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Gabrielle Herman

Gabrielle Herman

Undergraduate Student: Biobehavioral Health, minoring in Spanish



My name is Gabby Herman and I am a sophomore in the Schreyer Honors College, studying Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Spanish. I am from Lewisburg, PA, a small town about an hour east of here. Although I plan to attend graduate school for Occupational Therapy after my four years here at Penn State, I have always had a strong interest in learning other languages, such as Spanish and American Sign Language. I am so excited to pursue my interests outside of my major through this opportunity!

Project Summary:

I am travelling to Colombia this summer to visit Bogotá, Medellín, and our primary site, San Basilio del Palenque. While in Colombia, I will conduct research on the Palenquero language and Spanish, two languages that share very similar lexicons. I am hoping to identify which traits of the languages allow bilingual speakers to distinguish between these two very similar languages. My experiments will primarily focus on differences in intonation as well as changes in Palenquero, such as prevocalic /r/ to /l/ and prenasalized voiced word-initial stops.