School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Prosodic phonology and raddoppiamento sintattico: a re-evaluation
    ABSALOM, MATTHEW ; HAJEK, JOHN ( 2006)
    The phenomenon known as raddoppiamento sintattico (RS) in Italian has been used to justify the notion of the phonological phrase in prosodic phonology. However, careful consideration of the application of the theory itself as well as a number of empirical problems raised by other scholars do not support the notion that the phonological phrase is useful in describing RS.
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    Raddoppiamento sintattico and glottalization phenomena in Italian: a first phonetic excursus
    STEVENS, M. ; HAJEK, J. ; ABSALOM, MATTHEW ( 2002)
    This study is a preliminary phonetic exploration of aspects of the well-known Italian sandhi phenomenon of Raddoppiamento sintattico (henceforth RS), which involves the gemination of word-initial consonants under certain conditions, eg dei [k]ani ‘some dogs’ but tre [kk]ani ‘three dogs’. It is often assumed that RS C-gemination is regular, but there is increasing evidence that it competes with other phenomena such as vowel lengthening. This study first discusses results of our auditory study of RS contexts, which show that RS is far less frequent in spontaneous speech than is theoretically predicted. This paper then looks specifically at glottal stop insertion and creak in RS contexts, based on the results of an initial small-scale acoustic investigation. The first has controversially been reported as occurring in RS environments where it serves to block RS (Absalom & Hajek, 1997). In addition, glottal stops have also been claimed to provide a coda to short word-final stressed vowels outside of RS environments (Vayra, 1994). We discuss our unexpected finding that glottalization characterizes phrase boundaries in our spontaneous speech data, and the implications that this evidence may have for the phonetic and phonological description of Italian and for our understanding of RS.
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    A typology of spreading, insertion and deletion or what you weren’t told about Raddoppiamento Sintattico in Italian
    ABSALOM, MATTHEW ; STEVENS, MARY ; HAJEK, JOHN (University of NSW, 2002)
    This paper focuses on the description and analysis of the external sandhi phenomenon of raddoppiamento sintattico (hereafter RS) in Italian, sometimes referred to as word-initial gemination. RS is one of the most discussed topics within Italian phonology, with the first description and treatment of the phenomenon dating back nearly 500 years. Theoretical analyses of RS since the 1970s, of whatever kind, seem to suggest that the facts of RS are clear and easy both to state and to analyze. Yet closer inspection shows RS not to occur in the manner claimed or predicted by these accounts. The aim of this paper is to highlight the empirical inadequacy of existing approaches to RS by illustrating the complex patterns that occur in RS environments.
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    Innovating assessment in an Italian language course: first experiences
    Absalom, M (HERDSA, 1999)
    This paper examines a new academic's initial foray into the realms of innovative assessment. The paper begins by outlining the principle reasons for innovating the assessment scheme which include:- a desire to promote deep learning in students;- the necessity to have a more transparent connection between the aims and objectives of the course and assessment tasks;- the need to challenge the notion that language is easily compartmentalised into distinct skills - writing, reading, speaking, listening, metalinguistic. - implicitly conveyed by traditional assessment tasks. The unit in question was a full year ab initio Italian class. Students were cleanly divided into two camps: mature age and non-mature age with the former showing significant reservations in the face of non-traditional assessment methods. I discuss both the successes and failings of the new scheme from my perspective as well as from that of students. Notably, by the end of the unit, some of the students' initial responses to innovative assessment have been challenged in such a way as to have effected a change in thinking.
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    Il Fenomeno del Raddoppiamento Sintattico nella Realta Linguistica Italiana
    ABSALOM, MATTHEW ; HAJEK, JOHN ; STEVENS, MARY (M. D'Auria Editore, 2004)
    Il presente contributo tratta il fenomeno del raddoppiamento sintattico (RS), noto negli studi linguistici italiani già da 500 anni. L’obiettivo principale di questo lavoro è “problematizzare” la descrizione del RS illustrando una serie di considerazioni che, a nostro avviso, vanno tenute presenti da chi vuole intraprendere un’analisi fonologica del processo in modo che rifletta la realtà linguistica italiana. La presente relazione può essere vista come una reazione alla visione “depurata” di un processo banalmente categorico come viene spesso presentato il RS negli studi fonologici scritti in lingua inglese. Tale immagine limitata è stata addirittura adoperata per motivare interi costrutti teorici come la frase fonologica della cosiddetta Fonologia Prosodica, motivazione successivamente messa in dubbio da vari studiosi fra cui una delle proponenti originali. Il presente lavoro verte su tre affermazioni che spesso emergono dai contributi teorici sul RS le quali saranno valutate rispetto al loro valore fattuale.
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    Language learning and technology in Australian universities
    Absalom, MJ (AACE International, 2012)
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    Wikis and Language Learning: a pilot project
    ABSALOM, M (AACE International, 2010)
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    WebWiz: find, edit, create
    ABSALOM, M (AACE International, 2010)