Francisco Marcos-Marin
Francisco Marcos-Marin

UTSA Spotlight: Francisco Marcos-Marin receives prestigious Humboldt Research Award

By Bronwyn Wingo
Special Projects Writer, UTSA '05

(July 5, 2005)--Francisco Marcos-Marin, professor of Spanish linguistics in the UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, recently received the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The German foundation grants up to 100 research awards annually to internationally recognized scientists and scholars. Thirty-five Humboldt Research Awards have gone to people who also received the Nobel Prize.

Winners are invited to conduct research projects of their choice in Germany in cooperation with colleagues for six months to a year. The award opens a prestigious network of German contacts and resources through which the UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures can more easily participate with a number of German universities.

"Germany has always been very important for Hispanic studies, both European and Latin American," said Marcos-Marin. "The southern and western parts of what is now Germany belonged to the Spanish crown until well into the 16th century, some of them much later. Many Germans, especially Catholic Bavarians, repopulated Southern Spain in the 18th century, and the German presence in Latin America, particularly the South Cone, is very important."

With his grant, Marcos-Marin will travel to Germany to complete some of the research for the "Dictionary of Medieval Spanish," which is currently being edited in Heidelberg, Germany. Additionally, Marcos-Marin will finishing writing two books, "The Numeric Sign: Symbolism and Linguistics of Numerals" and "History of Spanish as a Specialty Language in Iberian Context."

Established researchers at German universities determine recipients of the Humboldt Research Award. Although most of the grants are awarded in math- and science-related areas, there are typically two to three language grants. The research award honors the winners' lifetime academic achievements.

A well-traveled scholar, Marcos-Marin has teaching and research experience in Argentina, Austria, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Greece and Morocco, among others. His work as a professor has taken him to several universities as a visiting professor including Beijing University of Foreign Studies, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the University of California - Berkley, Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

He is the author of more than 25 books and has published more than 300 articles in scientific journals and collective volumes. Marcos-Marin's teaching and research interests include applied linguistics with emphasis on computers and textual analysis, Old Spanish and Romance philology, descriptive and typological linguistics, cultural history of medieval Spain, comparative medieval Romance and Arabic literature, and Hispanic linguistics.