School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    The New Protectionism: Risk Aversion and Access to Indigenous Heritage Records
    Thieberger, N ; Aird, M ; Bracknell, C ; Gibson, J ; Harris, A ; Langton, M ; Sculthorpe, G ; Simpson, J (Australian Society of Archivists, 2024)
    This article discusses the problems encountered in accessing archival Indigenous language records, both by Indigenous people looking for information on their own languages and by non-Indigenous researchers supporting language work. It is motivated by Indigenous people not being able to access materials in archives, libraries, and museums that they need for heritage reasons, for personal reasons, or for revitalisation of language or cultural performance. For some of the authors, the experience of using Nyingarn, which aims to make manuscript language material available for re-use today, has been dispiriting, with what we term the ‘new protectionism’ preventing use of these materials.
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    Are schematic diagrams valid visual representations of concepts? Evidence from mental imagery in online processing of English prepositions
    Wang, M ; Zhao, H (Cambridge University Press, 2024)
    Embodied imagery hypothesis proposes the activation of perceptual-motor systems during language processing. Previous studies primarily used concrete visual stimuli to investigate mental imagery in language processing by native speakers (NSs) and second language (L2) learners, but few studies employed schematic diagrams. The study aims to investigate mental imagery in processing prepositional phrases by English NSs and L2 learners. Using image-schematic diagrams as primes, we examine whether any mental imagery effect is modulated by target preposition (over, in), the abstractness of meaning (spatial, extended), and stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA; 1,040 ms, 2,040 ms). A total of 79 adult L2 learners and 100 NSs of English completed diagram–picture matching and semantic priming phrasal decision tasks. Results revealed interference effects on L2 processing of over phrases and under 2,040 ms SOA, but no such effects were observed in the NS group. The selective interference effects in L2 suggest different mental imagery patterns between L1 and L2 processing, and processing schematic diagram primes requires high cognitive demands, potentially leading to difficulties in integrating visual and linguistic information and making grammaticality judgments. The findings partially validate schematic diagrams as visual representations of concepts and suggest the need for further examination of schematic diagrams with varying degrees of complexity.
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    Fatal flaws? Investigating the effects of machine translation errors on audience reception in the audiovisual context
    Qiu, J ; Pym, A (Taylor & Francis, 2024-03-13)
    This study reports on an experiment where machine translation errors in subtitling are evaluated from the perspective of nine viewers who did not know the source language and seven viewers who were studying the source language. Screen recordings, think-aloud protocols, comprehension tests, and interviews were employed to explore participants’ responses and reactions to erroneous subtitles and to investigate how specific errors impacted comprehension and immersion in the viewing experience. The analysis identifies which errors were most noticed and to what extent those errors affected viewers’ trust in the subtitles. Errors causing significant misunderstanding and distrust are initially considered ‘fatal’, as they may halt viewer immersion and prompt disengagement from the audiovisual product. However, the findings highlight a remarkable tolerance of the uncertainty that results from errors, as viewers filter out misinformation or draw on other sources of information to construe and rectify their interpretations. This tolerance is explained in terms of a general trade-off with the enjoyment of the viewing experience, which varies in accordance with the viewer’s knowledge of the source language.
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    Gender and its metaphors in Bigas Luna's posthumous film Segon origin
    Martinez-Exposito, A (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2023-04-03)
    The classic of children’s literature in Catalan has been translated into several languages and has been adapted for radio, television and cinema. The prematurely deceased director Bigas Luna showed interest in adapting it to the cinema in the eighties, but the project did not succeed until two decades later. The relationship established between Alba and Dídac, both in Pedrolo’s novel and in the film by Bigas, has usually been interpreted as a sexual awakening with multiple metaphorical resonances. This article re-examines the metaphorical configurations of gender dynamics in the film, an aspect in which Bigas Luna’s authorial voice is not limited to adapting Pedrolo’s story, but also manages to rewrite important facets of the characters. While most of these facets can be traced back to Bigas Luna’s previous films, Second Origin can be read as an attempt to recalibrate gender identity as an epiphenomenon of cultural, territorial, and national identities.
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    First and second language speakers’ sensitivity to the distributional properties of wh-clauses: Effects of proficiency, acquisitional context, and language experience
    Domazetoska, I ; Zhao, H (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2023)
    The present study investigates L1 and L2 English speakers’ knowledge of the wh-clausal construction along the parameters of (a) conventionality, distinguishing between high-frequency conventional and low-frequency unconventional formulations (I asked him why they agreed/why did they agree), and (b) proposition type, differentiating between interrogative versus non-interrogative proposition types (I asked / told him why they agreed). We also consider the extent to which L2 speakers’ constructional knowledge is influenced by learners’ target language experience, such as L2 proficiency, context of L2 learning (ESL or EFL), and target language exposure. Results from a judgment task revealed nuances in L1-L2 discriminatory capacities, and more importantly, differences in sensitivity to proposition type between the ESL and EFL group, but no L2 differences in sensitivity to conventionality. L2 proficiency, speakers’ length of target immersion experience, and classroom exposure were shown to also impact linguistic sensitivity, highlighting a moderating effect of target language exposure and an important role for classroom instruction.
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    Dislocation and liminality in Andrei Zvyagintsev's Leviathan and Loveless
    McGregor, A ; Lagerberg, R (University of Canterbury, 2023)
    This article compares and contrasts two of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s most recent films, Leviathan (2014) and Loveless (2017). Although there are clear differences in structure and plot between the two films, by using the concepts of liminality and non-place, a number of parallels and shared themes are brought to light. In both films similar framing techniques are used in order to highlight domestic space and its role: in Leviathan it exposes the vulnerability to outside societal forces, while in Loveless it highlights the dysfunctionality of Alesha’s immediate world. Identity is closely linked to domestic spaces in both films. In Leviathan Nikolai’s existence is rendered liminal by the expropriation of his home, while in Lovless the parents’ search for new identities results in Alesha’s liminal existence, and, in turn, their own, as they acquire new partners and domestic spaces.
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    Active Translation Literacy in the Literature Class
    Pym, A (Cambridge University Press, 2023-09-12)
    Imagine you are spying on your town or city, peering into malls, homes, computers, bookshelves, electronic devices carried on public transport. Where is literature? And if you can find it, where are liter- ary translations? Where might they be read, talked about, or pro- duced, if at all?
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    Impact of Cultural and Linguistic Maintenance on Mental Health Outcomes in Migrant Adolescents: Protocol for a Scoping Review
    Hasnain, A ; Hajek, J ; Borschmann, R (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2023)
    BACKGROUND: There is no consensus on how the disruption or maintenance of heritage culture and language affect mental health outcomes in adolescents with a migrant (also known as "immigrant" or "international migrant") background. Even though previous literature reviews have investigated the association between acculturation and mental health in migrants, none have explicitly focused on adolescents. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the scoping review described in this protocol is to understand (1) the focus, scope, and nature of quantitative empirical research investigating heritage cultural maintenance, including linguistic maintenance, and mental health outcomes in adolescents with a migrant background worldwide and (2) the potential effects of cultural and linguistic maintenance or disruption on migrant adolescent mental health outcomes. METHODS: A total of 11 key electronic health, medical, social science, and language databases (APA PsycArticles Full Text; Embase Classic+Embase; Ovid MEDLINE All and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process, In-Data-Review and Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily; Ovid MEDLINE All; APA PsycInfo; University of Melbourne full-text journals; Science Citation Index Expanded; Social Sciences Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index; Scopus; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts) were searched. Databases were searched without time restrictions from the beginning of their coverage. Publication date, location, and quantitative study design (except for literature reviews) were not restricted; however, the search was only conducted in English. Data from included studies will be extracted using a template with predefined data items, and results will be summarized in a structured, narrative summary. RESULTS: A search was conducted on April 20, 2021, returning 2569 results. We are currently at the final stages of screening titles and abstracts of our search results, which will be followed by a full-text review and the data extraction of included studies. We expect to submit the full review for publication by the end of 2023. CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review aims to provide a better understanding of existing research on the association between cultural (including linguistic) maintenance and mental health in migrant adolescents. It will help identify gaps in the existing literature and develop hypotheses that could inform future research, eventually facilitating the development of targeted prevention initiatives and improving migrant adolescents' well-being. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/40143.
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    Recognising the SAE language learning needs of Indigenous primary school students who speak contact languages
    Steele, C ; Wigglesworth, G (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2023-01-01)
    Most Indigenous peoples live in urban and regional locations across Australia and no longer speak their traditional languages fluently. Instead contact languages, creoles and dialects, are widely spoken. In many educational settings, educators may know little about the first languages of the Indigenous children they teach, and not recognise these as different languages or dialects. Consequently, these students may not be treated as second language learners of Standard Australian English (SAE) and their language learning requirements are not considered. From a sociocultural perspective, language is crucial to students’ learning. In this paper, we quantitatively analyse the SAE learning needs of Indigenous primary school aged children in Far North Queensland using oral elicited imitation of simple sentences in SAE as a research method. Using one-way ANOVA, the results are compared with native monolingual SAE speakers showing significant differences between the two. This finding has important implications for classroom teaching practices and educational policies.
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    Stop contrast acquisition in child Kriol: Evidence of stable transmission of phonology post Creole formation.
    Bundgaard-Nielsen, RL ; Baker, BJ ; Bell, EA ; Wang, Y (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2023-07-26)
    Many Aboriginal Australian communities are undergoing language shift from traditional Indigenous languages to contact varieties such as Kriol, an English-lexified Creole. Kriol is reportedly characterised by lexical items with highly variable phonological specifications, and variable implementation of voicing and manner contrasts in obstruents (Sandefur, 1986). A language, such as Kriol, characterised by this unusual degree of variability presents Kriol-acquiring children with a potentially difficult language-learning task, and one which challenges the prevalent theories of acquisition. To examine stop consonant acquisition in this unusual language environment, we present a study of Kriol stop and affricate production, followed by a mispronunciation detection study, with Kriol-speaking children (ages 4-7) from a Northern Territory community where Kriol is the lingua franca. In contrast to previous claims, the results suggest that Kriol-speaking children acquire a stable phonology and lexemes with canonical phonemic specifications, and that English experience would not appear to induce this stability.