School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Nyingarn: Supporting Australian Indigenous languages from textual sources1
    Thieberger, N ; Lewincamp, S ; Rosa, ML (IEEE, 2023-01-01)
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Preaspiration in Italian voiceless geminate and singleton stops
    Dian, A ; Hajek, J ; Fletcher, J ; Skarnitzl, R ; Volín, J (Guarant, 2023-08-07)
    This study is the first to explore from a cross-regional perspective acoustic phonetic features of preaspiration in both voiceless geminate and singleton stops in Italian, a language for which preaspiration is most typically associated with voiceless geminate stops. Frequency of preaspiration occurrence and duration are investigated in a controlled production experiment involving twelve speakers from two regional areas with different dialect substrata. Results reveal that preaspiration occurs for both geminates and singletons in both regions, with area-specific differences in frequency possibly linked to regional differences in phonetic voicing patterns of intervocalic singletons. We conclude that preaspiration in Italian stops may be best associated with phonetic voicing status, not phonological length.
  • Item
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Forget what you think you know - the real story about what works in languages classrooms
    Absalom, M (Filodiritto Editore, 2023)
    After teaching Italian in adult and university contexts with a communicative and explicit-grammar teaching focus for nearly 25 years, I was becoming increasingly perplexed as to why my students continued to make mistakes and not learn the correct forms of basic parts of speech (e.g. definite articles). This pedagogical crisis occurred around the same time that I heard Bill VanPatten speak about the failed promises of instructed second language acquisition (SLA) [9]. In a nutshell, he claimed that much of what occurs in typical languages classrooms has next to no impact on language acquisition – this resonated strongly with me and I decided to return to SLA research to understand more [10]. What I discovered has led to a complete overhaul of my teaching approach influenced heavily by Krashen’s claims that approaches based on comprehensible input are superior to all others [2]. In this paper, I will present the compelling case for comprehensible input and describe how I have implemented this in the Italian Studies program at the University of Melbourne through the use of story-listening [7]. I will also discuss student responses to the approach and provide you with a range of suggestions on how to implement this in your own contexts.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Virtual exchange and Meaning-Making - Translanguaging and Pushing the Boundaries
    Absalom, M ; Trape, R (Filodiritto Editore, 2023)
    In this paper, we describe the latest iteration of our virtual exchange project (see [1], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9] for context) between students of Italian in an Australian university and students in a liceo linguistico in Italy. Students, in pairs or groups of three, met online for 4 weeks and, unlike previous virtual exchanges where we prescriptively programmed topics to be discussed, were given the instruction to define their own topics of interest to pursue together. The objective of this freer approach was to encourage students to become stronger agents of meaning-making using the languages at their disposal. As García and Kleifgen [2] note “[t]o liberate the meaning-making potential of […] bilinguals, a translanguaging pedagogy privileges emergence of meaning making, feeling, intensity, and excitement, as it moves the imaginaries of students to make connections across what are perceived and encoded as separate sign systems” (p. 568). Multilinguals can experience a transformation “when they realize the artificial and constructed nature of the categories imposed on them” ([4], p. 498), and they can then coordinate their own performances without the strictures of external categories.” ([4], p. 560). We explore the range of topics defined by student participants and compare this with both our own previous models for virtual exchange as well as others drawn from the literature. We also detail student responses to their online translanguaging experience. We examine the ramifications of this information for future similar projects but also for meaningful meaning-making for young people in languages education.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Mental Simulation in L2 Processing of English Prepositional Phrases
    Wang, M ; Zhao, H (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), 2023-07-14)
    Embodied simulation hypothesis supposes that language processing involves the activation of perceptual-motor systems to recreate the described scene (Bergen, 2012, 2019). The paper investigates whether and how adolescent second language (L2) learners’ online processing of prepositions engages mental simulation. Specifically, the study examines whether any observed mental simulation effect was modulated by prepositions, abstractness of senses, and Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA). 40 Chinese adolescents completed a diagram-picture matching task followed by a semantic priming task in English, where participants saw a diagrammatic prime and made phrasal acceptability judgement. Results showed a compatibility effect of schematic diagrams on adolescent L2 English learners’ accuracy rates (ARs) of processing prepositional phrases (PPs), while response times (RTs) results did not reveal mental simulation effects. The findings suggest that schematic diagrams could serve as effective perceptual cues to prime adolescent L2 learners’ processing of schema-compatible English PPs by improving judgement accuracy but not processing speed.
  • Item
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Customary song in Christian clothing
    Thieberger, N ; Barwick, L (Presses universitaires de la Nouvelle‐Calédonie, 2023)
    In this paper, we illustrate the maintenance of archaic forms of Nafsan (a language spoken in Efate, Vanuatu) in song, and take one particular song as an example. Nafsan is known for having lost medial and final vowels in everyday language, but these can be, as in many languages, retained in song. One of the very few books written in Nafsan by Nafsan speakers was produced in 1983 in Port Vila (Wai et al.). It contains twelve stories, and ends with a cryptic inscription, M‐dd‐M‐dd‐ddl‐S‐dl‐s‐dd. All the stories were transcribed and translated as part of Thieberger’s research, but he was not sure what to do with this collection of letters. By chance, a copy of a hymnal on Lelepa island had the same cryptic letters that were evidently a form of musical notation known as solfa, Tonic Sol‐fa, or Solfege. Translations of Christian hymns into Nafsan were first made in the 1840s, but none of these hymnals includes solfa notation. As Stevens (2005) notes, solfa “often resulted in the emergence of a school of indigenous composers writing in Tonic Sol-fa notation and using the tonal harmonic style”. That is clearly the case in this Nafsan story. In this paper, we will look in more detail at the Ririal song, noting its archaic content. Early translations of hymns often maintain vowels that are now lost in Nafsan, and the same appears to be the case with the Ririal song. It is indicative of the syncretism with which Christianity has been received in Efate that a method of transcription originally intended to make Christian hymns more accessible has been adapted in a monolingual set of kastom stories to present a traditional song.