Joel Rini

Professor of Spanish
New Cabell Hall 473
Office Hours:
Thurs 2:00-4:00pm via Zoom

Research Summary

Joel Rini, Professor of Spanish Linguistics and Philology, has been teaching courses and conducting research on the internal history of the Spanish language at the University of Virginia since receiving his Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics in 1987 from the University of Michigan.  To date, he has published two books and over thirty articles on various aspects of Spanish historical grammar.  While he continues to focus on unresolved problems of Spanish historical morphology and syntax, he has recently turned some of his attention to diachronic and synchronic issues of gender in Spanish, from the earliest texts to the present day.


Ph.D., University of Michigan

M.A., University of Michigan

B.S., Kent State University



Exploring the Role of Morphology in the Evolution of Spanish Amsterdam: John Benjamins, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 179, 1999.

Motives for Linguistic Change in the Formation of the Spanish Object Pronouns. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta, 1992.

Selected Articles:     

“A Reconsideration and Elaboration of a Previously Proposed Hypothesis for the Origin of the –y of Spanish soy, doy, voy, estoy.” Iberoromania 93 (2021): 137-155.

“Spanish quepo: The Untold Story.” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 136 (2020): 730-748.

“A Morphological Factor in the History of the Irregular Future (and Conditional) of Spanish.” Studia Neophilologica 92 (2020): 111-123.

“Changing Genders: Linguistic Factors beyond Ambiguous Gender Marking and the Case of Spanish el arte vs. el ave and el hambre.” Bulletin of Spanish Studies 96:1 (2019): 1-16.

“The Paradoxical Survival of Spanish ¡Vamos! in the Face of Old Spanish ¡Vayamos! and the Loss of Old Spanish imos.” Iberoromania 88 (2018): 218-236.

“Are Some Spanish Nouns Truly Grammatical Hermaphrodites?” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 132 (2016): 731-754.

“The Enigmatic Morphology of Spanish azúcar ‘sugar’ and the ‘New Feminine el.’” Iberoromania 80 (2014): 244-260.

"Un nuevo análisis de la evolución de los imperativos singulares irregulares di, haz, ve, , ven, ten, pon, sal, (val).” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 130 (2014): 430-451.

“When Spanish h- Went Silent. How Do We Know?” Bulletin of Spanish Studies 87 (2010): 431-446.

“On the Formation of the Present Indicative Paradigm of Spanish ir and the Origin of vamos and vais.” Studies on Ibero-Romance Linguistics Dedicated to Ralph Penny. Eds. Roger Wright/Peter Ricketts. Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta (2005): 59-73.

“The Origin of Spanish entre tú y yo, ‘between you and me’: A Typological Parallel to English ‘between you and I’?” Diachronica 20 (2003): 139-165.

“The Extraordinary Survival of Spanish veía: Another Facet of Analogy Revealed.” Hispanic Review 69 (2001): 501-525.

“The Rise and Fall of Old Spanish 'Y’all': vos todos vs. vos otros.” Essays in Hispanic Linguistics Dedicated to Paul M. Lloyd. Eds. Blake, Robert J., Diana L. Ranson, and Roger Wright. Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta (1999): 209-221.

“The Formation of Old Spanish buey(s), bueyes, grey(s), greyes, ley(s), leyes, rey(s), reyes: A Morphophonological Analysis.” Hispanic Review 66 (1998): 1-19.

“The Origin of Spanish ser: A Phonosyntactic Analysis.” Romance Philology 50 (1997): 295-307.

“The Vocalic Formation of the Spanish Verbal Suffixes -áis/-ás, -éis/-és, -ois/-os, and -ís: A Case of Phonological or Morphological Change?” Iberoromania 44 (1996): 1-16.

“The Evolution of the Nature and Position of the Spanish Clitic Pronoun.” La corónica 24 (1995): 173-195.

“On the Evolution of Spanish cigüeña and the Blending of Multiple Variants.” Hispanic Review 61 (1993): 519-529.

“Metathesis of Yod and the Palatalization of Latin Medial /k’l/, /g’l/, /t’l/; /ks/, /ssj/,  /sj/; /kt/, /ult/  in Hispano- and Luso-Romance.” Linguistic Studies in Medieval Spanish. Eds. Harris-Northall, Ray and Thomas D. Cravens. Hispanic Seminary for Medieval Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1991): 109-133.

“Dating the Grammaticalization of the Spanish Clitic Pronoun.” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 106 (1990): 354-370.

“On the Chronology of Spanish conmigo, contigo, consigo, and the Interaction of Phonological, Syntactic, and Morphological Processes.” Hispanic Review 58 (1990): 503-512.

“A New Perspective on the Origin of le for les.” Journal of Hispanic Philology 12 (1988): 207-219.