Estilita Cassiani Obeso

Estilita Cassiani Obeso

Assistant Professor of Instruction in Spanish and Portuguese
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Northwestern University



Research Interests:

Pidgins and Creole Languages, Language Variation and Change, Sociolinguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and Instruction.    


Estilita María Cassiani-Obeso was a PhD Candidate in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at The Pennsylvania State University. She got her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Literature at the Universidad del Atlántico in Colombia, and her MA in Hispanic Linguistics at The Pennsylvania State University. Estilita is a member of the community of San Basilio de Palenque (Colombia), the first free African settlement in the Americas, and declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. Estilita’s research primarily focuses on the second/ heritage language acquisition of the Afro-Hispanic creole language Palenquero (spoken in San Basilio de Palenque), with particular emphasis on educational strategies for teaching minority languages, and in the process of language revitalization. She also studies morphological aspects of the Palenquero language using the usage-based approach to examine sociolinguistic variation and generational language change.


  • Cassiani Obeso, E., & Smith, H. (2020). Variable plural marking in Palenquero Creole. Language Variation and Change, 32(3), 293-315. doi:10.1017/S0954394520000204
  • Cassiani Obeso, E. M. (2021). Reinforcement of Grammatical Structures through Explicit Instruction in Palenquero Creole: A Pilot Study. Languages 6(41).

Lab Affiliation

  • The Brain Tracking Lab
Estilita  Cassiani