014). The interpretation of Spanish subjunctive and indicative forms in adverbial clauses: A cross-sectional study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36(3), 487-533.

Solon, M., & Kanwit, M. (2014). The emergence of future verbal morphology in Spanish as a foreign language. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 7(1), 115-148.

Kanwit, M. (2013). L1 child acquisition of future expression in madrileño Spanish: A variationist study. In J.E. Aaron, J. Cabrelli Amaro, G. Lord, & A. de Prada Pérez (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 222-237). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Kanwit, M., & Solon, M. (2013). Acquiring variation in future-time expression abroad in Valencia, Spain and Mérida, Mexico. In J.E. Aaron, J. Cabrelli Amaro, G. Lord, & A. de Prada Pérez (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 206-221). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Geeslin, K.L., Fafulas, S., & Kanwit, M. (2013). Acquiring geographically-variable norms of use: The case of the present perfect in Mexico and Spain. In C. Howe, S. Blackwell, & M. Quesada (Eds.), Selected proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 205-220). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Kanwit, M. (2012). Discourse topic and (de)queísmo: A variationist study of the Spanish of Caracas. IU Working Papers in Linguistics, 12, 01.

Areas of Specialization

Matt Kanwit’s research in Hispanic Linguistics focuses on the intersection of second language (L2) acquisition and sociolinguistic variation. Specifically, he is interested in the L2 acquisition of variable morphosyntactic structures, the effect of study abroad on acquisition, and native-speaker morphosyntactic variation in Spanish.